Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was announced for Nintendo Switch, on the Nintendo Direct presentation during E3 2018, and the biggest thing to know is that everyone is here. Every single character that has ever been in a Smash Bros. is back again, along with at least two new additions in Ridley and Splatoon’s Inkling. For those who are coming back from a previous game, there will be some changes.
Some are mechanical, some are cosmetic, some are minor, and some are major. Here are all the ones we know so far, based on information given to us during the Nintendo Direct and based on our own hands-on experience.
- General: Final Smash moves will be more immediate. Those who previously had long-lasting transformations like Bowser and Little Mac will have harder hitting versions, but they won’t last as long.
- Mario: Mario outfit now features Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey, as well as his wedding outfit from the same game and his builder outfit from Super Mario Maker
- Link: Link’s default outfit is the Champion’s Tunic from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but he has a green Tunic of the Wild, too. His bombs are now remotely detonated, though they can’t be detonated if someone picks them up. His Final Smash is an Ancient Arrow attack.
- Ice Climbers: They’re back!
- Ike: Both his costumes from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn will be available, and his voice will change depending on which one you use.
- Pikachu: You’ll be able to choose a female variant of Pikachu, complete with a heart-shaped tail. There’s also a Luche Libre outfit for both male and female Pikachu.
- Fox: This version of Fox will be based on his appearance in Star Fox Zero. His Final Smash has been overhauled is an instant-hit attack.
- Falco: His Landmaster Final Smash attack has been replaced by an instant-hit attack similar to Fox’s.
- Ryu: He’ll now always face his opponents during 1-on-1 matches, similar to how he operates in regular Street Fighter games, which will make using his command inputs a little easier.
- Samus: Her charge moves can now be charged in mid-air. You can cancel them by jumping or dodging, but you’ll be vulnerable afterward.
- Marth: Dancing Blade is now faster, and the same goes for Roy and Lucina. He’s also got his English voiceover this time around
- Snake: He’s back! He’s based on his Metal Gear Solid 2 appearance again.
- King Dedede: His Final Smash is now a cage match where he beats the crap out of opponents with missles and a hammer.
- Pichu: Pichu’s electric attacks will continue to cause damage to itself, is still the worst character.
- Zelda: Her appearance is now based on The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, since she’s more of a researcher in Breath of the Wild, and her Final Smash is the Triforce of Wisdom.
- Sonic: His Final Smash, Supersonic is faster, because “he’s lightning fast”. Obviously.
- Pac-Man: Namco’s yellow gobbler is now a bit faster, at least in his Final Smash.
- Pokemon Trainer: You’ll continue to choose between commanding Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard, and there’s no penalty for sticking with one. There is now also a female Pokemon trainer costume that you can use.
- Captain Falcon: Captain Falcon’s appearance was used to show off a new, general change: a slowdown when certain moves successfully connect during a 1-on-1 match, like Falcon Punch
- Cloud: Cloud’s two costumes from Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children remain, but his limit gauge will be visible near his damage counter at all times.
- Robin: Similarly, Robin’s sword and tome meters will also be visible by the damage counter at all times.
- Villager: The Animal Crossing villager will have a little icon next to their damage meter to show what item they’ve stored in their pocket.
- Bowser: His Gigabowser Final Smash has changed–he’ll now grow incredibly large and exist in the background of the stage, and you’ll aim his punches.
- Mr. Game & Watch: Mr. Game & Watch’s look is now more in line with his LCD model in the original Game & Watch electronic games.
- Young Link: He’s back! Smash Bros. now has three different versions of Link.
- Wolf: Wolf, like Fox, is also modeled around his Star Fox Zero appearance, and each of his moves has received a “significant upgrade”.
- Kirby: Kirby’s infamous stone ability can now also appear as a chest from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Shulk: Shulk’s Monado Arts can now be directly selected from a radial menu, and Fiora from Xenoblade Chronicles now appears in his Final Smash.
- Ganondorf: Ganon maintains his look from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and his Final Smash is still Demon Ganon. He now wields a sword.
- Mii Fighters: The Mii Fighters have had their proportions adjusted to be taller and leaner. Their move sets have been enhanced, they have 12 different voice options, and they’re hoping to make them available to play online.
- Pit: Pit’s Final Smash is now the Lightning Chariot, and is an instant hit.
- Zero Suit Samus: Final Smash now lets her call in her gunship, put her power armor back on, and fire a laser that can be aimed.
- Olimar: Olimar’s helmet now has visible cracks when he gets hit and knocked back.
- Bayonetta: Both costumes for Bayonetta will still be available, and the gunshots in each will sound a little different from each other. Rodin from Bayonetta also appears an assist trophy.
- Wario: Wario’s Final Smash is still Warioman, but it no longer lets you use regular moves, it’s an instant hit combo.
- Donkey Kong: Donkey Kong’s Final Smash is no longer the Donkey Konga bongos, instead it’s an instant hit series of rapid punches. His Spinning Kong special attack now gains faster momentum as it continues, and his special punch can be charged in mid-air.
- Little Mac: Again, Little Mac’s Final Smash is no longer a transform, but rather an instant hit rush of blows.
- Ness: Ness’ Final Smash is still a PK Starstorm, but it’s not as easily aimed, and includes cameos from his Earthbound comrades Paula and Poo. Jeff is an assist trophy.
- Lucas: Similarly, Lucas’s Mother 3 friends Kumatora and Boney show up to support him in his Final Smash.
- Wii Fit Trainer: For whatever reason, the developer behind Wii Fit requested that Wii Fit Trainer’s face be altered for this new game. You can still play as both male and female trainers.
- Mega Man: Mega Man’s robo-friends Protoman and Bass show up in Mega Man’s Final Smash, which is still the multi-beam attack, Mega Legends.
- Palutena: Her special attacks have been streamlined, and her down special acts as both a counter and a deflector.
- R.O.B.: You can now see the fuel gauge for R.O.B.’s Robo Burner jetpack appear on his torso.
- Lucina, Dark Pit, and Daisy: Yes, Daisy is now available in Smash Bros, but she’s not a new character. All of these characters now act as “Echo Fighters”, used to define characters who more or less the same characters as the ones they echo, but with only a few behavioral differences.
Series director Masahiro Sakurai has said that there are literally “tens of thousands of changes”, so you can expect your favorite character to behave a little differently.
There are also a number of general technical changes including:
- You can now press and hold the “A” button to attack with characters who have rapid attacks, like Kirby.
- Directional air dodges are back from Melee
- Dodging now has limits: Rapidly dodging about five to six times will see your character’s dodge movement slow dramatically and have a smaller window of invulnerability.
- Hitting the A and jump buttons at the same time will let you do a short hop attack, a technique that was previously much more demanding to perform
- You can hold A+B to perform a quick Smash attack
- Perfect Shield is back: By blocking, and then releasing your block the moment an enemy attack connects, you are free to move and attack while your enemy is still in cooldown.
- One-on-one battles now feature greater damage modifiers in an effort to increase the pace and dynamism of these kinds of fights.
- In a Time battle, the leading player will flash with light
- There is now a mini-map that appears when a character gets knocked past the boundaries of the screen. This makes it easier to tell how far away you are.
- Stages are now selected before characters.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be available on Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018.