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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[a] is an upcoming crossover fighting game developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd. and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is the fifth installment in the Super Smash Bros. series, succeeding Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. The game follows the series' traditional style of gameplay: controlling one of various characters, players must use differing attacks to weaken their opponents and knock them out of an arena. It features a wide variety of game modes, including a campaign for a single-player and multiplayer versus modes. Ultimate includes every playable character from previous Super Smash Bros. titles—ranging from Nintendo's mascots to characters from third-party franchises—and several newcomers.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.jpg
Cover art, featuring a number of the game's playable characters
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)Nintendo
Director(s)Masahiro Sakurai
SeriesSuper Smash Bros.
Platform(s)Nintendo Switch
ReleaseDecember 7, 2018
Genre(s)Fighting
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

The project plan for a new Super Smash Bros. game was finished in December 2015, during the development of 3DS/Wii U's downloadable content. Series creator and director Masahiro Sakurai returned along with Bandai Namco Studios and Sora, the studios that developed the previous game; the studios' return sped up the preparation process. Sakurai's goal with Ultimate was to include every character from previous games despite the various development and licensing problems this would cause. Nintendo teased Ultimate during a Nintendo Direct presentation in March 2018 and announced it at E3 2018. It is scheduled to be released on December 7, 2018.

Contents

Gameplay

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a fighting game for up to 8 players in which characters from Nintendo games and from other third-party franchises must try to knock each other out of an arena. Each player has a percentage meter which raises when they take damage, making them easier to launch in the air and out of the arena.[1] Standard battles use one of three victory conditions: Timed, where players aim to win the most points by defeating opponents within a time limit, Stock, where players have a set number of lives and must aim to be the last player standing, and Stamina, where players must simple reduce their opponent's health down to zero to defeat them. Players can adjust the rules to their liking and save them as presets for future matches.[2]

Players can use various items to attack enemies or grant them power-ups, along with Pokéballs and Assist Trophies which respectively summon Pokémon and other non-playable characters to assist them in battle. In Timed matches, certain Assist Trophies can be attacked and defeated to earn points.[3][4][5] Each character also possesses a powerful Final Smash attack, which can be performed either by obtaining a Smash Ball item or by filling up a special meter, both of which can be toggled on and off.[3][6][5] The game features 103 different stages, which can each be played in alternative Battlefield and Omega forms or can be toggled to remove stage hazards. A new feature called Stage Morph allows players to select two stages that the game will alternate between at certain intervals during a match.[7][8][9] Other tweaks include new icons and gauges for character specific abilities, such as Cloud's Limit gauge.[8]

In addition to returning modes such as Classic and Special Smash, new modes added to the game include Smashdown, where each character can only be played once, Squad Strike, where players battle in teams of multiple characters, and Tournament, which allows up to 32 players to battle in tournament brackets.[10][11] Another set of modes revolves around a new mechanic known as Spirits, which replaces the collectible trophies from previous games. Each of these Spirits, based on a crossover character, can be used to power up a fighter with unique abilities, which can be used to fight against human or computer opponents and earn new Spirits. This mechanic is prominent in the game's single-player adventure mode, World of Light, in which the player must explore various environments to rescue captured fighters and Spirits.[12][13]

The game will support local multiplayer, local wireless with other systems, and online play via Wi-Fi or LAN connections. By defeating players online, players can earn tags which can be traded for in-game currency to buy new Spirits, music, and Mii Fighter costumes. The game is compatible with Joy-Con controllers, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, and Nintendo GameCube Controllers via use of a USB adaptor.[14] Like in the previous entry, Amiibo figurines can be used to create AI-controlled Figure Players that can be trained to become stronger.[15][16] Following release, a service for the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app, called "Smash World", will be launched that will allow players to check their game statistics and share images and videos captured from the game to social media.[17] Ultimate features over 800 music tracks, which can be played through the Switch's handheld mode while in Standby.[18]

Playable characters

 
A four-player match on the Great Plateau stage between Ganondorf, Link, Mario and Mega Man

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as with other games in the Super Smash Bros. series, features a crossover cast of fighters from several different Nintendo franchises, as well as fighters from series by third-party developers such as Sega, Konami, Capcom, Bandai Namco Entertainment and Square Enix. The base game features 74 playable fighters,[b] consisting of all 63 previous fighters from past entries and 11 new fighters; the Inklings from Splatoon, Princess Daisy from the Mario series, Ridley and Dark Samus from the Metroid series, Simon and Richter Belmont from the Castlevania series, Chrom from Fire Emblem: Awakening, King K. Rool from the Donkey Kong series, Isabelle from the Animal Crossing series, Ken Masters from the Street Fighter series, and Incineroar from Pokémon Sun and Moon. Certain new and returning characters who possess similar attributes and basic movesets to other characters, albeit with slight differences in animations and behavior, are classified as "Echo Fighters" (e.g. Lucina is an Echo Fighter based on Marth). On the fighter select screen, these characters can either be listed individually or bundled with the fighters they are based on.[19][20] Select characters also have alternative skins featuring different genders or sometimes other characters, such as Bowser Jr. who has a selectable appearance to be any of the other Koopalings, but otherwise have the same set of powers and abilities.[8][21][20] Players will not have access to all characters on starting the game, and will need to unlock them by completing various challenges in-game.[22]

