Sora in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a Strange Amalgamation of Characters – GameRant

Breaking down Sora’s moveset in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he’s a surprising mix of unique design around familiar moves and concepts.
Plenty of folks had their respective favorite picks for the last character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but in the end, Sora from Kingdom Hearts is the final DLC character. Characters like Halo's Master Chief, or Rayman, or potentially another Pokemon character from the eighth generation seemed like the most likely or plausible candidates; many wrote off Sora's possibility because of his inherent connection to Disney, and to a lesser extent Square Enix. However, seemingly against all odds (as well as devoid of most direct references to Disney), yet another Square Enix-adjacent character makes their way on to the massive 82 character roster.
To some, Sora's inclusion might seem a little strange as the last character. However, given his character's massive popularity, Sora's a perfectly reasonable choice as the last inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's massive roster. If anything, his inclusion is comparatively less strange next to the way he actually plays in-game. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Sora occupies a very strange character archetype: An extremely lightweight, combo-focused floaty character, alongside attacks with huge disjoints. Quantifying him as a sword character is accurate, but doesn't nearly tell the whole story: Sora, mechanically, is a strangely unique amalgamation of Smash characters.
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Conceptually speaking, his inclusion in the game is not all that strange compared to how he plays. That Smash Ballot that Nintendo held for Super Smash Bros. back in 2015, which supposedly lead to the inclusion of Bayonetta from the titular series, actually had someone else top the charts as the number one pick: Sora. Additionally, considering Sora was often trending on Twitter moments before/after the reveal of other Super Smash Bros. characters, it was clear he was a popular pick for inclusion. It certainly helped that Sora's Final Fantasy brothers, Cloud and Sephiroth, also made their way on to the roster, lending credence to the possibility of his inclusion.
The only major licensing boogeyman that seemingly prevented Sora's inclusion was Disney, the universe of characters that crossed over with Final Fantasy in Kingdom Hearts. Considering Square Enix went out on a limb when Cloud was first included in Super Smash Bros. For Wii U/3DS, his inclusion only added just a few songs from Final Fantasy 7, signifying that the Japanese RPG publisher was being relatively protective of its IP. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's popularity, likely paired with Sakurai's endearing passion for the title, lead to Square Enix bringing Sephiroth and ultimately Sora to the game, despite avoiding most referneces to Disney entirely.
RELATED: Why Sora Was Likely So Difficult to Get Into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
What's even more impressive with Sora's inclusion, however, is his gameplay design. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's roster and development is revered for the team's ability to capture the essence and feel of a character's origins through their Smash moveset: Whether it's the more abstract portrayal's of characters like Byleth and their Heroes' Relics, or Cloud's Buster Sword capable of using Limit Break attacks as special moves. Sora falls into the latter category for the most part, as a majority of his moves are representative of his abilities in the series almost wholeheartedly. What's more interesting is how his moveset still resembles existing characters despite being unique.
Sora's aerial neutral air and forward air three-hit combos all resemble his air combos from Kingdom Hearts, but they also emulate the mechanical look and feel of Bayonetta's forward air combos. Bayonetta's aerial side special Afterburner Kick is very similar to Sora's Sonic Blade, while Sora's up special resembles Link's. Sora's jab combo represents the three-hit starting combo players fight with in Kingdom Hearts, which also emulates the rapid jab attacks of multiple characters on the roster. Overall, a majority of Sora's moveset is visually unique and emblematic of his Kingdom Hearts roots, but is also indicative of how he fits into the Smash roster so well.
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Playing as Sora in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, especially for those wholly unfamiliar with Kingdom Hearts, is like figuring out what a unique combination of MewTwo, Bayonetta, and Ness plays like. His floatiness, very light weight, disjointed auto-combos, and rotating specials play like a mishmash of existing characters that can be uncomfortable to grasp at first. As far as competitive viability, it's definitely hard to place where Sora will be. His light weight and slow grounded/aerial speed pose a serious challenge for his viability. However, he's easily one of the most unique Smash characters, even if his individual moves are relatively familiar.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now on Nintendo Switch.
MORE: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Sora's Taunts Should Be His Primary Magic
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Not actually a distant relative of Bob Dole, Rob Dolen is a Features Writer for Game Rant. Big fan of expansive lore and game analysis, video games are cool. Freedom Fighters is underrated. Probably not good at competitive Halo anymore.

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