The biggest and best crossover game in history will release in just over a month — and in a Nintendo Direct last week, fans learned almost everything about the game. Nintendo has finished making announcements even before the game has hit shelves, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has more characters, stages and songs than ever before.
Nintendo already revealed every character from previous Super Smash Bros. games would be returning in Ultimate, which will be available for the Nintendo Switch on Dec. 7. Last week, Smash Bros. developer Masahiro Sakurai confirmed the final characters coming to the game during a 40-minute Nintendo Direct.
Street Fighter’s Ken will be appearing as an “echo fighter” for the already-established Ryu, who joined the fray in the last installment of the game. Pokémon’s Incineroar will enter the ring as well. Both characters seem like a fun new addition, particularly Incineroar, a giant wrestling tiger who likes to pump up the crowd.
This brings the total of unique fighters in the game on the day of release up to 69, not counting echo fighters. If echo fighters — whose movesets are similar to other fighters — are counted individually, there will be 76 characters to play as this December, showing that the game has really earned its “Ultimate” name.
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In addition, the Piranha Plant from the Super Mario series will join the fray as the first of five downloadable content characters. The Direct announcement indicated there will be five downloadable content packages, each including a new character, stage and music.
Perhaps most exciting is the announcement of the “Spirits” mode. Ultimate will include spirits that can support and power up fighters that players use. Each individual spirit is based off one of the countless characters in the Nintendo universe that somehow didn’t make it into the game.
To unlock the spirits, players will have to fight against a CPU that most closely resembles that character. For example, to get two cats from Animal Crossing, the user is pitted against two differently sized Isabelles.
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This exciting development means there’s almost no limit to the number of characters that can be considered a part of the Super Smash Bros. universe. The Spirit mode challenges seem fun and interesting — and a definite new form of gameplay that shows Smash Bros. Ultimate is more than just a rehashing of old games with all the characters they could imagine.
On top of that, a trailer for a story-based game mode has been released. In it, the entire roster of fighters — aside from Kirby — is transformed into a spirit. It’s up to the player to complete different challenges in an arcade-style format to free all of the characters from the spirit form and enlist their help in defeating some kind of greater evil.
Also included in the video were all of the character “assist trophies,” confirming that a lot of fan-favorite characters definitely won’t be appearing in the game. Also included in the video was a long treehouse session where gameplay of all the new characters was showcased.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases Dec. 7, and with all the new content, and more still to come, it seems to be a necessary purchase to any avid smasher or casual player.