After what seemed to be the most speculation in Smash history with leak after leak, the last of the Smash Ultimate roster has been revealed.
On November 1st, Masahiro Sakurai presented the last Smash Direct before Ultimate’s release on December 7th. The Direct opened with two new character reveals during a match with Little Mac: Ken from Street Fighter and Incineroar from Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. Ken is an echo fighter to Ryu and was given his move set from Street Fighter II Turbo. In addition to increased run speed, his specials will have different aesthetics along with his Tastumaki Senpukyaku and Shoryuken having multiple hits.
Incineroar is one of the more unique fighters in the game purely due to his presentation. Incineroar has a move set that is akin to a pro wrestler. Suplexes, Moonsaults, Irish Whips, and many other moves are all going to be part of Incineroar’s kit. He also happens to be one of the more animated characters, as he poses or pouts depending on if he hits or misses his target.
The Direct also involved revealing more assist trophies with some being anticipated characters and potentially leaked characters. Golden Sun’s Isaac and Shadow the Hedgehog were given the assist trophy treatment, which disproved the widely discussed “Grinch” leak. However, the leak did correctly predict Ken as an echo fighter while news on Banjo-Kazooie was left unaddressed. Some other notable assist trophies include Yuri Kozukata from Fatal Frame and Dr. Wily from Mega Man.
The previously blurred menu option of Ultimate was also revealed to be Spirits. Spirits involves fighting the “spirits” of some of the most notable characters in every Nintendo franchise in Ultimate. For example, to fight the spirit of Guts Man, you will fight a giant orange version of Mega Man that likes to grab often. Collecting these spirits and combining them with your character will give them certain stat boosts in order to level your character throughout the mode. You can level your spirits with prolonged usage and you also fuse these spirits to create even more spirits.
This Spirit mode also seems to be tied into Ultimate’s new adventure mode entitled “World of Light.” Similar to Subspace Emissary from Brawl, it looks as though the entire roster and the spirits have been overtaken by some mysterious force. From the clips, it seems as though Sakurai combined Smash Run, Smash Tour, and Subspace Emissary. There will be bosses that have returned from Brawl, yet the maps layout seems to look similar to the Smash 4 modes.
Sakurai continued to make good on Ultimate being a great casual game and competitive fighting game by revealing the Online features. Matchmaking has become far easier to find what you want out of a match by setting your preferences before going Online. You can set if you want stocks, time, items, etc. This ensures a player will match up with another player with similar tastes. There will also be a Smash ranking system known as “Global Smash Power” or “GSP.” This stat will track how well you play and will match you up with others of a similar GSP. In addition, each character has their own GSP to make the matchmaking line up with your skill with a certain character. If you reach a very high GSP, you will be allowed to play the “Elite” version of Online. This seems to be a way for the best of the best to play each other and Sakurai let us know that he and his staff will be paying very close attention to Elite matches. Any nerfs or buffs to characters in the future will probably be due to these Elite matches along with any tournaments.
Before the Direct ended, Sakurai revealed his limited time offer of a free character. Piranha Plant from Super Mario Bros. was revealed as an additional fighter and could be acquired for free if you purchase the game any time before January 31st. This was one of the biggest surprises of the Direct as this character was not highly requested nor was he a part of any leaks. There will also be 5 additional DLC characters that will be added throughout the first year and then some of Smash Ultimate. Each character will be priced at $5.99. Nintendo also offered an Ultimate Fighters pass to purchase all 5 for the price of $24.99. This will bring the grand total of characters to 74 when it is all said and done.
If you’d like to see the Direct itself, you can watch it right here.