Although I first played Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at this year’s E3, this past weekend I had the opportunity to put far more time trying out Ridley. I played nearly an hour as the character this past weekend at Toronto’s Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo (EGLX). Not going to lie, the character is insanely powerful. So powerful, in fact, that it seems he might get nerfed after the game launches. On the other hand, Ridley is a clumsy character. He’s awkward to control at times and feels heavy to use. Nevertheless, if you learn to use Ridley well, he will likely become quite the powerhouse.
First, a warning. I am no professional Smash player. I’m a Nintendo writer that loves playing all Nintendo games, including Super Smash Bros. As a result, I am sure there are professional players out there with previews that are more technical and better-suited for hardcore Smash audiences. I hope this preview serves as a nice read for those that love playing Smash in more casual settings.
He’s a strong boy
The first thing you will notice playing as Ridley is that his attacks are often lethal. They hit hard and send people far. Oftentimes, I would hit another player with 20 percent damage and they would get launched across the screen. The side-b attacks, for example, would grab an opponent, crash them on the ground on one side of the screen, and then launch them into the air. Even though the attack itself might not do a ton of damage, it proved deadly on several occasions even when my opponent was as low as 60% damage. This was a reality for most of Ridley’s moves, frequently sending opponents much farther than you would expect.
Not all is perfect
However, that power comes with downsides. Ridley moves slow and feels heavy. More importantly, if you miss with your move, you’ll lose several moments to inaction. If you miss an enemy with the side-b move, you’ll be incapacitated for much longer than you would like. His down-b in the air is very powerful but tough to nail. There is a lot of risk/reward with Ridley’s move set, and if you’re not perfect with the timing there is likely a lot of punishment for opponents to dish out.
Surprisingly, Ridley’s recovery is also pretty terrible. Given he is a winged monster, the fact that I died more than a few times by falling was quite surprising. If you’re launched off the side, there’s no guarantee you will be making it back to solid ground.
Overall, Ridley was an awesome new character to try out. His slow speed and clumsiness made his strength tough to fully utilize, but I’m sure as gamers have more time to master his timing they will find him to be a force to be reckoned with. Ultimately, it remains to be seen if his speed will serve as a barrier for success in professional play, but for casual gaming sessions, Ridley will serve as an excellent addition to the roster.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is launching Dec. 7 for the Nintendo Switch. For more EGLX coverage, stay tuned to Nintendo Enthusiast.