When they said the game was called Ultimate, they weren’t kidding.
- Simon Belmont and Richter from Castlevania join the series! The former is a long-time dream pick of mine, so this news comes as a very pleasant surprise. Their movesets will be essentially the same: Attacks include fully-controllable whips and Castlevania’s iconic powerups.
- King K Rool from Donkey Kong Country onwards is one of what I like to call the ’07 Team – a set of characters that were only possible in our wildest dreams and the craziest Internet predictions. There’s only one character left from that dream team now that hasn’t been introduced. #Goku4Smash
- Dark Samus from Metroid Prime III: Corruption and Chrom from Fire Emblem are here as well, as ‘Echo Fighters’ – clones of existing characters.
- There are apparently more unannounced fighters to come.
Ultimate will have 103 stages – nearly double the number of the last game. New Donk City (Super Mario Odyssey) and Dracula’s Castle (Castlevania) were the only all-new stages revealed, but maps from older Smash games that are returning are listed below.
From the Nintendo 64 version (in their original form):
- Saffron City (Pokemon)
- Hyrule Castle (The Legend of Zelda)
- Dream Land (Kirby)
- Kongo Jungle (Donkey Kong)
Super Smash Bros. Melee favorites are returning as well:
- Pokemon Stadium (Pokemon)
- Brinstar Depths (Metroid)
- Fountain of Dreams (Kirby)
- Final Destination (Melee)
From the 3DS and Wii U versions:
- Garden of Hope (Pikmin)
- Unova Pokemon League (Pokemon)
- Magicant (Mother)
- Gamer (Warioware)
Don’t worry, the worst game wasn’t left out! Summit (Ice Climbers) will return from Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
There are a couple more newcomers here that’ll ruffle a few feathers. Try and guess which ones! The prize is disappointment.
- Zero (Megaman X)
- Knuckles (Sonic the Hedgehog)
- Krystal (Starfox Adventures)
- Ashley (Warioware)
- Klaptrap (Donkey Kong Country)
- Kann’n (Animal Crossing)
- Chef Kawasaki (Kirby Super Star)
- Gray Fox (Metal Gear Solid)
- Nikki (Swapnote)
- Shovel Knight (are you living under a rock, man)
- The Moon (The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask)
- Rathalos (Monster Hunter World – will also appear as a stage boss)
New Pokemon were also revealed, and are getting lumped in with assist trophies because I’m the one with the keyboard and admin privileges:
- Alolan Exeggutor – provides a wall jump platform
- Abra – teleports players
- Solgaleo – solarbeams you into eternity
- Lunala – basically the same but with the moon
- Mimikyu – drags players under its cloak and deals damage
- Pyulumuku – bitch-slaps anybody who attacks it
- Vulpix (and its Alolan variety) – throws fire and/or ice
- Marshadow – charges a punch that’s kinda shadowey…if only there was a name for that
- Ditto – transforms into another fighter
New items include:
- Banana Gun – can fire a single bullet and be used for slapstick after
- Killing Edge – a sword that does more damage if it’s glowing
- Bomber – (Kirby) lift it up and it’ll explode after a while
- Death’s Scythe (Castlevania) – will instantly KO highly-damaged players
- Staff (Fire Emblem) – fires a magic missile that does more damage with distance
- Ramblin’ Evil Mushroom (Mother) – reverses an opponent’s controls
- Rage Blaster (Bayonetta) – attacks are stronger when its user’s damage percentage is higher
- Tournament Mode returns, allowing smaller tourneys to be played with friends.
- Squad Strike is a new battle mode, facing three or five characters against each other in consecutive order. Player control over these characters is flexible.
- Smashdown is a mode in which fighters are eliminated from selection after each match played.
- Training Mode now features a stage that logs dummy trajectory at certain percentages, and has a grid background for simple measuring.
- Classic Mode is a single-player mode where each fighter has a tailor-made series of challenges to overcome, one at a time, much like the single-player offerings in Smash 64 or Melee.
- There are over 800 music tracks (900 if fanfares and such are counted) in Ultimate! Dracula’s Castle will have over 30 by itself. The option to toggle the rarity of certain tracks has returned as well, along with the option to create your own playlists. Sound Test allows you to play tracks for your listening pleasure, even when the Switch is in handheld mode…and in sleep mode!
- All stages will be selectable from the start, with some extra toggles! Some maps have been rebalanced slightly, stage hazards can now be turned off, and the new Stage Morph setting allows one stage to morph into another mid-game.
- Rulesets are picked before maps or fighters are selected. You can also save custom rulesets and select them easily.
- Stamina mode is now a standard match option, in which players have a health bar instead of the classic damage percentage.
- Stage selection now comes before fighter selection.There are also more options for fairer stage picking – including Loser’s Pick.
- The camera now slowly zooms in during Sudden Death – and the stage boundaries with it.
- The Final Smash guage is an option. Instead of needing a Smash Ball to use one, this mode allows players to simply charge it up. It’ll be less effective, though.
- No two Final Smashes will happen at the same time. They’ll go one after another.
I’m an old, jaded veteran who isn’t one for this ‘hype’ business anymore. I think I’m feeling it now.
Check out the direct itself below: