Final Newcomers revealed for #SmashBrosUltimate + Downloadable Content on the way!

Today’s Nintendo Direct for Super Smash Bros Ultimate came to a resounding conclusion. It will be the final Direct predating the game’s release on December 7th, but given all that it contained, it’s safe to say that we can expect more Directs in the future.

Now that the stream has reached its conclusion, you can catch up on all of the surprises via the clip below, taken from Nintendo’s YouTube archives.

If you’d rather not shift through forty minutes of footage to learn everything, however, then read on for a summary detailing the newest content in Smash Ultimate. Be warned: it’s a lengthy read.

The Direct opened with a revelation on the final additions to the base roster. Two, to be exact.

Ken.png

The first of these additions is Ken, Ryu’s iconic rival from the legendary Street Fighter franchise. As Ryu’s Echo Fighter, Ken shares a similar moveset but has different statistics, which include multi-hitting specials, slightly faster movement, and unique Final Smashes. Just like with Ryu in Smash 4, players can either utilize normal inputs with Ken’s moveset or his command inputs as they are telegraphed in the Street Fighter games. For instance, his Hadoken fireball is mapped to his neutral-B, but you can input QCF+A for a slightly stronger version of the attack.

The other newcomer is not an Echo Fighter but an entirely new character: Incineroar. Although he is a Pokemon character, his moveset is packed with stunts that will make you think of a wrestling match. Whenever he lands an attack, he strikes a pose for the audience, but you can cancel these animations immediately so as to avoid leaving yourself open to counter-attacks. Veterans of the Pokemon franchise will recognize a good number of Incineroar’s attacks from the games, but these are combined with unique takes on his Smash Bros incarnation to create an in-depth character.

With these reveals, the base roster for Smash Bros Ultimate, Echo Fighters included, has been locked in. It’s important to note, however, that when you first play the game, you will be starting out with only the beginning roster from Smash 64, not counting the unlockable characters from that game. That’s eight characters right off the bat, as illustrated in the image below.

Smash Ultimate 1.png

The remainder of the roster, which amounts to approximately 70 characters, must be unlocked as you play through the game. However, Masahiro Sakurai, director for Smash Ultimate, did not elaborate on the conditions in unlocking each character.

Although, if we review how the concept of unlocking characters in past Smash Bros titles worked, we can logically assume that repeated sessions in versus mode will aid you along the journey in accessing the entire roster. But there existed other options to unlock these characters sooner, like completing the Classic Mode. Whether this will apply to Ultimate or not is unclear.

Once you’ve unlocked the entire roster, your character select screen should appear like this:

Smash Ultimate 2.png

Wow…you’ve got a lot of work to do! Good luck!

But while we are on the subject of characters, Sakurai dropped an incredibly unexpected surprise in the form of a bonus fighter, one that will be available FOR FREE to those who not only purchase the game, but also register their copy of the product via my.nintendo.com. If done before January 31st, you’ll receive your next playable character when it is added into the game via DLC.

Which character, you wonder? Well…see for yourself!

Smash Ultimate 3.png

The Smash Bros franchise is known for its history of surprise choices when it comes to characters, but Piranha Plant, one of the trademark enemies from the longtime Mario Bros franchise, may have taken the cake!

Once you’ve registered your physical or digital copy of Smash Ultimate, a download code for Piranha Plant will be emailed directly to you. This code will expire at the end of June 2019, so be sure to redeem it via the Nintendo eShop or the Nintendo website before then.

Speaking of the digital copy…as of today, it is now an available option for you to pre-order if you’d prefer it over the retail version! Furthermore, a special edition Nintendo Switch bundle for Smash Ultimate, which includes the console and a download code for the game, will be available for purchase starting tomorrow, November 2nd! Visit smashbros.nintendo.com to browse through your options for scooping up the product!

Think that Piranha Plant is the only DLC you’re going to get? Think again!

The Wii-U and 3DS versions of Smash Bros, released in 2014, were the first games to receive DLC characters as additional fighters, and Smash Ultimate is going to follow suit, but via a somewhat different approach.

Whereas the previous Smash title had seven DLC characters, Ultimate is apparently receiving only five, but with a twist: each character will come with their own stage and library of music tracks. And as Ultimate already includes every character ever featured in the franchise, that means that these newcomers will be developed entirely from scratch. This leaves us to wonder: who will make the cut?!

Each set of DLC is expected to cost $5.99 USD. Alternatively, you can purchase a Fighters Pass for $24.99, which immediately guarantees that you will receive the new additions as they come. Like with the digital version of the base game, the Fighters Pass is now available to pre-load as well.

DLC content will be released all the way through February 2020, as noted in the archive at the top. As such, we could potentially see a return of the Smash Ballot, a voting campaign where players can cast their votes for the characters they are hoping will become playable fighters. This is mere speculation, however.

Switch Online.png

For the competitive players out there, you can look forward to a revamped online mode for Smash Ultimate. Matchmaking will be influenced by a variety of factors, all of which are covered below:

  • Preferred Ruleset. You can customize your personal ruleset to be matched with other players whose rules are equal to your own. These include stock battles, timed battles, stage layouts (Battlefield, Omega or Stage Hazards), team battles, items on or off, and more. Alternatively, you can simply allow your opponent to decide on the ruleset in your stead.

  • Connection Proximity. When searching for matches, the game will prioritize players closer to your region to ensure a stable connection when you play. While it is not required, Sakurai himself recommends purchasing a LAN adapter, which will allow you to connect an ethernet cable that links up your Switch with your modem or router.

  • Global Smash Power. Making a return from Smash 4, this will serve as your player rank online. Should you achieve a high enough GSP, you will unlock Elite Smash for both local wireless and online play. Expect to compete primarily against other high-level Smashers while participating in this mode. Play your best, because the development team will be taking note!

Other online features to keep in mind:

  • Smash Tags. These are required when playing online, and they are decorated by your character portrait, your color of choice, and your taunt messages. By defeating other players, you will earn their Smash Tags, which can then be traded in for gold (in-game currency). You cannot lose your own tag if you lose a match.

  • Matchmaking Queue. Similar to Street Fighter, you can enjoy other game modes while you wait to be connected to an opponent online. A notification will appear when an opponent has been found.

  • Battle Arena. Consider these your multiplayer lobbies, for which you can customize a variety of criteria for matchmaking. Included among your options are the skill levels of players, visibility, match format, rules, and/or a rotation format. You can also join any other Battle Arena in progress.

  • Spectator Mode. Need we elaborate on this?

  • Smash World. Starting in 2019, this new feature will be accessible via the smartphone app for Nintendo Switch Online. Players will be able to upload their gameplay videos for the world to enjoy, among other features that will or may be added in via regular updates.

  • Disconnect Penalty. If you repeatedly self-destruct in a match, or purposefully forfeit a stock, you will be forcibly ejected from the match. While not specified, we can assume a similar penalty will befall players who quit out of a match in progress, as was the case with Smash 4.

Plenty of other features await those eager to jump into the world of Smash Ultimate online!

While all of the content listed above is definitely something to look forward to, the remainder of the base product is no slouch! We will summarize these as bullet points, however:

  • along with Assist Trophies, a Spirits mode has come into play. These Spirits consist of characters based on the franchises from which the fighters come (like Hal Emmerich from Metal Gear Solid, Metal Sonic from Sonic the Hedgehog, and more!). They can be collected and then used to upgrade each fighter’s statistics, similar to how the Customs feature functioned in Smash 4. However, this mode is not compatible with online play.

  • Amiibos based on all of the playable characters, newcomers included, will launch simultaneously with the game, on December 7th. These amiibos can be used to utilize a variety of new features when they are used in conjunction with your console. From creating your own character to unlocking bonus content, these collectibles open up possibilities.

  • up to eleven different language options are available in the game. These include Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and more!

  • players can play against other owners by utilizing the local wireless connectivity between their respective Switches. To do so, you can open your dashboard at the main menu with the ZR button, then select Local Wireless. Alternatively, multiple players can always play one another on a shared Switch.

  • 59 Assist Trophies are available to throw into your matches. Expect familiar faces along with newcomers.

  • the development team will continue their tradition of creating new outfits for the Mii Fighters. In fact, holders of the Smash Ultimate Fighters Pass will unlock a Mii Fighter outfit based on Rex from Xenoblade Chronicles 2!

  • for those residing in North America, the official Smash Bros website comes with an Events Calendar page. There, you will learn where and when you can get a taste of a hands-on experience with the game, or witness other competitors in action. The page is smashbros.nintendo.com/events/.

  • finally…Smash Ultimate comes with a story mode, and it’s unlike any other that you have ever seen. This mode is called the World of Light, and it addresses the subject of how the Spirits came to be. Skip to the 36:33 mark in the archive at the top to enjoy a beautiful cinematic of the mode.

You can look forward to enjoying all of this content, and then some, when Super Smash Bros Ultimate releases for the Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018! For additional updates, please follow @NintendoVS and @NintendoAmerica on Twitter, and/or check out www.smashbros.com!


JagoBlake, the author of this article, is an esports enthusiast who just so happens to have a way with words. Whenever he is not scouring the Internet in pursuit of breaking news, he's investing time into his favorite fighting games so as not to appear inadequate in the face of competition. To support his work, follow him on Twitter - @xJagoBlake.


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