Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Dead, Long Live Smash Ultimate
Kazuya was announced as the second-to-last DLC character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I wrote an article about the final piece DLC for the game. Admittedly, it was more pessimistic than most articles because I assumed the idea of one last piece DLC, with so many characters, would cause community infighting. People are often intolerant about which character they choose, and combining that with the final DLC piece seemed to lead to disaster.
The final fighter presentation is over. Sora from Kingdom Hearts was revealed, and Sakurai said his final goodbyes. This game and possibly a series that Sora Ltd has spent a lot of their lives and hearts into has been a very special one. The only issue with the announcement seems to be that Sora will join the game within a few weeks. However, the Switch ports of Kingdom Hearts are also being announced, but they are cloud-based versions of the downloadable games.
Everyone seems to be happy with the decision to choose Sora. Many players felt that Sora was the last major purchase for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Even though I don’t care much for Kingdom Hearts, I understand the importance Sora holds. Sakurai confirmed that Sora was taken from the House Adjacent to The House Of Mouse, a series that borrowed characters from a variety of sources.
It sounds like the last Super Smash Bros. Although the Ultimate presentation was a huge success, everyone is happy. However, for me, there’s still sadness. Although I don’t play Smash as much as others, I do occasionally log on to take out some batters while playing as Terry Bogard, Ganondorf, or Incineroar. I have never missed a fighter reveal since Ultimate was released.
Brawl was the first time Smash Bros. introduced guests characters such as Sonic The Hedgehog and Solid Snake. Although Smash 4 did not include Snake, the DLC campaign included Bayonetta and Ryu, and the main roster also featured Mega Man and Pac-Man. Fans thought Smash could not get any bigger at that point, but Ultimate proved them wrong.
Ultimate was initially announced as a “back to square one” moment. Many beloved characters were unfortunately removed from the series due to licensing issues. Ultimate felt different when the words “EVERYONE is HERE” appeared on the screen in front of Solid Snake. Smash Bros. was born by bringing back every character for one big rumble. Ultimate lived up to its title.
Combining that energy with Fighters Pass, which promised additional DLC characters, made each reveal feel transcendental. “Everyone is there,” but there are more, creating a feeling of “anyone’s next” that made the entire thing sound like Goldberg in the 90s. Why wasn’t he a guest actor? Sakurai, you missed a trick.
The presentation of a new fighter was an opportunity for gamers to get together and discover what new communities would emerge. We’d sometimes be blown away by entries like Minecraft’s Steve and Banjo-Kazooie, which feel like they are breaking new ground in gaming company relations and partnerships. These entries offer a chance to learn about aspects of gaming history that Smash fans may not be able to see, such as Terry from SNK or Kazuya Mishima from Tekken. You’d also get a Fire Emblem-themed character that would leave people scratching their heads.
The final Smash Bros. The Ultimate character has been revealed, and the massive, collaborative events have ended, the gaming landscape is darker. The flame that was Smash Bros.’s logo was literally extinguished at the Sora reveal. This is not just me speaking in a flowery, wacky way. There is a real sense right now that Super Smash Bros. will be the last game of its kind. Ultimate. Its follow-up was not as good, which is sad.
Fortnite’s additions of guest characters or collaborations to skins feel almost random. It’s almost as though the creative team decided that Tom Hardy’s Venom version should be included in a game. Rick Sanchez, You can be mauled by The Predator. There is no rhyme or reason. Culture is just culture. Super Smash Bros. Sakurai will give you full-blown history lessons and presentations on Ultimate characters to help you understand why that character is important. It feels like a labor of love and not just a shaming cash-in.
Consider that Smash Bros. Ultimate is still available and the Nintendo Switch is a highly successful console, so Ultimate won’t be leaving the game. Ultimate will continue to have a long history thanks to the online and competitive gaming scene. But, many years later, we will see that Ultimate’s servers have been deactivated. This will end any online play of the game.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s existence is almost a case of “don’t be sad it’s over, just be glad it happened”, a few games have been as successful for so many people as Ultimate. It’s unclear where the series will go from here. If it ever goes anywhere, it’s anyone’s guess. But for now, let us celebrate the fact that it exists.