It may be cold and wintry now, but cast your mind back to the heady days of last summer and everyone’s favourite boring trade show of underwhelming game reveals done by uncomfortable-looking businessmen dressed in ‘cool’ leather jackets a PA bought for them that morning – yes, that’s right, it’s E3!
As ever, it delivered a bumper crop of gaming goodness to look forward to over the coming 12 months, with loads of what we all love the most – risk-free, unoriginal sequels. And when you think of dead horses being flogged down to their component atoms, one name always pops into mind: Nintendo.
Their equine corpse of choice this time was SuperSmash Bros, which they belched forth about with a presentation that was so long, it may in fact still be happening. And what a presentation it was!
Who couldn’t be wowed by hour upon hour of character reveals for the latest iteration of their ‘yes it’s a fighter, but as we’re family friendly we can’t show people being beaten up – so instead there’s some sort of meaningless reverse energy counter that goes up to 800%, and eventually people just fall off the side like a drunk on a pier’ fisticuffs game?
You’ll no doubt already be familiar with the tag line for this version: “Everyone is here” – not least because they seemed to repeat it endlessly, almost as if they had nothing much else to talk about.
Now the game is out though it seems to be true, as (apart from a load of stupidly named dudes from Japanese RPGs that no one has ever heard of or cares about) SSBU boasts a vast roster of much-loved characters and favourites from gaming history! Oh, and Sonic is apparently in it too. Oh well.
But wait! Our sources have told us that there are 8 more fighters that Uncle Ninty just couldn’t cram into the game on release – a game so overfull, it was officially classed as morbidly corpulent – that will be winging their way to your Switch via everyone’s favourite feature of modern gaming: paid DLC.
So get your wallet ready and your ‘combat gland’ excreting its fetid unguent in anticipation, as here they are now!
SPECIAL MOVE: Battle Royale. To take on his foes, Prince P summons the most dangerous man in Britain – his son, Prince Edward! Watch your opponents wither as the Earl of Wessex performs a worryingly arousing dance at them that he learned off of Andrew Lloyd-Webber while pretending to work in theatre, while Phil prepares to run down any survivors in his Range Rover.
SPECIAL MOVE: Brian Cant? Brian can! Hamble summons the poltergeist of the late pre-school children’s telly presenter to scare the pants off your opposition. Literally! Through terrifying electric shocks administered via the joycons, your fellow players will be coerced by the playful spook into removing their trousers and ‘throwing them through the round window’ (flushing them down the toilet)!
SPECIAL MOVE: Euroverload. Your Switch crashes and immediately melts from trying to animate 29.2 million citizens of central Europe simultaneously, thus denying your opponents their victory. Sweeeet!
SPECIAL MOVE: Girdle your loins. After a particularly heavy meal, ‘The Shat’ just can’t keep it in any more and his man-corset gives out with explosive force, propelling your opponent across the screen! Bill then squats in a corner, reciting one of his famous spoken word albums until you get bored and turn the console off. Victory!
Lifted straight out of his shameless cash-in on the 1986 world cup ‘incident’ that had bull-necked toughs sobbing about deliberate misplacement of an air-filled leather bladder, the Shiltmeister (as he was never known) is ready to rumble – and hey, it’s no weirder than including the guy from Game & Watches!
SPECIAL MOVE: Don’t touch my balls! Maradona himself is summoned to the arena by P. Shilt, who then proceeds to distract your opponents by seemingly having a massive heart attack because he’s ingested a lot of real bad stuff. He’s a very unwell man, which shows cheats never prosper!
Remember how Pokémon Go encouraged naïve children to wander around derelict industrial areas while paying scant attention to their surroundings? Well this is just one of the fascinating and not at all dangerous (in a ‘we’re legally liable for it’ sense) things they may have discovered while doing so. And: at least it’s not a bloated corpse!
SPECIAL MOVE: Bin day bonanza. When activated, an aggressive group of scrap dealers descend upon the screen, pestering everyone for ‘hennnnnnnnyyaauuuullldiirraaaaaaann!’ while attempting to manhandle combatants into the back of their untaxed transit van.
Remember The Golden Girls – the stupid one, the lewd one that was horrible to think about in that sense because she was an old lady, the tall one and the tall one’s mum who was only about a year older in real life? Well one of them is back, and it’s the one least suitable for combat! They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but now we can find out whether a pithy remark from an octogenarian is mightier than a fist to the face! (It isn’t!)
SPECIAL MOVE: O.A.Pow! Just as your opponent is about to land a punch on you, you unleash the most powerful weapon in your arsenal – a request for the nice young person to help you set up your email on your ‘new iPad’ so you can see pictures of your grandkids. They’ll be tied up trying your half-remembered passwords on a horribly, underpowered tablet that lovely man from Dixons sold you for hours!
SPECIAL MOVE: Mega-mimic. In a way that absolutely isn’t a lazy route to get extra fighters into the game with minimal effort, Bario will have the EXACT same moves as Mario, so he can match everyone’s favourite plumber blow for blow. He’s so good at copying, you’ll probably not be able to tell the difference! But he IS copying, yeah? It’s not just a re-skin and it’s a genuine plot point. Promise.