Along with Banjo-Kazooie and the addition of several mii outfits, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate patch 5.0 will also include the return of one of Smash's most iconic modes: Home-Run Contest.
Masahiro Sakurai showed off the mini-game in the latest Nintendo Direct, where he sent the Sandbag into outer space using Ness.
Home-Run Contest is a mini-game that debuted in Melee, and has appeared in every Smash game since with the exception of Ultimate (until now, of course).
In it, players start near the edge of a platform with a Sandbag in the middle, and a home-run bat behind them. Players have ten seconds to rack up as much damage on the Sandbag as possible before blasting it away with the home-run bat before time is up. Hitting with the tip of the bat will make the Sandbag go even farther. Players can choose any character they want and are scored based on how far the Sandbag flew. In Melee, it's also possible to hit the Sandbag with the handle of the bat, which makes it fly the farthest.
In Brawl, the mode was brought back with co-op and a shield around the platform that protected the Sandbag from accidentally falling off, which continued in Smash Bros. for WiiU and 3DS.
Since Melee's release, Home-Run Contest has seen competitive play. The Home-Run Contest world record's list can be tracked on allisbrawl.com. Scores are tracked through various sub-categories like "No Bat Allowed" and "B Moves Only" to further restrict players. Competitors have also developed unique strategies only applicable to the mode like the "Bat Dropping."
While Home-Run Contest hasn't been playable until now, the mode did have an homage of sorts in World of Light and the Spirit Board. While fighting the Sandbag spirit, players are given a home-run bat and ten seconds to hit the target. The Home-Run Contest song plays during this battle, and it was previously the only way to hear it in-game.
Sakurai announced during the direct that this is "probably" the last game mode that will be added, so it's unlikely previous Smash modes like Event Matches and Break the Targets! will ever be added.
Banjo and the newest patch have been made available today, so if you own Ultimate you can play the new mini-game by firing up your Switch right now.