This week was mainly focused on menus, game modes, and technical information. Most of it was information we already heard about at E3, but there were a few interesting tidbits mixed in. However, the biggest announcement came at the end of the week with a surprise newcomer reveal. We also have a final verdict on last week’s big leak as a result.
The week starts with a look at the new and improved Classic mode. The Fiend’s Scale used in Kid Icarus: Uprising returns for Classic mode for the difficulty level. Placing more of your coins on the scale increases the difficulty level, resulting in more rewards for victory. Failure, however, will come at a greater cost. Classic mode will also have branching paths available so that you can select which challenges you undertake in a run. Master Hand, the classic villain who has appeared throughout the Smash games, will typically serve as the final boss, but Sakarai hints at alternate challenges appearing if you raise the intensity.
There were also two more tracks added to the music section on this day. The Mega Man 2 Medley and the Bath Time Theme from Nintendogs are now available for your listening pleasure.
Spectate mode appears in both the Wii U and the 3DS version. Spectators will be able to wager Smash Coins (which is a purely in-game currency with no connection to actual money) on matches. Fighters will have win rates and odds attached to their names and both the first and second-place fighters in four-player matches will win prizes.
The Challenges screen is officially revealed for the first time. Each panel on the lower screen represents a challenge to complete in the game and completely a challenge will unlock new content for the game. However, the conditions of the challenges will be a mystery, but each challenge you complete will offer hints for all of the adjacent panels. If there is a challenge that you simply can’t seem to get done, there are Golden Hammers to collect that can instantly earn you the award locked behind the challenge. Golden Hammers can only be used once and there is a very limited number of them, so use them sparingly. The 3DS version has a small list of fairly easy challenges, but the Wii U version will offer even more difficult challenges.
This day also brought two more tracks to the music page. Try, Try Again from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Green Greens Ver. 2 from Kirby’s Dream Land are now available.
Here we have a look at the character customization options. Equipment affects your attack, defense, and speed stats, Specials changes your line-up of special moves, Headgear and Outfit change your appearance, and Powers looks to be power-ups used in Smash Run. The bottom-left also shows some special attributes for a character with positive ones being written in black and negative ones written in red. You can also test out your custom creation by pressing the R button or create a random character with the X button.
The Multi-Man mini-game returns for both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game. Mii Fighters now serve as your opponents in this game mode that pits you against a large wave of adversaries. The Mii Fighters faces will be taken from your own collection and they will all maintain creepy grins that make you want to beat their faces in even more (official statement from Sakarai).
However, that was only the beginning of the day’s announcements.
Nintendo held a surprise Japanese-only Direct on Friday morning that opened with a new character reveal for Smash. Shulk, the main character from Xenoblade Chronicles and the underdog loved by alleged leaks everywhere, joins the battle. Shulk is armed with five different Monado Arts that change his stats in the midst of battle. Jump Arts increases his jump height, but lowers his defenses. Speed Arts boosts his movement speed, but decreases his attack power. Shield Arts raises his defense, but slows his movement. Buster Arts deals more damage, but has less launching power. Finally, Smash Arts has the most launching power and serves as a powerful finishing state, but it comes at the cost of attack power and defense against being launched. His Monado blade also possesses a beam that extends its range. Shulk looks to be another unique addition to the roster. He also brings the Gaur Plains stage to both versions of the game which appears to be a large, wide-open stage with the villainous Metal Face appearing as a boss.
Oh, and his alternate costume has him in boxer shorts.
There were more announcements made on the official website and a new ad. Three new assists were announced on the website, including Dr. Kawashima (pictured above) from the Brain Age series as a new Assist Trophy. He will send numbers bouncing around the screen that explode when they collide to form a sum of ten. Fighters will be able to strike these numbers in midair to influence where they go. Giratina and Zoroark, who were hinted at in the Greninja trailer, were also officially revealed as Pokeball summons. Giratina uses Dragon Breath to push fighters off the stage, while Zoroark slashes across the screen with Fury Swipes.
A new Japanese ad for the 3DS version revealed some unannounced stages. Retro stages include Corneria, Yoshi’s Island (from Brawl), and Distant Planet. There were also Final Destination variants revealed for Spirit Train, Boxing Ring, 3D Land, Tomodachi Life, Living Room, Tortimer Island, Paper Mario, Pac-Maze, Rainbow Road, Reset Bomb Forest, and even the Corneria and Brinstar retro stages.
Yeeeeeeeeeeah… It looks like I was dead wrong about the leak last week. Not only does the official model for Shulk match the one that appeared in the leaked roster, but there were a number of other images released by the leaker that perfectly match official images and videos released later. The leak is looking pretty real right now. However, this doesn’t make the roster 100% final. The leaker showed an extremely bad attitude in all of his leaks and even admitted to lying about some of the information he gave out just to mess with people. I wouldn’t put it past the guy to have made one or two fake profile images for the sake of causing confusion. However, some of the characters he/she listed are guaranteed to be real as he also released gameplay footage onto Youtube. The videos have since been taken down by Nintendo, so you’ll have to trust me on this one. The videos showed off the now confirmed Shulk, the return of Ganondorf (whom Nintendo let slip is in the game with the promotional videos mentioned earlier. Go to the 56 second mark and take a close look at Pikachu’s panel), and the newcomer Bowser Jr. According to the leaked video, Bowser Jr. operates out of the Clown Copter first used by Bowser in the final battle of Super Mario World. The Copter is equipped with a number of wacky gadgets, including boxing gloves and a robotic tongue. If you prefer the other Koopalings, the leaker stated that Bowser Jr.’s alternate costumes will be of all the other Koopa Kids. Since the Copter handles most of the action, this isn’t an unreasonable possibility. There are also leaked images that show a trophy of Larry Koopa in the Copter to corroborate this. Again, there could be an elaborate amount of forgery involved in this leak, but I’m convinced that this one is real.
The wait is winding down quickly. There are only two more installments of Smash Up remaining, and that’s assuming Nintendo doesn’t just officially announce the full roster some time next week. This is your last chance to have your fighter of choice featured on the Character Prediction of the Week, so be sure to leave a comment below with who you want to see discussed. Check back next week for more on Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.