Super Smash Bros. Director On Finding The Balance Between Fun And Complexity

By Ishaan . August 29, 2014 . 3:32pm

This month’s issue of the U.K.’s Edge magazine contains interviews with various development staff working on Nintendo games, and one of the interviews is with Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai. During his interview, Sakurai was asked to comment on the differences between Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, and how the Gamecube game is more popular with tournament players. (Thanks, Nintendo Everything)


Sakurai replies, “I think the popularity of Melee rested fundamentally on the game’s speed. The dazzling exchange of skills was the game’s most exhilarating aspect and the rough edges in terms of the game’s balance went mostly unnoticed. Even though the dynamic range of the characters was limited, the game somehow made its mark, even with hardcore fans of the genre. ”


Sakurai goes on to say that Melee’s controls were rather complicated, and that this is one of his regrets regarding the game, as it ended up being a “Smash Bros. game for hardcore fighting fans,” and that isn’t the goal of the series at all. In fact, Sakurai says, he feels that complicated controls are the greatest shortcoming of fighting games in general, and this is why he feels the need to avoid them.


“Companies that release products that target a very vocal, visible group of gamers tend to receive good reactions and they may feel good about it, but I think that we have to pay special attention to the less vocal, not so visible group of players, or else games will just fade away,” Sakurai explains. This is a sentiment that is often voiced by many other designers that work internally at Nintendo as well.


Instead, Sakurai says, the goal of Smash to be an “opponent-based action game” where a wide variety of events can occur, some of them “quite outrageous”.


“The most important thing is that the game have breadth and depth, since we would like them to be popular with both novices and hardcore gamers,” he shares. “We think that people who aren’t so good at turning the tables and coming back from behind can still get enjoyment out of the [new] game, even if they turn off items and Smash Balls.”


“Although the pace of the game had to be lowered compared to Melee in order to achieve this balance, we have managed to keep the dynamism because we didn’t have to gear towards novice players like we did with Brawl. In fact, we recreated all characters almost from scratch. Also, I feel on a personal level that this game is more interesting than the three previous games in the series.”

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  • Sakurai gets it. I’ve never gotten into fighting games because I’m terrible at them, but I have always liked Super Smash Bros. Nintendo studios really know how to achieve that balance of simplicity and complexity.

    I don’t know what he’s talking about with Melee though. I guess the hardcore fighting community discovered its intricacies and built tournament play around it, but as someone that never truly mastered the game in that way, I still found it simple and accessible enough to play on my own.

    • lackofstyle

      i think he is talking about how the options of a “hardcore smasher” are very different than a more causal player, too the point that it is no longer an even playing field once you learn certain moves. i have been playing a bunch of brawl and melee with my friends recently, and i have notice that they pretty much can’t touch me in melee because i know how to use some of the more advance moves( and i’m not even good at them), where in brawl while the game is painfully slow, we have more fun because we all pretty much have the same set of moves regardless of our actual skill level.

      • Justin Grant

        If you’re good enough to learn advanced techniques in melee you’re good enough to beat anyone in brawl who wasn’t good enough to learn advanced techniques. Hardcore smashers are always going to win against casual players regardless of what smash game they’re playing or how difficult the game is. I don’t know about everyone, but I’d like for the amount of time I put into getting better at a game to actually translate to how much I can put up a fight against others. Also It’s not like advanced techniques are only limited to certain players, anyone can use them.

        • lackofstyle

          Ah well maybe its just that my play style is different between the two games but i feel that they have an easier time keeping up with me in brawl

          and yea everyone can learn them but the gap is a bit ridiculous, even more so then some other games. that or maybe i just suck at brawl.

          • Justin Grant

            For me it was like. I was bad at both games compared to hardcore, but still wanted to get good. Played melee with friends and always won. Switched to brawl when it came out, always won against my friends, even when I didn’t personally own it. Then none of my friends want to play with me lol. Now I just find people online to play with. :P It’s pretty much impossible to make a game where casual players can beat hardcore players without it being incredibly simple or very luck based.

