With the popularity of the MultiVersus Closed Beta, we’ve been talking a lot about platformer fighters lately here at TheGamer. We touched on Nick Brawl’s nostalgic hype followed by its spectacular failure, while conjuring up a wishlist of potential characters for Warner Bros. orgy of intellectual property and the potential of its universes when applied to the genre. Turns out there’s a lot of untapped gold in those hills.
It was wonderful to see so much excitement surrounding a game that many of us assumed was underwhelming, but its clever progression system and surprisingly robust combat options helped MultiVersus carve out an effective place in the genre. . Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has also long since slipped out of the public mind, with fighter reveals and other DLC announcements ending months ago with no signs of a revival.
While I’m excited for MultiVersus’ upcoming launch, part of me misses the ongoing hype and anticipation that surrounded Nintendo’s crossover brawler. I wasn’t even much of a gamer, I only dipped in to play the single player campaign or fight with friends whenever we all felt like a quick session. I didn’t have a main hand, didn’t bother to learn a lot of mechanics, and I’d be the last person to be competitive on things. Still, there was excitement surrounding the game and its reveal of new characters that captivated me and millions of others. It wasn’t just news, it was a real event.
Character reveals would often tie into Nintendo Directs as a headline announcement, with a slick trailer airing alongside the fighter of a stream designed to specifically show what the fighter was and when it would be released. A revelation from Smash even opened the Game Awards a year. This was also all done at a steady cadence, with players able to speculate on a new character, get excited about their reveal, enjoy playing them, and repeat the cycle again. The best thing about all of this was how it could literally be anyone. While incredibly old-fashioned in so many of its ways, when it came to Smash, it seems like Nintendo was willing to partner with other publishers and even rival companies if it meant bringing them into the game. Sora was always considered an impossibility given the strict combination of Square Enix and Disney, but the demands for him were so monumental that Masahiro Sakurai made it work.
Speaking of Sakurai, the game director himself has become a lovable figure over the years due to his dedication to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Even with dozens of iconic characters calling the game home, he was still the face of it with his approachable attitude, goofy humor, and willingness to take it places we never could have expected. It was clear he was having fun presenting streams that explored each new character, with the laughs of his fellow developers coming off-camera as he cracked jokes. When the pandemic hit, we even caught a glimpse of his house, joining Sakurai alone as if he was our long-lost gamer dad who finally returned from the shop. I just hope that now that Smash has decided to call it a day, he’s taking some well-deserved rest. He deserved it.
Super Smash Bros. Reveals Ultimate is still unlike anything we’ve seen in the industry. Of course, we’re still rushing into a fever when huge press conferences and showcases happen, gathering to watch shows meant to reveal games we’ve been waiting years for. Smash was unique because of the speculation involved and how we spent months debating who would make the cut or relying on clearly bullshit theories to predict whether Master Chief would finally drop into Final Destination for a piece. Even now there is nothing else like it.
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The biggest game news for May 28, 2022