Tuesday, September 22, 2020

How the Fans Created Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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Adam Chmielewski
Adam Chmielewski is the latest Mid-Western transplant to take up residence in the City Of Angels. Aside from contributing to Nerdbot, he’s writing screenplays for film and television. Just like everyone else in Los Angeles.

 

On August 8th 2018, news exploded on the internet that a new mode of game play was coming to Super Smash Bros. Gamerant.com reported that Nintendo hosted a Nintendo Direct presentation for the upcoming Switch-exclusive fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that revealed plenty of exciting new details. Fans seemed most hyped about the new fighters that were announced, like King K. Rool from Donkey Kong Country and some Castlevania fighters, and as it turns out, there are even more character reveals on the way.

Too bad Nintendo wasn’t the first one to create that excellent Ultimate mode.

That’s right; we, the fans, did it first. Well, specifically me.

I created Smashdown: the brand new mode revealed in August’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-specific Nintendo Direct. If you have a hard time believing this statement, don’t worry, there’s proof. In a video dated May 29, 2018, I detail the very concept of eliminating an entire roster of characters as you defeat them in multiplayer battles and forcing players to expand their “maining” repertoire.

Project M came close with its innovative inclusion of “All Star Versus Mode” where you choose a group of characters and they are swapped out between each stock. Somehow, Project M‘s “All Star Versus Mode” also found itself being announced in the August 8th presentation under the guise of Squad Strike mode.

The inclusion of these modes into an official release of Smash Bros. shows a specific intent by the devs to keep players from going elsewhere for their Smash needs. Smash Bros. has always been a fun series, but with any and every game, there is an expiration date for a person’s interest. This seemed especially true when looking at Smash 4′s lack of single-player modes or post-game content. When it comes to modes and customization, Smash 4 is unfortunately very shallow.

The near-perfect gameplay and expansive roster of 50+ characters was just enough to keep me playing a few rounds a day for an entire Presidential term. In an effort to keep my attention even more focused on Smash 4, my friends and I would come up with meta challenges where we would have to choose characters that we were not comfortable using yet.

Hence, Smashdown was created. Except I had a less sexy name for it: Character Elimination with Shared Pool.

Unfortunately for game director Masahiro Sakurai, my friends and I were only a handful of players left dedicated to playing Smash 4. The truth is that the majority of Smash Bros. players are locked into modding their copies of Super Smash Bros. Melee (a game that was released in 2001) and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (which they modded to work like Melee). Because it’s easier to mod older games than newer ones, modding for Smash 4 is mostly limited to new skins. With mods like Project M or Smash Bros. Legacy, which provided an endless stream of high quality user-created content, Smash 4 has been mostly ignored by the fanbase.

Daisy (the echo fighter) and Ridley, two characters that were first revealed during this year’s E3, have been staples in these notorious modpacks. Dracula’s Castle, a stage that was created by fans and also included in these mods, somehow found its way into Super Smash Bros Ultimate.

It is without question that the dev team behind Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is deadset on earning the game’s subtitle, with an admirable attempt at trying to re-focus the community into sticking to an official version of their game. The Smash Bros. Ultimate team has gone above and beyond to give the players what they really want or even need to hold on to this release indefinitely. At this point, it’s clear that Sakurai has no doubt tried Project M. He has no doubt been listening to its fans, adding previously far-fetched character inclusions such as Simon Belmont, Solid Snake, King K. Rool and Ridley.

Modders have their work cut out for them. With all this content available to anyone purchasing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there is nary a reason to even bother with modding. Unless of course it’s to make Waluigi or Bomberman playable…

Whether or not Masahiro Sakurai was one of the 60 views this lame video I posted on YouTube, it is clear that he is listening to us and he is going out of his way to make sure that this game lasts us a good long time.

 

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