Don’t Expect Super Smash Bros. To Go 3D, Says Director Sakurai

By Ishaan . August 7, 2012 . 11:31am

As previously reported, for the next Super Smash Bros. games, in development for both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Nintendo have recruited Namco Bandai to collaborate on development with the series’ director, Masahiro Sakurai.


Speaking with IGN, Sakurai recently dropped a few hints about the new games. For starters, Sakurai says the development team doesn’t plan to make any drastic changes, such as taking the series 3D.


“The game system itself is complete, so we don’t want to make it 3D or introduce complicated controls just for the sake of it,” Sakurai shares. “However, I am thinking of ways we can introduce a slightly different, fun experience all the while keeping the usual frantic game play.”


Speaking to the possibility of including more third-party characters in the new games, Sakurai says he understands the appeal, but that he doesn’t want to go overboard at the same time.


“I think Snake and Sonic joining were fantastic. It made many fans happy, and it broadened the Smash Bros. arena,” he shared. “However, introducing more non-Nintendo characters willy-nilly will lose the focus of the game, so I also recognise the need to narrow it down.”


With regard to the Wii U version, Sakurai also confirms that he feels the Gamecube controller isn’t the only way to control Smash Bros., and that the development team will look into control methods that fit the Wii U as well.

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  • SirRichard

    Sounds like Sakurai’s keeping a firm hand on the reins, for sure. It also sounds like the next pair won’t be a drastic change from the last few games, but I’m still interested to see what Namco’s devs bring to the table. 

    There’s a whole bunch of people from different fighting game dev teams in there, it’d be silly to not let them brainstorm or make changes to the formula. Can’t do anything as irritating as tripping, surely?

  • $30632660

    I never expected the series to ever go 3D.I just want actual additions to the character roster than stupid clones like Toon Link or Lucas.

    And I hated Sonic and Sonic being in the game so I wished they were gone too.

    • Dyne

       you said sonic 2 times

      • $30632660

        LOL i meant Snake.

    • Anime10121

       Agree about less clones, but I did love Sonic so…

    • James Beatty

      They removed most of the clones that where in the first game. 

    • SLick123456789111

       Would have preferred Classic Sonic myself.
      Wonder if we’ll ever get that one in Smash Bros.

  • Farid Belkacemi


  • James Smith

    I for one wouldn’t mind it if they lost the focus by adding more third party characters, the more the merrier, as long as they are all good additions, done carefully.
    More characters can’t hurt the game.
    I’m less exited by his idea of slightly different ideas, no harm in more stuff  if it’s something optional like the Smash Ball that wasn’t such a fantastic idea in practice but could be easily turned off though.

  • Gohobojoe

    As they say, don’t fix something that’s not broken.

    • SLick123456789111

       Don’t mention that on SRK lol.

  • Anime10121

    Cant say im disappointed about the lack of 3-D considering it kills my eyes, and I can understand not wanting to go overboard on the 3rd party characters, considering it’s meant to be a Nintendo based brawler (although, I’d still love to see more 3rd parties make it in, like say, a certain blue bomber).

    I am worried however at the mention of changing the way to play, I’d rather use classic controllers/gamecube controllers over the game pad thing, but then again, until I actually hold one in my hand I cant know that for sure.  So whatever the case Sakurai has done well with the SB series, so I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.

    • He doesn’t mean stereoscopic 3D.

      • Anime10121

        Oh he means like a 3D SB like Anarchy Reigns (just that it plays like a SB instead)?  That to me sounds like an even worse idea for a Smash Bros than stereoscopic 3D.  I just dont see that working for a game like Smash Bros, so again, I cant say I’m too disappointed with his decision :)

    • James Beatty

      …3D as in 3D gameplay. The 3DS version will have stereoscopic 3D. As for the gamepad…It’s a regular controller with a screen with all the buttons you need and everyone says it’s very comfortable 

      • Anime10121

         Yeah, Ishaan thanfully corrected me on that, but I’m still glad either way, as I think that the SB formula works better the way it currently is.  About the gamepad thing, I did say, I dont know for sure until I actually hold the pad in my hand. I dont generally trust “reviews” online until I try something myself.  But like I said, I do believe Sakurai knows what he’s doing, so regardless, I’m sure I’ll have a good time with the new Smash Bros.