        • Princess_Eevee9

          You shouldn’t have to be required to know extreme advanced techniques to win a match. Didn’t you read his statement? His vision of this game was to bridge the gap between novices and advanced players. Not cater to a vocal minority.

          • Justin Grant

            You aren’t going to win a match anyways if you wouldn’t have put in any time in learning advanced techniques. People who put time into learning advanced techniques are people who have desire to get good at the game and win. If you don’t have that desire you aren’t going to win regardless of advanced techniques being in the game or not.

          • Princess_Eevee9

            That’s so wrong but okay.

          • Dexterino

            What are these advance techniques you speak of?

          • Justin Grant

            In Melee things like Wavedashing/landing, l-cancelling, and jump/crouch cancel things. In Brawl things like RARing, Dacus, Gatling combos. Among a number of character specific techniques in each game.

            Not sure on 64’s advanced techniques besides z-cancel, as I never really got into it.

          • Dexterino

            Got damn. I didn’t know any of that. I played Melee the way it was. It’s like a bunch of exploits in game mechanics to win right?

          • BlackC#Bro

            How exactly is lowering the skill ceiling bridging the gap between novice and advance players?

            It just means that it takes me much less time to be as good as the game as possible and then never lose to a person with less skill.

            If a person plays the game “casually” and doesn’t want to commit to learn anything, it doesn’t matter how high the skill ceiling is with things like advance techniques, the fact that I exert effort in anyway at all means I will always beat them unless the game has a random element to it.

  • This man gets it.

  • Joshua Lewis

    As Long as lucario still has the power of aura illl buy your game good sir

  • NeptuniasBeard

    I’m sure I’ll love the game no matter it’s direction. Sure the hardcore crowd will most likely avoid this game, but I liked each Smash more than the last, and from how this game’s shaping up, I’m sure that it’ll blow the other 3 out of the water, at least for me.

    Keep on doing you Sakurai, don’t be swayed by the vocal crowd.

    • Hear hear~!

    • Princess_Eevee9

      Amen to that.

    • Justin Grant

      please no

      • Princess_Eevee9

        How about please yes. The creator can do whatever the fuck he wants to do with his game. And a vocal minority can put up or not get the game.

        • Justin Grant

          People who hate advanced techniques are an equally small vocal minority. The majority is people who don’t even care whether there are advanced techniques are not, or who won’t even realize there are advanced techniques.

          • Renzo-senpai

            True that

          • Princess_Eevee9

            Theeeeeen you won’t miss it being in the game. Want a highly technical game pay a true fighting game. Sakurai has been stated his stance on this.

          • Asura

            I have Melee. I’m happy. It’s ridiculously technical, moreso than Guilty Gear, which is my second favorite fighting game.

          • Justin Grant

            True fighting games play very different from smash brothers. That’s like telling someone who loves basketball but injured his arm to play soccer instead. He wouldn’t want to switch sports just like that, he’s still going to be upset.

      • jugss

        Competitive players are a minority. Let’s remember this is business. They have to appeal to casual which is the majority.

        • Justin Grant

          Casual players won’t even notice there are advanced techniques so why not cater to both? Also competitive community is growing even after 10 years of melee being out.

    • Cazar

      There’s nothing hardcore about the melee crowd. They’re just a small group of gamers that mostly never played a competitive game prior to melee and are unable to adapt to new systems and concepts. Notice how the rest of the FGC doesn’t have nearly as much of a problem transitioning into new iterations of the games that they play; nor do they have to strip down the majority of their games to make them “fair.”

  • Justin Grant

    Melee and the other smash games have like the same controls. How is melee too complex.

    • BlackC#Bro


      • Justin Grant

        It’s really only fast when you play fast characters AND you get good at the game.

        • BlackC#Bro

          I’m good enough at the game to notice the speed difference between it and brawl to a large degree, and that makes Brawl easier.

          Things increase in complexity as the time you have to think about them increases, so slowing the game down does really make it less complex.

          However I think it’s a stupid stance to take, because it doesn’t make casual players able to beat high skill players, it just makes the game worse for high skill players and casual players remain casual and don’t notice anything.

