One of the biggest announcements so far for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been the insane roster of characters it will boast. In total, sixty-five characters will be available for the picking. During the Nintendo Direct, Super Smash developer Masahiro Sakurai hinted at that the game at first will only have as many characters as the original Nintendo 64 version first did, leaving other characters to be unlocked through play. If it is anything like the games prior, characters will be unlocked after meeting certain conditions, beating mini-games, or running through an included campaign.

During E3, I was fortunate enough to try the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate demo. For my first couple games, I made sure to try new characters Ridley and Inkling. Ridley played much like Charizard, having perhaps a slightly-faster glide over the stage as he moved in comparison. Instead of an overcharged side dash, Ridley’s side-B attack covers what looks like half the distance. Inkling was a bit harder for me to pick up. Its movements are fluid, but it’s attack aren’t quite like other characters. I found myself also forgetting to check my ink levels, leaving me open for attacks when I needed to refuel. Afterward, I fell back into the groove with my trusty main, Pikachu. Though its overall movement speed around the stage seems to have taken a hit, its attacks and overall durability made me very pleased. I think I even found a new skin to use from now on with the inclusion of the lucha libre costume.

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One area that didn’t get too much attention during the Nintendo Direct were the subject of stages. So far, we know every stage will come with a battlefield and omega form, and from footage shown we know that some old favorites like “Princess Peach’s Castle” and “Tortimer Island” will be making a return. After playing the game, I found that there are more past stages making a return, such as my personal Nintendo 64 favorite, Saffron City.

Picture of field selection screen on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Demo

Having tried the game with both the Switch Pro Controller and the Game Cube Controller, I think for my tastes I’ll stick with the Game Cube Controller. It just feels sturdy and ever-ready for some extraneous button smashing. I also felt much more comfortable with it as I have been playing Super Smash for years.

I think it’s worthy to note that aside from the Smash Ball now having a “Fake” counterpart, I also noticed that sometimes it will appear on stage, lying on the ground like an item. I didn’t get a chance to experience any of the new items, however.

With less than five-months until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases on December 7th, it seems to be shaping up to be the best incarnation to date (despite the removal of wave-dashing).

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