Written By: Steve Vegvari
When Nintendo revealed a teaser trailer for Smash Ultimate back in March, both competitive and casual players were awestruck. Forward to E3 2018’s Nintendo Direct and we got a whole half hour segment dedicated to Smash Ultimate. It was fitting that none other than Masahiro Sakurai walked us through all the details for the upcoming game.
The biggest takeaway was that every character featured in a Super Smash Bros. game would return. Each with modernized tweaks to give the mechanics a more balanced foundation. New characters, and even fan-favourite stages packed into one game. The Smash communities were very vocal about the whole announcement.
I took to speaking with longtime Smash player; Jestise “MVD” Negron to dive into his thoughts and get some in depth impressions on Smash Ultimate.
Q: To begin, can you give us a introduction to yourself and your eSports background?
A: My name Is Jestise Negron. I go by MVD, I’m a player for PandaGlobal. Playing Smash 4 specifically. I started competing in Smash with Brawl starting in March of 2009. It has been quite a while. I have always been playing Smash growing up, so I have played since Smash came out on the N64 back in 1999 when I was 7.
Q: What does it mean to you to have every Smash character back for Ultimate?
A: It is kind of amazing. It’s something I joked about saying “oh, what if they had everyone come back?!” That’s not something that is going to happen because of licensing issues and is difficult to get every character that has ever been in Smash. Sure enough, Nintendo made it happen and it is incredible.
Q: Is there a character from a previous game you’ve been itching to get your hands on again?
A: For me that’s Snake. 100%. I was a Snake main tried and true in Brawl and when he didn’t return for Smash 4, I was very disappointed and was kind of lost. I had no idea what I was going to do in that game because he wasn’t there. Now he’s back again and I couldn’t be more excited.
Q: Who do you currently main? Do you see yourself switching back to Snake?
A: Currently it is Diddy Kong. In a perfect world I’d play both of them. My heart is telling me to main Snake because that is the character I got into playing Smash competitively. It is very fitting that I would go back and play as him again.
Q: Sakurai went into detail about how a large number of characters have been tweaked, ie: Samus can now charge mid-air. What sort of implications will this have to the competitive space?
A: I think it opens up a lot of opportunity for characters that were not good enough, or maybe on the cusp of being good enough to be a viable competitive character. This may help put them over the edge. So I think it is really cool that a lot of the in-game mechanics allow other characters to thrive.
Q: As far as the eSports community is concerned, has the reception to the game been positive or negative from what we have seen so far?
A: I was at E3 and was a VIP guest from Nintendo so I got to play the game a lot. I was able to play the game with everyone who attended. The general consensus was that everyone was generally very happy with the game. Which is crazy because the game is still six months away, so nowhere near completion. So this “incomplete” game felt very polished and ran well to our surprise.
Q: Having hands-on experience with the game, did it feel more akin to Smash 4, or Brawl, etc.?
A: If I had to compare it to any other Smash game, it was the closest to Smash 4. However, there were many aspects to the game that felt like Brawl to me. It felt like Melee at times, it felt like Smash 4 at times. So the way I have been describing is that it took the best aspects of every Smash title (except for 64) and made it work all together.
It has every character, probably every stage returning, it will have the biggest soundtrack. Smash 4 had the biggest soundtrack, but this one will blow it out of the water. 65+ characters at the point, it is going to be crazy. It is so similar to every individual niche game and that is really cool.
I was talking to Zane, and he loved the game. Saying he was playing as Marth and was able to dash-dance like it was Melee. Whereas, I was a Smash 4 and Brawl player and dash-dancing did not mean that much to me. So just the fact I can control the game like Brawl is what appealed to me. There are so many little things that every player can love about the game.
Q: The inclusion of Ridley was something many fans were speculating leading to the reveal. Is Ridley a character you could see yourself playing? Or would you only use the character for research purposes to learn the move-set and find a defensive strategy?
A: I got to play around with Ridley. He seems very interesting. Pretty quick for someone his size. His damage output was very high, so was his kill potential. He seemed very fun and felt like he belonged. Which is something that was worrisome.
I’d only play as Ridley for research. Which is something I usually do. Typically, I play all of the viable characters in competitive play only to learn them to a certain extent. I don’t necessarily see myself as a Ridley main. I never played Metroid so I don’t have that attachment. It was a big deal when he was announced. People were very excited, but I was more excited for Snake.
Q: Where can readers keep up with you online?
For more on Smash Ultimate, keep it locked to Inside WorldGaming Network.
About The Author: Steve Vegvari
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.