Why I Am Excited for Spirits Mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's newly unveiled Spirits Mode has many of the series' fans skeptical: however, I couldn't be more excited to try it out.
To the dismay of many, Nintendo announced the rumored Spirits Mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate during the game’s final pre-launch Nintendo Direct last week. The new game is doing away with Trophies, which are collectible items that have been found in every game in the series since Super Smash Bros. Melee, and are sort of reintroducing them as “Spirits.” On top of that, this new mode looks like it will be taking over Event Mode as well.
I can see why some Smash fans are a little skeptical of these radical changes: Trophies and Event Mode have been some fan favorites throughout the years in Smash Bros games. Now they are just doing away with them? Yes, change can sometimes be met with doubts and suspicion. However, just like how I was skeptical about ordering the Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich the first time rather than my normal Whataburger with cheese, I believe Spirits Mode will win over many skeptics as well.
To start, let’s break down Spirits Mode a little bit first. Spirits Mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features cameos from characters from other games and franchises, outside of the game’s playable character roster. In the video, we got a glimpse at Kaz from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Zero from Mega Man X, and a whole lot more being featured. Essentially, Spirits will allow players to simulate battles against these characters. A couple of examples shown were Lakitu, where you will defeat Iggy Koopa with three adorably tiny Bowsers to replicate a spiked Koopa, or fighting Chrom to simulate Owain from Fire Emblem: Awakening. Well, when I put it that way, a lot of this will be left up to your imagination.
Once you defeat your opponent, you will have the opportunity to acquire the Spirit which gives you certain stat boosts based on that Spirit’s power. There are four different tiers of power: novice, advanced, ace, and legend. There are also primary and support Spirits. Primary ones may be equipped to your fighter and that Spirit’s strength will combine with yours. As for support Spirits, those are equipped to the primary Spirits to provide more skills.
I could go on and on about mixing and matching different stats but, essentially, what you are left with in Spirits Mode is a sort of Super Event Mode: there is legitimately nothing out of reach. Yes, there might be a lot of imagination involved on the player’s part. However, isn’t that a lot of what Super Smash Bros. is anyway? As noted in the Direct, the first game featured characters as toys in the real world, but are fighters in the world of imagination.
As a huge proponent of Event Mode in the last few Super Smash Bros games, I couldn’t be more excited. Just imagine all the endless possibilities there are for different battles: we got a glimpse at a Guts Man battle that featured a giant Mega Man who favored grabs and throws rather than other combat maneuvers. There was Hal Emmerick from the Metal Gear Solid series played by Dr. Mario, and would try to avoid combat at all costs while being protected by R.O.B. We even saw a Spirit fight with a Giant Bullet Bill where a bunch of Captain Falcons won’t stop launching Bullet Bills at you. With the vast amount of characters featured in this rendition of Smash, since Spirits features cameos from many different titles, we may be looking at thousands of different possibilities. As a big Nintendo fan for most of my life, I can’t wait to see the huge cast of cameo characters that they have brought in to the game.
Now I totally get why some people might be disappointed in this announcement. Trophies have been an institution in the Smash titles for quite some time now: even I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little disappointed that they were gone. However, when thinking back on it, at most I would take a quick glance at them and never go back.
Plus, are we just going to overlook the insanely repetitive Trophy Rush mini-game that was in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U? I get that we love Trophies and all, but using Donkey Kong to smash the ground while I just rake in points to collect Trophies or just hoping you will get random Trophy drops certainly isn’t anything you could consider “fun.” If you aren’t excited for Spirits Mode, then at least it involves the main attraction of Smash rather than a boring mini-game.
On top of getting rid of Trophies, another reason I have seen many fans get upset over this mode is the system they have built for it. I can absolutely agree that Nintendo didn’t do that great of a job of introducing the new mode during the Nintendo Direct, and they cluttered it with a bunch of information being thrown at you in rapid succession. I’ve found that The Big N has never been that great at explaining things at reveals like this: it is either way too much information or too little. I think you can go with way too much this time around: I mean, they explained how to adjust the brightness of the screen in the Smash Direct. I am pretty sure that is something that doesn’t need to be mentioned.
I can also agree that this could possibly turn into a gacha game while trying to collect all of the Spirits. Players can trade in Spirits for “cores” which then allows them to summon new Spirits. There has been no mention of using real-world currency being used to buy more cores, and I do hope it stays that way.
Personally, I am just excited to slowly carving away at the vast amount of characters in Spirits mode and to try to collect them all. I felt like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was the best game in the series in terms of mechanics, but I always thought that it was missing out on some single-player content: it came out during my freshmen year of college, so I always had others to play with. Now that I have moved away and started my career, I can’t just burst into all of my roommates’ rooms and throw a GameCube controller at their face. I technically could do that with my girlfriend right now, but I am pretty sure she wouldn’t appreciate that very much.
While Spirits has had some negative press the last few weeks since its announcement, I am willing to bet that fans will look favorably on it when they finally get their hands on it.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to release in less than a month for Nintendo Switch on December 7th, 2018. If you have yet to pre-order a copy of the game before it arrives this holiday season, you can do that right now over on Amazon.
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