So, what's the issue? Well, apparently there is some -- alleged -- unintentional racist depictions in the platform fighter.
First reported on by DualShocker's Lou Contaldi, rumblings of racist depictions began on popular gaming forum, ResetEra, when one user spotted one of the game's characters -- Mr. Game & Watch -- had an attack that has the character adorn a Native American headdress, and then uses fire to attack enemies.
For those that don't know: the above attack is a reference to a classic Game & Watch hardware game dubbed Fire Attack. Released in 1982, the handheld hardware game was a single-screen game that featured battles between Native American chiefs and a cowboy Game & Watch who had to defend a fort.
Here's the game in action:
At the time of writing this, Nintendo has updated or comment on the matter. Whether it will make any changes to the game as a result of the development, who knows. That might just depend on the level of backlash.
Interestingly, Nintendo notably changed the Native Americans to Bandits in a later Game Boy Advanced version of the game, aka removed the headdresses from the sprites. It's quite possible that this is what will happen in this case as well.
We will be sure to update you with further developments to the story.
hey so how about instead of being mad at people upset about two frames, how about two frames that'll make everyone happy?
LEFT: Original, with feathers (Native Americans)— Owen 🎄☃️ (@PieMehker) November 4, 2018
RIGHT: GBA remake with removal of feathers (Bandits) pic.twitter.com/jJFrUO1t2x
Whatever may or may not happen, as you would expect, there's been a variety of responses to the issues raised. Some in support, others not so much.
Please check and spread the below thread from ResetEra. Mr. Game & Watch's new forward smash in Smash Ultimate is a direct reference to a G&W game featuring racist depictions of Native Americans.November 3, 2018
Not saying you’re wrong for being offended, but I’m okay with Mario being an exaggeration and misrepresentation of Italian people despite me being Italian. Not all Italians are short, have a wacky accent, and love all forms of pasta, but I’m cool with Mario.— Vinny (@vinnyc1010) November 4, 2018
Look I could understand if this was more of a big deal. But it’s literally 2 frames of an attack based off a game and character who’s last appearances were 30 years ago. If you want to get angry about Native American stereotypes go attack the sports team pic.twitter.com/8PQZqMx2Xs— Nervous Nick (@NervousNick) November 4, 2018
I'm a native american as well and I really see no problem with this tbh— 🚀νuʟċѧň🚀|Plant Gang| (@shmi77y) November 4, 2018
the replies on here are disgraceful, this is heartbreaking to see and i really hope @NintendoAmerica sees this asap— autumn 🍂 (@thehelpfulbees) November 4, 2018
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is poised to release later this year via the Nintendo Switch on December 7.