The latest Nintendo Direct, dedicated solely to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, kicked off with a bang by showing off two new characters to the game, Simon and Richter Belmont from the Castlevania series.
Belmont was rumored to be in the game as late as last night when a Reddit user discovered a renamed music track from Castlevania series.
The screen cuts to director Masahiro Sakurai, who goes over Simon's moveset. Simon comes equipped with tons of his classic moves, including his trademark whip which contains a longer reach than other fighters and s fully controllable, holy water, crosses and his throwing axe attack.
Along with Simon, Dracula's Castle will be playable as a stage. Sakurai describes it as the 'darkest stage' in the game, complete with numerous monster threats (including Dracula himself), and a total of 34 music tracks from the Castlevania series will be available to listen to.
Richter Belmont comes into play as an Echo fighter for Simon. Other Echo fighters are also revealed in the form of Chrom from Fire Emblem and Dark Samus from Metroid, two highly requested fighters.
The list of changes added to the game is long, but Sakurai details a lot of new additions, returning features, and more tidbits of information designed specifically for fans of the series.
He starts off with stages, noting that the focus was on the return of old stages from the game into Smash Bros. Ultimate. Some of them include the Pokemon Stadium, Brinstar Depths, and the Garden of Hope. A brand new stage based on New Donk City from Super Mario Odyssey was also shown, complete with a Pauline cameo and the famous 'Jump Up Superstar' theme. Classic Nintendo 64 stages will also be making an appearance, with Sakurai noting the total of stages in the game has ballooned to a whopping 103, with 300 total variations of all the games stages.
A new feature with stages is the ability to morph them into another stage, meaning players can set up timed intervals where stages can cycle through stages as they fight. This can be done randomly or with selected stages. Players can also turn off game hazards if they wish, allowing for more control of a game stage than ever before.
Another feature is the game's music, with roughly 900 compositions of music featured in the game. Almost all of it can be arranged through the return of the My Music mode, and the tracks are now organized by series instead of by stage, so your favorite Zelda track, for example, can be featured frequently on all stages related to the Zelda series.
Sakurai is particularly proud of the music arrangements for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and asks for fans to sample some of the music on the Smash Bros. website, where new tracks will be released each week.
Along with stages and music, a ton of other changes and features were shown off briefly. Ultimate sees the return of Tournament mode and a revamped Stamina mode, as well as two new modes, Squad Strike and Smashdown. Squad Strike is a 3v3 or 5v5 battle between two teams, while Smashdown forces players to pick different fighters after each match, eliminating already chosen fighters from the pool of selections. Training mode has also been revamped, with a brand new grid-based stage that also calculates the trajectory of your throws and launch distance for the player.
There was also an exhaustive list of new items, Pokemon and Assist Trophies to go through. Some of the highlights include the Killing Edge and Death Scythe, Alolan Exeggutor, Ditto and Mimikyu, and assist trophies for Alucard, Shovel Knight, Zero, Knuckles, the Moon from Majoras Mask, and the biggest surprise, Rathalos from Monster Hunter. Rathalos is also featured as a boss in the game, making it one of the first characters to be both an assist trophy and a boss at the same time.
After showing off the games main menu (and blurring out a mysterious mode that Sakurai can't talk about yet) he bids the viewers farewell, but one more fighter is revealed - King K. Rool from Donkey Kong. The portly crocodile comes equipped with his crown throw, use cannonballs and sports a golden belly, which seems to shield him from attacks.
The addition of K. Rool brings the total to 71 playable fighters in the game. Sakurai noted that they will reveal all the game characters before the game's launch later this year on December 7th, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch
What are your thoughts on these additions? Leave your comments below.