During the most recent Nintendo Direct, Masahiro Sakurai, director of the new Smash Bros, unveiled a ton of new info about the upcoming game, including release dates, new fighters, and new gameplay modes!
The biggest reveal has to be the new fighters and the changes made to current ones.
In a stunning cut scene, both Charizard and Greninja were revealed as new fighters. No longer is Charizard tied to a Pokemon Trainer, but now a fully playable fighter. Greninja, a Gen VI starter Pokemon and the final evolution of Froakie, is also a brand new fighter, and looks fun to play.
Yoshi has finally been announced, and he’s gotten a makeover. He now stands upright, to more accurately represent his design in more recent games. Several other fighters have gotten major facelifts as well. Pit can no longer fly, and can now only flap his wings temporarily for his recovery jump. Captain Olimar now only has three Pikmin following him during play, but they rotate out as he plucks them. Lucario, with the introduction of newfound powers, can Mega Evolve, too!
The biggest character-related news is that there are no alternate forms for fighters anymore. This means Sheik and Zero Suit Samus are now their own selectable fighters, and are no longer tied to Zelda or Samus . They also have new abilities, such as Zero Suit Samus’ fancy dash boots.
We also got some details on Little Mac—he has his own power meter that fills up as he fights and can unleash a One-Hit K.O. if he can max it out. Also, he’s a very strong fighter on the ground, but his aerial attacks are weak, so he’ll be a very interesting character to play as.
Now on to the online details. Sakurai stated that online fighting for Smash Bros. will be heavily revamped. There are now two modes to play in: For Fun is for playing with friends. The stages are random, you can use all items, and only your wins are recorded. You can also create custom move sets for your fighter in this mode. For Glory is for the hard-core crowd. You can only play in Final Destination, you can’t use items. and both wins and losses are recorded. Speaking of Final Destination, it now has several themes to choose from based on other stages.
Online battles are no longer anonymous, and players are now identified by their Nintendo Network I.D. This means it will be much easier to report problem players. There will also be a matchmaking system in place, which can place players with similar skill levels together. There is also an online ranking system, but it’s based on achievements in the single-player mode, so that players can compete with each other in a positive way. Sakurai said that he wants the online experience to be as enjoyable as possible for everyone. He also recommended that Wii U players get the optional ethernet dongle for their system.
Exclusive to the 3DS version is a new mode called Smash Run. Four players have five minutes in wide-open stages to collect power ups and defeat random enemies. Once the five minutes are up, the fighters will duke it out using the power-ups they acquired.
As for technical details, Sakurai revealed that the 3DS version will run at 60fps in full 3D. Some of the Pokemon (the assists) will run at 30fps, but Sakurai promised that the fighters will run silky smooth.
The 3DS version of the game is expected to be released in Summer, while the Wii U version is scheduled for winter. Sakurai apologized for the delays and thanked everyone for their patience. It will be well worth the wait, though, because these games look incredibly polished. Sakurai also teased that the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game can connect to each other somehow, but that it will be revealed at a later date.