You're not logged in | Login / Register | News Filter | Submit News

Weapon upgrades, crafting mechanics and explosive traps - Steve and Alex gameplay breakdown for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

There's some mechanics we're going to need to wait until the full showcase to get the full picture

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • October 1, 2020 at 10:54 a.m. PDT • Comments: 16

Nintendo certainly took everyone by surprise this morning by announcing that Minecraft characters Steve, Alex, Zombie and Enderman will be coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the next DLC for Fighter Pass Vol. 2 following ARMS' Min Min from this summer.

As a regular player of both Smash Bros. and Minecraft, I've combed over the reveal trailer to assess and break down the blocky gameplay mechanics and attacks of who will surely be Smash's most unique addition between the crafting, upgrading and building systems.

If you were to look just at their normal attacks and aerials, Steve might appear to be among the worst in the game for how short-range his moves are, but that's not where the real sauce is found for the fighter.

The Minecraft representatives feature multiple mechanics which have never appeared in Smash before which are sure to turn some blocks upside down in terms of how players generally approach the game.

Mining and crafting will both seemingly be integral parts to making Steve work in terms of combat, but his most interesting tool may end up being the ability to build.

Let's dive in to what I was able to dig up from our first glance at what Steve and crew will have to offer for players.

Normal Attacks

At first glance, the troop's normal attacks seem to be their most lackluster, but they will ultimately make up the backbone of the characters' gameplay.

Jab, up-tilt, forward air, up-air, back-air and forward smash appear to all be variations of short-ranged weapon swings with various forms of coverage, but others bust out some different Minecraft tools to the mix.

Down smash pulls out a bucket of lava to pour along the ground while down-tilt seems to be flint and steel using fire to keep opponents at bay. In Minecraft, the ground will remain ablaze for quite some time depending on the material it's placed on though here it seems like it'll be useful to edge guarding.

Down-air drops an anvil straight down which would probably be great for spiking though you'll have to be careful since Steve falls down with it.

The minecart is one of the few moves I'm not entirely sure about though button mapping suggests to me that it's quite probably their dash attack though it performs more similarly to Bowser Jr.'s side special.

One small detail that is interesting to note is that the cart will continue to exist after Steve and Alex jump out of it, as one point in the trailer shows it hitting a wall, going backwards and sucking Donkey Kong into the seat instead before carrying him off-stage. That sort of behavior suggests it may also be side-special.

Another move I'm not entirely certain of is the fishing rod which I initially though would be side-special, but now believe it could just be Steve's grab with the piston summon being the upwards version.

Specials and Unique Mechanics

These Minecraft reps get much more interesting once we delve into what makes them truly unique with heavy ties to the source material.

Up-special is the most obvious B attack of the bunch for the Elytra wings which seem to give some decent upwards recovery along with horizontal gliding though we don't quite know about it's limitations.

The other specials appear to be crafting, the TNT trap and block placing.

Crafting is the aspect of the character we probably know least about because of how different it is, but is also probably the most important aspect of the character.

In the original game, players collect materials around the world to craft together into new items and tools which is on full display here too.

What seems to be Steve's jab can mine items like stone and iron out of the ground (and maybe walls) around him which can then be put to other uses.

The trailer shows him picking up some iron and cobblestone off of the floor before cutting to making an iron sword at a crafting table.

This clearly suggests you'll be able to upgrade your equipment throughout a match with wooden, stone, iron, gold and diamond tools on display throughout the trailer.

What these upgrades will enhance remains to be seen though they will likely boost attack power and the crafting materials you can collect.

Minecraft tools also degrade over time like Robin's sword and spells, so Steve may need to rebuild if his current weapon breaks.

I suspect one of the specials will be tied directly to crafting as we see multiple shots of crafting tables sitting around the stage. This shows perhaps the new fighter will need to drop one on the ground first and then use it with the same special to actually craft items.

Dropping blocks will almost assuredly be a limited resource collected through mining as well so players don't just build a tower to the top of a stage immediately.

Their uses in combat haven't been fully showcased yet, but they can certainly create walls and ceilings to contain ranged attacks since blocks can be placed horizontally as well as vertically.

Where they could perhaps be most useful is edge guarding situations by placing them close to the ledge and taking away an opponent's forward or neutral options to get back onto the stage.

Blocks are seen degrading over time too, so you don't need to worry about them taking up large portions of a map for an extended period of time if someone were to try and camp.

The TNT trap also remains a bit mysterious because of how much time it takes to set up (along with potentially taking resources) but the explosive pay off may be worth it if Alex, Zombie or the Enderman get to place it close to a ledge.

For their Final Smash, they summon a giant piston to knock the enemy into a fortress filled with Creepers, zombies and TNT leading to a giant explosion.

Swords, pickaxes, axes and potentially shovels can all be seen as Steve and crew's main weapons. We don't know if they'll have different uses / special effects or if they're just cosmetic differences assigned when the fighter spawns.

While there's a ton of information to gleam from this reveal trailer, many of Steve's finer details and core mechanics remain a mystery for the moment.

As pointed out for some of the moves, some aspects of this breakdown may not represent the final character until we know their full kit.

That'll change in just a few days, however, as director Masahiro Sakurai will be presenting a full showcase for Steve, Alex, Zombie and Enderman this Saturday, October 3, at 7:30 a.m. PT.

Load comments (16)