The SG team is here to formally review the September 30th DLC, and include our update our thoughts on what is going to happen with the rest of the ballot. The authors are ordered alphabetically.
Frostwraith, PushDustIn, SmashChu and TheAnvil have contributed to this article.
Once again, this update was quite mind-blowing. Though Nintendo just announced the Super Mario Maker stage for this wave of DLC, two more stages were added to each version: Pirate Ship on the Wii U and Duck Hunt on the 3DS. Pirate Ship returns from Brawl, while Duck Hunt is the same stage as the Wii U version. The former is paid while the latter is free of charge, added as soon as the patch is installed in the game.
Pirate Ship is a personal favorite of mine and one of my most wanted stages to return for this game. Although I still don’t have the Wii U version yet, I’m really glad it returned for this game. It’s a bit of a shame no new music was added: each music track is also available in one of other Zelda stages in the game. Nearly all the music that was available in Brawl is retained, with the exception of the original Great Sea theme and the Molgera Battle theme, both from Wind Waker. A remix of the Great Sea song is available, though. All in all, the music selection is solid, with songs taken from older and newer Zelda games alike, also featuring one of my favorite remixes in Smash 3DS/Wii U, Gerudo Valley.
The omega form of this stage impressed me, the fight taking place on top of the watch tower that normally fires at the ship. Those towers are a recurring element in Wind Waker and there’s a ton of attention to detail with the background being decorated with jars, barrels and even a treasure chest taken straight from the source game. Normally, these watch towers are enemy outposts and places where treasure can be found so it’s a very clever nod to the original game.
Super Mario Maker is quite creative and unique. It’s random and offers many possibilities, but it’s not so random to the point of creating absolutely chaotic stages. Fans of 2D Mario platformers will definitely enjoy this stage as well as Smash fans who remember the classic Mushroom Kingdom stages from Smash 64 and Melee. I feel this stage offers a ton of replay value to the game given it can be played over and over again, never knowing what layout will it offer each time.
The Duck Hunt stage on the 3DS is the same as the Wii U. Given I only have the 3DS version, I got to play it for the first time. A nice recreation of the original game and the stage isn’t too intrusive or complex, but enjoyable all the same. Plus, it gives the character Duck Hunt a home stage. A surprising addition for 3DS players made even better by the fact it’s free.
Finally and, not surprisingly, more Mii costumes were added just like previous updates. Personally, I don’t care about them much, but it’s interesting to see some characters getting recognition such as Toad and Viridi this time around. The biggest surprise were the Monster Hunter outfits, making this the third Capcom franchise to have content in Smash.
My only complaint with this update would be the lack of characters. It’s been quite a while since characters were added and feel that the fact 4 characters were added right on the first two waves may have raised expectations in regards to the then-upcoming waves. Regardless, this update provides with solid content and a new, very unique stage.
I give this update a:/5
Overall, I give the DLC content thus far a rank of/5.
This update once again tore apart certain fan theories and fears with the Pirate Ship and Super Mario Maker stages sharing music with other stages, something people feared would mean the disconfirmation of past stages that had their music used elsewhere. DLC can be version exclusive, at least in regards to stages, though I don’t find this very surprising considering both versions already have different stage selections. Finally, stages can be brought from one version to another and likely going to be free additions, should the Duck Hunt stage be an indicator. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Wii Fit stage makes its way to the 3DS version.
In regards to characters, I don’t think we’ll be seeing many. However, I don’t believe we’ll be just seeing two more, especially after getting 4 characters for the first two waves. Characters do take time, however, and it’s likely they’ve been tallying ballot submissions for the 6-month period it’s been open, planning characters along the way, working on other content in the meantime. It’s clear, however, that the first two DLC waves were already been worked on since before the ballot opened, likely dating back to end-2014, given Mewtwo, the Miiverse stage and Tournament mode were added all the way back in October of the last year. Lucas was also shown on April 2015 and seemed to be at a very advanced stage of development, with music files pertaining to Roy, Ryu, Dream Land 64 and Suzaku Castle being found in the patch released in the same month. Given this, I think it’s logical to conclude that this DLC wave was already been worked on for a few months. I believe it won’t take much longer for another character announcement.