Six additional characters are planned to be added to the game via downloadable content following its launch. The first of these characters, Piranha Plant from the Mario series, is planned for release around February 2019 and will be available for free to those who purchase and register the game with a My Nintendo account before January 31, 2019.[23] The other five characters, yet to be revealed, will each come with an additional stage and music tracks and can either be purchased individually or as part of a Fighter's Pass, which will also include a Mii Fighter costume and spirits from Xenoblade Chronicles 2.[24][25] By November 2018, all of the additional characters had been decided, with Nintendo choosing the characters, unlike with the previous 3DS and Wii U version where players had the ability to request which characters they wished to see in the game.[26]

Development

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is being developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd., the same studios that developed Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, for the Nintendo Switch, with series creator Masahiro Sakurai returning to direct.[21] Unlike previous Super Smash Bros. games, the team was not assembled from the ground up, which sped up preparation time.[27] The project plan for the game was finished in December 2015, when the DLC for 3DS and Wii U was in development; staff gathering was done soon afterward.[28] The development period was shorter compared to previous entries in the series.[29]

Sakurai's goal for Ultimate was to include every character from previous games, knowing that this would be a complex problem for both development and licensing;[21] it would also drastically increase the cost of development. The return of Bandai and Sora made it easier for this to happen.[27] Sakurai also wanted to adjust character abilities as to speed up the game,[21] although not to an extent to which it would alienate players unfamiliar with the series.[28] Sakurai knew that Ultimate was a core title for Nintendo, and that it had a dedicated playerbase that he did not want to disappoint, and believed that completing this goal was necessary to satisfy the fan base.[21] Sakurai was also faced with the decision to create a completely new game system or build off of pre-existing ones; he chose to build off pre-existing ones because there would only be about a third of the characters he desired in the final game.[28] All the returning characters' abilities had to be re-balanced so they could work in Ultimate.[29]

David Hayter, who was replaced in Metal Gear Solid V, reprised his Solid Snake voicelines for Ultimate.[30] The addition of Ridley from Metroid as a playable character has been something that the Super Smash Bros. community had been requesting from the series for some time. In 2008, Sakurai had said that he knew Ridley was a high-demand character, but thought that he was "impossible" to add unless they were able to sacrifice the character's speed for balancing purposes.[31] So Ridley could be included in the game, Sakurai studied art of the character and redesigned him so he could stand upright.[29] Ultimate's game engine was built from scratch and was not an updated version of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's engine. Localization manager Nate Bihldorff stated that it had significant upgrades in lighting effects and texture rendering to improve upon the already high-definition graphics of the Wii U game.[5] Bihldorff also said "the biggest thing" for them was comparing stages from Melee to their Ultimate equivalents.[29]

Like previous games in the series, Ultimate features a number of well-known video game music composers and arrangers providing a mix of original music and rearrangements of various tracks for the represented franchises, with over 800 tracks in total.[32][33] New to Ultimate is the tying of tracks to franchises instead of individual stages, as well as the ability to create custom playlists to listen to outside of the game when the Switch is in handheld mode.[32] Sakurai stated that he began contacting composers over a year prior to release, providing them with a database of over a thousand suggested track ideas.[34] In addition, he allowed them to submit their own personal favorites, with those choices being given priority for inclusion.[34] While Sakurai oversaw the process and preferred that the music retain the spirit of the original games, the direction of them was generally handled by the composers themselves.[34]

Release

 
Attendees at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con playing the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate demo

Ultimate was teased during a Nintendo Direct presentation on March 8, 2018, under the working title Super Smash Bros., with the release year shown to be 2018. Nintendo formally announced the game at E3 2018, revealing that the full roster of characters from past games would be included, as well as its release date of December 7, 2018.[20][35] Demo versions were playable at E3 in June and at the San Diego Comic-Con from July 19 to 22.[36][37] Two Nintendo Direct presentations—on August 8, 2018 and November 1, 2018—were devoted to the game, revealing new characters, stages, and game modes.[38][39]

In addition to the standard retail version, a special edition containing a Super Smash Bros.-themed Nintendo Switch Pro Controller[40] and a Switch with a download code will also be released.[41] An additional special edition contained a pair of Super Smash Bros.-themed Joy-Con as well as a Switch Console, a Super Smash Bros.-themed dock, and a download code for the game.[42] A GameCube controller with the Super Smash Bros Ultimate logo was released on November 2, 2018.[43]

