Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: What is Spirits Mode?

I think this blog post is going to be more for my benefit than anybody else’s! During its recent Direct, Nintendo shared some new information about the upcoming Spirits Mode that will feature in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I say “new information” – it was technically an announcement of the worst kept secret in the video game industry, as some canny viewers had already worked out that such a mode was incoming. Anyway, I must confess that I was still a little puzzled after Nintendo’s, uhh, “explanation,” so I thought I’d do a quick piece to explain what, exactly, the new Spirits Mode will allow you to do. Here goes.

So – if I’ve understood this correctly – the Spirits Mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a section of the game which is made up of unique challenges. As a way of taking on these challenges, players can equip their characters with a Primary Spirit which will enhance the fighter’s overall stats, thus making them more powerful. However, on top of this a player can also equip a number of Support Spirits to the Primary Spirits which come with special abilities that can give them the edge over the specific threat they’ll be facing.

For example, a spirit that is proficient in Grab will have an advantage over Shield, whereas Shield will be stronger against Attack. Attack, meanwhile, will have the edge over Grab. Make sense? Think Rock, Paper, Scissors. Or Pokémon.

Of course, in true Smash Bros. style you will have to unlock many of these spirits as you go by winning Spirit Battles, and the spirits you can win are divided into four types: Novice, Advanced, Ace, and Legend. When used as Primaries, these spirits will gain XP, and they can also be fed snacks in order to level them up and maybe even unlock their ‘enhanced forms’ – a bit like a Pokémon evolution. Moreover, you can train these spirits up in the gyms, or send them off in search of treasure which they will bring back to you.

Here’s the special gym where you can level up your spirits. Ah good, I understand now…

Finally, if you decide to send a spirit back to the real world, they will leave a ‘core’ behind, and you can keep hold of these cores and combine them to form new spirits. Woo!

Okay not ‘woo!’ – I’m still very confused. Are small children supposed to grasp this concept…? If the Nintendo Direct video was supposed to be enigmatic, then great – consider me teased. If, however, it was meant to be a clear explanation as to what the Spirits Mode actually is, then consider me nonplussed.

I guess we’ll have to wait to play the game when it launches on December 7th, by which time all will become clear. Ahem…

And if you were wondering how all of these beloved characters ended up being condemned to a life of ectoplasm, Nintendo has left us with an intriguing animation which explains virtually nothing. Enjoy!

How do you feel about the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate spirits mode? Does it make perfect sense to you? Are you more confused as I am? Are you suitably teased? Let me know in the comments below.

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