Joker from Persona 5 now available for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

We never saw it coooomiiiiiin! Nintendo randomly dropped a Nintendo Direct in the middle of the night on April 16, with absolutely no ceremony or announcement. The focus this time? Smash Bros. along with the latest DLC character, Joker from Persona 5, and the upcoming 3.0 update. Let’s take a look.

Joker

We finally got a chance to see Joker in action. How does he play?

Well he seems to be a high mobility aggressive type character who primarily uses his dagger and gun to attack. None of his normals or specials use his Persona, normally. Rather, he has a rebellion bar that fills as he takes damage (possibly in a certain special stance). When it’s full he can summon Arsene who fights alongside him.

This operates similar to the way Stands worked in Capcom’s old JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fighting game. Arsene automatically acts when Joker does, changing his move-set, turning some of his attacks into magic attacks, and generally enhancing him.

Joker’s neutral special is his gun. It fires out quick low damage projectiles at the opponent. Most notably Joker can move while firing, creating a circle spread shot in midair, or dodging to the left or right with a leap and a downward shot. When Arsene is active, Joker’s fire-rate is tripled (each shot fires three bullets instead of one).

His up special is a grappling hook, a fairly classic tether recovery. It fires upward at an angle and when standing on solid ground, it actually acts as a ranged grapple that carries the opponent toward you for combo opportunities. This gives Joker amazing anti-air capabilities, making him a major threat to floaters. While Arsene is active, this special turns into “Wings of Rebellion” which is one of the best upward recoveries in the game. While it loses its ability as a grapple, it’s also fully invincible. Making Joker very hard to edgeguard.

His side special is Eiha one of his only magical attacks. It does a small amount of damage and hit-stun but inflicts a damage over time effect on the opponent. When Arsene is active, this special does increased damage, has an explosion at the end of its travel distance, and inflicts higher hit-stun and DOT. The explosion can also knockback enemies, unlike Eiha’s small hit-stun.

His down special is rebel’s guard, and this ties in to his Persona mechanic. Joker’s rebellion bar fills over time, when he takes damage, or when he is behind in stock. However, by using Rebel’s Guard, Joker will reduce the damage he takes and nullify knockback as well as knock the opponent back on release. The hits that Joker takes while in Rebel’s guard will add to his rebellion bar, which is eventually what allows him to summon Arsene. When Arsene is summoned, he sticks around until the rebellion bar drains completely.

When Arsene is summoned, Joker’s down special becomes a counter attack. If hit by a physical attack, he uses Tetrakarn, which essentially operates the same way that any Fire Emblem style counter does. If hit by a projectile attack, he activates Makarakarn which is basically a simple projectile reflect.

Joker’s final smash is the All-Out Attack, and it shares its animation nearly exactly with Persona counterpart. He starts with a dashing slash (similar to Chrom or Marth’s Final Smash) and anyone who gets caught up in it will then be dragged into the full All-Out Attack animation. If Joker misses with the first hit, he can actually dash back for a second attempt.

Joker’s stage is Mementos, a fairly standard three platform stage with a small slope and a variety of Persona 5 themed hazards such as attacks from other party members, subway trains running across the map, and walls that close in from the sides. In addition, Mementos will sometimes play Persona 3 and Persona 4 music, and when it does it will change color to represent that game, a light blue for Persona 3 and yellow for Persona 4. 11 tracks from the Persona series will be added all together.

It’s also worth noting that his win screen is also almost identical to the Persona 5 after battle screen.

Joker comes with two costumes, his Phantom Thief trench coat, and his Shujin Academy uniform. If we are to believe rumors, we may also see a female Joker skin as well, to coincide with the release of P5R but that’s just a rumor right now.

And when will Joker be available? He’s available now. He’s coming out right now. Anyone with the season pass will already have access to him. Anyone else can purchase Challenger Pack 1 for $5.99 which includes Joker and his stage along with a unique arcade mode path. A number of Persona themed spirits will also be added into the game.

Mii Fighter Costume DLC

In addition to Joker, a number of new Mii Fighter costumes will also be released as DLC. A Morgana Hat, a full body costume themed around the Persona 4 protagonist, Yu Narukami, a Teddie hat, and a full body costume themed after the Persona 3 protagonist, Minato Arisato. There will be a number of non-Persona themed costumes as well including Tails and Knuckles from Sonic: The Hedgehog. These costumes will retail for $0.75 each and will also be available tomorrow.

Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0

A free version 3.0 update is coming and is introducing a bunch of new content. The first, as we all saw in Nintendo’s commercial leak, is a Stage Builder mode. Not only can you freely draw your platforms (even with the touch screen in handheld mode), but you can make them move in any path you like, create stage hazards, even create aesthetic elements in the foreground and background. Your saved stages can then be accessed via a new tab on the stage select screen and you can share your stages with other players all around the world.

Version 3.0 will also come with a new video editor mode. This mode will allow you to splice and do rudimentary edits to your saved match footage. It will be a great to fool around with if you are in to Machinima, or if you simply want to splice together a highlight reel of your best matches. You can also add music, subtitles, and transitions, and you can even share your videos on a new Shared Content online tab.

In addition to being able to share videos, replays, and stages, you can also share your Mii Fighter creations, allowing them to be downloaded by anyone. All of this content can be “yeahed” in order to allow it to float to the top of content curation, and you can also follow individual creators if you like their stuff. You can also see all of this content on your phone using “Smash World” on the Nintendo Online app and queue up content to download while away from your Switch.

And while you have probably come to expect this by now, this update is also available now.

That is a whole heck of a lot of content to drop on us with no warning. Phew! You never cease to surprise us Nintendo. What do you think? Are you going to check out Joker and Stage Builder? I know I am. Let us know how you feel in the comments and I’ll see you on the Smash servers.