With Nintendo’s E3 Super Smash Bros. Invitational only a few hours away, Nintendo has dropped one of its most exciting Directs yet, showing hundreds of thousands of viewers their first look at gameplay in the Super Smash Bros. title for the Nintendo Switch. Here’s a selection of the most interesting things we’ve learned so far:
First things first: the new Smash title will be called Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU).
The Release Date
We finally have one: December 7, 2018. Unfortunately, that means that fall 2018 majors such as GameTyrant Expo will not feature brackets for SSBU.
The only 100% new character announced today was Ridley, the dinosaur-like recurring villain from the Metroid series. For years, it had been a meme within the Smash community that Ridley was too large to ever be included as a playable Smash character; today, those naysayers were proven wrong. Ridley will join the Inkling as one of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s newcomers.
Aside from Ridley, a number of returning characters were confirmed during this afternoon’s Direct. In fact, every single character present in any past Smash title—including Brawl favorites that were scrapped for Smash 4, such as Snake and Ice Climbers—will be playable in SSBU. Clone characters, such as Wolf, Dark Pit, or the newly-announced clone Daisy, will be playable as “Echo Fighters” that will be inspired by preexisting characters but will have unique moves and abilities.
Though the port largely looks to have lifted its core physics from Smash 4, several key mechanics have changed. Most notably, air dodging has returned (at least partially) to its roots, with users now able to perform a Melee-style directional air dodge. Whether or not wavedashing can be performed by air dodging into the ground has yet to be proven, but we do know that repeatedly using any evasive move—including air dodging, spot dodging, or rolling—will decrease the effectiveness of the move each time.
Another significant change is that characters are now seemingly able to cancel their dash animations with smash attacks. Additionally, perfect shielding is now possible upon the the shield release input, rather than the initial shield input. Consistent short hop aerials look to be a bit easier, thanks to an input change, and damage dealt seems to fluctuate based on the number of players on screen (if there are two players left, they will deal more damage to each other than they would if there were still four characters in play).
Many of these changes appear to be geared towards the competitive viability of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, encouraging aggressive play and making it harder to spam defensive options. However, there’s no sign that the more lenient ledge mechanics introduced in Smash 4 have changed in any meaningful way.
We’ll soon learn more about the new Smash title, as the invitational event featuring top players from both Smash 4 and Melee will be going down in only a few hours. Stay tuned on Twitch and right here at GameTyrant for more news as it comes!