Duck Hunt Takes Aim!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is huge. Not just in terms of hype and importance and sales potential, but just in terms of sheer stuff. The Nintendo Switch mascot fighter features over a hundred stages, nearly a thousand songs, and too many Pokemon and items and Assist Trophies to think of crammed onto a cartridge you can plan on the go or on a TV. When you have as many big franchises as Nintendo, putting them all in one game will make that game is very big boy indeed.

But the biggest, most exciting thing about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is its mind-blowing, heartwarming roster of playable characters. Fighting games pride themselves not just on the strength of their mechanics but the strength of its fighters, especially in a crossover fighters like this. And Super Smash Bros. Ultimate crushes all rivals by including every single playable character from the across the four previous games in the twenty-year-old series. Include the new combatants and so far we have over 70 fighters to wrap our heads around. We’re excited, but we’re also intimidated. So to get ready for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, every day, character by character, we’re creating the ultimate guide to all of its characters. Today’s fighter: Duck Hunt.

Who Are They?

Duck Hunt is this rascal of a chortling pooch, as well as one of the waterfowl he mocks you for not shooting down, from the classic NES game Duck Hunt. However, joining the duo is the disembodied presence of someone off-screen shooting an NES Zapper, the same light gun you would use to shoot ducks in Duck Hunt. Guest stars from other NES Zapper games, from Hogan’s Alley to Wild Gunman, also show up during certain moves.

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Smash History

Every Smash Bros. game needs a wacky retro newcomer to round out the character roster at the end, like Mr. Game & Watch or R.O.B. The Robot. Duck Hunt served that role as the final newcomer for the base lineup in Smash Wii U/3DS before DLC. Plus who doesn’t appreciate more dogs in a fighting game?

What Looks New in Ultimate?

Playing as Duck Hunt lets you inflict the same pain on players that you felt yourself when that smug canine first laughed at you back in the 1980s. Duck Hunt’s playstyle revolves around annoying opponents from a distance with all sorts of weird projectiles like clay discs and exploding cans. When you’re in trouble just fly away with the duck on your back. And so far in Ultimate Duck Hunt mostly enjoys buffs, making that annoyance even more effective.

Our Hopes?

Duck Hunt was such a cool unexpected pick for a NES-era rep we’re glad they’re still here. But even cooler is how the whole “bird riding a furry mammal” combo lets you almost pretend Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie is in the game. We would like to know who is wielding that Zapper though? Is it Sakurai?

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now. Read our review of this majestic video game pageant. And for more check out cool Switch games to play that aren’t Smash Bros., because those definitely exist.

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