Mario is back later this year to kick some butt on the Switch, and he brought some friends. Actually, scratch that - he brought all of his friends!
The boys are back in town. Every single one of them! The upcoming Super Smash Bros. is bringing back all of your favourite fighters - everyone who's ever been playable in the past - to earn its namesake: Ultimate. That means Mario, Sonic, three different kinds of Link, that weird Mr. Game & Watch guy, all previous DLC characters like Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy fame and Bayonetta. Even Solid Snake is back, despite an extended hiatus from Nintendo consoles.
That's almost 70 confirmed fighters thus far, which is extremely impressive. There's even a couple of new ones, like Princess Daisy who's basically a palette swap of Peach, but our new favourite is the Inkling from Splatoon. There are six different variations of the character, each one with its own colour, and by spraying your opponents with ink they take more damage. It's amazing seeing six different squidkids surfing around the arena, spraying ink on each other in colourful explosions. Rolling around with an unstoppable ink roller never gets old, trust us.
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And finally the big bad of the Metroid franchise will get his chance for revenge. Ridley the space pirate is playable in Ultimate, so fans rejoice! It almost seems like everyone's invited to this party except for poor Waluigi, who's still reduced to the role of assist trophy... He just can't seem to catch a break that guy. That being said, Nintendo forums all over the internet did catch fire shortly after the E3 reveal, so there's still time for Nintendo to turn the overlooked Wa-brother into a fighter before the final game launches later this December.
From a gameplay point of view, it's still Smash Bros. - and it comes with all of the craziness that Smash entails. The whole roster of characters play pretty much the same way they've always played, but Nintendo has made some minor balancing tweaks here and there. Playing eight players at once is still completely maddening though, with special attacks being executed from left to right. Smash has always been more of a party game for a lot of people, but just like in the past, there seems to be plenty of depth there for those who go looking for it.
One thing we did notice straight away was the overhauled graphics. Everything in the game looks distinctly better than it did in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, thanks to new textures and great lighting. Many old arenas return as well, and most of them look amazing on the Switch. A welcome new feature that's sure to excite all esports fans out there is the option to play any level with an Omega layout (a single flat surface) or a Battlefield layout (one flat surface and three raised platforms). And yes, Ultimate will, of course, support the original Gamecube controllers.
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With its enormous cast, huge list of levels, updated graphics, and the possibility to take your Switch on the go, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate may very well live up to its name. We think it's great that Nintendo is trying to collect everything from every previous chapter in the Smash Bros. saga, and hopefully, this decision will unify the Smash Bros. esports scenes since there's always something of importance that's been missing with every new iteration in the series up until now. Nintendo still has a lot to share in terms of gameplay modes and online multiplayer, but after a great showing at E3 we're amped to find out more. Justice for Waluigi!
If you want to see more of the line-up coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ahead of its launch on Switch on December 7, we've put together this gallery showing off each and every one of them.