By Josh Speer / November 3rd, 2018
At the start of this week, I didn’t expect this to be a very exciting Smashing Saturdays. Sure, it would have the usual fun stuff, but nothing truly game-breaking. But then they announced a Nintendo Direct on Thursday, and boy did it deliver! So this is a special Smashing Saturdays, and it will gloss over the cool stuff revealed in the Direct, as well as having the usual character profiles, stage bios, music and more. So let’s get started with the stuff that happened prior to Thursday’s revelations.
While I’m not great playing as either Samus, I’m quite glad Zero Suit Samus is allowed to share the spotlight with her usual armored self. She’s as deadly as she is sexy, and in the right hands she is a devastating force of nature. Few brawlers are as acrobatic, fast or cruel as ZSS, and though it was cool watching Samus alternate between both versions, I’m glad they’re separate entities now. It was a bit too powerful to have strength and speed in the same package. Having said that, I’m more than ready to get my ass kicked by her in Ultimate.
I know, I know, they told us every stage was in Ultimate, but I’m still a little surprised Living Room made the cut. Not cause I hate it. It’s an adorable little stage, with the puppies and kittens frolicking about. What’s less cute is when I get beaned by falling blocks. Those selfsame objects can make it hard to smash foes off the screen, but I guess it’s not the worst stage. That would be a tie between Pac-Man’s stage and Balloon Fight. I can take adorable animals and blocks over those chaotic stages any day.
I like to make fun of Rosalina on a pretty regular basis. I call her things like Emo Peach and mock her as being a crappy divine entity in the Mario universe. But that’s mostly cover for my respect for how overwhelming of a force she can be in Smash Bros. She plays very distinctly from Peach, and definitely requires a lot of practice to master. But once you get a handle on using the Luma, she’s actually pretty fun. Though I didn’t play her much on my 3DS, lately I’ve had some decent luck using her. So maybe I will actually enjoy using Rosalina and Luma in Ultimate.
We all learned to respect the Klaptrap in the Jungle Japes stage. There’s few things as irritating as being dragged to a watery grave by the big mouthed Kremling. And now, he’s an Assist Trophy. Though this version won’t drag you to your death, he will chomp the crap out of anyone unlucky enough to get gobbled. Now, let’s move onto a quick recap of the fun stuff from the Direct!
The Direct started with the reveal that Ken is coming to the game as an Echo of Ryu. Not surprising, also not that exciting. But then they revealed a new playable pokémon in Incineroar. I’m quite excited for the fiery cat luchador. He looks to play completely differently from Greninja, whom I detest playing, and looks utterly fierce. The fact he confidently poses when he damages foes is just beautiful. That wasn’t all, though, as they also confirmed that the roster of the game will be 75, and that we’re getting 5 DLC sets into 2020 with a new character, stage and music. The key thing to remember is that the 75th addition to the roster won’t be available until after Ultimate releases, and that’s a pretty strange character…
I’ve been saying for a while that I expected one more weirdo character in Smash Bros. Ultimate. And frankly, neither Ken nor Incineroar qualifies. But Piranha Plant certainly does! I was initially very confused by the reveal, but I wasn’t upset after seeing PP’s moveset. It looks to be a very tricky and unique fighter, spitting poison, shooting spike balls, lunging out of his pot and even using his leaves to helicopter around. Best of all is watching it crawl around inside his pot like a goofball. It shouldn’t work, but Sakurai is great at turning strange ideas into fascinating and playable concepts. The only downside is that Piranha Plant won’t be available until a couple months after the launch of Ultimate. But, if you register your game, you’ll get Bowser’s minion for absolutely free. Not a bad offer, considering the last time Sakurai tried something similar, we only got Mewtwo. Here’s hoping PP is much more functional and fun to play as.
