Piranha Plant has finally joined the fray in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Players are welcoming their new pot-bound friend.
I didn’t get Piranha Plant when it was announced. As a secret final fighter, a potted plant didn’t wow me, even if it did spit poison and spiked balls. Now that it’s actually out in the wild, I get it. She’s got little feet! How could you not love that? Other players were quicker on the uptake than me, it appears, and have been celebrating the plant’s arrival.
As a new plant mom, I also want to tenderly love and care for my plant babies. I just don’t run the risk of getting bitten by them.
Piranha Plant, Smash Bros. Ultimate’s first new DLC fighter, went live last night as part of the game’s 2.0 update, but Nintendo’s unusual way of providing fans access to the character has left some players frustrated and plantless.
Piranha Plant is free for anyone who buys Smash Bros. Ultimate before January 31, but the character doesn’t automatically appear in the Switch game. Users need to redeem a code sent to them by Nintendo. If they purchased the game digitally Nintendo is supposed to have automatically emailed a code shortly after purchase. Anyone who bought a physical edition needed to register the game manually with the My Nintendo Rewards program and then wait for Nintendo to send them an email with a code. Some players say they still haven’t gotten those emails though, while others have reported that even after redeeming the code the new character still wasn’t available.
Currently, the Nintendo Support Forum for North America is flooded with dozens of posts from people claiming to have these sorts of problems. “Another Person with no Plant Email,” reads one of them. “Just making it known that there’s more people with the problem of no emails with the plant, yes I checked promotions and spam,” the player wrote. “Piranha Plant won’t show up even though I’ve updated to 2.0.0 and have redeemed my code,” wrote another. Some eventually found the emailed codes hiding in their promotions or spam folders, but others are still waiting.
It’s hard to tell how widespread the issue is. While there are dozens of complaints, Smash Ultimate has sold millions of copies. It’s also hard to tell how many of the complaints are a product of Nintendo’s odd approach to offering the character and its caveat that the wait to get it after registering might be really long.
In some cases customer support reps have referred people to Nintendo’s Piranha Plant DLC FAQ page. There it says that codes can take up to 10 business days to arrive from the date the game is registered. Regardless, there were some complaints prior to today of people not receiving any email even after the 10 days was up.
At Kotaku, three of us have received codes but all at a different pace. One of us bought the game digitally on December 5 and received the Piranha Plant code e-mail two days later. Two others had physical copies that they didn’t register until this week. One got their code the same day, the other got it after a three day wait. It’s unusual in general that there would be any wait time involved in getting access to an early-adopter bonus like Piranha Plant, let alone a period of up to 10 days that varies from player to player.
Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Piranha Plant doesn’t radically transform the game, but it is still a new character for Smash. Players are understandable anxious to try it out. The game’s five other DLC fighters will be $5 each and are scheduled to arrive in the game in the coming months, beginning with Persona 5’s Joker.
Last night, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate got Mario’s Piranha Plant, the platform fighter’s first downloadable fighter, and it’s a doozy. Piranha Plant’s moveset is a radical departure from what we’ve seen in prior Smash games, but thankfully, unlike those games’ downloadable fighters, this one isn’t overpowered.
Smash Ultimate players can get Piranha Plant by following our instructions here. The character is not part of the game’s Fighters Pass, a subscription service for downloadable fighters, so Piranha Plant is free to download for anyone who unlocks it before this coming Friday.
Last night, I gave it a spin and Piranha Plant’s toolkit is totally weird and, somehow, works. The first thing to know is that it’s not a fast fighter and has low mobility (hell, it’s bouncing around in a clay pot). It’s got some heavy hits that are, unfortunately for it, easy to see coming and a little tricky to aim properly. Most important though, it’s a super fun fighter that adds something fresh and leafy to Smash Ultimate’s roster.
As a toothed head at the end of a long, potted stem, Piranha Plant has moves that are all foliage-themed and, often, are directed vertically by default. Pressing B, Piranha Plant spits up and suspends a spiky metal ball, which it can throw a little ways left or right. Its down special pulls Piranha Plant into its pot like a spring before it pops outward to bite an opponent—an attack that can also be directed up, right or left. Its side special charges a putrid cloud of poison breath, which does some pretty massive damage when an opponent is stuck in it for several seconds. (Like other charged attacks, Piranha Plant can store it for a long time before using it.) Its up special, or recovery ability, has Piranha Plant turn into a little leaf propeller, which flies around the sky and does damage to opponents stuck in it. The range on that is long and it lasts a significant amount of time.
Here’s his final Smash, Petey Piranha. Our friendly foliage friend becomes an enormous Little Shop of Horrors nightmare who traps opponents in his cages:
Piranha Plant’s toolkit is great for controlling space on a stage and defending against enemies in the air. Tossing spiked balls, littering poison clouds and preparing long-stemmed bites are all useful for keeping opponents at a distance. That’s all also excellent for edge-guarding opponents who are coming back on-stage.
That can work like so:
And like so:
Piranha Plant also has some pretty deft ways to defend itself when it’s off-stage:
What’s really exciting is how well Piranha Plant’s moves interlock to form combos. They’re not inescapable combos; in fact, for fighters faster than it, they won’t be too difficult to avoid. That said, they’re super fun when they work:
Some bad news for folks considering Piranha Plant as a main: It suffers from a lot of landing lag, making its aerial attacks risky to pull off. That makes off-the-ground combos a bit of a struggle.
Even if we may not see Piranha Plant scale the ranks of pro tournaments any time soon, the fighter is adding something a little more significant to the Smash tradition. Smash Ultimate offers a bevy of new fighters whose toolkits resemble no one else’s before them, like Inkling’s, Simon’s and King K. Rool’s. That Smash Ultimate is continuing this momentum with its first downloadable character just goes to show its developers are still innovating [and] keeping things weird.
I think all of us are curious about how a literal piranha plant is going to hold its own against the likes of Solid Snake in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The new, downloadable fighter releases sometime before February 15—we’re not exactly sure when yet—and if you own the game, you’re going to want to give the big guy a spin. Just don’t miss out: You only have three days to get him for free.
Super Smash Bros.’ downloadable fighters (DLC) usually cost money, but if you already bought the game or buy it before January 31, you won’t have to pay anything to add Smash Ultimate’s Little Shop of Horrors cameo to your roster. You just have to get the code before Friday, or else you’ll have to pay. Here’s how you unlock the plant:
If you bought a physical copy of the game
You have to register your copy of Smash Ultimate manually. Highlight Smash Ultimate in your Switch library. Hit the Plus button. Then scroll to the “My Nintendo Rewards Programme” tab. Click “Earn Points.”
Pick the Nintendo Account on which you want to download Piranha Plant. Then, within 10 days, you will receive a download code for Piranha Plant in the e-mail attached to the Nintendo Account you chose. Be careful: If you’re on Gmail, it may land in your “Promotions” or “Spam” folder.
If you bought a digital copy of the game from the Nintendo Eshop
The game should have automatically registered for your Nintendo Account. That means your Piranha Plant download code was probably already e-mailed to the address associated with your Nintendo Account. (Again—be sure to check your “Promotions” or “Spam” folder if you’re on Gmail!). If you purchased Smash Ultimate recently, the code will arrive within ten days.
To redeem the code
Go to the Switch’s Eshop, log into the account you want to receive Piranha Plant and navigate to the “Enter Code” tab on the left menu. Type in the code and you’re golden! The code expires June 30, but surely you’ll get to this by then…