If Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn’t clearly the biggest Nintendo release of the year, it is certainly one of the most anticipated. After announcing that every character in Smash history would be making an appearance at E3 2018, back in August director Masahiro Sakurai dropped a series of new characters, game modes and much more. This morning Nintendo broadcasted the final Smash Bros.-focused Direct event before release and it didn’t disappoint.
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We have new details on Spirits mode, new amiibo, the game’s story campaign, pre-order bonuses, and DLC. Clearly Nintendo is throwing everything it has at the latest incarnation of its mascot brawler, so let’s dive into the details.
The New Spirits Mode
Spirits are essentially a new kind of power-up for your main character that come in the form of other known characters from all of the same game franchises. You can think of them as support characters that bring loads of unique effects to your character and the battlefield itself. They also contribute to the final Smash Meter when active. To unlock these Spirits, you’ll need to battle them in specific challenges to actually bring them on to your party. They can also take part in training missions and other battles on their own in order to gain new gear/treasure for the player. That appears to be possible while you’re not even playing. This is another great way to get even more characters into the mix, despite not being entirely playable like the main roster.
New characters/Echo fighters
Nintendo has now added the Pokémon Incineroar as the final main character in the roster (other than the new Piranha Plant fighter below). We also got a good look at Ken from the Street Fighter series whom many keen-eyed fans already assumed would make it in there. Ken is actually Ryu’s Echo fighter and sports much of the same move set.
World of Light Adventure Mode
This isn’t your typical Smash Bros. story campaign. In fact, it is directly tied to the new Spirits system. The story goes something like this: a bunch of Master Hands come down and basically kill — or possess might be a better way to say it — all the characters in the game except for Kirby. Players will then have to undergo a series of challenges/battles in order to get 73 of those other characters back. There are skill trees and an interesting lore that nearly ties the new Spirits system in to the entire experience. Go Kirby!!!
Pre-order Bonuses/amiibo and more
Every character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is getting an amiibo. In fact, each character looks like it will get a few different versions that will hit store shelves at scheduled times throughout the 2018 and into 2019. We know Ridley, Inkling from Splatoon, and Wolf from Star Fox will be released on December 7th alongside the main game with King K. Rool and the Ice Climbers dropping on February 15th. But you can expect just about all of these items to see a staggered release from that point on.
Those who decide to pre-order the game will also get access to the new playable Piranha Plant fighter. There will also be an amiibo for the infamous Mario Bros. enemy but it looks like both the mini NFC figure and its appearance in the game won’t hit until sometime in 2019. Considering the sheer amount of content here, it’s probably smart for Nintendo to space out some of the “extra” characters and add-ons.