Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (JP) (also called SSBU, Super Smash Bros. 5, or SSB5) is the fifth and latest entry in the Super Smash Bros. series. It was releasd on December 7, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch worldwide and follows Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. It includes all the characters and most stages from across the series. The game was announced through a teaser trailer in the March 2018 Nintendo Direct and was released on December 7, 2018. The game features 103 base stages and 74 base playable characters (with six more characters and five more stages as downloadable content), making it the largest Super Smash Bros. game in terms of content in the series.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was made available for pre-order and pre-loading from the Nintendo eShop beginning November 1, 2018. The game takes up approximately 14.3 GB of the Nintendo Switch's memory when downloaded from the Nintendo eShop.
Though on the surface the game appears to be mostly similar to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, various quality of life improvements and additions were made in order to streamline this entry for competitive play. This time, players can customize their ruleset and save it before fighting. Additionally, the stage is decided before character selection with options for Battlefield and Omega (Final Destination) variations. Damage output is increased for one-on-one fights. Directional Air Dodges return but, dodging will be slower with increased use. When a fighter is going to fly off the screen or if certain attacks connect, the camera will slow down and zoom in on the hit. A mini-map will appear in the corner of the screen when a fighter is knocked a considerable distance and into the blast zone.
Final Smashes have changed for several characters with most becoming short cinematic finishers, such as Donkey Kong's Jungle Rush, and Bowser's Giga Bowser Punch. They can also be used with the Final Smash Meter which fills up during the fight, however this feature can be toggled off and Final Smashes have their power reduced when you use them with the meter. The game features a new Stage Morph option which allows two stages to be selected at once, transitioning between each other during a match.
New modes including Squad Strike (a 3v3 or 5v5 battle similar to the end of Smash Bros. for Wii U's Smash Tour mode) and Smashdown (in which players are forced to select a different fighter every match they play) have been added. The game features a new expansive Adventure Mode titled World of Light, in which players travel a massive map in search of Spirits (the replacement of Trophies for this iteration; visually and functionally similar to the Stickers from Super Smash Bros. Brawl).
Assist Trophies have been changed so that some of them can be attacked and KO'd. KO'd trophies can earn points for the player that defeats them. There are over 50 different Assist Trophies, including cameos from third parties.
The game includes all 76 (74 counting Pokémon Trainer as one) characters from across the series. Players begin with the game with the original 8 characters from the first Super Smash Bros. game -- Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, and Pikachu. A new classification of fighter known as the Echo Fighter, who share virtually the same moveset as another fighter, is introduced. Characters below marked with an epsilon (ε) are classified as Echoes.
In addition, the Koopalings (Larry, Roy, Lemmy, Wendy, Iggy, Morton, and Ludwig) are alternate costumes for Bowser Jr., Alph is an alternate costume for Olimar, Leaf is an alternate costume for Pokémon Trainer, Erdrick, Solo, and Eight are alternate costumes for Hero, and Alex, Zombie, and Enderman are alternate costumes for Steve.
There are a total of 103 stages in the game. All of them have Battlefield and Omega (Final Destination) variants. Some features of the stage can be deactivated with the Stage Hazards turned off.
- Great Plateau Tower
- New Donk City Hall
- Moray Towers
- Dracula's Castle
- Mementos (Downloadable)
- Yggdrasil's Altar (Downloadable)
- Spiral Mountain (Downloadable)
- King of Fighters Stadium (Downloadable)
- Garreg Mach Monastery (Downloadable)
- Spring Stadium (Downloadable)
- Minecraft World (Downloadable)
- Northern Cave (Downloadable)
Below are the new items introduced in this game.
- Banana Gun
- Black Hole
- Death's Scythe
- Fake Smash Ball
- Healing Field
- Healing Sprout
- Killing Edge
- Launch Star
- Rage Blaster
- Ramblin' Evil Mushroom
Assist Trophies and Pokémon
Like previous games, various characters can be summoned from Assist Trophy or from a Poké Ball with new 3rd party series getting representation as Assist Trophies. The new Pokémon are mostly from Pokémon Sun and Moon.
Main Article: List of music in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The game includes over 900 tracks with 800 of them being used on stages, with all music from a series able to be played on stages from that same series. As in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, music can be played while the Switch is in sleep mode. This time, the music can also be organized into playlists.
