This was a decent week of updates, though not exactly what I was hoping for in one of the last weeks before the Japanese release. Still, there was some interesting information shared, particularly in regards to game modes available. All that and the final Character Prediction of the Week are available below.
Riki, a party member from Xenoblade Chronicles, appears as an Assist Trophy. He will unleash one of various random effects inspired by the arts he uses in Xenoblade Chronicles, including Happy Happy, Freezinate, and Yoink! How exactly these abilities will translate to Smash is currently unknown. On a side note, assist characters will now feature a cursor above their heads to indicate who they work for.
All-Star mode makes a return in the new Smash games. This mode pits you against the full line-up of characters appearing in the game in one go. The characters will appear in a set order based on their chronological debuts into gaming, with 1980’s Pac-Man being one of your first opponents and 2010’s Shulk being one of your last. There will be rest areas with limited supplies of healing items inbetween fights, but there will be no continues available if you lose all of your lives. Usually, this mode is only available after you’ve unlocked all of the characters, but it will be available right from the start this time around. You will fight against all of the characters that are currently available and any characters you unlock will be added to the mode. The padlock icon in the upper-right corner indicates that not all characters have been unlocked and that All-Star mode is incomplete.
As a side note, this update also shows promise for DLC characters appearing post-release. One of the big concerns regarding DLC characters was how they would affect All-Star mode since this mode previously could only be accessed after all characters were unlocked. While this doesn’t outright confirm that the games will have DLC, this dynamic All-Star mode is certainly a good sign.
The new Smash games will feature a total of eight alternate appearances for each character. Many will be simple palette swaps, as seen above with Samus, while some are detailed alternate costumes. Samus’ alternate colors seen above are based on (from right to left) her Varia Suit, Fusion Suit, Gravity Suit from Super Metroid, and Dark Suit. Her remaining alternate colors are based on the purple Gravity Suit from Metroid Prime, Light Suit, Dark Samus, and the green Samus that has been a staple of the Smash games. Below are the remaining Villager costumes. The Villager will have four male and four female variants, each with a unique face and outfit.
This day also brought with it some new music samples. Theme from Area 6/Missile Slipstream from Starfox 64/Starfox Command and Wrath of the Reset Bomb from Kid Icarus: Uprising are now available on the official music page.
Two alternative matches for Smash Run are discussed in detail. Along with typical battle royales, Smash Run matches can also end with fast-paced races such as the Run and Climb competitions. Run battles are footraces to the finish line. A character with high speed stats would seem like the natural winner, but the track is littered with hazards that will warp a runner backward if they make contact with them. Each so called ‘danger zone’ will vanish after a runner collides with one, giving the runners at the back a clear path to pull ahead. Climb works in a similar way, only with an upward race instead of a horizontal one. There may be other kinds of final battles appearing to close out matches of Smash Run.
The week ends with a closer look at the various game modes available under the ‘Games and More’ tab on the 3DS version. The screen above is what you will first see after clicking the tab, leading you into deeper options. Choosing the ‘Solo’ tab will take you to another screen with Classic, All-Star, Stadium, and Training modes. The Stadium contains the Multi-Man, Home-Run Contest, and Target Blast mini-games. Sadly, the Target Smash mini-game has been cut for the 3DS version, but it may still appear in the Wii U version. The ‘Group’ tab will contain many of the same modes with the addition of co-operative play. The ‘Custom’ tab is where you build custom characters. The ‘Vault’ will contain trophies, songs, and who knows what else.
The main theme from Tomodachi Life and the Super Mario 3D Land Theme/Beach Theme remix from Super Mario 3D Land were also released on the official music page.
Splatoon was a big surprise at this year’s E3 and the Inkling’s that appear in the colorful shooter are likely to become familiar faces in Nintendo’s line of mascots. They would certainly fit well in the cast of Smash, but I highly doubt that the game was in development early enough for the developers of Smash to even know about it, let alone consider its inclusion. The initial roster is certainly out, but, if there is post-release DLC, the Inklings would certainly be an easy choice. In human form, the Inkling could work as a ranged fighter similar to Mega Man and the Mii Gunner. The squid form would also allow for charging maneuvers that would allow the Inkling to move quickly around the stage. Being able to cover the stage in ink would also be a nice touch that references the game they originate from, but that would probably be too technically difficult to actually implement. Even still, the Inkling would make for a good addition to the roster as a fighter with a great deal of area control… It would just have to wait until after release.
Verdict: Maybe (As DLC)
Next week, the 3DS version of the game finally releases in Japan and the full roster of characters will be discovered before long. The next episode will be the finale and feature the complete roster of playable characters and stages available in the 3DS version. See you then.