Nintendo has announced that a Super Smash Bros. title will be on the Wii U, but the internet is torn on what this really means.
For the uninitiated, Nintendo as a company holds live streamed press conferences to announce new updates to their games, new launches and general announcements one may need to know about games coming out. This is done in an attempt to control reactions in a more positive way and offer exactly the amount of information they want to share to avoid giving out any specific pieces of information early on.
The most recent Nintendo Direct was going normally until, seemingly out of nowhere, they teased Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo Switch. This game is being shrouded in mystery and was plainly labeled to be coming out this year, which would make it the only time that Nintendo has both announced and launched a Smash Bros. title in the same year. With this information however, many fans of the franchise are torn.
Is this a brand new Super Smash Brothers game, or is it a port of the most recent entry to the franchise. A port refers to releasing a game to a console it did not officially launch on. Generally, this is the less favourable outcome for many fans as they seem to be hoping for a new title to the series. There are many variables to look at when discerning the status of the game as either a new game or a port, and it is important to remember that there is no right answer until Nintendo gives their fans one. However, there are still some clues worth looking at.
Firstly, the presentation. This game has a trailer that is incredibly similar to first trailers for other Smash Bros. titles. The format is fairly simple. Nintendo shows off a new character that the audience does not yet know joining the ever expanding roster. Second, the Smash Bros. logo is revealed and the main cast is teased, and finally a release date. This is followed to a T by this teaser and the teaser for the most recently released game in the franchise: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
The second piece of evidence worth examining are the two returning characters we see in any amount of detail. These are Mario and Link, two of Nintendo’s most iconic representatives. They are both in their outfits from their most recent titles (also released on the Nintendo Switch) and not in the outfits they have in the previous Smash Bros game. It is especially noticeable with Link as his entire outfit has changed.
Smash Bros. has always had a sort of recurring character with a few originals. These characters like Yoshi, Fox, Link, Mario and Pikachu have always had the same general moves for fans of older games will feel familiar. However, that may be changing. While no game play was shown in the trailer, Link’s appearance is incredibly telling.
Link in his newest game, Breath of the Wild is fairly unique to other interpretations of the character. In every other Smash Bros. title, Link has used a myriad of weapons, two of which are a boomerang and a grappling hook. However, in Breath of the Wild Link does not use either of these weapons. This means for the first time in the Series’ long-running history they’d have to change the moves of one of the original characters. This points much more towards the game becoming something of a redefinition of existing Smash Bros. rules and as such, does not seem like it would be a remake of the older game in the franchise.
While the brief teaser doesn’t give us much to look at in order to prove it is a new game, it most certainly shows a stark difference in how Nintendo has handled its ports in the past. It is being shrouded in questions, mysteries and overall a large amount of excitement. If this is a new game, Nintendo projection of selling over 20 million units of the Nintendo Switch just might be accurate after all.