While Nintendo’s E3 presentation had a good enough start - we saw some neat indie games, received more information on Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee, got our first look at Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Super Mario Party, and even saw the announcement of some ports of high-profile third-party games like Fortnite and Dragon Ball FighterZ - the real star of the show came at the end, with a 25 minute long look at the new Super Smash Bros. title.
First teased during the May 8th, 2018 Nintendo Direct, we’ve finally received some concrete information about the new Smash game, titled Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is set to release on December 7th, 2018. The presentation came with a plethora of information about the game, with a detailed look at the game’s characters and system mechanics, with plenty of stages, items and assist trophies revealed along the way.
After a brief introduction featuring Masahiro Sakurai, viewers are treated to a series of clips showcasing each character, including the first major announcement regarding the game’s roster: every character from throughout the entire series will be returning, including characters like Snake, Pichu and Young Link that only appeared in one game.
On top of that, observant viewers may notice that while every other character was numbered based on when they were first introduced in Smash, this isn’t the case for Dark Pit or Lucina, who instead shared Pit and Marth’s respective numbers with an epsilon symbol next to it. This is because of the addition of echo fighters - a formal categorization for clones that only have small differences from the original character. For now, we don’t know what exactly this means for their place in the roster, but we do know who the game’s first new echo fighter is - Daisy!
We also got a more in-depth look at the Inklings. Their specials and smash attacks use different weapons from Splatoon, including the splattershot as their neutral-special and an ink roller for what appears to be a side special. Any opponents who get inked by these moves take additional damage from the Inklings’ attacks, adding a dynamic element to the character.
At the end of the presentation, we also got a look at Ultimate’s next newcomer: Ridley. While Sakurai has previously stated that he and his team couldn’t find a way to faithfully represent Ridley in Smash, it looks like that has changed, and impressively so.
After the character showcase, we got a look at several universal mechanics - some of them new, others returning from previous games. Every character now has an attack they can use while climbing ladders, and all smash attacks can now be used while dashing.
The most prominent returning mechanic is directional air dodges. Like in Super Smash Bros. Melee, holding a direction while performing an air dodge will make the character shift their momentum in that direction - though unlike Melee, this also comes with a small movement in the opposite direction beforehand. According to several players who got a chance to play the game at E3, no momentum is retained while air dodging into the ground, so while you can use this directional air dodge to waveland, you can't use it to wavedash.
Dodges also now stale in Ultimate - the more frequently you use them, the longer the animation and the fewer intangibility frames you have. This applies to both air dodges and dodge rolls. Perfect shielding has also received an overhaul - it's now performed by lowering your shield right before a move hits.
Author's Note: We'll surely be receiving more information about Ultimate leading up to its December 7th release date, so stay tuned. Until then, what was your favorite part of the presentation we saw?