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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Version 9.0.0: Minecraft and Koopaling Buffs

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I got tricked into updating my copy.

If it wasn't obvious from my live reaction to Masahiro Sakurai presenting Steve and Alex from Minecraft as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters, I've been really dreading their presence in Nintendo's flagship fighting franchise. Last night, an update was distributed to all Internet-connected Super Smash Bros. Ultimate owners, and if you want to continue accessing online play (including the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open October 2020 happening on the 24th or 31st), you'll have to get the update. Besides making the game worse by adding out-of-place Minecraft content, there are several adjustments to the fighters, as well as an adjustment to “the controls during combat in battle arenas while spectators are present” which would prompt me to update my Battle Arena etiquette guide if there was any discernible thing that changed. (You still have to leave your spot to do things like check the settings or change your character, so I don't have to rewrite it or anything...)

Click here for the fighter adjustments (but with actual numbers), and watch this for a side-by-side comparison brought to you by the Beefy Smash Doods:

There should be an obvious thing you notice looking through the changes... I'm a recipient of them! (And Little Mac isn't, per usual.)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Min Min Steve Small Battlefield teams match steak taunt
I tried spectating a Battle Arena and all I got was Steve constantly taunting by eating steak. JERK.
(It turns out that nothing about Battle Arena functionality actually changed, just online performance.)

I (well, and my siblings) haven't gotten a collection of buffs since the 3.1.0 update over a year ago, and I've been still struggling since. Now I have a faster Down Smash, my Forward Throw is a KO throw, my forky Forward Tilt sends people farther, and maybe most importantly, my Clown Kart Dash side-b has increased armour, meaning I can plow through more attacks like projectiles without flinching, such as Pichu's Thunder Jolt.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Ludwig Von Koopa forward throw Steve KO
(The most important thing in the long-run will probably be the Forward Throw KOing MUCH earlier now, which it does to this Steve.)

While I have no idea what playing as Steve is like because I will never, ever buy his DLC and I wouldn't use him even if it were given to me for free, playing against him is completely bizarre. It's like a kid had just started using Scratch and somehow used it for Steve's “animations” and actions in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Even if Steve is stunned by a hit, he won't have an expression or have his body contorted. He's just moved backward or up or wherever he's going. That's disorienting to fight against.

Steve also has a rare quality of having walking-attacks, which is something you see from the likes of Mega Man as well, but Steve's goes and combos into things too instead of zoning you out. And then he has a burst option of dropping an anvil on you. Quite frankly, I'm not sure how much Steve's resource feature even impacts his available moves in practice, since I'm not paying attention to Steve's resources metre, and even if I did, I don't understand it.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 1-on-1 tourney online Steve Alex Enderman Zombie Minecraft version 9.0.0
This was my first encounter with the Minecraft legion.
Owen stood no chance against them, but in the long-run, no one stood a chance against ME!

I do know that Lord Bowser is an awful match-up, however, because his hurtbox is so big that if Steve sets up a Magma Block Up Smash, the Koopa King can't run in and approach. (Or approach by jump.) Then with all of the other things Steve can do... it's a poor experience. That said, I know from limited experience that if King Dad does get Steve off stage, he can just do a bunch of forward-airs and drag the blocky menace off the screen because he can't really do anything about it. The Minecraft cast is also underweight, so it's easy to knock them out.

Besides myself, other characters got buffs, like obnoxious fellows Sonic the Hedgehog, Ness, and the Belmont duo. At least for Sonic and Ness, their improved moves aren't really ones they use much to begin with and aren't why they're widely considered annoying. Well, Sonic uses Up-Smash, sure, but Dash Attack means he's not Spin-Dashing and that's not Sonic. Ness never uses PK Flash and doesn't Dash Attack, because Ness prefers to approach with his disjointed aerials and being annoying with PK Fire instead. I don't think annoying people's game plans will change with this update, besides switching characters entirely to Steve so they can use an even more annoying character.

Ludwig hopes his buffs will help propel him to a great tournament placing on October 24, though he still isn't really sure how to fight Steve despite not losing to him yet in a match. He figures his Steve-using competition will actually know how to use him (or Alex, or Zombie, or Enderman) by then, but Ludwig will still be in the dark. He thinks Jigglypuff is easier to win with vs. Steve than Ludwig is, but both are much better to use than Bowser.

For the major update before this one (8.0.0), Ludwig spent most of that article talking about Ike's buffs instead of talking about Min Min.
If you want to know the real reason why the Clown Kart Dash got better, click here.
Ludwig got buffed again (and for the final time) in 13.0.1.


  1. "...if you want to continue accessing online play... you'll have to get the update.

    Well, it looks like I'm not playing online Smash anymore.

    1. Right, that's why my opening says I was tricked... I really wanted to see for myself how I was buffed!

      ...And it brought all of these scary Minecraft freaks.


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