At a Dutch event, we got to try all the characters we could muster!
At a local event this past Sunday, I got my hands on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's full roster. This event, which took place in the Netherlands, was packed with people ready to experience everything Smash. During my dozens of matches, I played with every new character that wasn't in the E3 build. This mostly came down to focusing on completely new fighting styles as well as seeing what these new additions bring to the table.
For starters, let's talk about King K. Rool. The big bad croc from Donkey Kong Country is very exciting, though I wasn't sure how well he would play. Yes, obviously he is a bulky character that slowly moves around the stage. That being said, his moves are in a class of their own. His up air is fantastic for avoiding attacks as he flies high and dry. Another element I was really enthralled by was his shield. By timing this correctly, the attacks would bounce back from his belly. It takes a little bit of practice to nail down, but the results are incredibly useful when you get it. Naturally, the details are what make this character special. King K. Rool can throw his crown, fire his gun and move around in his amusing manner. This is easily my favorite villain in Super Smash Bros. and one I can't wait to play more.
Another fun newcomer is Isabelle. In the grand scheme of things, Isabelle is a tricky character that has a learning curve. Make no mistake, it is easy to dismiss her from a glance. The thing that stayed with me was ''distance''. The helping hand of mayor requires space for her attacks, something I slightly overlooked before. The Fishing Rod is a great example of this. With Isabelle's side B in tow, you can reel in the opposition and send them packing. I found this incredibly enjoyable, and it was literally how I opened every match with her. Another thing that I loved was seeing the Party Popper appear when doing simple Smash attacks. It maintains her propensity towards having and maintaining space. When your opponents get too close for your liking, Isabelle can fly up on a balloon swing!
Moving on, Incineroar took the most adjusting for me. The fire Pokémon is faster than I imagined, which is both a positive and a negative. Personally I'm better with just flinging moves around, which isn't what you're getting with this cool cat. His wrestling maneuvers require a certain timing, which is unlike anything I've seen so far. His Side B, where you can fling opponents into the ropes, requires multiple presses to get the right result. If you take your time, however, the mileage is really worth it. The Side B can be done from any height, ensuring that your opponents are never truly safe. Add this to the Up B attack, which sees you flinging Incineroar up into the air and following up with a diagonal kick back to earth. This can easily go awry, but once you string a bunch of moves together, you get some of flashest moves found in Smash.
The last true newcomer is Simon/Richter. As a big Rondo of Blood fan, I went for the latter choice. Now I have to admit that I played only one match with him, and the match didn't really go that hot. However, I was able to figure out the things that make the Belmonts tick. Richter mostly attacked from a distance with the whip as his primary weapon. The reach was quite excellent, and it proved very useful to stop projectiles. The Holy Water is great to stop opponents in their tracks and close in on them for some quick Smash attacks. It requires some thinking on the fly, which I will get the hang of with more time. All of Richter's attacks felt really punishing, and it helped me to stay close at the very least.
Next to the brand new characters, I also toyed around with the Echo Fighters for a match or two. My favorite of the bunch is Chrom. In the grand scheme of things, he certainly isn't very different from Roy, but he moves a tiny bit faster, which I like here. Roy has always been known for quick, hard-hitting sword attacks and Chrom underscores those perfectly. While I do feel that Chrom has more of a pivot, I need to play more to be 100% on that. Another character that left somewhat of an impression is Daisy. Her standard Smash attacks see Daisy pull out a golf club and her Side B attack is hilariously animated. In addition, just like Peach, the orange clad princess has a great recovery to boot.
All and all, I really enjoyed my time with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The variety of characters present is definitely promising, and I can't wait to experience how many favorites have evolved. While I still have a few questions, I am more than happy with all the new elements I got to uncover. King K. Rool and Isabelle, in particular, are two characters I could totally see myself dedicating more time to. In the coming weeks, I'm sure that I will see more of this game and know where I ultimately land. Until then, I'm just counting down the days!