Persona 5's Joker to bring Smash Ultimate mayhem
After a long and uncertain wait, Nintendo fans got the news they had been desperately hoping for as the latest addition to the Smash Bros Ultimate roster had their released date confirmed. The Joker, of the Batman Universe via Persona 5, will join the battle and his inclusion seems set to create almost as much mayhem as the Heath Ledger version did, albeit in lower resolution on a smaller screen.
Joker Smash UK release date: April 18th 2019
You can watch the entire 3.0 update video above, complete with totally-not-awkward voiceovers, which Nintendo have become masters of. It may or may not be a conscious decision to make the new Smash a little less polished, or at least more idiosyncratic, but a lot of the cinematics and music for Ultimate have followed this path, most notably the stilted and somewhat naff introduction/theme song that opens the game itself.
That matters not to Nintendo fans, and the pro scene alike as they reacted to the sudden drop of a new character to explore. In world where big publishers like Ubisoft spend months teasing a new addition to Rainbow Six, it is refreshing to see Nintendo just say ‘here you go’ and gift their loyal customers (you have to pay for the DLC) a nice surprise out of the blue, even if the cinematics are about as cool as an Alan Partridge mix tape.
Setting the stage
Of course, those cinematics are such a tiny part of the game, and generally watched once, if at all by players, but the moveset of the character is far more relevant to our beautiful readers, that much we are sure of. Eqully exciting to casual and competitive fans alike is another new feature, a stage builder, which will allow players to create their own battlegrounds in game, as the name would obviously suggest.
This has the potential to improve the experience for the casual player, but also the competitive scene, as the debate over how many ‘balanced’ stages there are will die in the face of the ability to create infinite numbers of new playgrounds for the players. Whether or not that will actually come to fruition remains to be seen, as this is not the first Smash with a stage builder included, and previous communities haven’t bothered to utilise that tool for competitive play.
Reactions from the professional scene were largely positive, as you can see above, and Tempo Storm streamer and Smash 4 legend ZeRo was just as hyped about the new addition, as you’d expect from a man who spends half his life playing Ultimate online. The animations and outfits Nintendo teased for the new character look sharp and stylish, and fit nicely with the Persona 5 artstyle without seeming incongruous when included in the Smash Bros Universe.
With the character coming out in a matter of hours, it’s a case of waiting to see if it lives up to expectations, but so far Nintendo have done a decent job of not breaking their game with the DLC they release. The same was not true for Smash 4, and the improvement shows a growing understanding of how to manage fan expectations from a company that has long viewed competitive play as a dirty secret, rather than a thing to be celebrated.