The final Super Smash Bros Ultimate fighter from the first DLC pack was announced on January 16th and, while reactions are mixed, the excitement of Fire Emblem Three Houses fans is bursting. As of January 28th, Byleth has been made available for purchase through the Nintendo eShop.
In recent years, a sizable chunk of Smash players have expressed frustration at the number of Fire Emblem characters in the all-star brawler’s roster. To be fair, now that Byleth has joined the fray, there will be eight characters from various generations of the classic JRPG series.
That said, Fire Emblem: Three Houses has been prosperous in its own right. With an active fandom producing boatloads of content from cosplays to comics, voice actors routinely stoking the fires with their charming personalities, and two wins at the 2019 Game Awards (Best Strategy Game and Player’s Choice), one cannot deny the scope of this title’s success.
One can never rule out such possibilities, especially since characters from all sorts of surprising places have been added throughout the years, from Solid Snake to Bayonetta to Banjo Kazooie and King K Rule! Personally, I’d love to see Geralt of Rivia added to the mix. M rated titles and third parties haven’t been off limits for awhile now… although he’s already in Soul Calibur VI, so that probably negates things.
One criticism of Byleth’s induction is that Super Smash Bros. holds immense power as far as its wide audience and quality is concerned. By extension, a user suggests that maybe adding more indie game characters is called for. Maybe Shovel Knight? Hollow Knight? There’s a lot to be said for the Mii fighter costumes based on Sans from Undertale and Cuphead, but these are just cosmetic nods that don’t compare to an actual character with their own unique move set and ultimate ability.Byleth, who features both male and female models like their contemporary Fire Emblem predecessors Robin and Corrin, has been subject to the criticism of “yet another swordsman in Smash” on top of being of Fire Emblem heraldry. But even the announcement trailer seems to take those critiques to task as the goddess Sothis bestows upon the professor three unique weapons. In the world of Three Houses, there are ancient ancestral weapons are known as Holy Relics and the three in question are wielded by the main characters and house leaders Dimitri, Edelgard, and Claude.
Given the criticism of “yet another swordsman” and this unique workaround, I decided to ask a couple of dedicated Smash players to give their thoughts on the professor’s play style. “They’re a character of extremes, kinda like Ridley,” says Griffin Peck, who has involved himself in Super Smash Bros titles since 1999 and has considered professional play. “Very good at what they need to do, which [is] spacing people out and taking advantage of their range. But on the other hand, their weaknesses are also very extreme too. Fast, projectile characters like Young Link and Toon Link are very good against Byleth and make it very hard for them to do anything.” So essentially, this fighter deals a lot of damage, but is balanced out by lower speed and definitely does best when with enemies at a distance.
Like others have shared to Twitter, Peck has noticed there’s a unique detail to Byleth’s upward recovery move (traditionally used to raise characters and save them from falling off of stages.) “Don’t be afraid to go of the stage with them. They seem like they can’t recover, but their up-B has a crazy amount of distance to it when going to the ledge.” The professor has one sweet grappling…sword?
Whether you’re excited or disappointed, Byleth is the last addition to the first DLC pack for Smash Ultimate. The first Fighter pass is retailed at $24.99 and includes a bundle of Byleth, Persona 5‘s Joker, Dragon Quest‘s Hero, Banjo Kazooie, Fatal Fury‘s Terry Bogard, and a bonus Mii Fighter costume. Each fighter can be purchased individually at $5.99 each and will include unique stages, music, and Spirits to each character.
The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter Pass Volume 2 is now available for pre-order at $29.99. Additional details have yet to be released.