I’m pretty surprised and happy to see Pirate Ship come back, but it not being available for both 8 player Smash and 3DS is unsurprising. A bit bummed that it didn’t get any new tracks as Zelda has no shortage of music. I personally want Ballad of the Wind Fish.
I’m very surprised to see Duck Hunt available for free on the 3DS. I’m hoping for more cross-platform stage releases as it would make the stage roster better for players who own one version. I haven’t had a chance to play the Duck Hunt 3DS stage as I misplaced my power cord for my 3DS.
Mario Maker stage is amazing. I love it. Weird complaint, but I just wish the cat’s paw would show up more often or that the hands were selectable in some way (like holding R or L while selecting the stage). The various layouts makes the stage very interesting.
The Mii Fighter costumes look good. Personally, I don’t purchase the Mii Fighter costumes (as I don’t have THAT much expendable income), but I like the effort that’s clearly put into them. So far there hasn’t been a character that I felt I 100% needed.
I’d rate this update /5
DLC up until now: /5
A couple of fan theories were broken with this update.
- DLC stages don’t always need new music. Pirate Ship is just reusing music.
- 3DS and Wii U can get separate stages.
- Those stages can be already in one version.
However, the website stage theory is looking even more likely (Originally posted in the prediction article).
2) Hyrule Castle
3) Peach’s Castle
4) Pirate Ship
5) Super Mario Maker
It does follow both English and Japanese alphabet order. Personally, I feel Japanese alphabet is likely. I’m not sure if this information will be actually useful, but it’s important to keep in mind for the next stage update.
Mii Fighter Speculation:
(Skip down for chart)
Mii Fighter Costumes follow a similar pattern. Generic costumes, third party costumes, character costumes which includes popular–possibly ballot-related costumes. I expect this to continue for the rest of the Mii Fighter packs.
Generic Costumes (3 so far; 8%):
SSB T-Shirt (Wave 1)
Hoodie (Wave 3)
Suit (Wave 4)
Animal Related Costumes (3 so far; 8%):
Cat Hat/Suit, Monkey Hat/Suit (Wave 1)
Bear Hat/Suit (Wave 3)
Third Party Costumes (10 so far; 27.777%):
X’s Helmet/ Armor, Proto Man’s Helmet/ Armor (Wave 1)
Akira Wig/Outfit, Jacky Wig/Outfit, Heihachi Wig/Outfit, MegaMan.EXE Helmet/Armor, Zero’s Helmet/ Armor (Wave 2)
Llyod Wig/Outfit (Wave 3)
Hunter’s Helm/ Mail, Rathalos Helm/ Mail (Wave 4)
Character Costumes (Already a fighter) (4 so far; 11.1%):
Link’s Cap/ Outfit (Wave 1)
Samus Helmet/Armor (Wave 3)
Fox Hat/ Outfit, Captain Falcon Hat/ Outfit (Wave 4)
Character Costumes (Not a fighter) (12 so far; 33.333%):
Majora’s Mask, Dunban’s Wig/Outfit (Wave 1)
Isabella Hat/Outfit, Inkling Hat/Outfit, K.K. Slider Hat/Outfit, Inkling Hat/Outfit (Wave 2)
King K. Rool Hat/Outfit, Flyman Hat/Outfit, Chrom Hat/Outfit, Black Knight Helm/Armor (Wave 3)
Toad Hat/Outfit, Viridi Wig/Outfit (Wave 4)
Costumes that are directly related to characters that aren’t in the game account for the clear majority of costumes (61%). Including characters that are in the game, the percentage is raised even higher (72%). There’s an average of 8 costumes per pack (The 2nd Wave, had one extra (K.K.Slider), and the 4th Wave had one less). Consider this, 3rd party and character related (non fighter) characters are to be expected with every wave. An additional fighter related costume is also likely to happen (Averaged at 1 per wave). Animals might be finished, and were only used to fill in the gaps until more character related data became available.
Based on the data shinyquaqsire23 has found in April, there is 1 stage and 2 character placeholders. This does restore my hope for additional content a little bit, as ballot characters will probably have a stage with them (I previously foresaw a limited future with “The End of Smash DLC”). It’s still think that two characters are likely, but we could get up to four characters, max. While reviewing the, “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS Development History” I realized just how long characters take to developed. For the base game, over a year was spent on the planning stages/pre-production. Of course this included planning for game modes, as well as other things, but 17 newcomers (plus adjustments to the veterans) took over a year to plan. Of course, there’s a possibility that there were two, or more that were dropped (Chrom and Chorus Men), but still that’s a long time for just planning and not actual production.
