The Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Character Guide: Bowser

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Bowser Gets Bossy!
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: Bowser.

Who Are They?
The Satan of video games, Bowser is the monster dragon/turtle ultimate enemy that makes the Super Mario universe even more bizarre unless you’re up to date on Japanese “kappa” mythology. As with most long-running villains, Bowser has become weirdly softened over the years, having a kid and forming more of a friendly rivalry with Mario that outright vendetta. But never forget that time he tried to blow up the galaxy.
Smash History
Along with Peach, Bowser’s addition in Super Smash Bros. Melee brought the Mario franchise more of the representation it deserved. He has also been a mainstay for villainous heavy characters. And his Smash-exclusive Giga Bowser boss form is up their with Master Hand as a breakout character for the franchise of franchises.
What Looks New in Ultimate?
Someone on Sakurai’s team must really love Bowser because all throughout Smash they just keep making him faster and faster, all while retaining his immense power and ability to shrug off lesser attacks with super armor. In Ultimate, Bowser in general has more range, more speed, more power, less lag, less weakness to worry about.
Our Hopes?
Smash gameplay’s general bias against slower heavy characters, at least in competitive one-on-one fights, is always going to be an issue. Forgive the pun but it doesn’t pay to turtle up in your spiky shell. But with Ultimate we’re hoping Bowser’s accumulated buffs will finally allow him to burst through that barrier and be a great character without qualification. Or just put Dennis Hopper in the game.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases Dec. 7 for Nintendo Switch. Until we can play more for ourselves, changes we talk about here are mostly speculation. For more thoughts check out our Smash hands-on as well as cool Switch games to play that aren’t Smash Bros., because those definitely exist.

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