Nintendo Direct 11/1/18 gave fans of the Super Smash Bros. series one last glimpse into what awaits us on 12/7/18 when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate finally releases. Nintendo has done an excellent job of keeping us baited, anxiously anticipating the next piece of information that is always just enough to satisfy us, yet leave us wanting more. There is always a little something to renew the excitement of every fan. Time to recap the treats that were delivered today.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Word of Light is our new adventure and Kirby is once more to the rescue. The best was saved for last so I wanted to deliver it to you first, though a bit of other information revealed in Nintendo Direct will help explain what is happening in the story. Instead of trophies, we have Spirits, which are used to increase a fighter’s power and offer additional skill. The number of Spirits available is extensive. Spirits are varying characters from the different video game worlds that lost their physical form, which seems to be what Ultimate’s story is all about. The player traverses a 2D map to rescue the fighters from the roster. Could this be how we will unlock our favorite characters?

Another reveal answers one of our long standing questions: how many characters will be available when we first start the game? The answer is eight. Initially, the available roster will be Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Kirby, Yoshi, Samus, Fox, and Pikachu. Speaking of unlocking, players will complete unique Spirit Battles to acquire Spirits. Each fighter can be given one Primary Spirit that adds to its power. Primary Spirits are labeled as Novice, Advanced, Ace, and Legend based on how powerful they are. They can gain experience through matches or by eating snacks. Some of them will even evolve into an enhanced form after reaching a certain level. Support Spirits, which offer additional skills to the fight, can be assigned to slots in a Primary Spirit. Spirits can even be sent to dojos or search for treasure. Finally, Amiibo characters can be powered up using Spirits but are only good for a one time use. Choose wisely.

I’m excited to dig into the multi-player of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Online play will utilize Preferred Rules or Global Smash Power to help match players up with opponents, and relies on location to ensure a more stable connection. With a high enough GSP players will be able to enter into Elite battles. Victory online will grant you the Smash Tag of the player you defeated but rest assured that the tag is never actually lost. For those of you looking to talk with your friends while playing Battle Arena, the Nintendo Switch app will offer voice chat. Lastly, think twice before repeatedly self-destructing because after enough occurrences you will be disconnected.

A new menu was reviewed, featuring Century Smash, All Star, and one that we were not given any detail about called Cruel Smash. Replay is available, reviewing tips from the loading screens, Challenges, Records to review Milestones and Battle Data, as well as acquired Smash Tags. An incredible 11 languages are provided this time around, both for voice and text of all characters. Two interesting features that I look forward to testing are Smash Radar, a mini map to see the location of all fighters, and Custom Balance, the ability to adjust a fighter’s strength for versus mode.

Two new fighters were revealed. First was Ken, the rival of Ryu in Street Fighter. He is actually an echo fighter but with some tweaks to give him a more significant look and style. Secondly, Incineroar, utilizing a professional wrestling move set with powerful throws and a slew of fiery moves. In addition to new character fighters, we will see some new features of the Mii Fighters, such as voice options and outfits that include a Yiga Clan set and a Toy-Con set. Nintendo Direct added on to the Smash Bros. list of Assist Trophies to include Akira, Thwomp, and more, now totaling 59.

This is just a summary of all the detailed information that was provided in the Nintendo Direct of 11/1/18. Masahiro Sakurai was at one point heard wondering if he would ever get to take a break. After this, I think all fans can agree he and the entire development team has certainly earned one. However, they have set some huge goals by confirming the release of Amiibo and DLC throughout 2019. Each DLC will include one fighter, one stage, and a few music tracks, priced at $5.99 USD, with a Fighter’s Pass available at $24.99 USD.  Huge promises have been made and I, as an enormous fan of the Smash series, hold no doubts that all will be delivered on.

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