Smashing Saturdays! Week 63: August 6-11, 2018

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

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Holy crap, what a week! This Smashing Saturdays comes on the heels of one of the most momentous reveals in Smash Bros. Ultimate history thus far. You could neatly slice it between what happened before and after the Wednesday Direct. Before, it was your average week, but afterwards it set all our heads spinning with wonder. While it’s true there were no new posts after the Wednesday Direct, there’s enough provided in that one day to stretch out the rest of the week. So, without further ado, let’s get Smashing!

I admit that when I saw Samus earlier this week, I did half expect some exciting Metroid news in Smash Bros. And while I was technically right, I was missing the forest for the trees. That said, Samus looks to continue being a bad ass bounty hunter that I am completely ill equipped to main. Her devastating tilts and explosive weaponry makes her a force to be reckoned with.

Smashing Saturdays | Bomber

Speaking of explosives, the Bomber item was the last regular reveal before the floodgates opened on Wednesday. This new item is held up by players and within a few seconds a massive explosion shatters the field. The farther away you are from the center of the explosion, the less damage you’ll take, so speedy brawlers should have an advantage. Now let’s begin parsing through all the crazy reveals that happened during the Nintendo Direct!

Smashing Saturdays | Scared Weegee

Any Direct that starts with this is already wonderful

The Direct started with a fantastic trailer showing a terrified Luigi wandering through a mysterious castle. Turns out it had some familiar monsters in it, and it quickly became apparent that Luigi wasn’t in any old castle, he was in Dracula’s Castle itself! Yes, the one from Castlevania, much to my utter shock. The castle itself looked amazing in both the trailer and as a new stage in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Smashing Saturdays | Dracula's Castle

In this iconic stage, which is the darkest of any in the Smash series, you’ll be assaulted by famous foes from the Castlevania franchise, such as Medusa, Death, Werewolf and much more. Oh and did I mention some 30+ songs from the franchise will play while you’re fighting in the stage? There’s even certain conditions under which the dark lord himself, Dracula, will make an appearance. But it wouldn’t be Castlevania without a Belmont, and now two are gracing Ultimate!

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We not only get the mighty Simon Belmont, we also are getting his Echo variant, Richter! While Castlevania purists will no doubt go with the whip wielding macho man, I grew up loving Symphony of the Night, so I’ll be picking Richter. Both Belmonts wield the mighty Vampire Killer, as well as the boomeranging Cross, Holy Water and Axe. The reveal of these two amazing characters would have been enough to cement this as an incredible Direct, but they weren’t done there.

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Fans of Fire Emblem Awakening have been clamoring for Chrom for a while now, just as fans of Metroid Prime have been clamoring for Dark Samus. The good news is, both are now coming to Ultimate. The bad news? They’re only Echo characters. That said, they both look pretty great, and it sounds like they may have slight differences from their source material. I personally am more disappointed Chrom is a clone, since he could have easily been the first Fire Emblem rep to wield a lance instead of a sword. But I really can’t complain about such awesome additions to a game already bursting with cool content. But there’s one more great character reveal that had me jumping for joy!

Smashing Saturdays | King K. Rool

Large and in charge!

Much as I am a Castlevania fanboy and love Simon and Richter, and much as I appreciate Chrom and Dark Samus coming to Ultimate, I was honestly most excited for the reveal of King K. Rool. Why, you ask? Well, for one thing, I loved the Donkey Kong Country series back in the SNES days. For another, I always like more villains in Smash Bros. And finally, if we can’t get another Kong in Smash like Dixie, I’ll gladly take the filthy lizard king. Oh, and did I mention I actually voted for the King back when Bayonetta won the vote for the Wii U / 3DS Smash Bros?

Smash Ballot

Proof of my dedication to King K. Rool

Not only does K. Rool use his trademark Blunderbuss and toss his regal Crown, he also has a counter move, making him a diverse character. Best of all, his Final Smash involves his mechanical weapon of mass destruction, the Blast-O-Matic! I was already beyond happy that Ridley was playable, but now that I have two of my favorite diabolical lizards? I’m ecstatic. But wait, there’s more to cover from the Direct!

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On top of all the great new characters, we also got some new Assist Tropies. Alucard is here from Symphony of the Night, and uses his trademark tricks such as turning into Mist and slashing foes with his mighty Crissagrim. There is also the devastating Moon from the Zelda series as as new Assist Trophy, along with my stalwart ally Shovel Knight! (Guess he’s not gonna be playable after all.) They even announced two new pokémon, the amorphous Ditto and the delightfully creepy Mimikyu!

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With regard to new items, they focused on a couple, Death’s Scythe and the Ramblin’ Evil Mushroom. The Scythe will instantly KO foes who have taken significant damage, while the Mushroom will reverse the controls of the characters unlucky enough to be afflicted by it.

They also announced some new modes, such as Smashdown, where the characters you pick one round can’t be played during the following rounds, as well as the Stage Morph feature, which randomly changes between two stages you select during battle. Best of all, they fixed Tournament Mode from the last Smash Bros. game, as now you can play against humans or CPU, so you’re not forced to just play online. And one last curious reveal was the Rathalos from Monster Hunter. Curiously, they revealed he can be an ally as well as a boss, but the Direct didn’t specify where. And usually, if there’s a stage, there’s a playable character it belongs to. Which leads me to my next installment of Most Wanted Brawler!

Most Wanted Brawler

Monster Hunter Edition

Monster Hunter Logo

Since this was such an unusual week for Smash Bros. Ultimate, it’s only fitting this Smashing Saturdays has a somewhat different Most Wanted Brawler. Normally I would focus on one specific character, but this week has two possibilities. Because I felt Sakurai was playing so coy with the Rathalos during the Direct, I am strongly speculating that one of the next new representatives to Ultimate will be from the popular Monster Hunter series. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the really popular game series that show up on Nintendo systems have a very good chance of getting playable characters in Smash. But the tricky thing with Monster Hunter is that in general there is no real main character. As such, I’ll offer a couple quirky possibilities, since I know Sakurai loves crazy characters.

Monster Hunter | Felyne

First, let’s get the stranger option out of the way. While there aren’t truly any iconic characters in Monster Hunter, the Felyne race comes pretty close. I mean, bipedal cat creatures have a way of catching your attention. Armed with weapons and armor and equipped with feline grace, I can see a lot of possible ways that a Felyne could make a splash as a brawler. But the next option is a bit more likely, in my book.

Monster Hunter | Lute

Monster Hunter Stories was one game in the franchise that actually had a plot and a main character, Lute. This chipper young Rider had a thirst for adventure and many loyal beasts at his disposal. He could even potentially ride one into battle in Smash, or perhaps utilize them for special attacks or his Final Smash. Lute also is a warrior at heart, and could likely make use of varied weapons to attack his foes. Either way, if Monster Hunter was to get a rep in Ultimate, I’d love to see either of these happen.

Thanks again for joining us for such a crazy week of Smashing Saturdays! Be sure to tune into oprainfall next week for the next edition, and you can click here to see our previous entries.

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.