Cuphead is wasted in Super Smash Bros Ultimate as a measly Mii Fighter

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Cuphead, one of the best indie platformers of recent years, has been granted the great honor of having its jump-and-shoot hero joining the fight in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, the best-selling fighting game from Nintendo and Bandai Namco. However, it's not as good as it sounds.

In a 35-minute stream running through new additions to Smash Bros Ultimate, we heard about a brand new Challenger Pack fighter – Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses – and another Fighters Pass with six unannounced fighters to come. But the most thrilling (or, frustrating) moment was when franchise director Masahiro Sakurai closed by showing off a number of new costumes for the Mii Fighters in the game.

The Mii Fighters are avatars you can customize to look like yourself – or anyone you like – with a variety of different costumes and clothing options to make your Brawler, Swordfighter or Gunner a truly personal fighter.

As of January 28, you'll be able to dress up your Mii as one of the Rabbids from Rayman, Altair from Assassin's Creed, Megaman, or even Cuphead (as the Gunner option).

It's a hugely wasted opportunity, given how perfectly the cartoon hero – with its long-range blasting attacks and platforming skills – would have fit into Smash Bros Ultimate.

Altair, Megaman, Rabbids, and (sobs) Cuphead join the fight, in their own small way

Altair, Megaman, Rabbids, and (sobs) Cuphead join the fight, in their own small way (Image credit: Nintendo)

More to come, but will it be what we want?

Sakurai assures his viewers that "we'll continue to add some more DLC fighters down the line," and the six additional fighters – none of which have been unveiled – will continue to keep us watching, waiting, and hoping well into 2021. 

But we can be pretty sure than a fighter getting a Mii costume isn't being considered for a full role – in the same way our hopes for Waluigi were dashed by his appearance as an assist trophy at launch.

The latest fighters have suffered from a lack of imagination, with another Fire Emblem representative and a mostly-forgotten Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury. It seems Nintendo may have lost its edge with its DLC fighters, which is painful to see after the first few were so inspiring – Piranha Plant, in an actual plant pot!

Even if we don't get Cuphead, there are six new chances for Nintendo to redeem itself. Let's see if it does.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.