In one move, the character Mr. Game & Watch turns into a Native American holding a torch, as depicted in the game Fire Attack, where the player controls a cowboy who must defend his fort from attacking natives. This was controversially seen as racist, leading to Nintendo issuing an apology and a statement that they will remove the animation in a future update.[44]

Notes

  1. ^ Japanese: 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ SPECIAL Hepburn: Dai rantō Sumasshu Burazāzu Supesharu?
  2. ^ Pokémon Trainer, who uses three summonable Pokémon, is regarded as a single character; the total number of fighters goes to 76 if one counts each of their Pokémon individually.

References

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  2. ^ Martinez, Philip (August 8, 2018). "Simon Belmont, King K. Rool And More Details From 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' Direct". Newsweek. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will feature every single character from the series' history". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  4. ^ "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate brings back every Smash fighter ever". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Bailey, Kat (June 13, 2018). "Nintendo on Whether Smash Bros. Ultimate is Just a Wii U Update: "It's Built From the Ground Up"". USGamer. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate brings back every Smash fighter ever". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  7. ^ Gilliam, Ryan (June 12, 2018). "Metroid's Ridley will be playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate". Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "New details for 'Super Smash Bros.' on Switch were revealed at E3 2018". Newsweek. June 12, 2018. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  9. ^ Kuchera, Ben (August 8, 2018). "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will include 103 stages, stage morph feature". Polygon. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Radulovic, Petrana (August 8, 2018). "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features some new gameplay modes". Polygon. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  11. ^ Nunneley, Stepheney (June 12, 2018). "E3 2018: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster includes every character from previous games – out December 7". VG247. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  12. ^ Frank, Allegra (November 1, 2018). "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Spirits Mode adds tons more characters to the game". Polygon. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  13. ^ Carter, Chris (November 1, 2018). "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has a new 'World of Light' adventure mode, SubSpace Emissary will not return". Destructoid. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  14. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim. "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will support GameCube controllers". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018.
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  18. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (August 8, 2018). "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Soundtrack Has Over 800 Songs". GameSpot. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
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  23. ^ http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2018/11/05/piranha-plant-coming-to-smash-ultimate-around-february-not-part-of-fighters-pass
  24. ^ Patches, Matt (November 1, 2018). "Super Smash Bros. DLC will add 5 characters to the roster". Polygon. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  25. ^ http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2018/11/01/heres-our-thoughts-on-everything-that-happened-during-the-smash-bros-ultimate-direct
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  28. ^ a b c "Smash is Special – Part 1". Famitsu (Interview with Masahiro Sakurai) (in Japanese). Japan (557). June 21, 2018.
  29. ^ a b c d Bowling, Steve (July 14, 2018). "Feature: Talking Super Smash Bros. Ultimate With Nintendo's Bill Trinen And Nate Bihldorff". Nintendo Life. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  30. ^ "David Hayter Is Voicing Snake For His Return In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Game Informer". Game Informer. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  31. ^ Grayson, Nathan (September 15, 2014). "Why Super Smash Bros Players Are So Obsessed With Ridley". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 19, 2018. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  32. ^ a b Hussain, Tamoor. "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Soundtrack Has Over 800 Songs". GameSpot. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  33. ^ Khan, Imran. "Have You Been Listening To The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Music Samples?". Game Informer. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  34. ^ a b c Wong, Alistair. "Masahiro Sakurai On The Process Of Including Music In Smash Bros. Ultimate". Siliconera. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  35. ^ McWhertor, Michael (March 8, 2018). "Super Smash Bros. is coming to Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  36. ^ Craddock, Ryan (July 17, 2018). "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Will Be Playable At San Diego Comic-Con This Week". Nintendo Life. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  37. ^ Foxx, Chris (June 13, 2018). "E3: Nintendo's Super Smash Bros Ultimate battle-tested". BBC. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  38. ^ Goslen, Austen (November 1, 2018). "Top 5 reveals from today's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Direct". Polygon. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  39. ^ Kuchera, Ben (August 8, 2018). "Super Smash Bros. Direct: Watch it here". Polygon. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  40. ^ "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is getting a limited edition Pro controller". Polygon. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  41. ^ G. Macy, Seth (September 18, 2018). "Here Are All the Nintendo Switch Bundles Coming Out This Year". IGN. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  42. ^ Lawler, Richard. "Switch 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' set bundles system and game for $360". Engadget. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  43. ^ "GameCube Controllers Will Be Compatible With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate". Nintendo Life. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  44. ^ "Nintendo to remove Native American references in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate". Eurogamer. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.

External links