So I’d say that I was going to write about Smash Bros. again when something big comes up and lo and behold we get a Smash Direct about 2 months after the big reveal from E3. There was a lot to talk about too so shall we get started on this?
Despite that an oops happened the night before the direct kind of spoiled the reveal, we finally have our first new 3rd party character from Konami in Castlevania’s Simon Belmont. Personally, I have played the original and Symphony of the Night on the PS1, so I’m familiar to them. Though seeing Simon in action, he retains a lot of what I remembered him back in the NES days with his weaponry of the Cross, Whip, Holy Water and etc. Also like that Simon’s whip inherited Sheik’s old style of being able to move the whip freely as well. Very cool addition (if not one of the more vocal ones fans been wanting to have added and the fact Bomberman missed too).
Though I had said the leak kind of led me to instantly believe that Simon was joining the roster, I was not expecting him to get his own Echo Fighter in Richter (another protagonist within the Castlevania series). While I’m not as informative on this guy, he does look pretty cool and being an echo to Simon is neat (plus the blue holy water is nice!).
After Sakurai went in and explained more about Simon & Richter, he just immediately went in and announced two more Echo fighters starting with Chrom from Fire Emblem: Awakening! Considering he missed his chance back in Smash 4 due to Sakurai stating that making a moveset would’ve been redundant (which is ironic because it’s the case here). As an Echo to Roy of all people, I thought that meant another sad showing of a Marth clone, but Chrom takes some elements from Roy & Ike! Honestly, I wish they’d lay off the FE characters (at least til DLC with Edelgard) but I suppose no harm no foul with Chrom right?
Man, Metroid is getting some love this time around eh? Of course being an Echo to Samus, Dark Samus was one that I kind of understood the addition to, but a smidge disappointed that her abilities as an Assist Trophy are for the most part gone. Still, I’m kind of curious to how Dark Samus plays because her stance and the fact she floats interests me. Even the Final Slash, using her Phazon Beam is neat!
King K. Rool
Then ending the direct, we get one more trailer and it’s for this longtime villain from the Donkey Kong series, King K. Rool. Considering that hasn’t been relevant for some time, it feels great to bring him to have more bad guys to the roster! His moveset so far does a great job showing off his past from DKC to DK64! Also after all of these reveals (plus the ones from E3), it really feels like the Smash Ballot that was held during the end of the SSB4 era had a lot to do with these additions!
Items, Pokémon, Assist Trophies
Because there wasn’t too many items shown off, I thought it’d be wise to finally talk about the new ones!
- Healing Field – After being thrown you can stand in the field and heal some damage away if you are able to stay in the field, simple as that! What surprised me more was it can cling to walls and the field’s healing goes horizontally instead of vertically!
- Black Hole – Once a characters tosses this item, it drags nearby opponents into the middle leaving them rather defenseless and for free shots while they’re being spun around. Even items get pulled in as well!
- Super Launch Star – Didn’t expect an item from Mario Galaxy, especially not this! Kind of like what it does in its game, the Launch Star launches character to whatever direction it’s pointed towards!
- Fake Smash Ball – Just as the name implies, it’s a fake Smash Ball and visually is only different because the Smash logo inverted and if attacked it explodes into an X and does big knockback! (as a sidenote. the Smash Ball itself had some small change so that sometimes it might not float around and will occasionally roll around like a Soccer Ball).
- Bomber – A Kirby enemy, whenever a character picks this up, it’ll light off and explode giving people in its range big damage!
- Banana Gun – Kind of a 2-use item, the first part is shooting the “gun” for some damage and then the empty Banana Peel can be thrown to slip enemies up. Neat little item I’d say!
- Killing Edge – Finally we get an item from the Fire Emblem series! It’s a sword, but its much stronger the longer you have it held and the sword turns red.
- Death’s Scythe – If the player has high enough damage, this Castlevania weapon can KO with one swipe of it.
- Staff – A new item from the Kid Icarus series (as if we haven’t had enough from the last game), this weapon is stronger by how far the opponent is (the farther, the stronger)
- Ramblin’ Evil Mushroom – An enemy originally from the Mother series, this item once picked up and used, the spores hit the enemy and reverses their controls (I feel like this would be more effective going against Human players and less CPUs).
- Rage Blaster – A new original Smash Bros. item, the Rage Blaster is stronger if the character has a higher damage percentage.
- Bewear – Once this guy comes out, he’ll walk around and if he gets near enough to an opponent, he’ll use Sky Uppercut and boy does it look powerful!
- Solgaleo – Uses Sunsteel Strike to charge across different places on the stage.
- Lunala – Uses Moongeist Beam to shoot a rising vertical laser a couple times
- Alolan Raichu – Uses electricity to surf around the stage and use Wild Charge, tackling into the opponents.
- Alolan Vulpix – Uses Powder Snow to freeze opponents for a short moment.
- Abra – Teleports around the stage and if the opponent is nearby Abra when it uses it, it goes with it to a random spot on the stage.