  • the article where they mention not making the game 3d is a little ambiguous as to whether they mean 3D as in on the 3DS version, and they wont do it, or if they are talking about making it a 3D fighter as opposed to the 2.5D fighter that it is. im assuming that its the latter, though, since i expect that they wouldnt make smash bros a 2d 3DS game. lol.

    • It isn’t ambiguous at all. He mentions 3D relative to “complicated controls”. It’s obvious he’s talking about 3D in terms of movement, not stereoscopic 3D.

      • well, i dont think its that obvious, obviously. it is not written in such plain text that yours is the only possible conclusion one can come to when reading it.

  • theoriginaled

    You know what I want to see instead of a new smash bros game? I want to see a pokemon fighting game done in the style. You have however many pokemon now, right? How’s that for a roster. Powerups, special moves, evolutions.. give them models, script their moves into the engine, hell make a subset of moves learnable across different types of pokemon so you can mix and match. Instant hit. Unlockable hats for your pokemon? Billion seller. Call it Pokemon Smash. Id buy 4 copies. Its not like they arent essentially halfway there with pikachu, pichu, lucario, jigglypuff, charmander, bulbasaur, and squirtle already being playable. Hell half the models are already in the game as summonable attacks. just give them a moveset…

    • Anime10121

       Yep and now with the new Pokedex 3D they now have 3D models of EVERY SINGLE POKEMON along with attack animations, so that is VERY much in the realm of possibility.

      • They will probably use those models for the 3DS main Pokemon games. The only Pokemon fighting game we will have is Pokemon Rumble. Which I think is a decent series.

        • Anime10121

           Either way, I’m excited for the possibilities, now that they have 3D models :)

          • Yah I mean they really could to anything with them.

    • theoriginaled

      geez…. I cant believe i forgot mewtwo was playable. He was one of my mains in melee. MAKE THIS GAME NINTENDO.

    • KHSoraKeyBlade

      Mewtwo was totally playable in Melee as well.

      Pokemon smash is an interesting concept though.

    • yorudox

      i always imagined…..POKEMON:ultimate NIN- i mean POKE STORM……….

    • Vyrus

       I don’t wanna be the party pooper, but how do you expect to use Wailord or other Pokemon that need water to fight? How the heck can you even fit a Wailord or the other huge monsters in the screen? Just imagining a .4 inch Joltik fighting a 48 feet tall Wailord is pretty crazy. XD

  • Oni123

    Don’t even use 3D on the 3DS ^^

    • He meant playing on a 3D plane. That being, fighting like in Kid Icarus: Uprising or similar. The 3D effect wasn’t mentioned, and I don’t think that was discarded, either.

  • Nothing of real interest was said…

  • Sad to hear, since my favorite fighters are Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and Bleach VS Crusade… I’m a sucker for free-roaming 3D fighters as long as they’re fast paced, action packed and have a huge variety of attacks and combos (unlike Power Stone).

    • British_Otaku

      No one would accept a 3D movement Smash Bros as a successor to the line up. I enjoy those games as well, but once you have taken a 2D game to the 3rd dimension and changed mechanics enough for a specific and infrequent game series, you are pissing off the original base.

      It can’t really be done another way, just thinking about how the 2D plane makes the controls consistent and simple (Down A may be an unique attack in SSB, in 3D games it would likely have a unique result if chained enough or charged as people may be moving as a result) and allows for an open map with layers, platforms and ring outs.

      Perhaps, it could work or something but it wouldn’t be SSB.
      The base who want a Project M (Melee-type game) sequel or more floaty Brawl sequel would be both be left to play their own mods instead.

