Minecraft builds onto Super Smash Brothers with new DLC

Photo courtesy of AntMan3001, Flickr

Whenever a new “Super Smash Brothers” character is revealed, the internet seems to explode. The morning of Oct. 1 was no exception. After a Nintendo Direct presentation announcing the newest “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” DLC fighters Steve and Alex from Minecraft was posted, Twitter temporarily shut down. Whether due to high traffic of rabid video game fans or just merely a coincidence, “Super Smash Brothers” series director Masahiro Sakurai humorously tweeted an apology for potentially crashing Twitter.

At the end of this Direct, Sakurai greeted fans from his living room, poking fun at potential reactions to Steve’s reveal. “What exactly did we just watch?” he asked the audience. Sakurai went onto discuss the process in how Steve and Alex were chosen to be in the game. He also announced another Nintendo Direct for Oct. 3. This direct would be a breakdown of how the new characters work in the game. 

On Oct. 3, Sakurai welcomed fans back into his home to show off the new fighter. Before getting into Steve and Alex, Sakurai talked about how the development of the game has been affected by COVID-19. Sakurai would normally film these announcements in an office with a recording crew. Since most of Japan is still working from home, Sakurai elected to stay at home and film himself. 

“It’s just me here,” says Sakurai. “No recording staff, no one to laugh at my jokes.” 

Playtesting Steve and Alex has also been limited due to COVID-19. “When developing Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, I normally battle with staff every day at lunchtime, and use those sessions to make adjustments to balance.” Without these lunchtime battles, Sakurai is limited to “non-public online battles” to test the character with staff. 

Getting to how Steve and Alex play in the game, their moveset is a labor of love ripped right from the source material of Minecraft. How the characters walk and jump around a stage is almost exactly like how players would move around in Minecraft. 

The characters’ regular attacks allow them to attack with a sword, ax or pickax. Like in Minecraft, players can mine for materials to craft better weapons. Each surface in “Ultimate” can provide players with different materials to create wood, stone, iron, gold or diamond weapons. Players can craft these weapons at a crafting table that spawns with them at the start of a battle. 

Players can also attack with popular Minecraft items such as flint and steel, lava buckets, magma cubes and minecarts. The fishing rod is used to grab other players, and the elytra item is used as a recovery. The biggest takeaway from Steve and Alex is that they can build with blocks on every stage. 

Like every other character in the game, Steve and Alex have an exciting final smash move. For this move, they lock players in a fortress with creepers, and then mockingly eat steak in their opponent’s face as the fortress explodes behind them. 

Players can also choose different skins for Steve and Alex. Besides alternate designs for them, players can choose to play as a Minecraft zombie or enderman. 

Since the music in Minecraft is all ambient and relaxing, the Smash Brothers team had to look to spin-off Minecraft games to pull music from. Sakurai says including music from Minecraft would “make players relax.” 

Steve and Alex are mining their way into “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” on Oct. 13. They can be purchased individually for $5.99 or as part of “Fighters Pass Vol. 2” for $29.99. Are you excited for Minecraft characters in “Super Smash Brothers?”

 

jwhelan1@ramapo.edu