          • Justin Grant

            yeah true, it is definitely faster, but not like unbearably fast or anything. Not to the point that controls are really difficult, perhaps save for fox and falcon.

          • BlackC#Bro

            That’s not really true, low level Fox and Falcon are just as viable as everybody else for all players, it doesn’t start getting “complex” until you start trying to master it.

            I pretty much agree with you though that the speed wasn’t really a problem, just pointing out it does make it more complex.

          • Justin Grant

            Could be me just trying to imitate actual Fox and Falcon mains and failing. lol xD

    • Hunts Rattata

      He was probably talking about wavedashing and L-cancelling and stuff.

  • NintendoPSXTheSecond

    I’m bad at Fighting games Sakurai but if I want to play them, which I do, I try to learn the moveset. Spend hours in training mode just to learn one combo. The FGC isn’t a plague Sakurai, it’s just a little peculiar is all.

    • Asura

      I’m amazed at how many people get so riled up that those who put their time into something are better than them.
      No duh, that’s how everything skill-based is supposed to be.

      Keep practicing! Fighting game skill takes a long time to attain, but the nice thing I’ve noticed is that it’s similar to riding a bike. It doesn’t really go away. Sure learning a new combo will still take time, but you will be more efficient at it.

      • NintendoPSXTheSecond

        Thanks! It’s really hard to find a friend in the whole Smash Bros side of fighting. I’ll say one thing about how I dislike items and I’m suddenly assaulted on how that’s not how I’m supposed to play the game. :c

        • Hyero

          Some people have different preferences is all. I prefer playing with items off, not because I don’t like using items, but because they clutter the screen with their little clouds when they spawn. It’s seriously fun to play with certain items turned on and off though.

  • Justin Grant

    Sakurai please stop. You can’t make a fighting game where low skilled players can win against higher skilled players without adding an element of luck. It’s impossible, your ideal is not attainable. You really have no idea what you’re talking about.


      Good thing it’s not a fighting game, it’s an “opponent-based action game”, or else you would have a point. If you want a fighting game, go play one, there are a lot of them out there and many are absolutely fantastic and I suspect there is at least one that will tickle your fancy. OR, you can play Smash 4, enjoy the “For Glory” mode, and just deal with it.

      • BlackC#Bro

        Please explain to me the luck element of something like Devil May Cry that makes bad players able to play better than skilled players.

        Justin is entirely right, the only thing you can do is add in RNG to make bad people win against good people. This has always been an inherent part of the series with things like items, but dumbing down the game in it’s entirety because a game has a high skill ceiling even though it’s easy to pick up and play is idiotic to say the least.

      • Justin Grant

        Fine just replace fighting game with opponent-based action game. The genre doesn’t matter as long as it is competitive in the way that smash is competitive.

        • Tonton Ramos

          Why not make l-cancel and wavedash exclusive on For Glory mode only for WiiU? At least no-one complains about that.

    • kagekiri

      Uh, remember percent handicaps? 2v1 and 3v1 matches? Different stock counts? Most of these have been in the series a while now.

      It’s not RNG or luck, it’s just adding difficulty for the better player.

      You’re right that most casual players aren’t likely to beat ones that drill out moves and combos, but even hardcores can play for fun.

      • Justin Grant

        Okay actually yeah. I take back my statement. That is another way to “even” the playing field, in a sense. But yeah like you said they’ve been in every smash game.

  • Samuel

    I see. He wants to make a game where everyone can enjoy,not only hardcore players. That’s nice of him.

    • Justin Grant

      casual people can enjoy games like melee. I played melee without any problems casually.

      • Samuel

        But the problem is when you get into a casual vs harcore situation. The casual player would get beaten so hard he would probally stop playing or something. That’s what Sakurai wants to avoid.

        • Justin Grant

          The casual player would lose anyways. Even if there are no advanced techniques they’d still lose.

        • BlackC#Bro

          I sometimes for fun play “casual” PC multiplayer games with fairly low skill ceilings. All this makes happen is in 2 hours I play better than almost the entire game population and in a day I play with the “dedicated” players.

          I still beat casual players 100% of the time, the only difference is it bores me because it takes almost no skill.

