Yesterday (I meant to post this sooner, but some things got in the way), Nintendo posted to their Nintendo Direct website what they called their “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U – Final Video Presentation” — kind of a sad yet definitive way to kick things off, as it effectively means that once this is done and they get the last few things out, that’s it. It’s all over. Kind of like unwrapping the final gift on Christmas morning.

In case you missed the presentation, here it is in full (with shorter, less-detailed videos as we go for quick reference):

Despite data miners trying to spoil the surprises that director Masahiro Sakurai had in store for everyone, it would seem that most of the secrets found within were kept intact.

One of the most surprising parts was the immediate reveal of Corrin from Fire Emblem Fates joining the battle, in part as the game is not even released outside of Japan yet, nor will it have been by the time he’s available this February. Though I’m iffy on the design of the character (male or female, since the barefoot look just makes the outfit look strangely incomplete to me), I am a bit of a fan of all the dragon related moves incorporated, as well as that nifty chainsaw-esque sword, the Omega Yato.

I can appreciate the issues people have brought up with most Fire Emblem characters in Super Smash Bros. previously, as the majority are all sword users. At one point, I had hoped that the twin stars of Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones, Ephraim and Eirika, would be included so we’d get a spear user and a female character; while Robin covered the latter in the same way Corrin does, at least most of the moves here seem pretty unique.

In an update to the last Nintendo Direct, Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII is now storming into battle, though I haven’t gotten to download/use him yet. Nadia seemed suitably impressed by what Sakurai had to show of his play style and stage, however, though the seeming lack of trophies from the game or series was disappointing.

In addition to the Chocobo hat for Mii Fighters (now available), another Square Enix character appeared many had hoped for, few were expecting, and in a way that even fewer likely wanted: Geno from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. As a Mii Fighter costume for the Mii Gunner, Geno sports an arm cannon similar to the one he uses in the game. At the very least, it is nicely detailed and the Mii face looks good with it, though I’m sure most fans would rather have a full-fledged version of Geno at their disposal instead. I’ve bought few, if any, Mii Fighter costumes thus far, but I think this might be a must-have for me, and it’s available now.

…and maybe the Bionic Armor for Brawlers. Sorry, but that outfit just looks sick. Other Mii Fighter costumes revealed include Takamaru from The Mysterious Murasame Castle as a male Sword Fighter, Ashley of WarioWare, Inc. as a female Sword Fighter, Gil, a male Sword Fighter from The Tower of Druaga, and Tails and Knuckles from Sonic the Hedgehog, who are a male Gunner and male Brawler, respectively. All of these costumes will be available in February 2016.

While most look cool, having the heads of Tails and Knuckles as hats rather than full-face covering masks is not only a touch disappointing, but kind of weird, too. While most of the others named feel like actual versions of their respective characters, the two Sonic heroes defy that trend. At least for the rest, the official Super Smash Bros. website now features QR Codes for those that are meant to be actual stand-ins so that you can use the same faces used in each character’s intro video. Well, most of them, anyway.

Then we come to the last full-fledged fighter and winner of the character poll which had run through most of the year. I probably should have realized it when Sakurai said this was “finally the climax,” but it wasn’t until a posh voice said “oh, another angel? I must have missed one” that it instantly clicked. Defying all belief, Bayonetta “gets wicked” and joins the party.

Sadly, I’ve not played much Bayonetta beyond my brief turn with its sequel at a press event, where I had a total blast with it and how over the top it was. Sadly, when it came time to review it, Nintendo of Canada distributed codes — and that pairing is absolutely huge. I had no place to put it, I couldn’t register the codes for later unless I had room for them (not a problem with Sony and Microsoft, I have to say — you can buy before you even have the system there), and I couldn’t afford an external drive until the codes expired, so I sadly returned them to NoC. To this day, that’s the whole of my Bayonetta experience.

Still, her play style here is utterly fascinating, and I can’t wait to give her a try. My combo ability is kind of iffy, but since she’s specifically designed around it, it should be fun to see if I can manage. If not, at least that’s one more face in the crowd to keep things interesting! Like Corrin and most of the Mii Fighter costumes, however, we won’t get to find out until she and her Umbra Clock Tower stage and trophies are all released together in February 2016.

There’s new amiibo news as well! In addition to development on Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta being confirmed, there will be releases of Ryu, Roy, and R.O.B. in Famicom colors on March 18th, 2016. Now I must ask myself: “Do I want to get a Famicom Robot amiibo in authentic Japanese packaging, or do I want to show support by buying the North American release of R.O.B. in Famicom colors?”

The answer, of course, is “yes.”

The video closes with some impressive stats about what has gone into the game since its development began and since its release: 58 fighters, 84 stages across the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions together, 99 Mii Fighter outfits (male and female) and 97 hats, 743 trophies on the Wii U, 707 trophies on the Nintendo 3DS, and 507 music tracks (not including victory jingles and the like).

That is absolutely massive, and I’m definitely appreciative. And yet — while I know this sounds ungrateful, I really am very appreciative of all that’s gone into this — I’ll confess some mild disappointment, insomuch as I had hoped we would see more stages from previous installments in the series return. That’s no slight on what is here, mind you, but at this point — save for the Ice Climbers, Snake, and Wolf, none of whom I used very much — the stages are the biggest catalyst I have to play previous iterations of the game, and if it were possible to have everything in one package, even as downloadable content? Well, that would make me very content.

On the other hand, I guess there are worse things than having more reasons to go back and play the older iterations — it’s just too bad those classic stages can’t be experienced now with the newer characters.

That and a few other minor quibbles aside (did they ever fix the thing where custom names/button layouts appear so much smaller during gameplay?), this has been a phenomenal effort.

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Thank you, Sakurai. I can’t wait to see where you take us next (I hear there are a couple of parka-wearing explorers who aren’t doing anything…).

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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