Earlier today was the last Nintendo Direct for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate until the game’s release. You’d think the game’s director, Masahiro Sakurai, had already said everything there could have possibly been, but there were still some surprising reveals. And no, Waluigi did not get announced. Sorry.
Here are what I think to be the top-five important details released during today’s Nintendo Direct:
5: No more collectible trophies. Instead, Spirits.
Trophies have been around since the GameCube iteration, where they could be purchased in a randomized vending machine by using in-game earned coins. Sakurai stated that collectible trophies “wouldn’t be a great fit in this game,” adding that they were also really difficult to develop. Instead, the game will feature things called Spirits. These Spirits tie in with the game’s Adventure Mode, which explains how these beings were “separated from their physical bodies.” Spirits can be collected through “Spirit Battles,” used to lend support to fighters in multiple ways, and will belong to either a NOVICE, ADVANCED, ACE, or LEGEND categorization. There is still yet a lot more to these guys, but we got a list to keep rolling through, so let’s continue.
4: Seventy-four/seventy-six in-game characters at launch.
When Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases on December 7th here in the states, there will be seventy-four (or as Sakurai pointed out, two more than that if you count Pokemon Trainer as three) fighters packed in the game’s code. The last-two characters to get revealed today were Ken from the Street Fighter series, which will act as Ryu’s echo fighter, and Incineroar, a Pokemon from the Sun and Moon games. Just as in the original Nintendo 64 Super Smash Brothers, only eight characters will be selectable at first: Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, and Pikachu. The other sixty-six/sixty-eight will need to be unlocked through various modes of gameplay and objectives.
3: Three-factored online matchmaking system.
In the new online matchmaking system, players will be grouped depending on placement on their Global Smash Power, the preferred rules set before match searching, and locale, which means the system will first look for matching players within certain local parameters. Sakurai said this would help ensure “stable connections.” If you were hoping to play some top fighters all-across the globe, chances now look less than likely.
2: Wired internet connection is recommended for online play.
It’s very apparent how much effort the game developers are putting in ensure a stable connection for online matches. No doubt this is due to the horror stories of lagging sessions or dropped matches from the Wii and Wii U versions. Featured in the direct was an image of a USB LAN connector, very similar to the one that was first sold for the original Wii. Who knows? Might be the very same one. It isn’t the first time Nintendo has brought back old hardware to sell on modern consoles.
1: Confirmed future download addons.
In all honesty, who didn’t see this coming? One-free character for download will be Piranha Plant, which may not release until a couple months after Super Smash’s release. To get him, either pre-order a digital version of the game on the Nintendo eShop or Nintendo.com, or by registering your physical copy for Gold Points on “My Nintendo.” As for paid for addons, Sakurai said that they will come in the form of bundles that will include one-new character, one-new stage, and music tracks for said stage. Each bundle will retail for $5.99 USD and will most likely be spread out for release over a year from the game’s launch. There’s still hope for all you Waluigi fans. If you plan on getting all five download packs, the “Fighter Pass” will ensure you them for $24.99, a savings of $4.96. A bonus for getting it will be the Rex’s Mii Swordfighter outfit from Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Were there any points not mentioned in the list that you felt were important? Go ahead and leave a comment to share what you were excited about the most.