Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Nintendo biggest game of 2018, and one of the biggest holiday titles. In one final Direct, Nintendo shared all of the final details fans need to know before picking up the game including new fighters, new modes, and DLC plans. We’ve compiled everything from the November Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct, so you have it all in one handy location.
New Fighters – Ken and Incineroar
Ken was the first new character announced today, and he’s an Echo Fighter of Ryu, with a twist. Many of Ken’s moves have been changed or altered from Ryu’s like his Shoryuken that adds a flame effect and extra damage on, or his Hurricane Kick which can hit enemies multiple times. His speed is also a bit faster than Ryu, in general.
The fearsome flame Pokemon, Incinderoar, is the final new fighter making their way to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The character has a completely original moveset based around close up fighting with a few signature moves, like Darkest Lariat, making their way into the game.
New amiibo are coming for every new fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and that includes returning fighters like Ice Climbers who previously didn’t get one. Like previously announced Inkling, Ridley, and Wolf amiibo will launch alongside the game. King K Rool and Ice Climbers will come on Feb. 15, 2019, with the rest of the characters following sometime in 2019.
Spirits and Spirit Mode
The mysterious mode on Ultimate’s screen was revealed to be Spirits Mode. Spirits are additional characters from games across Nintendo and Smash history that you can essentially equip as items to boost your playable characters. They have various effects that boost your stats or add on special properties. There are Primary Spirits to equip, and then Secondary Spirits that can be equipped on those.
Spirit Battles will have you fighting in a number of battles that each applies unique rules, with enemies that are equipped with specific Spirits. For example, in the Spirit fight against Lakitu you’ll go up against Iggy Koopa and a group of tiny red Bowsers, or in the fight against Guts Man you’ll face a giant Mega Man that uses more throws than usual.
These add on unique challenges for players to engage with. At the same time, you’ll also be able to play other players that have Spirits equipped, separate from Ultimate’s main multiplayer mode. Primary Spirits gain experience when used, and you an also use them to make amiibo fighters more effective.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate no longer separates the online modes into For Fun and For Glory. Instead, it lumps them into one game mode. However, matchmaking is now based on three different factors. You can set your preferred rules for online battles like Smash Battle, Time Battle, items on or off, etc.
Before battle, one player’s preferred rules will be chosen at random to use. A new system called Global Smash Power (GSP) also factors in. You’ll earn GSP as you battle, and the global GSP ranking will factor in how many total players there are worldwide, and will shift as new players join.
Players with similar GSP will be matched up, and you can even set a GSP score for each character. This means fighters you haven’t used won’t be matched up with as difficult of opponents. Repeatedly self-destructing can cause a penalty to your GSP and disconnect you from the match.
The direct also stressed that a stable connection is important, and having a constant unstable connection could have negative results. Matchmaking will always prioritize proximity, linking players in the same continent together even above preferred rules at times. While matchmaking is going you’ll be able to enter other modes in the game and play while it’s searching.
Elite Battles and Smash Tags
Once you GSP hits a high enough level you’ll unlock the option for Elite Battles, where the best of the best will fight. The development team will use the results of Elite Battles to rebalance the game as they need to.
Every player in Ultimate has a Smash Tag that they can customize, basically the equivalent of a player card. Beating another player online will reward you with their Smash Tag, which you can then seel for money later on.
Battle Arenas will let you create your own room for multiplayer and set the rules as well as who can join, making it easy to play against your friends. There are options to just spectate the battles or be next in line for a fight.
Nintendo Switch Online App and Smash World
Using the Switch Online App you can chat with other players in Battle Arenas. A new free service is also being developed called Smash World, which will allow players to record gameplay videos, screenshots, and more and then share them through the mobile app. The Direct noted that Smash World service wouldn’t start until 2019.
New Assist Trophies
A handful of new Assist Trophies were shown off.
Yuri Kozukata from Fatal Frame freezes enemies with her camera, Isaac from Golden Sun once again uses his psyenergy to make a giant hand, the Black Knight from Fire Emblem charges forward with his sword, Thwomp crashes down on enemies, Spring Man attacks enemies from range, Wily Capsule launches projectiles, Flies and Hand from Mario Paint hits the screen with a flyswatter, Tiki from Fire Emblem transforms into a dragon, Vince from Art Academy paints objects onto the battlefield, Guile from Street Fighter uses Blast Kick on enemies, and Akira from Virtua Fighter focuses on enemies with attacks.
Ultimate will feature 59 assist trophies in total, outnumber the total number of Pokemon in the game.
New Modes and Options
A variety of new modes are also being added into Ultimate. Century Smash is basically multi-man melee, pitting you against 99 or a different number of enemies, on any number of maps. All-Star Smash also returns to the game and can be played right from the get-go. The currently available roster of characters will appear endlessly in this mode.
Replay Mode will let you view the replay data you save from your battles, and you can also create videos from it. Challenges are another returning feature, letting you complete objectives for different rewards. This time the Challenges menu is laid out by category i.e. Spirits, Smash, etc.
Records menu will let you track your battle history and stats in detail, for both offline and online play.
Using in-game gold you can visit the shop and unlock new items, Spirits, music tracks, and more. Smash Bros. Ultimate will support 11 different languages at launch including English, French, German, Italian, Korean, and more.
TV Mode and Handheld Mode will each have a different setting for brightness and sound, and the game will automatically switch to this setting depending on which one you play. In the options menu, you can change these two different settings.
In wireless and online play you can make your teammates semi-transparent, making it easier to tell who’s your ally and who’s your enemy. In addition, on the same system in local play you can adjust a character’s power to make them cause more or less damage, helping to balance expert players against newcomers if you want to.
Mii Fighter Outfits
Ultimate, like the Wii U game, will let you customize the voice and outfit of your Mii Fighters. A few new outfits for Mii’s were shown off including; the Yiga Clan Set, the Splatoon 2 set, Ribbon Girl set, Chibi-Robo set, Ray MkIII set, and Toy-Con set.
DLC Plans and Fighter Pass
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s roster tops out at 74 characters, however, Nintendo detailed plans to add on five more characters via DLC. These characters will each be doled out in singular DLC packs that cost $5.99 and include the fighter, a new stage, and multiple new music tracks.
Additionally, you can purchase all of these characters in a bundle for $24.99.
Nintendo said they aren’t quite ready to reveal the contents of the DLC at this time, and work will start on these new characters and stages once the game has launched. There isn’t an exact timeline for the DLC, but it should all be out within the next year.
By purchasing the Fighters Pass you’ll also get the free bonus of a Rex outfit from Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Free Bonus Character – Piranha Plant
Piranha Plant was announced as another playable character for Ultimate, this time as a free add-on coming after the game’s launch. To get the character all you need to do is register your copy of Ultimate for Gold Points.
For players that buy the game digitally this will happen automatically, but for those that buy the game physically all you need to do is go into the icon menu and select the register for Gold Points option.
Piranha Plant is an entirely unique character that’ll turn into Petey Piranha during its Final Smash.
Adventure Mode – World of Light
The presentation ended with a gorgeous cutscene introducing the game’s new Adventure Mode. Sakurai made sure to mention that this isn’t on the same level as Subspace Emissary, but the footage we saw in the Direct showed off characters traveling across a world map, interacting with various objects.
The mode will, somehow, involve each of the Smash characters being turned into Spirits, and you have to take on evil copies of them.
The exact details of Adventure Mode still remain unknown, but it looks more involved than anything we’ve seen before, with the exception of Subspace Emissary in Brawl.
That covers everything we learned about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from the Direct. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches on Dec. 7 for Nintendo Switch.