Today, Nintendo held the final Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct before its official release. Expectations of the Nintendo Direct were very high, with leaks pointing towards multiple character reveals and an abundance of new information. With all that said, most of the leaks were undoubtedly false, and that led to disappointment among the Super Smash Bros. Fandom. So what happened?
The leaks seemed very decisive, especially the one nicknamed “The Grinch Leak.” The internet was cut in half, despite some of the evidence revealing that there were only two characters left to be revealed. Some of this evidence includes the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition official box-art, containing only two empty slots for fighters. Not only that, but Masahiro Sakurai, the game’s director told Famitsu “It would be a mistake to think that the new character announcements will keep going [at this pace] until Smash Bros. releases. We may have been a little trigger-happy so we’ll be living modestly from here on out.” This was after he mentioned that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will not contain as many new fighters to the roster. So, convincing leaks aside, people should have tempered their expectations.
Unfortunately, the timing of Ryu’s echo fighter reveal Ken may have perpetuated the disappointment, as he was one of the characters revealed in the Grinch Leak. Many, including myself, believed the leak was real and that Geno, Chorus Kids, Banjo & Kazooie, and Issac would join the fight. After this, the Fire-type Pokemon, Incineroar, was revealed and at that time, we knew The Grinch leak was indeed fake. To continue, Sakurai revealed that this was the game’s final roster before downloadable content. The game is done.
Following that, the direct was very informational, talking about the new features, including the World of Light Adventure Mode complimenting the newly revealed Spirits Mode. All in all, there was a lot of new information, but it was presented in a way that felt lackluster, due to the excitement of the leaks in general.
The Grinch leak had a lot of people fooled, despite no definite source on where it came from. Not only that, but the acclaimed source no longer worked at the company quoted in the original leak, so it was bound to be debunked. Still, it held some people captive as the community desperately wanted the leak to be true. Having their favorite characters, even from other platforms, included the one of the best fighting games ever was a dream come true.
We decided to conduct an experiment yesterday about “Leaks” in general, so we designed a html edit of Nintendo’s official press room. If you follow LaxChris on Youtube, you would have been made aware of this yesterday. The website read that Banjo & Kazooie, Chorus Kids, and Geno would be among the chosen candidates for new fighters. We also changed the player count up to 32, as the website was still showing 8. We kept all of the original grammar faults as-is, to help make the leak more believable. Some of you bought into it, others did not. The lesson here? It is super simple to craft a leak and share it on a public forum, even if it is as simple as an html leak. Also, anyone can design a conceivable leak, even in short time, so don’t believe anything until official news roll out.
We won’t lie – we were fooled by some of the leaks as well. Before the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate direct, we did believe that the Grinch leak would hold some water. It was a well designed leak with multiple sources of information. Perhaps it was the sure “want” that powered our belief in the leak, but in the end, we were fooled.
The game won’t see a release until December, but we now know the final roster. A total of 74 fighters, not including the six downloadable characters, including Piranha Plant. If you were following the leaks, and believed the game’s roster would contain more playable characters than this, no doubt you are let down. The glory of it all is that we have confirmation of five downloadable fighters and stages coming within the next year. Perhaps there is still hope for your favorite fighter to make it into the game, but going forward, especially with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, be very weary of convincing leaks.
What were your thoughts on the Nintendo Direct? Were you disappointed, excited, or let down? Join the discussion in the comments below!