Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
|Super Smash Bros. Ultimate|
Cover art, featuring a number of the game's playable characters
|Series||Super Smash Bros.|
|Release||December 7, 2018|
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[a] is an upcoming fighting game developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd. and published by Nintendo. It is the fifth installment in the Super Smash Bros. series, succeeding Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and will be released for the Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a fighting game in which players use different attacks to weaken their opponents and knock them out of an arena. The game has a number of game modes: its base "versus" mode where up to four opponents, either human or computer-controlled, can battle against each other; a "smash" mode that allows up to 8 players to battle individually or as teams; and various single player modes for practice and training. In most modes, players are given a fixed number of lives at the start of a match, and when knocked off-screen, they lose one life and respawn shortly thereafter if they still have at least one life remaining. If the player has lost all their lives, they are out of the match.
Each character has a unique set of moves and abilities, as well as a powerful Final Smash attack that often affects all opponents on the field, triggered by activating a Smash Ball power-up that appears on the field. All characters have been updated with new moves and abilities, with many characters rebalanced based on feedback from players of past games. Some characters with abilities that require a charging-up or cooldown period will be given visible meters on their on-screen character icons for players to track the status of these abilities; for example, the icon for Final Fantasy's Cloud will show his progress to a special ability, his "Limit Break". Players will not have access to all characters on starting the game, and will need to unlock them by completing various challenges in-game; Nintendo anticipates making it easier for players to unlock all of the game's characters compared to previous games.
New power-up items based on the included franchise properies, which trigger unique effects to some or all players, are being added atop previous items, such as a Launch Star from Super Mario Galaxy that propels those passing through it to a different area of the field. Ultimate includes both Assist Trophies and Poké Balls power-ups, which, when activated by a player, briefly summon non-playable characters to aid in battle. These characters will include those previously featured in past games and additional new characters, such as Konami's Bomberman.
In setting up a match, players have the option to select a stage to fight on, or let the game randomly pick a stage. Each stage, typically based on the included franchises, has a unique configuration of platforms and environmental hazards, along with themed background music. Ultimate will include new stages, such as Moray Towers from Splatoon, in addition to returning ones. Each stage can be customizable by switching off random elements known as stage hazards. Each stage will also include an Omega form where the game field is reduced to a simple single platform, similar to the stage Final Destination, or can also be used in a standard Battlefield layout, a standard three-platform field featured in previous Smash Bros. games but using the visuals and musics from the stage.
The game will have vast compatibility with controllers, including compatibility with the GameCube controller through the GameCube Adapter for Wii U. Ultimate will also support existing Amiibo figures for any of the fighters to provide unique abilities when used with the Joy-Con and Pro Controller NFC sensors. New Amiibo figurines will also be introduced alongside the game.
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—such as the Mario and Metroid series—as well as iconic fighters from third-party properties, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, Cloud Strife, Ryu, Solid Snake and Mega Man. Ultimate includes every character from previous Super Smash Bros. titles, including those offered through downloadable content in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Additionally, characters who were previously based on a different fighter with only changes in their cosmetic appearance and minor changes to their statistics or movesets, are now known as Echo Fighters, who are treated as unique characters within Ultimate's roster. For instance, Princess Daisy from the Mario franchise, who previously inspired a costume for Princess Peach in previous Super Smash Bros. titles, is an individual Echo Fighter in Ultimate. Newcomers to the series include the Inklings from Splatoon and Ridley from the Metroid series. The current total roster of playable characters in Ultimate is 68, the highest number of playable characters in any Super Smash Bros. game.
Due to the large number of returning fighters, the game will not feature many newcomers to the roster, unlike the previous games in the series. Several of the characters have received updates to their outfits, such as Mario having Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey accompanying him and Link using his outfit from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Select characters will have alternate variations that can be selected or randomly picked as costumes, 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.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was teased during a Nintendo Direct presentation on March 8, 2018, under the tentative title Super Smash Bros., with the release year shown to be 2018. The game was formally announced during Nintendo's Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018 Nintendo Direct presentation, revealing that the full roster of characters from past games would be included, and the game's anticipated release date on December 7, 2018.
Ultimate is being developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd., the same team that developed Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, with series creator and longtime director Masahiro Sakurai returning to direct. 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. He also wanted to adjust character abilities as to speed up the game. 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. Nintendo announced that David Hayter is reprising his Solid Snake voice-over for Ultimate. 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. Sakurai had said in a May 2008 interview with Nintendo Power that he knew Ridley was a high-demand character but said "I think that would probably be impossible" unless they were able to sacrifice the character's speed.
Ultimate's game engine was built from scratch and is not an updated version of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's engine. Localization manager Nate Bihldorff stated that the engine had significant upgrades in lighting effects and texture rendering to improve upon the already high-definition graphics of the Wii U game.
Ultimate marks the inclusion of Metroid's Ridley in the series as a playable character for the first time, after being a boss or stage hazard in previous Super Smash Bros. titles. Ridley's inclusion as a playable character in the series had been speculated among fans for years, going as far back as Super Smash Bros. Melee. Sakurai had previously stated in an interview with Nintendo Power that the development team considered including Ridley as a playable character in Brawl but decided against the idea due to creative difficulties. In an interview with IGN about Ridley's exclusion from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Sakurai argued that reducing Ridley's size, wingspan, or mobility to include him as a fighter would not be true to the character, who is supposed to be a "truly threatening presence" that could only be correctly portrayed as a stage boss unencumbered by a fighter's size and balance restrictions. Nevertheless, Ridley continued to be one of the most commonly requested fighters for inclusion in future titles among the Super Smash Bros. fan community, leading to the decision to include him in Ultimate.
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