- Togedemaru – Uses Zing Zap, but to what its use is is unknown (only small footage of it has appaeared).
- Alolan Exeggutor – Not sure if it even uses a move, but its current use is that it creates a temporary vertical wall wherever it comes out of its Pokeball from.
- Mimikyu – This Pokémon uses its Z-move (currently the only one that uses a Z-move), Let’s Cuddle Together where the shadow grabs you and pulls you underneath the cloth and damages you. Reminds me of Gulpin back from Brawl essentially.
- Pyukumuku – This may be Wobbuffet’s replacement, but this Alolan Pokémon uses Counter if an opponent strikes it.
- Marshadow – Seems from what we saw that it stuns an opponent and uses its Signature move, Spectral Theif to punch it from behind!
- Ditto – Initially was to be a Pokeball back in Melee but was cut due to time restraints and some issues with him, Ditto FINALLY makes his FIRST Pokeball appearance here. Using Transform to change into your character and fights as an ally
- Rodin – Comes out of the trophy and does some big punches (kind of like Bayonetta’s smash moves) and tosses an item before leaving.
- The Squid Sisters – Callie & Marie appear on the stage to perform one of their songs while the camera slowly zooms in on them and by camera, I mean the blast lines are closing in as well and anyone caught outside of it is KO’d.
- Bomberman – I mean if there was to be another KONAMI rep, it would’ve definitely been this guy here! Bomberman appears and randomly places bombs with maximum firepower in the shape of the +.
- Burrowing Snagret – This enemy from the Pikmin series pokes up from the ground and pecks nearby opponents.
- Sukapon – This Japan-only character from Joy Mech Fight, Sukapon roams around and tosses opponents.
- Arcade Bunny – I’m surprised they made this little dude an Assist Trophy but happy nonetheless!~ Anyways he pops out and uses his cranes to drag characters off the screen (like the Beetle and Boss Galaga items).
- Alucard – Comes out and attacks using his Crissogram and can dodge attacks.
- Zero – Comes out and slashes oppenents with his sword or uses a beam sword attack for long-range attacks.
- Knuckles – Punches opponents and moves around by digging like a drill and can use a Homing Shot on nearby targets (with the reticule too!).
- Krystal – Attacks using her staff and use her ice powers on occasion as well.
- Klaptrap – Crawls on the ground and if it’s near an opponent, it’ll pounce and latch/bite them for a while.
- Kapp’n – Drives a bus off the stage, not quite sure how it’ll work when there’s a pit involved, but so far it just drags the opponent off the side of the stage.
- Chef Kawasaki – Essentially uses the move it has from both Kirby Super Star & Star Allies and was the Final Smash for Kirby back in Brawl where it grabs opponents and puts them into a cooking pot where healing items pop out!
- Nikki – Another fun inclusion, this time from Swapnote of all things, Nikki appears and draws various pictures that do different things like a Bullet Bill that charges forward and whatnot.
- Shovel Knight – Wow, an indie character is making his appearance as an Assist Trophy, that’s a pretty big deal I’d say and he uses basically what he’s known for which is the dig and the pogo hop.
- Moon – As in the one from LoZ: Majora’s Mask, the Moon essentially does what it was all about in the game it originally came from…comes crashing down!! Big explosion and VERY impactful.
- Rathalos – Though Sakurai made a pretty big deal out of this Assist Trophy, not only being 3rd Party (from the Monster Hunter games), but it’s a huge one and it seems like it has other uses outside of it being an AT). There’s more to this curiosity and we’ll get to that! Rathalos in Smash has a LOT of different attacks like claw attacks to shooting fireballs!
So with the recent direct, we got a LOT more stages (mostly returning ones that weren’t confirmed yet) and a LOT of the great ones were included but with the knowledge that not all stages are returning we’re going to look at what is left. Well, let’s look at the brand new stages first!
- New Donk City Hall – Kind of spoiled about it in Mario’s character trailer from the main site, we finally get a better glimpse of this Super Mario Odyssey-themed stage and immediately it gives me similar vibes to Prism Tower (the Pokémon stage from Smash 3DS). The thing that caught my eye is tapping the band members and Pauline will get them to perform the main theme for Odyssey. Though I can’t help and wonder what if the track that plays isn’t the Odyssey theme, what happens then?
- Dracula’s Castle – Other than Inklings, so far Simon’s the only other newcomer to a get a new stage (seems with all the nostalgia the stage selections been having), there won’t be many new stages it seems. Anyways Simon (and Richter’s) stage is really neat and dark and very atmospheric. Though it does seem a bit like a Battlefied stage but with walk-offs. Though the big feature are the old bosses from the Castlevania games making an appearance like the Mummy, Werewolf, Carmilla etc. even to Dracula (who is speculated as a Boss?) and what could be Kid Dracula (from an OBSCURE Castlevania parody game). Interesting stage though and I love the focus on detail like the attacking the candles for an item shtick.