          • Samuel

            And that’s the point. When you beat the casual players,mostly you were having fun,not everyone.That’s what he wants to avoid.

          • BlackC#Bro

            No, the point is unless he adds a random element to the game, I will ALWAYS beat them. It’s the nature of skill based things.

            Unless he wants to take out the idea of fighting all together and make it a party game like Mario Party (which the distribution still always worked out in my favor, go figure) you will always have people better than others, so making the game more boring for me isn’t going to stop me from ruining anybodies fun, it just means TWO people aren’t having fun.

            If I play with my friends who like to play the game as seriously as me, who are we hurting by playing with high skill?

            By the same virtue, the only way I make the game fair with people who are bad are put them at odds against me such as 1 v 3 or turn on all bombs and introduce massive amounts of bullshit (albeit fun bullshit) to the game.

            Taking away from the first activity (playing with high skill players) isn’t going to change the second one AT ALL, hence there is no reason to do it.

        • Asura

          You’re joking, right? Brawl casuals will get completely and utterly curbstomped by Brawl tournament players.

          Less of depth doesn’t magically remove skill differences.

          And if the casual player stops playing because they can’t enjoy themselves while losing, maybe they should avoid every versus-based game in existence because that casual player sounds like a horrible person.

        • James Robert Thompson

          Brawl was so simplified though that the hardcore players could learn everything and run rings around the casuals; against most tourney metaknights your normal casual probably wouldn’t be able to land a single hit without trip shenanigans; at least in Melee you can get lucky with some button mashing.

  • As long as its better than brawl.
    Ill never understand why a sequal would be an easier version of a series.
    When I buy the next version of a game I expect more otherwise I blow through it.
    The thing about melee is you don’t have to be hard core to enjoy it, people see top level players and then get mad when they can’t play like them. So they want to dumb down the game to there is less of a gap between good and bad players.

    • PotatoPower

      sequels are not always harder than their predecessor because not everyone plays the games in order.

  • Jettythesunfish

    This is how all developers should think. Target all realms of your audience, not just one demographic. Otherwise, you’re just alienating potential buyers.

    Good on you, Sakurai.

    • Justin Grant

      Sakurai is only targeting casual players. Casual fans would buy the game regardless of hidden complexity, because they wouldn’t unravel that complexity anyways. That would be the best solution that targets everyone.

    • BlackC#Bro

      That’s a terrible idea. Games that try to target “all” demographics often times lack focus and just come out as bad to all parties involved.

      Small is an interesting game however, in that multiple demographics can enjoy it and catering to BOTH AT THE SAME TIME will not hinder the enjoyment of anybody involved.

      Personally, regardless of how bad they were at the game, I never felt I met somebody who thought Melee was “hard to play” or “too complex.”

      They can, however see no difference between it and Brawl besides tripping and smash balls. All you have to cater to them is not make the basic functionality of the game any more complex than it already is.

      • Jettythesunfish

        Okay, I’ll give you that. Perhaps having a successful demographic in mind helps a game feel focused. But how many times have you passed on a game because it never caught you the right way? That could make a game suffer as well.

        Demographic is important, but it’s also good to consider everyone else as well. If a game can appeal to everyone, it’s a win-win!

        • God

          Yep, that’s the way, you need to focus on one demographic, and once you got the product finished, you start polishing to please people outside of that demographic too.

  • wahyudil

    maybe thats why I love Snake in Brawl, because I can snipe with Nikita from long distance … I am not a novice player then …

    • Justin Grant

      You leave yourself wide open with that move you know. lol. In 1v1 anyway.

  • mckun

    Good luck Sakurai. Its going to be hard as long as tiers exist.

    • Aemette

      It’s because of things like that that make me hush up whenever I’m around other video game players who talk about Smash Brothers. If I’m playing a smash game I’m picking a character I like, a character I enjoy playing as and not because they are “super strong” or “better than this one character with this one move”. I’ve been in situations where people are talking about a Smash Brothers game they bag on some of my favorite characters just because they aren’t “top-tier” material. What’s the point of sticking to the “good/strong” characters if you’re kinda forced to play as them?

