While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate rivals Avengers for the most ambitious crossover of all time, it somehow still came as a huge shock to see Persona 5‘s Joker introduced at The Game Awards 2018.
The Phantom Thief has finally landed on the Switch’s eShop, and it’s time to throw down. How does he fare in the switch from turn-based combat to beat-em-up action?
In short, surprisingly well. His moves have plenty of utility, and despite his held weapon being a knife, he deals plenty of damage from range too.
In terms of specials, this is what Joker offers:
Neutral Special – Gun: This is as straightforward as it sounds, with Joker able to fire his handgun in single shots or via continuous fire (by holding B). Dodging is also possible while firing, making him a nimble damage dealer.
Side Special – Eiha: A spell attack that deals damage-over-time, Eiha looks cool but doesn’t hit with a lot of power.
Up Special – Grappling Hook: An extremely useful move in multiple situations, Joker’s grappling hook can pull him back onto the stage when freefalling, or pull enemies closer. While the latter sets them up for his knife attacks, it could also drag them away from items.
Down Special – Rebel’s Guard: Joker has essentially two move sets to master, separated by the use of a meter appearing in the bottom of the screen. Once you’ve filled it (by taking damage), he can call upon Arsene – one of his Personas. His down special fills the gauge more quickly until he eventually unleashes Arsene.
Arsene’s special moves are as follows, and keep in mind that he increases Joker’s damage across the board, too.
Neutral Special – Gun Special: Joker’s gun now fires a three-round burst instead of a single shot, making him even more of a handful from range.
Side Special – Eigaon: A much more powerful version of Eiha, Eigaon deals a larger initial chunk of damage, and its damage-over-time effect lasts longer.
Up Special – Wings of Rebellion: What’s cooler than a grappling hook? Being able to fly, of course. Arsene’s Up Special allows him to propel Joker upwards and makes him invincible while doing so.
Down Special – Counter-Attack: Arsene’s Down Special is sure to be a lot of fun for pro-players to experiment with. If used on a projectile, it’ll be deflected back at an opponent with Makarakarn, while melee counter Tetrakarn can open up an opportunity for a considerable hit.
Of course, Final Smashes are what the people want, and Joker’s stays true to his Persona 5 roots.
All-Out Attack allows Joker to lay opponents out and essentially dogpile them with the rest of the Phantom Thieves. Missing the attack isn’t too much of an issue, as the initial dash can be repeated by moving the other way on the screen – which should keep players on their toes.
Joker was certainly a surprising inclusion on the Smash Bros. roster, and we can’t wait to see who is arriving next!
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