- Final Destination – It’s just like that with a new paint job, the ring in the back is interesting, but otherwise it’s the same FD.
- Ancestral Steppe – While it hasn’t 100% officially been deemed a playable stage, it does house Rathalos on it and it looks like to be a Boss? Like Dracula and his fight they both look similar using the full screen but lacks platforms. Though just from assumptions, I do think there’s going to be a MH stage since Castlevania got its stage (just makes me wonder if Capcom’s next representative is going to be a Monster Hunter).
The Remaining Stages that aren’t in the game
- Planet Zebes – Maybe deemed too similar to Brinstar to bring back and deal with, but I seriously don’t see why it couldn’t be brought back otherwise?
- Sector Z – Same reason but with Corneria. Though I thought it’d be back because it’s much larger and could handle the 8-Player Smash a bit better since there’s much more space to fight around.
- Icicle Mountain – I think it’s the lack of popularity that the vertical scrolling stages that really put a damper here and Icicle Mountain had the extra struggle with adding ice physics to the platforms as well. Add on the new stage shifting process and this could be an odd thing to work into!
- Mushroom Kingdom (Melee) – Well with Mushroom Kingdom 64 making the cut and this one didn’t, I feel like this is the case of monotony here despite that both stages have different layouts (but seriously so many stages based off of the original Super Mario Bros. is tiring). It may make the cut still because of the latter reason, but I wouldn’t count on it
- Poké Floats – I mean this is an odd stage to begin with so I assume why it’s not back is pretty much due to the vertical scrolling and probably weird to implement to the stage shifting mechanic that was brought in. It’d be neat to see, but another stage I won’t hold my breath against.
- Mute City (Melee) – Not quite sure why this hasn’t returned, some people say it’s too much like Port Town: Aero Dive to warrant its non-inclusion, but I kind of disagree because we have other tracks the travel around to so to see Mute City not return is odd and there’s no other reason why it can’t be included (though it is nice to see Mute City (SNES) make the cut.
- Flat Zone & (Flat Zone 2) – Flat Zone X exists, moving on…
- Mushroomy Kingdom 1-2 – Of these stages, this one I feel like it’s already there, but hasn’t shown off yet for some reason. The underground variation of the stage was missing when its sister 1-1 made the cut for Smash 3DS, but now we’re back on the console and I’m curious to see if it’ll retain being a little bit of a hidden stage of just not make the cut entirely. Probably has the biggest support of still being included to be honest.
- Rumble Falls – Like Icicle Mountain, Rumble Falls is pretty much frowned upon because of the vertical scrolling that goes on here on top of the general odd layout of the stage mixed in with those purple spikes that can EASILY kill you at low percentages.
- PictoChat – There just isn’t a true reason here for this not returning because unlike the Flat Zones, the 2 PictoChat stages are in and out entirely different from one another minus the basic stage layout (without the drawings essentially). Another point is that Pokémon Stadium 1 & 2 made it so why not both PictoChats?
- Rainbow Road – Kind of the same story here compared to Mute City (Melee), it’s a pretty nice 3DS stage and the fact it’s a moving one also works well but not quite sure why it hasn’t shown up yet (maybe a graphical challenge perhaps?)
- PAC-MAZE – Not sure how or why this one hasn’t been shown off yet, but PAC-MAZE is bizarre considering most gamers are familiar to the original PAC-MAN game looking like this arcade classic. Not that extremely bizarre and brightly colored PAC-LAND. Maybe the the stage’s gimmick is the reason, but we have Golden Plains (and Xerneas back) so there’s really no reason to not have this stage.
- Jungle Hijinxs – I can see this missing because of the stage shift mechanic and honestly, I suppose that makes sense to me, but it was an interesting stage though being able to move from the background to the foreground, but yeah…it’d be hard to defend it when you have it transform to another and your character is in the background area.
- Pyrosphere – Ridley is the most glaring reasoning, but I mean you could still use him because the Ridley on Pyrosphere is actually a clone (if we’re going lore wise). You could also simple erase him too and just leave with the remaining enemies to stick around. Not sure the reasoning otherwise.
- Woolly World – Would the look of the stage REALLY affect its chances on making the cut? I don’t know why Woolly World has been left off but there’s so many Yoshi stages that I feel this wouldn’t be too damaging, but it is from a pretty amazing game, so what gives?
- Orbital Gate Assault – For a stage that took a year that ended up being disliked by the majority, it could have something to do with not being a returning stage. I mean this stage was beautiful, but it was chaotic and the missile jumping and trying to land on the Arwings was just a bit screwy. Otherwise, the stage switch mechanic might be an odd one too.
- Miiverse – Miiverse is gone, its gimmick made useless and abused when it was active, and it’s just Battlefield… Yeah…
PHEW, what a lot of stuff to talk about, I’m sure the next Smash post will be rather small since I’m sure we’ll get a general Nintendo Direst talking about Online service so maybe we’ll get one character (maybe an echo too?).