Nintendo just dropped their final pre-launch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct, and, in addition to learning about three new fighters (more on them here) we received a ton of info on the game’s mysterious Spirits Mode, surprise Adventure Mode, and more! If you’ve got 40 minutes to spare, you can check out the entire Smash Bros. Direct, below.
Spirits Mode looks to be the real meat-and-potatoes of Smash Bros. Ultimate. Basically, players can unlock “spirits” based on a huge array of minor characters not important enough to qualify for full fighter or Assist Trophy status. You can then equip a combination of these spirits to the fighter of your choice, giving yourself a variety of stat and ability boosts. You can check out a video intro to Spirits Mode below (thanks to GameXplain for capturing these individual bits from the Direct).
Here’s a more detailed description courtesy of Nintendo:
In the world of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, many video game characters lose their forms and become “spirits” that serve as a power-up of sorts for a player’s main playable fighter. There is a massive number of wildly different spirits, ranging from Chibi-Robo to Dr. Wily to Tails to Revolver Ocelot. Players can equip primary and support spirits to power up or add additional abilities like speed or strength to their fighter during battles. Mixing and matching spirits will help players get the upper hand against certain opponents, adding quite a bit of strategy to battles. Equipping a spirit is similar to equipping a charm or accessory in an RPG. It’s a way for players to enjoy a massive amount of additional video game characters outside of selecting them as playable fighters.
- Spirit Battles: The main way to acquire spirits is to win Spirit Battles. After winning a Spirit Battle, players will have to complete a roulette challenge to acquire that spirit.
- Leveling Up Spirits: By battling with spirits by their side, players can level up spirits, giving them extra power and sometimes unlocking enhanced forms. The more leveled up and trained spirits are, the more powerful and useful they are.
- Spirit Combinations: With an insane amount of spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, thousands of combinations can be formed. Players will be constantly surprised and excited by all the spirits that pop up in the game. Because players might collect an abundance of spirits, the game will offer recommendations for primary and support spirits, making the selection process a little bit easier.
Nintendo also surprise-revealed that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will once again have a full story-driven Adventure Mode, entitled World of Light. According to Sakurai, World of Light won’t be quite as crazy as the Subspace Emissary from Smash Bros. Brawl, as the focus will be on fun over story, but the mode’s opening cutscene is pretty crazy. See for yourself…
Nintendo also detailed Smash Bros. Ultimate’s online options. This time around, matchmaking will be based on your preferred rules, proximity, and your Global Smash Power ranking. Hopefully that makes matches a little more reliable! All Ultimate players will have to create a Smash Tag, and you can earn other people’s Smash Tags by beating them. Here are some of the new online modes and features available in Smash Bros. Ultimate:
- Two-Player Co-op: When playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online, two players can team up on one Nintendo Switch system online and take on other teams with the same setup.
- Elite Smash: Once a player’s Global Smash Power is high enough, she or he will be invited to compete in elite in-game battles. These VIP matches are for the best of the best and offer some serious competition.
- Background Matchmaking: Players can play other modes while they search for an online battle. Not every mode will be available while waiting, but it’s a way for players to keep occupied between online battles.
- Battle Arenas: Players can create custom battle arenas when playing online that allow them to compete against other players in a more intimate setting. In a battle arena, there are options to join a battle, wait in line or spectate.
- Smartphone Features: With the Nintendo Switch Online app on smartphones, players can voice chat with others in battle arenas. A mobile service called Smash World is also being developed. Instead of focusing on stats, the new service allows players to post and watch videos, as well as other fun features. More details about the service will be revealed in the future.
Finally, Smash Bros. Ultimate will also be getting a Fighters Pass, which will include five characters, each with own stage and a batch of new music. The Fighters Pass will cost $25, or you can buy each fighter individually for $6. Oh, and Piranha Plant (yes, there’s going to be a Piranha Plant fighter) is a free post-launch bonus, and not part of the Pass.
Phew! That’s a lot of info! And there’s a ton of stuff I haven’t touched on – again, check out the full Nintendo Direct if you want to know everything.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate throws down on Nintendo Switch on December 7.