This also extends to DLC as well. Smash for Wii U was released in December 2014, and Mewtwo was released in April 2014. When Mewtwo’s production started isn’t exactly clear…but I can easily see it taking over half a year. We do know 100% that Lucas was started before April 2014:
“We’ve received an extremely large number of votes, but of course, Lucas, Roy, and Ryu were in development even before the ballot was create” –Ryu, Roy and Lucas Join the Battle
When exactly they were started is unknown, but it’s possible that Lucas was started production (not planning) after December 2014:
“However, the DLC we are releasing for Sm4sh is authentic, developed only after we finished working on the main game.” Creator’s Hands are Alive and Well
In an interview in November 2014 Sakurai stated the following:
“However, what I can say now about paid DLC is that we aren’t working on anything at the moment. We’ve put all our efforts into making the actual game. Creating DLC would involve large additional costs and require the involvement of a lot of people. I can’t yet give you an answer about whether the price would justify the costs and criticisms mentioned above.” (Emphasis mine)
Many fans took this as ‘no DLC is planned’, but Sakurai is just stating that they weren’t working on anything (For more Sakurai misquotes check out my article, “Sakurai Didn’t Say That!”. Plans or pre-production could’ve started much earlier. Data-mining has further collaborated that DLC was always ‘planned’, but not worked on (RIP Virus boss).
To summarize my point: characters take a long time to plan, create and test– possibly up to six months. Fans who are expecting a lot will probably end up disappointed. Therefore, if two characters were indeed decided in April, then it’s very likely that at least onewill be finished and released October (Possibly Shovel Knight). However, if they were just saved slots fo expected DLC (See “The End of Smash DLC”), then I wouldn’t be surprised with one of the characters coming in October and another coming later — probably in December to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Smash for Wii U. If there are three to four then one a month would be amazing (and the team can separate for New Years holiday).
This update is somewhat unfortunate in the fact that there really isn’t much outside of the Mario Maker stage. Its unfortunate that we didn’t get another character. I will say that this is a bit more interesting in that we get an entirely
new stage. As of writing this, I have yet to actually download the newest stage, perhaps showing my apathy for the new content in the game. It is nice to see Pirate Ship return though, as it was a great stage in Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Duck Hunt on the 3DS is cool as well and I’m surprised in wasn’t in earlier.
The one thing I will complain about is the abundance of Mii Fighter costumes. It seems almost ludicrous that there have been four waves of Mii Fighter costumes and the last two patches focus on them. Why am I against the costumes, Well, Mii Fighters run into two major issues. The first is that Smash Brothers is a character driven game. Fans want to play as their favorite character. However, Miis are self insert characters. While it can be fun to create your own Mii to use in the game, most fans are likely most interested in the standard characters such as Mario, Megaman, Little Mac, Link and the rest. The second issue is that Miis can’t be used online. Online is incredibly important for today’s multiplayer games as it expands the multiplayer aspect and helps to keep the game fresh. But if you can’t use the Miis online, then it encourages player to not use these characters. In turn, it makes it less likely that fans will purchase, or even care, about the Mii Fighter costumes. And ultimately, the costumes are cosmetic and don’t add to the game like a stage or character would.
Currently, there are now 32 Mii Fighter costumes. At a $1.15 per costume (both versions), it would cost you about $36.80 to purchase all of the costumes. Conversely, to purchase all the characters and stages, it will cost you $36.40 to purchase all of the stages and characters. Its clear there is far too much focus now on the Mii Fighter costumes rather than characters or stages. Hopefully the focus, now that the ballot is ending, it will be on characters.
The last characters added were Roy, Ryu and Lucas who were added in June. It has been approximately 3 and a half months since then. It took approximately 4-5 months to complete Mewtwo (from the launch of the Wii U version). It seems absurdly long since the last characters has been added. This would lead us to believe that the team may be currently working on new characters right now. This is very possible as the team has likely already begun planning out the new characters to add as DLC. Based on Mewtwo’s release, it stands to reason that it will take some time for a new character. But when a new character will be completed will depend on when the team started. If they are totally waiting until the ballot ends, then we won’t see a new character until December. If not, we may see one sooner.