- Ultimate marks the first physical appearance of Solid Snake and Joker (DLC), and the second for Bayonetta, in a game with an "E10+" rating from the ESRB, to have all appeared in a game or franchise rated "M".
- This is the first Super Smash Bros. game to have no veteran characters cut since Melee.
- So far, Sonic is the only third party character with more than one stage representing his series.
- In the German version of the game, Yoshi has been removed from the cover in order to fit the country's large rating icon. Many have joked it to be due to the character's infamous "tax fraud" meme.
- This game marks the 100th performance credit of Charles Martinet as the voice of Mario (despite being archived voices from Brawl), a landmark for which he received a Guinness World Record for the "Most Video Game Voice-Over Performances of a Single Character".
- Ultimate marks the official return of Banjo & Kazooies' (DLC) appearance on a Nintendo platform since Banjo-Pilot after Microsoft's purchase of Rare in 2002.
- Banjo was intended to appear in Melee until the takeover started to fall into place.
- Although Banjo-Kazooie was created by Rare, its ownership credit is Microsoft which owns all rights to all Rare properties. This was also the case for Diddy Kong and King K. Rool who were created by the former company but are owned by Nintendo itself.
- Crazy Hand
- Galleom (Returns from Super Smash Bros. Brawl)
- Giga Bowser (Returns from Super Smash Bros. Melee)
- Master Hand
The game was first revealed during a Nintendo Direct broadcast on March 8, 2018, in which the Inkling was hinted to be a newcomer. Masahiro Sakurai, the director of the series, revealed afterwards that the game was in development for an unspecified amount of time beforehand. According to him, the game was not ready to be shown beyond the working title during this first trailer. The project plan was finished in late 2015, while development on the Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS DLC was still ongoing.
The game was fully unveiled at E3 2018 during Nintendo's presentation, with "Everyone Is Here!" (all previous fighters were returning) as the main focus. The changes to the fighters were presented in-depth by Masahiro Sakurai, with Daisy and Ridley being revealed as new characters. Starting with this date, Nintendo started a series of near daily updates to the Super Smash Blog which detailed various parts of the game each day along with a new music arrangement each week.
Another Nintendo Direct (this time entirely Smash-oriented), on August 8, 2018, went into more details about the modes and revealed the Belmonts, Chrom, Dark Samus, and King K. Rool.
A Nintendo Direct on September 13, 2018 revealed a hardware bundle with an Ultimate styled dock and set of Joy-Con Controllers. Isabelle was revealed as a newcomer.
In the final pre-launch Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct on November 1st, 2018, Ken and Incineroar were revealed and the mysterious Spirits mode was detailed. At the end, it revealed the game's Adventure Mode. The trailer shows Galeem (The antagonist), with an army of Master Hands. Galeem sends out beams of light that brutally murder almost every character instantly and the entire galaxy, except for Kirby, who is shown to be the protagonist in the Adventure Mode, in which he must revive and rescue the other fighters.
During The Game Awards 2018, Nintendo revealed the first challenger pack introducing Persona to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with the fighter, Joker.
At E3 2019, Nintendo announced Hero and Banjo & Kazooie to be joining as DLC, as well as being released in Summer and Fall respectively.
In the September 2019 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo revealed the fourth challenger pack introducing Terry Bogard from the Fatal Fury series as DLC, as well as released in November 2019. It also reveals that more DLC is coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
A Mr. Sakurai Presents Direct reveals Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses as the final challenger pack for the Fighters Pass, as well as the reveal of 6 challenger packs for Fighters Pass Vol. 2.
The Nintendo Direct Mini reveals that an ARMS character is coming to Smash as the first fighter for Fighters Pass Vol. 2. It was later revealed to be Min Min.
