Super Smash Bros. Ultimate E3 Preview: Ice Climbers and Inkling Girl Hands-On

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Ever since its official confirmation earlier today, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been making huge waves in the gaming community. And this December, we’re all going to be able to hop into the fighting ring and see what we’re made of.

But today, NIntendo gave us the chance to try the game out early to see how it felt. And, honestly, it’s about as natural as you can get a Smash Bros. game to feel. I decided to roll through the demo with a little something old and a little something new.

The “old” comes in the form of the Ice Climbers, making their return to the franchise for the first time since Melee. We’ve missed them so, as this duo is a lot of fun to play as. You can launch an upward attack with the two of them tethered together and also create a fun spin attack to hit an opponent multiple times. There are other moves as well, but chaining together these techniques can result in an adversary losing a good chunk of energy. It’s really a matter of timing and landing your attack at just the best opportunity.

But then we tried the “new,” in the from of Inkling Girl, who is likely to have a move set similar to Inkling Boy. Their attacks are really cool. Their basics involve them rolling a paint roller on the ground, which can actually incapacitate an opponent long enough for you to attack, or hit them a few times. And the aerial launch is very cool as well, as they turn into squid form and can hit someone a few times on the way up, as well as launching towards higher platforms when the situation calls for it. The paint grenade is also effective, as you can drop this in-between fighters and watch them go flying when it eventually explodes.

The fluid combat really feels better than ever with Smash, although we played on a Pro Controller and not the usual set of JoyCons. That may be the preferred method, outside of an old-school GameCube controller. Setting up for Final Smashes and performing some of the new techniques introduced with the game is excellent, and things get really frantic as the match seconds count down, forcing you to react as quickly as you can in an attempt to make the match yours for the taking.

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And the stage designs are dazzling, as always. We tried out the Mother 3 town New Pork City and found it to be quite varied, with a lot of backdrops and some dazzling design that allows you to move around its ramps with ease. But some of the classic fighting arenas are great too, like Sonic the Hedgehog’s Green Hill Zone with its crumbling platforms and old-school ambience. There are a number to choose from within the game; and there’s a good chance we’ll see more additions as time goes on.

Though our time with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate hands-on was very brief, the game holds an incredible amount of promise, especially if you can get a few friends together with you to do some brawling. We’re looking forward to seeing what the full game offers when Ultimate arrives on December 7 for Nintendo Switch. Let’s get to fighting!