Ever since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was first shown, back when we still had no idea what form it would take, fans have been wondering whether the game will be a brand new experience or an upgraded port based on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Nintendo has now officially addressed the issue - and it's very good news indeed.
Speaking to USGamer, Nintendo Treehouse localisation manager Nate Bihldorff has confirmed that the game is entirely new. The game has received what Bihldorff describes as "significant upgrades" to things such as lighting effects and texture details, as well as complete re-imaginings of certain characters like Zelda - whose new design is now based on The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
"It's definitely not an update. It's a brand new game built from the ground up. As far as it being a 'sequel,' I don't really think of Smash Bros. games as being sequels, they're just new Smash Bros. games. Everything has been built brand new. Of course, you see returning characters and returning movesets, but that's sort of the nature of a fighting game."
Of course, some elements of what we've seen do seem similar to the Wii U game on the surface, but Bihldorff explains the reasoning behind this, too.
"When you're bringing back stages, especially when you look at a stage from the Wii U version which was already in HD, at first glance it's going to be a little bit similar. That's when you need to go to the next level and look at lighting, how the players are interacting. Beyond the changes, I can't count the number of small changes. I don't think it's hyperbole when Mr. Sakurai said that there were tens of thousands of changes compared to the last game."
We were lucky enough to spend some time with the game at E3, and these comments certainly line-up with our early thoughts. The fresh visuals, different art style, and the way in which each character has been re-worked were all things we mentioned in our early hands-on preview.
Are you glad that this is a brand new game? Have you been impressed with the changes you've seen so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.