Nintendo’s November Direct is the last confirmed pre-release showcase of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate prior to the game’s launch. The video revealed the final new characters included in the base game of Ultimate, while also detailing the new story mode, extra features, and post-launch content.
Our full coverage of the Direct and everything announced is listed out below. Ultimate is the fifth mainline game in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, incorporating every character seen in the series to date and adding a few more. Although most of the tried-and-true Super Smash Bros. formula returns in this most recent installment, Ultimate does make a few changes. Stage selection now occurs before players pick their fighters, for example. Also, certain characters, like Dark Pit and Daisy, have been made into Echo Fighters–meaning they’re basically a reskin of another character, but certain attributes like speed or attack damage have been slightly tweaked.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches on December 7 for Nintendo Switch. The game also has an Ultimate Special edition–comes with a steelbook case and Super Smash Bros. styled Switch Pro controller–that’s available for pre-order.
During the Direct, Nintendo announced the final two fighters that will be in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at launch–Ken and Incineroar. This finalizes Ultimate’s starting roster of playable characters at 74.
Ken is an Echo Fighter of his Street Fighter rival Ryu. His default appearance is his Super Street Fighter II Turbo look. Although his attacks are similar to Ryu, Ken is a bit faster, has a different shaped Hadoken, and uses two different Final Smashes.
Incineroar is the final evolution of Pokemon Sun / Moon‘s fire starter, Litten. In Pokemon, Incineroar is a fire and dark type, but its appearance is based off that of a wrestler. As such, in Ultimate, Incineroar attacks with a flurry of powerful punches and throws, which are either bathed in flame or dark energy. Its Final Smash, Max Malicious Moonsault, is a variation of its Z-move from Pokemon Sun / Moon.
Ultimate’s story mode is called World of Light. It’s played similarly to a board game, where landing on certain spaces sparks an event that transports you to another area or into a battle. World of Light begins with the entire roster of fighters going into battle against a new, unknown threat. However, every fighter–except for Kirby–is easily defeated. Now on his own, Kirby has to track down and save his friends so the fight can be taken up once again. The story incorporates spoken dialogue and an anime-like soundtrack.
Spirits mode is a new addition to the Super Smash Bros. franchise. The mode allows players to equip unique “Spirits” to enhance their chosen fighters.
Each fighter can equip one Primary Spirit to increase specific stats. Support Spirits can be assigned to Primary ones to account for any weaknesses. Each Spirit comes in one of four rarities–Novice, Advanced, Aces, and Legend–and are one of three types–Attack, Grab, and Shield. Attack Spirits are best against Grab, while Grab defeats Shield, and Shield trumps Attack.
Nintendo also announced the first post-launch fighter to come to Ultimate. Piranha Plant will be available for download around February 2019. The character is free, and downloads automatically if you choose to buy the digital version of Ultimate prior to January 31. If you buy the physical version, then you’ll need to register online by January 31 and go into My Nintendo Rewards to get the character for free.
Nintendo has promised more fighters, stages, and music tracks will be made available as post-launch DLC. There are five packs currently scheduled, each one including one fighter, one stage, and a few musical tracks. Each pack will cost $6 USD, but a $25 USD Fighters Pass can also be bought that bundles everything together.
The Fighters Pass will also include an outfit based on Rex–from Xenoblade Chronicles 2–for your Mii fighters. Nintendo is still developing all of the fighters included in the Fighters Pass, so players can expect each DLC pack to trickle out throughout 2019. Piranha Plant is not a part of any of the five DLC packs or the Fighters Pass, but it will eventually be sold as DLC if you don’t download it while it’s free.