While perhaps not as huge a request as say Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series or Dante from the Devil May Cry series, fans of Super Smash Bros Ultimate have long asked for a character from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to be added to the game’s gigantic roster. Announced as part of yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, the Aegis’s Pyra and Mythra join Smash.
The Newest Additions to the Smash Roster: Pyra And Mythra
The trailer for the surprise reveal featured the main character, Rex, wondering where his beloved may have gone after she suddenly “disappeared” without a trace. Rex asks fellow comrades and even goes to the ship that marked the site of her first appearance in the game. After an exhaustive search, Rex finds Pyra and questions why he didn’t tell him where she went. Pyra announces that “I couldn’t tell you because I got an invitation to join Smash.” Leaving Rex mystified as to her inclusion, as he, (and many fans as well), thought Rex would be the character included in Smash instead.
Pyra is Rex’s main ally in the fight to save Alrest and the world at large. Rex finds her on a ship during an early story mission and this sets off the events to follow in the game’s 80 plus hour story. She starts out as this shy blade that comes into her own as a strong character once she understands her role as a major player. Pyra boasts a number of fire-based attacks such as Blazing Edge or Smash Flare. While also teaming up with Rex using his sword for some special moves too, which are all showcased in the trailer as well. Pyra also is able to use Rex’s sword as her main weapon to ward off other fighters.
Mythra awakens after a key point in the story as Pyra’s more powerful form that’s been hidden away to protect the world from potential destruction. Mythra is brash, confident, and a tad cocky. However, it is through her interactions with Pyra, Rex, and the rest of the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 cast that she learns to value other personality traits. Mythra uses photon or light energy-based attacks, such as Chroma Dust and Photon Edge, which are also featured in the trailer. Similar to Pyra, she can also join up with Rex for a special attack as well. Mythra uses Rex’s sword as her main weapon, but can also use her foresight ability to quickly dodge oncoming attackers. Mythra can also switch with Pyra at any time with the press of a button allowing for seamless use of either character’s attacks.
What This Means for Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Firstly, much to the delight or chagrin of the fighting game community, another swordfighter is part of the Smash roster. Regardless of what side of that spectrum you land on, there are a lot of positives that go beyond the in-game meta. There’s also a special Xenoblade Chronicles 2 stage which features Gramps as the base of the battlefield, along with other members of the cast including Nia, Zeke, Dromarch, and others.
Most importantly, the fantastic music of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is now part of the ridiculously amazing soundtrack that accompanies Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Its battle themes are some of the best to ever exist and the softer tunes are also worth a listen as well. Lastly, as alluded to at the end of the trailer, the original Xenoblade Chronicles main protagonist Shulk can now fulfill some fanfictions and team-up or battle against one of the most powerful beings in the game’s lore.
As of this writing, Nintendo has not released a solo trailer of the announcement, luckily though it was literally the first thing announced in this Nintendo Direct so you don’t have to fast forward much to watch it…
Last Word on Gaming Viewpoint
I am at best a casual Super Smash Bros player, so I can’t speak to if this is good or bad for the actual meta or not. I’m more excited that my favorite game that’s ever released on the Nintendo Switch has characters featured in it now. Honestly, 2017’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is far from perfect. It has an obtuse battle system, which is fun to use, but features systems layered on top of systems that are not explained well. There is also a grindy aspect to the gameplay. Plus, it features an annoying gacha system to unlock its main battle components.
However, for me, one of the best parts of the game is the characters and their story. Say what you will about their designs, but I truly enjoyed so many things about the game that I spent over 120 hours in it. Sure, a lot of it is very anime-inspired, but it provides a great world to explore, with so many monsters to fight, and treasures to find. The individual stories of these characters and how they come together are endearing and as a cast, they may be even better than the original’s counterparts. Furthermore, it also has an awesome standalone DLC expansion Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna: The Golden Country that adds depth to the story and makes refinements to some of the gameplay systems.
In the end, the Pyra and Mythra inclusion is a cool moment for fans of the game. We all need to remember that not everything is for you, Nintendo and Masahiro Sakurai have to appeal to so many fandoms within their base. They cannot possibly appeal to everyone. Now, only two slots remain in the final season pass for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Let the speculation begin as to who they will be.