Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been out for just over a year. In this time it has gone through seven major updates, five of which added new characters, all of which are supposed to feel unique.
The first character introduced into the SSBU roster was Joker from Persona 5. Joker is a fast combo-based character with an interesting move set. His most notable moves are his up special, which can grab opponents out of the air, and his down special that acts as an untraditional counter. If Joker is hit whilst his down special is active, it will fill up Rebel’s Guard.
If Rebel’s Guard is filled up, Joker will summon his persona, Arsene. This will greatly increase his power and change some of his moves as well. I feel that Joker is an extremely fun character that has replaced Sheik in my switch from Wii U to Ultimate.
The next character was the most interesting to me: The Hero from the Dragon Quest series. They are my favorite characters from challenger pack one.
For context, Dragon Quest is a turn-based RPG. The Hero makes the transition from menus and turn-based combat into an almost always active fighting game.
The Hero can use twenty-one different moves for their down special. The down special pulls up a menu that can have four random moves from this pool. The Hero’s other unique trait is that, in typical RPG fashion, they can land critical hits.
The Hero is an extremely fun character to play, which brings a new aspect of luck into the game.
The third character was Banjo and Kazooie, and a lot of people are happy that they got in the game. I was happy until I saw their move set. Banjo and Kazooie are quite like in their own game, which is the issue.
They have a few moves that really deter me from liking them. Their side special Wonder Wing sends them forward at an extremely high speed. They are unable to take damage while it is active, only grabs can get them out of it.
Their neutral special is a relatively fast and projectile that doesn’t hinder movement all too much. They can just sort of use it and it applies pressure with ease. Their down special is similar, but it is a single egg grenade that bounces randomly because of its oblong shape.
Next is Terry Bogard from the Fatal Fury series. He is much like how he is in his own game. In Fatal Fury, there are command inputs. For example, quarter-circle forward meaning you do a quarter circle on the stick, then flick it forward—the way you are facing.
This translates into Ultimate where Terry can do a few special inputs to do more powerful moves. He also has a special feature where once he is past 100%—the damage taken in the Smash Bros series that caps at 99.9%— he gains access to new, stronger command inputs.
I think Terry is the best traditional fighting game character in Ultimate, but he’s still not my favorite by any means.
Finally, there is Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and they are the most controversial character in smash. Many non-Fire Emblem fans are upset there is an eighth Fire Emblem in Ultimate.
A lot of Fire Emblem fans, myself included, are upset about how Masahiro Sakurai—the main creator of the entire series—chose Byleth of all the interesting characters.
My opinion changed once I saw that Byleth was not just another sword fighter. They use four weapons, a sword, axe, lance, and bow. Each weapon is assigned to a direction. Up is the sword, down is the axe, side is the lance, and no direction is the bow.
I really enjoy how Byleth plays, they are the second most unique sword fighter, but at least it is not just another Marth.
Even though the fighter pass has ended, and some people are upset about its end and how they didn’t get their character, we should always remember that Sakurai and his team work hard to make the game that I, and many more love.