Less significant, but still cool, was that the Direct showed off some new Assist Trophies. The likes of Spring Man, one of the heroines from Maiden of Black Water, and even the devious Dr. Wily made the cut. Best of all, they confirmed that there will be 59 Assist Trophies in the game. I haven’t done a count of how many were revealed yet, but that’s still a great diversity of characters.
Lastly, the Direct touched on the hidden mode that was previously glossed over by Sakurai. It’s none other than the Adventure mode, which is apparently called World of Light. It’s less story driven than Subspace Emissary, but it still looks quite cool. Some (angelic?) force has turned all the characters in the game back into statues, and morphed the other characters from their respective series into Spirits. These Spirits then possess the captured heroes, with one exception. Kirby escapes, and sets out to free his friends and defeat the force that caused so much chaos. As for how the mode plays out, it’s much more combat oriented than what we got in the 3DS and Wii U versions, which I’m happy about. The Spirits seem to replace the Trophies from the other games, though they also have a combat utility. You can equip Primary and Secondary Spirits to your character to empower them and give them various bonuses. When you fight your friends, you’ll need to satisfy special requirements to defeat them, and then try to capture their malevolent Spirit puppeteer. It all sounds fantastic to me, and I feel I’ll spend much more time in this Adventure mode than in previous ones.
A couple more updates before we move onto our Most Wanted Brawler this week. Both are Pokémon related. First, we have a new song from the series coming to Ultimate. It’s none other than Battle! (Wild Pokémon) from Pokémon Sun and Moon. It’s composed by Hiroyuki Kawada. The song is incredibly upbeat and cheerful, so it should make for interesting background noise.
Though I already touched upon Incineroar earlier, I felt we might as well post his awesome trailer! The feline champion hits hard, and uses his iconic moves Darkest Lariat, Cross Chop and Revenge, as well as another unnamed move where he tosses foes into the ropes and pile drives them. For his Final Smash, he activates his Z-Power and takes his foes into the ring with a devastating Max Malicious Moonsault. Though I haven’t had much success with other Pokémon brawlers, I’m going to enjoy learning to master Incineroar.
Now, don’t leave yet! I still have more for you in the form of a new Most Wanted Brawler this week.
I’m sure some thought I would no longer do the Most Wanted Brawler segment now that the 75 player roster has been revealed. But you know what? There’s still 5 unknown DLC characters on the horizon, so hopefully I’ll manage to speculate who one of those will end up being! After all, I kind of predicted K. Rool and Ridley, so anything is possible. And since King K. Rool just made it onto the roster, why not another character from the Donkey Kong series? Though I enjoy both Donkey and Diddy Kong, Dixie is just as important to the series. After all, she headlined a couple of her own games on the SNES.
Dixie is known for her golden locks, so it stands to reason her moveset would be based around them. For her Up B Special, she would hover upwards like a simian helicopter, slashing anybody in her path, then be able to gently hover towards the ground. For her Side B, I could see her grabbing items or characters with her ponytail, then hurl them to shatter on the ground. For her Neutral B, I could see her using her own Popgun to shoot bubblegum, like in Tropical Freeze. And for her Down B, perhaps she could twirl her locks in front of her face, deflecting projectiles. As for her Final Smash, I see it taking a page from Donkey Kong Country 3, and having Dixie team up with Kiddy Kong to put the hurt on foes. He could hurl her like a cannonball, then jump up and smash down on foes’ heads, and finally both Kongs would tag team their opponent into submission. I really think Dixie Kong could make the cut as a DLC character for Ultimate, and hope I’m right. We need more a bit more gender diversity in Smash Bros., and she provides the perfect opportunity.
Thanks as always for joining us today for Smashing Saturdays! We still have a few weeks left before the release of Ultimate, and will probably conclude that week. However there’s still a chance we’ll return to cover the upcoming DLC characters, so stay tuned to oprainfall!
2018Battle! songIncineroarKlaptrapLiving RoomNintendo DirectOctober 29-November 3oprainfallRosalina & LumaSmashing SaturdaysZero Suit Samus