Later on, another Mr. Sakurai Presents Direct has revealed Steve from Minecraft, along with his alternate costumes like, Alex, Zombie, and Enderman.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is tagged as a "Must Play" game and receives "universal acclaim" in Metacritic holding a metascore of 93/100 based on 99 critic reviews.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sold 1.3 million copies on its first weekend in Japan, making it the best Japanese launch in the history of the Super Smash Bros. series. It is the biggest Nintendo launch in the region excluding Pokémon. The game sold over 3 million copies in the US in its first 11 days in the market, breaking the record of the fastest selling Nintendo Switch game as well as the fastest selling Super Smash Bros. game in the region. According to Nintendo, in the same 11 days period, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate became the fastest selling game on a Nintendo home console in Europe. As of the end of December 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sold 12.08 million copies, immediately making it the third best selling Nintendo Switch game behind Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey. As of January 31, 2019, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has sold 12.08 million units worldwide, making it the third best-selling first-party game on the Nintendo Switch. By the end of September 2019, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sold 15.71 million units making it the second best selling Nintendo Switch game. As of the end of December 2019, the game sold 17.68 million units worldwide. It reached 18.84 units sold by the end of March 2020. The game sold more than 19.99 units by the end of June 2020. The game fell to the 3rd spot when it comes to best selling Nintendo Switch game as it was outsold by Animal Crossing: New Horizons. By the end of September 2020, the game sold 21.10 million units, making it the third 20 million seller on the system after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing: New Horizon. The game reached 22.85 million units sold at the end of 2020.
- The best-selling Smash Bros. game of all time with 17.68 million copies sold worldwide, beating out Brawl. It is also the fastest-selling game in the series.
- Weeks prior to release, retailers in Mexico have received copies of the game early, in which many internet users share pre-release footage, soundtracks, and screenshots online. This prompted Nintendo to remove them from the public and even had several YouTube channels be to be terminated.
- Ironically, after release, some of the fans in Mexico have received random copies of DVDs instead of Ultimate from Amazon; though it is not certain if this was a direct punishment for the piracy.
- It was originally rumored that the game's amiibo support will instantly unlock the characters, claimed by Best Buy. This was later confirmed false.
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- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the series' first game to:
- Have a vocal theme song in English.
- Have the same announcer voice actor reprise his role from a previous game; Xander Mobus who was previously the announcer in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U.
- Moreover, Mobus is the series' first voice actor to voice both the announcer and a playable character, Joker from Persona 5 which Mobus voices.
- Lack of the feature of "Trophies" since its introduction in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- Not have any playable characters cut since Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- Have an Adventure Mode since Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Have characters that can be unlocked without battling them in World of Light, Just like Brawl in The Subspace Emissary.
- Not feature the involvement of Satoru Iwata since his death in July 2015.
- Have all of its veterans announced prior to launch and at the same time.
- Feature a third-party universe with more than one character; Castlevania's Simon Belmont and Richter Belmont.
- Include music tracks and references from a non-video game source: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a 2005 animated film.
- Be released in the same year it was announced.
- Feature a music arrangement from a composer outside of Japan.
- Include Western third-party newcomers; Banjo-Kazooie created by UK-based Rare and Minecraft's Steve by Sweden-based Mojang Studios.
- Use a "Versus" screen before the start of a match rather than a loading screen in vein to many traditional fighter games.
- On the German cover for the game, Yoshi was omitted from the boxart in order to fit the USK rating in the bottom left corner, while Pikachu, who was placed lower than Yoshi, was moved up due to its greater popularity.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the eighth Mario-related game to receive a PEGI 12+ rating in Europe, being preceded by the five prior Super Smash Bros. installments and the Virtual Console releases of Super Mario 64 DS and New Super Mario Bros.
- Decimals have always been used for damage calculations since Super Smash Bros. Melee, but the damage percentages were always displayed as an integer on-screen. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the first time that decimal notations are shown in-game.
- This game marks the 100th performance credit of Charles Martinet as the voice of Mario, a landmark for which he received a Guinness World Record for the most video game voice-over performances of a single character.
- Luigi dies in Simon and Richter's announcement trailer after having his soul taken by Death. In response, BBC News made an article on Luigi's death.
- With the sales of 21.10 million copies sold, it is the first and only Smash game to sell over the 20 million-mark.
- As of the June 2020 report, the game has sold 19.99 million copies at the time, which is can be a reference to the year 1999 when the original Smash Bros. game was released on the Nintendo 64 that year.
- Twitter - Nintendo of America Retrieved on March 8, 2018.
- Random: Yoshi Gets Cut From The German Box Art For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo Life) Date: June 22, 2018. Author: Dom Reseigh-Lincoln.
- Useless Smash Facts! - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (YouTube) Upload date: July 11, 2019. Uploader: PJiggles
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on metacritic, Retrieved February 10, 2020
- Nintendo Is Fighting Smash Bros. Ultimate Leaks With Copyright Strikes Date: November 27, 2018. Author: Scott Baird.
- Iggy. (June 16, 2018). Yoshi Vanishes from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's German Box Art. NintendoSoup. Retrieved June 16, 2018.