      And don’t even get me started on this whole banning characters things. I’ve already heard people talking about banning characters for Smash 4.

      • Characters have never been banned and never will be if meta knight and ice climbers weren’t.

        • James Robert Thompson

          Meta Knight was banned.

      • mckun

        To be honest I don’t use tiers either but they exist. There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t want to work at all using a character. Winning is everything (or a lot) to most people. Unless Sakurai makes all characters the same there are always going to be characters that are better than this one or that one or worse than this one or that one.

        Any tier can win but they determine if you have to work your behind off and devote more time or spend very little and make combos up as you go because you don’t feel like devoting your time to a characters.

        I haven’t heard of Smash banning any character so far. The only one they might MIGHT ban are the mii ones.

        • Princess_Eevee9

          Hearing people already banning MetaKnight die to his reveal. But seriously hearing people going for Little Mac, Palutena, Rosalina+Luma, etc.

          • mckun

            People wanted Meta Knight banned since the last game and he wasn’t. Its not going to change really now unless he’s brokonoe tier or Justice waaaaaaaaay back in the GG days tier. Or Sol/Ky with invincibility frames.

          • Princess_Eevee9

            Well he got banned for like a couple months but yeah I’ve seen other characters who were more ridiculous then he is. Ivan Ooze anyone?

        • Sentinel

          Well, all I can say is that, in Brawl, I can beat anyone with Ganondorf. Just saying.

          • Asura

            If you can beat anyone why are you not the best player?
            Oh, right, because such comments on the internet always refer to beating your specific group of friends who probably never went to a regional tournament in their lives.

        • Invisbin

          I’m the kinda guy that would use button tier characters because I like to work for my wins. If I could pick the bottom tier character and beat the top tier character, that’s awesome for me.

          • mckun

            Tbh more people should think like you or just go “Pick whoever its all about fun.”

            The problem is like I said “A lot of people WANT to win so they find the most easier and obvious ways to do it with little work or effort if possible.”

  • MagiusNecros

    “In fact, we recreated all characters almost from scratch.”

    Yeah tell that to Ganondorf.

    • J_Joestar

      to be fair, “recreated” =/= “redesigned”

    • AuraGuyChris

      We have yet to try him ourselves, however.

      • MagiusNecros

        Let’s hope his custom specials make him better. If not props to Tecmo Koei making Ganondorf play like Ganondorf. I just don’t like how the attention to detail with Sonic, with Megaman, with Pacman along with several other characters is made with love and care yet with Ganondorf we get a playstyle heavily derived from Captain Falcon. I understand Ganny was a last minute addition in Melee but with Brawl there was really no excuse. I mean if they can do justice to Bowser who is super awesome now, why can’t Ganondorf get the same treatment. As the chosen Wielder of the Triforce of Power, I want to feel powerful like I can take on the world. As long as Brawldorf is still a thing which it most likely is, he will only have a few strong moves while the rest are open to several attacks of opportunity.

  • KyoyaHibari

    I think fighters still need the harder inputs so they don’t streamline the gameplay and limit some of the functionality of the controls. i.e. if a Hadoken was performed with a mere forward square/X/what have you, that takes away from what could be another normal or unique attack and such, and those inputs make it so that there’s less of a chance that you pull off an undesired command because you have to do a specific stick rotation, charge, etc.

    With that said, I don’t think Smash Bros. needs to be one of those games, and using those commands with the dimensions and gameplay flow of the series as it is now would be counter-intuitive and restricting with how open the movement is. Honestly, I don’t know if I’m that fond of wave-dashing in Melee to be honest, it comes off as a rather bizarre and almost clunky meta-mechanic that is strange to look at, I’m thinking we need to have it more like Brawl I guess but implement some more accessible and clean mechanics to spice it up, but I wouldn’t know what exactly needs to be added.

