The recently released Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is shaping up to have substantial post-launch support. First of all there’s the Fighter Pass. This season pass will add new fighters, stages and soundtracks as they are released over the upcoming year – for a fee. As has become more common with Nintendo’s evergreen releases there’s also scheduled events to give you a reason to fire up the game on a particular weekend. Compared to Splatoon 2 and ARMS‘ offering though ‘Spirit Events’ may leave some players confused as to just what the point is.
The addition of Spirits is one of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s most compelling new features. It effectively turns collectible images of characters into equipment. This allows you to build a ‘team’ out of one Primary spirit and as many Support spirits as your Primary has slots for. Some Primaries give you a powerful status boost while others allow you to equip more Support spirits. Support spirit effects vary; from allowing you to start with a particular item, to increasing a stat or raising your starting health. Their usefulness aside, its really nice to see such a wide range of characters referenced in this way – its always charming when you see a favourite character added to your Spirit collection. Although there do seem to be a lot of Spirits that do the same thing, there’s a nice variety and plenty of reason to keep collecting them – particularly if you want to complete some of the challenging single player battles.
So where do ‘Spirit Events’ fit into this? When a Spirit Event is active certain spirits are more likely to appear on the Spirit Board – a list of the available spirit matches. The first of these took the form of opponents with glasses, and a wonderful pun on Spectacle that deserves an award. First of all players receive increased rewards for obtaining spirits during this time. Secondly, it mixes up the available spirits. Thirdly, the event offers players the chance to battle powerful high rank spirits at certain times. The main advantage here is that normally if you lose to a spirit they disappear from the board – the high level event spirits can be rematched multiple times if they’re still scheduled. This means a great opportunity to crack some tough matches and maybe even get some powerful spirits you couldn’t normally beat.
While the ‘characters with glasses theme’ seemed a fun way to kick off, the subsequent event leaves a little to be desired. The first Fire Emblem Spirit Event was last weekend, and given the number of Fire Emblem characters is already contentious with some fans it seems a very niche way to begin. Hopefully more imaginative themes follow in the future.