Super Smash Bros. is a crossover fighting game series created by Masahiro Sakurai and published by Nintendo in which players can go toe-to-toe in battles as some of the most iconic video games characters of all time.
It has been three and a half years since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the fifth installment of the series, was first revealed on March 8th, 2018. In June, during E3, an event where game developers show off and advertise their various upcoming games, it was announced that the game would include every single fighter to ever appear in the Super Smash Bros. series. I started my high school career at Whitman as a freshman in September of 2018. In November, the trailer for the game’s story mode, World of Light, was released with incredible potential. And then, on December 7th, the game was released. Since then, even more popular characters have been announced for the game as additional downloadable content (DLC) that you can purchase if you like, putting the total number of playable characters at 89—more than any other fighting game to date. This game has grown alongside me in high school. And now, it’s finally over.
Well, kind of. The game is still going strong. But just recently, on October 5th, the last new DLC character was revealed—Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series.
The Kingdom Hearts franchise is beloved and nostalgic to many. The first game in the series was released on March 28th, 2002 in a joint effort by Disney and Square Enix, a AAA video game development company. Since then 13 games have been released, although only three of them are part of the core series. However, all of these games have given the plot of Kingdom Hearts a reputation for being quite complicated and require that you play the majority of the games to understand it. This has scared many people away from attempting to experience the game, including myself, but the game series still has quite the large fan base regardless—large enough to the point that Sora has repeatedly been the most requested character to be added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in Nintendo’s official polls (the results of which were kept secret until Sora was revealed).
When asked for his opinion on the new fighter, despite not knowing the character too well, senior James Steigerwald commented, “Well considering he was the most requested character, I think it’s great to end on. And honestly, it’s really refreshing to see a character that doesn’t have these crazy gimmicks or inputs for a million moves. He just looks normal which I really like.”
For context about Steigerwald’s last statement, every single DLC pack character so far (there’s been 10 others), has had some kind of gimmicky mechanic to their gameplay that tends to give them the advantage and makes them stronger than the rest of the cast. Many players appreciate this since they had to pay extra money for the DLC but some players also are getting sick of the new characters being ridiculously powerful.
Senior Ryan Rowe has been a major fan of Kingdom Hearts for a while and had a lot to say about Sora: “I think Sora is very fitting as the end. Of course, I am biased. I love Sora. He’s one of my top two characters to join Ultimate. But I feel he was still such a perfect candidate. His reveal trailer felt like an end of an era, and Sora, a character all about ‘light,’ brought it back to Smash even though its era is ending. The fact that he also won the Smash Ballot all those years ago just makes it more perfect that the intent of the ballot finally came through. And all of this came through with Disney owning the rights to Sora somewhat. Now, for his moves, I like them. He’s unique but not seemingly overpowered like the rest of the DLC. He honestly seems like he isn’t a DLC character. Maybe at least in some ways, I think this character has existed for a while, Sakurai just waited until the end for him to be revealed. His offstage prowess is very strong but with some seemingly slow moves. I don’t think he’s that good, but he isn’t bad.”
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s cast of characters may be finalized but the game’s popularity is still immense. While we won’t ever experience the euphoria of a new character being revealed again, there are still many memories left to be made with the game and the series as a whole.