Impressions: Super Smash Bros (Switch) | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Impressions: Super Smash Bros (Switch)

Sam Nason, fan of the Wii U Super Smash Bros, gives us his impressions for the just announced Super Smash Bros for Nintendo Switch

Nintendo completely blindsided everybody by revealing Super Smash Bros was coming to the Nintendo Switch in their latest Nintendo Direct. The trailer saw two Inklings from Splatoon duking it out in what was a bait-and-switch, revealing the Smash logo just as fans were nervous the trailer was simply going to be new Splatoon content.

The trailer was very mysterious and secretive, revealing very limited concrete information about the upcoming titles. A few things we can infer from the teaser include the fact that the Splatoon Inklings look to be confirmed fighters (I imagine the boy and girl Inklings will be alternative skins and it will be very interesting to see their move set in action) and a load of characters are already implied to be returning from brief silhouettes shown at the end.

Other than that, the trailer gave no information; in many ways the confirmation of a Smash Bros game for Switch at all is a blessing, yet the lack of definitive information has left some people wondering whether the game is a port of Super Smash Bros for Wii U instead of a unique, isolated experience.

Speaking purely speculatively, I can see arguments for both sides. In terms of the Switch’s Smash Bros being a port, the Wii U game only came out roughly three years ago, a rather short amount of time to wait in-between instalments when you consider the time in development between Melee and Brawl, and then Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, both being six years. While it’s not completely inconceivable, such a (comparatively) short time between games makes one question whether the Switch is being given an enhanced port as opposed to a new title.

Another thing giving credence to this theory is its release window, that being 2018. Smash Bros games have had infamously long marketing cycles, progressively building fan hype as new fighters and stages are revealed to please the masses. For Smash Bros for Wii U, this was a year and a half, whereas the Switch game will see only a matter of months if it does indeed release this year. Again, while certainly not confirming it, the short marketing window seems a bit fishy for a Smash title.

My personal belief however is that Smash Bros for the Switch will be an entirely new game, and I really hope it is. A big piece of evidence in the teaser was the appearance of Link, not in his Twilight Princess attire like previous Smash games but instead dressed in his Breath of the Wild clothes. Maybe it’s my English degree talking, but we can infer from this updated Link that the Smash Bros experience will be entirely new and updated.

Also key to note is that the Direct website calls the game Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros (working title); if it were a port of the previous game it would most likely be called Super Smash Bros for Nintendo Switch to follow the theme of its predecessors - this intentional vagueness, to me at least, points towards the title being entirely new.

With the Switch’s online services looking to launch this autumn, a killer app will be needed for Nintendo to convince the masses their service is worth investing in. It would make sense then to release an all-new Smash experience to capitalise upon it as opposed to simply rereleasing the most popular online game for Wii U to what I imagine would be resounding disappointment.

It’s also worth mentioning Sakurai is behind the game, rather surprisingly since it was widely reported he was in great pain through the development of the Wii U version. Returning to his directing post after the last four previous Smash games, the fact there was no noted collaboration with Bandai Namco in the trailer (rather instrumental in the production of Smash Bros for Wii U) hints at the game being its own diverse entity as opposed to the previous instalment.

Alternatively it might also go a third way - like many fighting games released nowadays, it may be an enhanced version of the Wii U game but with a couple of new characters, some cosmetic and mechanical changes and a new wave of support.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions - will the DLC characters from Wii U make it in? How about Pacman and Mega-Man? Regardless of the answers and regardless of whatever the game is, one fact is clear. Smash Bros is coming to Nintendo Switch this year, and that is an extremely exciting prospect.

First Year English and Drama student, conquering one game at a time in between! (@samjnason)


11th March 2018 at 9:00 am

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