Well, it came without much warning, but we had a feeling we would see a Nintendo Direct dedicated to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate before its release in December. There were a few things I could gripe about (like the fact that both Zero and Shovel Knight got the Waluigi treatment), but it contained so much to be excited for! As opposed to going into every incredible detail about how what we saw will make the upcoming Smash Bros. game the best yet, I want to just talk about three.
1. Sakurai Is Using Common Sense
You would think that a company of Nintendo’s stature would apply logic in conducting their business. Moves like the Nintendo Creators Program will quickly prove the opposite. Often the unorthodox thinking of the company’s big players is what makes their games wonderful and unique. Indeed, the wonderfully creative fighting system that is Smash Bros. would not exist without the unique spin Sakurai threw on the fighting game.
However, the Smash series has been plagued by several head-scratching decisions that should have been tossed out right away. For instance, every time you power off and on the game, the ruleset you used for your previous session is completely erased, and you are left with a wonky default that nobody likes. FINALLY, Sakurai has implemented the feature of saving preset rulesets, and forcing you to look at them before you start a match. Just about every fighting game I know saves your rules, and it is about time Smash does, too.
But Sakurai has gone beyond this. As opposed to waiting for correction, he goes one step beyond, taking something that was not lacking before, and pushing it to be the best it could be. “Our game has one of the most expansive sound tracks of all time? Let’s not only allow players to pick music for their stages in the way that makes the most sense, but maybe we should turn the Switch into a boom box so that the players can listen to the music whenever they want?” Integrated crew battles and a beefed-up training mode were not necessarily on everyone’s wish list, but they show that the game was designed with the community in mind.
2. All of the Classics Are Here.
With the insertion of Simon and Richter Belmont, just about all of the developers that were powerhouses in the NES days are represented: Nintendo (of course), SEGA, Capcom, Namco, and now Konami. Not only is it great to see rivalries of old come to peace, but if it was not clear before we can see that anyone can join Smash. Time, obscurity, and party lines are no barricades for the roster. Except Rare characters. That will never happen.
3. Echo Fighters Are… Kind of… Cool?
OK, so maybe Two Button Crew has made fun of Echo Fighters a number of times already, and maybe the distinction between who is an echo fighter and who is not one is kind of arbitrary… but more fighters means more fighters, right? We already know that echo fighters do not take much time to develop. Have you never wished that a character could be tweaked just a little bit? Echoes are a clever way of handling that. Will it make the game more difficult to balance? Well, maybe, but a game that already has as many characters as Ultimate will have is going to be heck to balance anyway. More at less cost is better here.
Needless to say, this fan is ready for one of Nintendo’s greatest releases this fall.
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