Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai unveiled the release window during today’s Nintendo Direct presentation. For fans of the series, like myself, spending 40 minutes with Mr. Sakurai was an absolute treat. And for those who have not yet been sucked in by “Smash!” there are several nuggets that should have you excited. First and foremost, Smash Bros. will be released for both the 3DS and Wii U. It appears the team at Nintendo are doing their best to make these two games very similar. For instance, both games will feature the same core stages (stages form past games will vary between consoles) and each stage will have 2 music tracks. Moreover, both games will feature the same characters and online multiplayer. This is where most of my attention went as I love to play Smash Bros. competitively.
The multiplayer experience will have two paths: Fun or Glory. As the names infer, the Fun mode will be to play casually while the Glory mode will be ranked. Nintendo made note that online play will be monitored closely to ensure it’s fun and not a bully-fest. Some of the things that will get you band include: starting and not playing, relentless targeting of an individual, repeated self-destructs, and frequent dropping.
Nintendo also announced that there will be no characters that switch movesets mid-match. That means no Samus/Zero Suit Samus or Zelda/Sheik combos, and presumably no Pokemon Trainer as well. Instead, Zero Suit Samus and Sheik have been revealed as their own individual characters. Also, two new Pokemon fighters were announced: Charizard and Greninja. That’s four (somewhat) new characters confirmed in this one Nintendo Direct.
My biggest takeaway is the fidelity. The characters will be moving at 60 FPS and support stereoscopic 3D. Today’s video showed several great stages and they all looked beautiful: Spirit Train, 3D Land, Rainbow Road, Balloon Fight, and Windy Hill from Sonic the Hedgehog. On a less exciting note, Nintendo recommends playing the Wii U version with an option LAN adapter.
You can find the 3DS version in stores the summer while the Wii U version is slated for a winter release.
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