One thing to keep in mind is Nintendo will likely unveil a lot more news soon. Typically, Nintendo shows off details about their games in October, even before the directs. So far, we don’t have a date for the Falco amiibo and we haven’t seen amiibos for the DLC characters save a prototype for Mewtwo. There may also be another large update to Splatoon in the fall as well. As such, Smash Brothers information may correspond with this.
The last thing: is there really only two more characters coming? Maybe, but it’s hard to say. The extra files were added in April before the ballot even really started. Furthermore, it may seem odd for Nintendo to conduct this large scale and review every suggestion only to ultimately chose two characters. So, I believe, at the very least, we will have at least two characters, but there could be more. However, as always, hope for the best and expect the worst.
I’m really not a fan of Mii Fighters so I don’t buy any of the Mii costumes (I did buy the Inkling one but that was solely for the trophy that came with it) so I won’t get into what I think about the quality of their choices or anything like that.
I think I’ve had to play the Super Mario Maker stage at least a dozen times just to get a grasp on the brilliance of it. I was initially a little weary of it, thinking it had the potential to be cumbersome and annoying but the execution of it is purely delightful. I’m really enjoying Super Mario Maker as a game on the Wii U, so it’s really enjoyable to have a piece of that game in Smash so soon after its launch. You can view SourceGaming’s Mario Maker Review here.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Pirate Ship return from Brawl. It was personally my 2nd most wanted veteran stage to return (behind only Great Bay). I’ve seen a lot of support for the return of this stage so I’m sure it made a lot of people happy. It even made our first SourceGaming choice article. My favorite thing about Pirate Ship returning, is that the Omega form almost feels like another completely unique stage.
Probably the most surprising thing today was the Duck Hunt stage being ported over from the Wii U to the 3DS. Which I like a lot, and although I don’t often play the 3DS version I did fire it up just to try out the stage. I’m a huge fan of the Duck Hunt Duo so this is a very neat addition for 3DS users. Especially as it’s free. I’d like to hope that this leads to a reciprocation of the better 3DS stages making it onto the Wii U but I feel like that’s unlikely due to it seemingly being a consolation for the Wii U’s Pirate Ship.
Overall the content delivered today lived up to the usual high quality standard that Smash fans are accustomed to. These stages are fun and they add a surprising amount to their respective games. I think any disappointment is targeted more so at what we didn’t get, I could comfortably call it lacklustre and a little hype deflating.
I’d rate this update/5
DLC up until now:/5
Considering the amount of time that transpired since our last characters (3 and a half months), I think there’s a good chance of getting more (possibly pre-ballot) content that was worked on between Ryu, Lucas and Roy’s releases in June and when the ballot finishes on Oct 3rd. It doesn’t take a whole DLC team this kind of time to make just 2 stages and a few skins. I would guess that they’re sitting on some more content that is currently finished, so they can fill the gaps between now and when the ballot characters start getting released. We probably won’t see any real ballot content until December or November at the very earliest. They need time to go through the ballot results and decide who they’re going to use before they start developing them.
I now believe that I was possibly wrong about K. Rool’s Mii Fighter costume being a complete de-confirmation. This selection of Mii Fighter costumes has given me the impression that they haven’t payed any attention to the ballot results yet, and won’t until it’s over. Furthermore, the addition of even more Smash vets becoming Mii costumes leaves K. Rool in something of a unique position to be in as he’s essentially the only massively-popular Mii Fighter costume from 1st Party Nintendo that is NOT a playable character currently. I wrote an article several months ago evaluating the obstacles that K. Rool had to overcome, you can view it here.
The placeholder files added back in April leave us with 2 characters and 1 stage unaccounted for, and based on Ryu -who is the only newcomer DLC so far- I think it’s more than likely that all DLC newcomers will be bundled with new stages. This could be good news for Wolf fans as he strikes me as the most plausible returning veteran. There’s a good chance that this content has been planned for some time now due to when the placeholder files were added. I still think that Rayman, Inklings and Wolf are among the most likely characters to be added from the ballot. You can read why in our SourceGaming Choice Article on Ballot Winners here.
So what do you think? Leave us a comment below! A lot of interesting discussion has already occurred on our September 30th DLC article!