    As for Sakurai’s point on entry points for fighters, I just think for those inputs there needs to be maybe a more explicit and less-technical sounding instruction for what the movements should look like; I wouldn’t really see it as spoonfeeding, but more of giving the movements more of a smooth flowing basis to get things across more clearly. Again, to bring up the basic Hadoken, rather than showing all of the individual directional inputs–and heck, maybe even those analog stick motions for some–they kind of explain it as a “movement” via: “move the analog stick down and then curve it from the edge towards 90 degrees and press punch” and maybe make it as a simile like Ryu channeling the energy from his feet and projecting it outwards and forward I suppose. It feels more helpful than just kind of dropping you with some characters I guess, and heck, I figured out QC motions pretty much on a whim when I was first starting out because I had no idea what I was doing, so yeah, maybe that might help. Just my two cents.

  • aoihana

    You know, in some ways, I think Mario Kart and Smash Bros. share the same philosophy.

    For example, I think Mario Kart is a game that casual, novice gamers, who just want to race and have fun can enjoy. At the same time, Mario Kart can be a very cut-throat, competitive game, that can allure the most hardcore, competitive gamers, and I really admire that about it.

    I don’t think many games can really achieve that balance, and a game like Wipeout comes to mind, which is a very hardcore, technical game, that I don’t think many people can pick up.

    People who love Wipeout can definitely find a home in the often hectic, frustrating, strategic, competitive game that is Mario Kart, but you can’t say the same of people who love Mario Kart.

    I think that cruicial balance is one of the key elements that make Mario Kart so successful, and that’s very telling of the series, I think.

    Similarly, as Sakurai said best, Smash Bros. is a game that both novice, and hardcore players can enjoy, and that, to me, is simply amazing!

    • RagingTiger44

      MK7 gets all types of nasty if you got 8 people that know what they’re doing.

      • aoihana

        Yeah, exactly, and it can be lighthearted fun, too!

    • colorblindnightmare

      I always felt mario party was the same way. Fun, casual, but can also ruin a friendship.

      • aoihana

        Haha, very true!

  • MaskedHeroxx

    This was.a downer for a interview and hate he’s not going after the competitive players -__- jus casuals

    • aoihana

      I don’t think Sakurai’s going after anyone in particular, but rather the market as a whole, which is comprised of casual, hardcore, and gamers that fall somewhere in between.

      It’s all about balance, I think, and from the interview, I get the feeling that this game will be exactly about that.

      • Sentinel

        Exactly. Just plain fun is the theme here.

    • Sentinel

      Sure, because competitive players are the only people who play Smash. -_-

    • Haganeren

      That’s the inverse of what he said. He regret going too much for competitive player on Melee, he regrets going too much on casual player on Brawl…. So for Smash 4, he is going for two crowds…. Well that’s what he WANT at least.

    • Zeik56

      Smash has far too large of a casual fanbase for them to be ignored. The casual players far exceed the hardcore melee fanatics.

      This isn’t the case of some hardcore fighter suddenly trying to appeal to a wider audience, that’s always been the goal of the series from the very start. The fact that Melee became so popular with the hardcore was basically an accident.

      It sounds to me that they’re going as far with this game as one could reasonably expect. They’re not ignoring the hardcore crowd, but they’re not catering to them at the expense of more casuals players either. That’s exactly what a Smash game should be.

  • Cruxis

    Melee was a masterpiece because it was simple enough to be understood by casual players, but it had enough depth so that it could be played in a serious competitive manner.

    • Haganeren

      It wasn’t simple enough to be understood by casual player no, it was far too quick for that. A lot of people was intimidated by it. (Well, on my personal experience i guess) And a lot of people doesn’t know where they are and what they are doing.

      I understand perfectly why they slowed the game in Brawl and it was really cool.. But at the price of some depth.

      I hope he can achieve a great balance in Smash 4.

  • Espoir

    This is what makes Smash fun and All Stars kind of fail.

    • James Robert Thompson

      Not really, what makes smash fun is that the mechanics are visceral if in a cartoony way. Hitting someone and them going flying feels good, hitting someone and your bar filling up does not. even landing your special looses it’s charm after one or two, but smash just keeps that endorphin rush going with every big smash.

