Written By: Steve Vegvari
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has released its second downloadable fighter. As part of the Fighter Pass, five new fighters, stages, and songs will be arriving in the game. The first, Piranha Plant, was exempt from the Fighter Pass and instead was a DLC bonus for those that pre-ordered the game.
The first official fighter as part of the Fighter Pass is Persona’s Joker. Originating from SEGA Atlus’ Persona 5, Joker, otherwise known in the series as Ren Amamiya, is a high school student and leader of the Phantom Thieves. He became available to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players on April 17th. Joker is now listed as fighter #71, joining the giant roster of characters.
If you have purchased the Fighter Pass and have been thinking about trying Joker out or contemplating purchasing the Fighter Pass in the future, we’ll go over Joker’s specials and discuss his pros and cons.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Joker takes a fair bit of getting used to. He is a light-medium weight fighter and excels when using combos or in the latter half of the match when he uses his Persona Arsene. Joker has a Rebellion Guage, which fills up over time. Rebel Guard, which is Joker’s down special, will help fill the gauge more quickly. With his Persona activated, each of his specials is improved and changed slightly.
Joker’s neutral special is Gun or Gun Special. Joker will use his gun in a similar fashion as Bayonetta. Using Gun will deal a small 5% base damage, but the percentage drops depending on how far his opponent is. Gun will also cause knockback on opponents in close range.
When Arsene is activated, Gun Special becomes Joker’s neutral and deals an additional point of damage. The difference is instead of one bullet firing at a time, three bullets are shot in a spread shot. Joker is able to dodge in between shots by tilting the stick. You can also hold down the fire button for continuous shots.
Eiha is Joker’s side special. The move is quite lacklustre in its base state. Dark projectiles are sent out with a minimal area of effect. Eiha, thankfully, ends up doing more damage over time upon hitting an enemy. However, the effects are still not optimal. As Joker activates Arsene, Eiha becomes Eiagon and the damage output becomes a lot better. Multiple projectiles will be sent out and the AoE is much wider.
Next up is Joker’s up special, Grappling Hook and Wings of Rebellion. In his base state, Joker has a grappling hook that not only works as his recovery but also allows him to grab opponents. Grappling Hook is an angled shot so it may take some getting used to, especially when recovering. As Joker pulls enemies in, he can knock them back with 11% damage.
Once Arsene is activated, Wing of Rebellion becomes Joker’s up special and works quite differently. Wings of Rebellion will grant you the ability to fly upwards or at an angle. Instead of having any offensive capabilities, Wings of Rebellion is simply a great measure of recovery.
We previously mentioned Joker’s down special, Rebel Guard. The move is Joker’s secondary defensive measure and it grants him the ability to fill his Rebellion Gauge quicker. When using the Rebel Guard, any damage inflicted is reduced by .4x. Joker will also swat away nearby enemies when the move is completed.
Once his Rebellion Guage is full and his Persona is activated, Rebel Guard becomes Tetrakarn and Makarakarn. Tetrakarn will reflect melee attacks while Makarakarn deflects projectiles. Due to their effectiveness, Joker becomes a very strong defensive fighter when using his down special.
Onto the Final Smash. Upon activation of All Out Attack, Joker will lunge across the stage. Any opponents caught in this attack will be brought to the Smash screen, where three other Phantom Thieves appear and begin to put the beat down on the fighters. Persona fans are in for a treat as the animation during All Out Attack is incredible. Persona characters such as Morgana, Ryuji, and Haru appear by Joker’s side during his Final Smash.
Joker is swift and fairly lightweight. Enough so that his ability to dodge and jump over opponents easily makes him one of the more agile fighters. Unfortunately, it isn’t until his Persona is activated that he has any substantial power.
As Arsene is activated, Joker becomes much more powerful and useful. However, this comes at a cost. It is almost as if you have to learn two separate fighters when using Joker as your main. Arsene brings enough changes to Joker’s moveset that you have to adjust accordingly. The transition from Grappling Hook to Wings of Rebellion is the biggest change.
Joker is one of the more complex fighters on the roster. In my experience, he has been one of the more difficult fighters to really nail down and learn top to bottom. If you are considering Joker as your next main, you may want to frame this as an advantage. Having such a dynamic move set that changes based on his Persona, opponents will have to be ready to modify their strategy.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now exclusively on Nintendo Switch. You can also purchase the full Fighter Pass to unlock each fighter as they release throughout the year.
For more on Super Smash Bros. 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.