I never thought Masahiro Sakurai would actually put Ridley in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Fans have been begging and begging for him for what seems like years now, but it just didn't seem practical. Ridley is huge—many times the size of Samus. How do you translate that into a playable character without feeling disappointing?
Well the truth is that Ridley is pretty small. In fact, compared to the variant that appeared in Metroid's Super Smash Bros. Wii U map, he's positively tiny (speaking of which, I'm really curious to see if that map will return in Smash Bros. Switch). But that doesn't make him any less dominant.
The Basics: Ridley mixes mobility with frightening power. Like Meta Knight, he can fly around the map through two beats of his wings, though that comes at the expense of a traditional recovery move. He also has chargeable fireballs, giving him a nice ranged attack, and a downward smash attack that hits on either side of him. We'll see how the meta shakes out, but it seems like he has all the tools to succeed.
Most Notable Move: Ridley has a grabbing move that's kind of hard to land, but if you do, he'll ride his foe across the map for a lot of damage. Ow. I'm dying to see if experts can chain this into their grabs.
Best Reference: Ridley's Final Smash knocks his opponent into space and plasters them against Samus' scout ship. He then blasts it with a fireball and the two explode together. One wonders why Ridley didn't just do this in the first place.
Learning Curve: Ridley is already one of the easiest characters to pick up and play. His moveset is self-explanatory and he's a big ol' dragon. He'll be popular with beginners.
Will Kat Main Him?: Compared to the more dynamic and interesting Inkling, Ridley is very much business as usual for Super Smash Bros. His attacks have all found form in other characters throughout the series, from his stomps to his fireballs, and he doesn't have an especially unique playstyle. Ridley is all about raw power and aerial combat, which befits his original incarnation.
Competitive players may well find him too bulky or too slow. Personally, I think he's the kind of character who will appeal to new players most—he's big, he's mobile, and he hits really hard. He's like Bowser if Bowser could fly, shoot long-range fireballs, and attack more quickly. So you know, better in pretty much every way.
I'm a bit of a Metroid fangirl, so I'll definitely use Ridley from time to time. But let me tell you a secret—I was kind of hoping that Sakurai would find a more interesting way to represent Ridley.
The idea I shared for Ridley last night: Put him in a special 3v1 mode where Ridley has HP, and the other three characters try to kill him. Ridley's goal is to kill the characters before he dies. Preserves the size element and adds a fun new dimension to Smash.— Kat Bailey@E3 (@The_Katbot) June 12, 2018
Ridley will join the rest of the cast when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases on Switch in December. You can read everything we know about Smash Bros. Ultimate here.