  • Xekyo

    Since Kingdom Hearts is on multiple nintendo handhelds, i wouldn’t mind Sora being in a Super Smash Bros. although i want him to stay closer to the Sony family and would rather him be in Playstation Allstars.  Definitely wouldn’t mind any kingdom hearts character in either.  As long as I get to wield dual keyblades in HD soon, i’ll be happy.  :D  One last thing, playing Super Smash Bros. with the gamecube controls will always be the only way to play for me.  :P

    • KHSoraKeyBlade

       I would rather Kingdom Hearts stay out of both series to be perfectly honest.
      If any 3rd party characters appear in Smash it’ll be something Namco related, probably. I do wonder if Sonic and Snake will return though…

      • Xekyo

        I don’t see any harm in it but it wouldn’t really bother me if Kingdom Hearts stayed out of either game.  Having no Kingdom Hearts to play is killing me though. I’ve been dying to replay KH 1, 2, CoM, and BBS but I would much rather play them in full HD if a Collection ever gets released.  

        I don’t know about Snake returning but I have read news of Raiden from Metal Gear Solid making an appearance in the Playstation All Stars closed beta.

      • Sonic might stay. Snake? I dunno. I don’t know why he was even there in the first place.

        • Snake Was in because Kojima begged Sakurai before to put him in Melee, this however came too late, as melee was near completion.

          So Sakurai had (or at least the ones who made the trailer) snake put in Brawl.

          Kojima and Sakurai are really good friends btw.

          hope this clears it up

          • Oh really? That is quite interesting. lol :)

    • AuraGuyChris

      Screw Sora. Riku’s where it’s at.

      But I agree with KHSoraKeyBlade. KH should better stay out of this.

    • KH? That is SE. The likelihood is low. And I don’t know about him being in there. Playstation maybe but I doubt he will be there either.

      • Sora has appeared in both brands(Sony/Ninty)… But the likelihood of happening solely depends on SE whether they’re willing to give it to one of them or not… 

        Since Sakurai wants to keep third-party characters low and never worked with SE characters before, Playstation Allstars has a better chance at acquiring Sora than SSB…

        • I realize this. But the likelihood is low.

    • KH is probably on the bottom of the list, compared to many other fan requests, like Geno from SMRPG and Chocobo from the Chocobo games. Plus, most likely, they might just choose from either of the 5 characters in the Mario Sports games, like Moogle, Cactuar or the Ninja/White Mage/Black Mage party (which can work similarly like Pokemon Trainer or as separate entities).

  • Spirit Macardi

    Since Namco is working on it, there’s one third party character that needs to happen: Klonoa.

    He’s got a great potential move list (look for video of Namco X Capcom if you don’t believe me), he’d make a nice inclusion into the story mode, and appearing in the game could give his series a much-needed popularity boost.

    • Kefkiroth


      • Spirit Macardi

        At least he has an upcoming comic on Shiftylook this month. So he clearly isn’t dead :3

    • Masengan

      His look fits with the rest of the characters I think, I can just imagine him trying to fly with his ears =].

    • puchinri

      That would be so awesome~.

  • SLick123456789111

    Gotta get that Pac-Man up in there at least Sakurai ‘>_>

    • Spirit Macardi

      Why would you want Pac-Man in the game? They already have Kirby, who’s basically the same concept (ball person that east stuff) just executed far better.

      • SLick123456789111

         But Pac-Man doesn’t gain abilities like Kirby & wouldn’t fight like him either. (Pac-Man has some legitimate limbs.)
        Plus JigglyPuff is more akin to Kirby than Pac-Man. (Pink , same shape & normal moves are kind more similar.)
        Pac-Man can use the various abilities he used in Pac-Man World’s 1 – 3 (like the Running Tackle & the Butt Slam) & have a Super that has him eat a Power Pellet that gives him invincibility like in his games & turns the other 3 characters into ghosts.
        You guys don’t want that ? =D
        Plus Mario & Pac-Man are like the fathers of gaming & would mold well together here.

