Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters, release date and what else is in store for the Nintendo Switch brawler roster!
At this year’s Fan Expo in Toronto, I had the privilege of interviewing Andrew Collins, Communications Manager at Nintendo Canada, about their highly anticipated upcoming fighter, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This chat took place during Nintendo’s ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate VIP Preview’, an exclusive after-hours hands-on media preview event. From the game’s ever expanding roster, to the proper pronunciation of King K. Rool, we covered quite a lot of ground. Read on as we dive deep into one of this season’s hottest Nintendo Switch games!
Paul Hunter: Nintendo of Canada has had a big presence at Fan Expo for years now, why are events like these important for NoC?
Andrew Collins: It’s for the fans. This is a great opportunity for everyone who loves Nintendo, and the games, particularly games like Super Smash Bros. Fan Expo is either the third or fourth largest gaming event in North America. You hear so much about Comic-Con, but this is bigger. This is a lot bigger.
Paul: Wow, I didn’t know that.
Andrew: And not many people do. There’s going to be 130,000 people through the doors for Fan Expo. So for us to the have the opportunity to bring all the games here, and let that many fans play the games, it’s unmissable from a business perspective but also from our core perspective of bringing smiles to people’s faces.
Paul: Let’s talk about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, this is the main attraction here in Nintendo’s Fan Expo booth. From what I’ve heard so far there are 67 characters, and over 100 stages.
Andrew: I believe it was 103 stages in the last Nintendo Direct.
Paul: That’s amazing. So is this the most ambitious game Nintendo has ever undertaken?
Andrew: That’s an interesting question. You probably have to say it’s the most ambitious Smash game ever. I can’t talk for the others, I imagine Super Mario games are pretty ambitious. But the game itself is huge. When I was learning about the game before E3, I remember most them saying ‘so there’s not going to be any more arguments about why isn’t this character from Melee or this one from Brawl in the game?’ We’ve got every one of them. I can’t think of another game that’s done it with their roster. Day one they’re all going to be there in Ultimate.
Paul: Not only is every previous character in Ultimate, but Nintendo is going one step further. New characters like the Inklings, Ridley, and King K. Rool have also been announced. What drove Nintendo’s ambition to not only give Smash fans the ‘ultimate’ entry featuring all past characters, but to give them even more?
Andrew: It’s always important for us to create the absolute best game possible, and the best experience of the game. What I mean by that is I know, as a gamer, how exciting it was when it was my turn to be told what Nintendo Switch is. I went into that room and I’d had never seen it, and I had this great ‘oh wow, that’s what it is’ moment. You hold it, you feel it, and you understand how it works. And that’s what we’re trying to do with Smash Ultimate, maintain that high level of excitement. We love having these special moments like the Smash Direct we had a few weeks ago to build fan anticipation. We’re always thinking ‘how can Ultimate be even more ultimate?’
Paul: Well, I know I jumped out of my seat when Simon Belmont was announced. I love Castlevania.
Andrew: Yeah, and that is a beautiful looking stage. What about the other character that was announced at the end of that trailer?
Paul: Do you mean K. Rool? [Note: I pronounced it ‘cruel’]
Andrew: Yeah, that’s the one I was talking about. I wanted to hear how you said his name because we’re still trying to figure it out. Is it ‘Krool’ or ‘Kay-Rool’ or ‘Ka-Rool’?
Paul: What do you think his name is?
Andrew: I’m thinking Ka-Rool, there needs to be more research on it though. [laughs]
Paul: How important overall is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to Nintendo, and Nintendo Switch this holiday season?
Andrew: I think with any of our key titles, like this year we’ve got the Pokémon Let’s Go! games, we’ve also got Smash, and last year we had Odyssey, they’re all very important to Nintendo. Important from a business perspective, but also from a fan perspective as they’ve got such huge fan bases. It would be remiss for us not to present the games fans want to play, and the response has been tremendous. For example, we expected a certain number of guests tonight, and we’re at double the number of people. We didn’t expect everyone to say ‘yes’ to our invite. That talks perfectly about where Smash is in the gamer’s heart.
Paul: Did you see the video inside the Nintendo World Store in New York when Smash Ultimate was announced? Everyone went nuts, it looked like one super fan even passed out.
Andrew: Yeah, it was like they put pogo sticks on everyone. Also, when Ridley was announced you just got this huge singular moment of everyone inside the store chanting ‘Not too big! Not too big!” You know the history, Ridley was going to appear in previous games but it didn’t work, he was too big. Now he’s not too big. That’s one of those great moment that makes us feel like we’re doing the right thing for the fans.
Paul: I saw that Nintendo announced a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Pro Controller and a Steelbook Edition of the game. What’s been the fan’s reaction so far to these announcements?
Andrew: Oh, really positive! Smash is one of those games where you feel like you really want to celebrate it. We all know the Pro Controller is such a fantastic-feeling and operating controller. So why not have it dressed up like Smash? With the Steelbook, you have your game shelf, then you have the shelf above it for ‘these are my favourites’. You put the Steel Book out there, it’s going on the top shelf.
Paul: Most definitely, that’s where I keep my amiibo too. Thank you so much for your time tonight, Andrew!
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is releasing on December 7, 2018, exclusively for Nintendo Switch. Preorder your copy of the game today!