Thanks to PushDustIn and Cart Boy for edits.
There was a lot of focus on music during the recent Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct. And while Sakurai covered a wealth of material from how My Music functions to the game’s potential application as a music player, I’d like to go further in-depth and see what else we can find. I’m also going to be separating these all into spoilers for ease of reading, with my final conclusions at the end. To be frank, there’s quite a bit of data.
Overall, the music – or at least this sampling we currently have – shows a clear, albeit slow, evolution from the musical focus in the previous games. We’re continuing to get fan favorite tracks and remixes of prior Smash songs, but they’re being mixed with tracks players likely could not expect, like music from Metroid Prime: Federation Force or Castlevania: the Arcade. The Donkey Kong track “Gangplank Galleon” – which was first revealed in the Direct, then had its second part added to the official site’s music page – shows this rather well. It starts out as a more energetic, traditional remix of the stage, like the one used in Brawl, before bringing out a mariachi band with rap lyrics overlaid. ACE (who’ve made Smash remixes in the past) created something surprising and entirely distinct, and its positive reception is decent confirmation of the value in going into different places like this.
Despite the smaller number of songs, I think the sampling we’ve gotten provides an even better example of what we’re getting than the last Direct. There’s a better sense of how music is being looked at, and now we’ve got a good idea of just how much new content we’re getting. Even if there are no musical cuts, we’ll have close to 300 new pieces of music. That’s a hard amount to process. And unlike the more “normal” remixes from Smash for 3DS & Wii U, a number of them feel more unique and of their own. So at least right now, the musical direction for Ultimate seems very positive.