        • Spirit Macardi

          Pac-Man’s been in more than enough stuff lately though. For god’s sake, he’s getting a 3D CGI cartoon next year!

          This is a chance for Namco to give exposure to some of their lesser-known characters like Klonoa, Gilgamesh, and Mappy. Everyone already knows who Pac-Man is, and it’s not like Sonic where he was included as a reference to the 16-bit console wars.

          The only way I’d like to see him in this is if he’s a replacement for the sandbag. I mean, the sandbag was kind of cute so I ended up feeling bad hitting him, but I wouldn’t mind beating up the yellow sell-out for extended sessions >:3

          • ign0z

            His popularity is exactly why he would be Namco’s most likely best choice. I bet a lot of people would want to see him fighting Mario and Sonic, since they’re on the same level of popularity, if not above. Promoting obscure characters just won’t generate the same hype. 

          • Spirit Macardi

            The same could be said for Ness, Marth, Roy, and Pit when they appeared initially as well. In the case of the middle two, they never even had their games released in English at that point. However, after they appeared each one gained a massive spike in popularity, bringing them from relatively unknown niche titles to high-demand games.

            MAYBE include Pac-Man for pure name recognition (though are there seriously people clamoring for more stuff from him?), but also include someone from Namco’s roster of lesser-known titles. The game’s guaranteed to be a massive seller no matter what, so why not use the opportunity to raise the profitability of an existing franchise?

          • How about just choosing KOS-MOS instead, and call it a day?

    • AuraGuyChris

      Screw that damn Museum fanatic. Give me Klonoa/Lloyd/Luke.

      …Or Anise.

      • SLick123456789111


      • Probably only one Tales character. Klonoa would be awesome. I am still wanting Nonspecific Action Figure to be in.

    • Pac-Man? Nah.

  • LittleMofreaky

    I love how fast development is going with this.

  • AuraGuyChris

    …What does he exactly mean by complete?

    If I thinking what I think it is, that’s some inhuman game development…

    • Internet is Crash

      probably the general mechanics of the game. 4 characters at max fighting on a stage, characters knocked far away will get KOd, the higher percentage the farther youll get knocked out, and so-on. No wavedash is fine but please let there be Lcanceling

    • I think what he means is that the underlying system for Smash Bros. is something that just works, so he doesn’t want to do anything that makes the new games completely different. IE; they’re still going to be chaotic 2D games where you try to knock people out of the screen.

      In terms of development, all we know is that Namco Bandai have a prototype up and running, and that Sakurai is happy with it.

  • Asura

    I wish the game will be awesome, but I’m quite certain it won’t be.

    I’ll be sticking to Project M.

    • Vyrus

      Wait, how would the new one not be? I’m just honestly curious as to why that is what you think so.

  • KingGunblader

    I’m glad to hear this. Brawl avoiding succumbing to Wii gimmicks, and it should stay that way with this next games.

  • Nazoc

    Maybe with Namco on board the game can shake off Brawl’s scrubbiness and reach some of the greatness Melee had.

  • keithmaxx

    One neat assymetric gameplay mechanic would be allowing an Nth player some degree of control over the stage, like where and when the Smash Ball appears, triggering map scene changes, etc.

    Additionally, allowing scan-in NFC figurines to make characters appear on the stage (on the fly or otherwise) sounds exciting!

  • Pipiskin99

    god i hate those new impelmentations like first ds games forced developers to push touch controls or features in every game (the same happens with vita now), the same scenario was with 3d, thanks some sane developers we have 2d sprited games on 3ds.
    i just only wish we had good old smash bros just portable and with online feature and tons of modes and unlockables, that’s it. leave everything else intact

  • They probably don’t wanna use 3D so they can use the extra power for polished graphics and enhanced performance.

  • Scirm

    Can you imagine fighting as Professor Layton? Damn, it would be fantastic!

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