Just when you thought the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster couldn’t get much bigger, Nintendo has announced that it will be offering a batch of paid DLC post-launch, which will bring a range of new characters to the Smashverse.

These brand new fighters – which are being developed from scratch – will be offered in special sets which will include one fighter, one stage and a host of music tracks. And whilst these will be offered at the (admittedly reasonable) price of $5.99, Nintendo is also offering players the chance to purchase a special Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass for $24.99. This will grant access to five special sets – so five new characters, five stages, and lots of tunes. That’s good news, right?

Well, during this uncertain time of lootboxes, microtransactions and ‘pay to win’ controversies, it’s hard for me not to be a tad cynical about this announcement. Admittedly, the promise of new original content for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is sure to whet the appetite of many a Nintendo devotee, but the fact that this pass is being offered before any of the content has been announced – or indeed made – feels a tiiiiny bit like a cash-grab. That being said, Nintendo was at least, uhh, direct about it in the Direct: “Ideally we should reveal what’s included before it becomes available for purchase,” the company admitted (yes indeed) “however please allow us to offer this pass before we’re ready to reveal its contents. I hope that only those who are confident in its value will purchase it.” Quite 😛

Okay, I’m a sceptic, but honestly – how bad can it be? And it’s not as if Nintendo has held back the most beloved of Smash Bros. characters and forced gamers to pay for them, which says a lot about the publisher’s integrity. (And also they maaaay have seen some of the carnage that went down when Star Wars Battlefront II tried to do a similar thing…)

But is there an incentive for people to purchase the pass at launch? Actually yes. Early adopters of the Fighters Pass will be rewarded with Rex’s Mii Swordfighter outfit from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – a sort of compensatory offering following the character’s omission from the main roster. Players will also be afforded some music from the Xenoblade Chronicles series, as well as some other franchise characters which will be made available in the recently-announced Spirits mode.

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The big question, then, is whether this creatively-named season pass is worth the investment of your hard-earned dollars / euros / Republican credits? Well, in true lootbox form, it is admittedly a gamble as you don’t actually know what you’re paying for, and you will have to wait until February 2020 for all of the five sets to become available. But, there is a saving to be made from buying the Fighters Pass as opposed to getting the DLC as separate purchases, and I guess if you’re a Xenoblade fan then there should be enough incentives to encourage you to dig deep.

How do you feel about the DLC announcement? Are you tempted to purchase the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass before the content announcement is made? Or will you sit it out and see what Nintendo comes up with first? Let me know in the comments below.

  • Click here to pre-order Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and help support this site. (Game launches December 7th.)

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