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E3 2018: Super Smash Bros Ultimate!

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Did you think Super Smash Bros couldn’t get any bigger than it already is? You were right. Super Smash Bros Ultimate, announced this morning by Nintendo, is more of a “Greatest Hits” title than anything radically different, but perhaps you can’t improve on perfection?

Think of a character in Smash you’d like to play as. Lucario? Playable. Snake? He’s hiding in there, probably under a cardboard box. Ice Climbers? Both present and accounted for. For the first time ever, no one has been left out or left behind.

The E3 demo screen — final starting lineup may vary. According to Sakurai, most of the characters will be unlockable from performing tasks in the game.

There wasn’t much in the way of new characters — Sakurai explained that it was enough of an effort bringing back every single past character. But in addition to the Inklings, which were announced in advance, there was also the fan-demanded Ridley. He’s smaller than he is in the Metroid games, but a playable 30-foot space pterodactyl would throw off Smash’s balance.

There is plenty of new content in Smash Bros Ultimate, actually, but it’s the subtle kind. Sakurai tweaked and updated every character with moves and characteristics more in-character for their personalities. Mario has Cappy now, Link has his Breath of the Wild outfit, and Cloud has a constantly visible Limit Break meter that fills up. Final Smashes now play out quicker than they once did, and there’s a Fake Smash Ball that causes explosive damage. New Assist Trophies add more cameos — Bayonetta can summon Rodin, while Ness can be visited by Paula and Poo. You can even get Bomberman to appear, though they didn’t reveal how.

Those who complained about “palette swap” characters like Dr. Mario will be pleased to know these characters now fight differently than the characters they’re based on. Princess Daisy is now in the game as a swap of Princess Peach, but her moves and stats will be different despite sharing the same space on the character screen. They’re called Echo Fighters now. Sakurai estimates the changes to this version of Smash could number in the tens of thousands.

One other thing we learned in the video, which cinches the deal for us….PIKACHU LIBRE IS A GIRL!

Super Smash Bros Ultimate comes to Nintendo Switch December 7, 2018.