“Super Smash Bros Ultimate” is a crossover fighting game by Nintendo that was released in December of 2018. A major aspect of the game is its wide variety of characters, bringing back every single character from previous Smash Bros titles as well as brand new fighters.
But even after the original game was finished, Nintendo fans also received DLC (extra downloadable content) in the form of two “Fighter’s Passes,” which consist of brand new characters. Since not all of the fighters in Fighter’s Pass Vol. 2 have been revealed nor released, I am going to take a look at the first Pass.
Fighter’s Pass 1 gave us five playable characters: Joker from “Persona 5,” Hero from “Dragon Quest,” Banjo and Kazooie from “Banjo-Kazooie,” Terry Bogard from “Fatal Fury” and Byleth from “Fire Emblem: Three Houses.” Each one also came with a new stage, set of music tracks, a new Classic Mode route and a Spirit Board.
This Fighter’s Pass definitely gave us a very good selection of characters ranging from highly requested characters to longtime beloved icons. Each character provided a fun and unique moveset ranging from Hero’s wide variety of spells, paying homage to old JRPGs (Japanese role-playing video games) with his Command Selection move to Joker’s ability to summon his Persona when he fills up his Rebellion Gauge, which he does by receiving damage.
Despite the satisfactory selection, the only character I felt was not as amazing as the others was the final fighter revealed: Byleth, by far one of the most controversial characters in Smash Bros history. This character’s origins are in the “Fire Emblem” series, one that has been criticized for having too many characters in Smash despite not being as popular as Mario or “The Legend of Zelda.”
As a “Fire Emblem” fan, however, I still highly enjoy and even primarily play as Byleth, despite their underwhelming addition. Their axe and bow Amyr and Failnaught respectively are powerful tools that can be very satisfying to land hits with it. Their lance Areadhar can be very useful when trying to attack opponents while staying far away. Finally, their Sword of the Creator is a useful recovery option as it reaches very far and can even latch onto opponents.
While most of the stages that come with each character are nothing too special, they still serve as fun battlefields without having too many intrusive stage hazards. One standout is Terry Bogard’s: The King of Fighters Stadium; this level provides a fun twist on the usual Smash Bros gameplay by having invisible barriers on each side. The only way to K’O opponents here is by either knocking them into the upper blast zone or by knocking them into the barriers hard enough that they break through. Other favorites of mine include Mementos and Garreg Mach Monastery for their gorgeous visuals.
The music selection for each character has been excellent with catchy new remixes and unaltered favorites. Terry comes with 50 music tracks originating from SNK’s whole library. The only exception here is the “Dragon Quest” music, which consist of only eight tracks that are composed in MIDI as opposed to the superior orchestral versions.
In terms of fun miscellaneous content, each of the characters have a unique Classic Mode route where each one fights different characters that correspond to a specific theme and a Spirit Board, where you earn character portraits through cleverly-made battles that reference specific aspects of each character.
Overall, the first “Super Smash Bros Ultimate” Fighter’s Pass is a great deal, giving us a great selection of fighters, fun stages, beautiful soundtracks, and cool extra content as well. And gauging from preliminary information, the second pass will not fail to disappoint either, giving us Steve from “Minecraft” and Sephiroth from “Final Fantasy VII.”