The biggest announcement of the March 8th Nintendo Direct, by far, was a trailer showing the Nintendo Switch will be receiving a Smash Bros. game in 2018. The trailer premiered at the end of the Direct that also announced a new Mario Tennis and Kirby Switch game, more details about the upcoming Captain Toad, and several other games.
Ever since 1999’s Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, the likes of Mario and Link have been duking it out with assorted power-ups in Nintendo-themed levels. The roster expanded to include esoteric classic Nintendo characters like the Ice Climbers and third-party characters like Ryu from Street Fighter and Shovel Knight. The general popularity of and the competitive gaming community built around Smash Bros.made the trailer undoubtedly one of the biggest software announcements by Nintendo in years.
The trailer for the as-yet untitled Smash Bros. game (which carries a working title of Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros.) begins with a playful battle between a boy and girl Inkling: the characters that populate the recent successful Nintendo franchise Splatoon. As the battle wages, the world goes from a flat white to a deep black, causing the girl Inkling a moment of concern. A gigantic flaming version of the familiar Smash Bros. emblem is then seen by the girl Inkling. The presumed fighters from the series are posing in silhouetted relief off in the distance just ahead of the flaming icon. The trailer then cuts to both Mario and a Breath of the Wild-outfitted Link basking in the flames, before cutting back to the Inklings taking in the logo.
This trailer confirms, then, the appearance of the Inklings in the series. This would be a first for the characters, who have been in the Nintendo repertoire since the 2015 Wii U game Splatoon. Mario and Link have been staples of the fighter since its inception. Other characters clearly visible in the trailer are recurring fighters for the series: Samus, Donkey Kong, Bowser, and Kirby. Other characters visible in the line-up have been speculated upon but have not been universally agreed upon. Internet users, however, have taken to Wikipedia to say that Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff, Marth, Pikachu, and Pit were also visible. As with any other Wikipedia entry, the information must be taken with a grain of salt.
It is still unclear whether the game will be a true sequel (the 5th in the series) or an enhanced port of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The lack of popularity with the Wii U console has allowed Nintendo to give its games a second life on their hit Switch. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for instance, is an enhanced port of the Wii U’s entry in the long-running racing franchise. Speculation will run rampant as to the roster of the new game until they are all slowly announced. Nintendo will likely unveil a trailer for one or just a few fighters at a time during the lead-up to the game’s release. Whether a character from unconventional Switch fighter Arms shows up, or a character from the forthcoming post-apocalyptic hybrid game Dillon’s Dead Heat Breakers, will portend the level of dedication Nintendo has to the future of those games.