By far the biggest focus from Nintendo at E3 2018 is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch. It’s coming out just in time for Christmas: December 7, 2018. It’s the biggest collection of characters ever in a Smash Bros. game. Every single fighter from prior installments is included this time around. Nearly all of them have been tweaked with new moves, techniques, and/or costumes. A lot of detail has gone into this one, with completely overhauled visuals and a ton of stages (75 at last count).
Before the game was shown off today, speculation ran rampant that we’d be getting a Wii U port or enhanced version on the Switch. This simply isn’t the case with way more fighters and stages than ever before. There are so many enhancements that it took Nintendo over 20 minutes just to explain them all in the Nintendo Direct today. Game Informer asked Bill Trinen and Nate Bihldorf some questions about the upcoming game:
You’re calling this a new Smash. What makes it more than a port?
Trinen: My first answer is – has there ever been a port of a Smash Bros. game?
3DS and Wii U?
Trinen: They were developed in tandem.
Sakurai considers them separate entries, right?
Trinen: Yeah. Every Smash Bros. game is a new game. I think for me personally what really defines it as a new game is just the core change to the core mechanics. When you change the speed like that, that cascades through character motion, through the speed at which the various moves are coming out, the animations and whatnot, and you have to rebalance every character in the game, so then as a player, when you come in to start playing the game, you’re having to re-learn every character in the game. Essentially when those core mechanics are new, then the game becomes new. Then, as you saw, in addition to changing the core mechanics you’ve got characters that have new models, characters that have new moves or dramatically changed moves. Changes to even the final smashes and the speed in which those happen to match the tempo of the game and things like that. To me, overall, once you’ve changed that core mechanic, you really are looking at a new game.
Can you do multiplayer locally with two Switches? Like one versus one where each player gets their own screen?
[Editor’s note: Thought Bill Trinen and Nate Bihldorff did not have an answer at the time, Nintendo did follow up with more details saying that while local wireless play will be available, Nintendo is not ready to offer more details than that just yet.]
Online was kind of ambiguous in the Direct. There will be online play, correct?
Bihldorff: Yes, there will be. In the Direct, it was actually a specific reference to the Mii characters and being able to use them online, because they weren’t playable online in the past because of their custom move sets. They’re a little bit of a unique thing online. The other aspect of the Mii characters being online is they are UGC [user-generated content]. Because you could create your own Mii character, some people would occasionally put rather naughty things one their Mii characters.
And Nintendo… doesn’t like that?
Bihldorff: Nobody likes that. [laughs] There is a level of curation involved with those things, so I think that’s the only reason Mr. Sakurai made a note of it in there. But yes, there will be online.
And you will still be able to customize the Miis with unlocked materials?
Bihldorff: We don’t have any details on that, but as far as immediate customization goes, yeah, you wouldn’t have to play as just those three default characters.
Trinen: It will still draw from the Mii characters on your Switch. Even though it is not as forward-facing as it was on other consoles, the Switch still does have Mii creation abilities.
[Source: Game Informer]