      If All-Stars had something similarly visceral at it’s core it would also be fun. Look at the fighting games that are fun to a casual audience; killer instinct a game that practially does the flashy dynamic combos for you, Mortal Kombat with it’s Finish Him moves, Capcom fighters with their crazy cinematic specials, Blazblue with it’s ‘do something cool’ drive mechanics, DoA with it’s jiggle physics. Whatever it is it’s something there that makes you feel powerful without a huge ammount of work, and that then makes you want to do more work to feel more powerful; All-Stars lacked that, and what little power you felt you had was dried up by the end of your first play session unless you did learn a combo or two.

      I think All-Stars could have worked if you knocked the balls out of your enemies all the time (rather than just with throws, and tbh then you’d probably need more of them for the flashiness neeed), them scattering all over the screen with big attacks, or with a stun mechanic where your big hits make the target stunned and you can pull off a slow finisher, but as is the game just feels stale and clinical… which with it’s cast of characters is a great shame.

  • Wildrose

    The thing that people like about Super Smash Bros. is that it’s fun and everyone can join the battle. It’s easy to play but difficult to master. The fights can be extremely unpredictable and almost anything can happen.That’s what makes it interesting.

    The thing about fighting games however, like Sakurai said, is that they’re hard as hell to play and get used to. Especially really competitive games like Street Fighter and Tekken. Complicated controls and casual gamers don’t mix most of the time. You have to memorize a lot of crazy ass button combinations that barely work like half the time. Geez, a lot of these guys straight out abuse game glitches and do unfair stuff that a “normal person” wouldn’t know anything about. From my perspective, it’s clearly an unfair advantage. And you end up losing like 50 times before you could finally get a chance to win a single match. That can be extremely annoying and painful for a lot of people, including myself. I work a lot and go to school so I can’t polish up on my skills like most competitive gamers can. Yeah, most of you guys could just say I suck, but hey I don’t have the time to practice 24/7.

    Smash Bros. is easier to jump into.The controls are simple enough for the casuals to learn while complicated enough to satisfy the hardcores who want to compete. The changes Sakurai made for the newer installments in the series, better or for worse, gives the casual gamer a chance to fight back. Yeah I know, tripping sucked ass but I’m trying to make a point here.

    I appreciate and admire Sakurai’s determination to make this work for both sides of the battlefield.You want to try to find a way to satisfy everyone, not just the hardcores. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with making a hardcore fighting game, it’s just that it limits your audience and scares a lot of people. Nintendo’s philosophy ever since the NES days was to make video games that everyone can enjoy. As dull and nostalgic as that sounds, its actually true. Smash Bros. is practically a new genre of it’s own. It’s best to strike a balance and make a game that everyone can play and ya know…have fun. Well yeah, of course you have to make a lot of sacrifices (speed and cut characters) in order to achieve that goal. And it’s not easy, but I still think it’s totally worth it, it’s better than nothing. I used to be really into Melee but I liked Brawl because it allowed me to have fun with my friends without it being super competitive. Even though I grew up as a hardcore Melee fan, I can understand why some people would prefer to play Brawl instead. We already got “Fight for Glory” mode to play and smash our way through. That alone shows how much Sakurai cares about the local tournaments and competitions. I bet all you guys are looking forward to that. I have a good time either way. I’m still going to play the new Smash Bros.

    • Dexterino

      Agreed on everything. I have slowed down the competitive gaming and hardcoreness from majority of the fighting games.
      Now it’s time to sit back enjoy the game casually and not go crazy with L-Cancel, Wavedash, One-Frame Links, Crossover etc etc etc.

    • Asura

      The worse player will still lose 50 times in a row in any Smash game (without items on), and it will be a major surprise if that changes in Smash 4.
      Items on is how you equalize the playing field a bit by making it more luck-based.

      “it’s clearly an unfair advantage”
      Researching and practicing all the elements to a game in order to be better at it is unfair? Please, stop your pity party. That’s ridiculous.
      The people who spend more time at something should, on a general basis, be better at it.

    • 하세요

      I’d say replace Street Fighter with something else, because that’s one of the few fighting games that are extremely easy to learn. There are barely any excessive combos. Making hard reads is what makes that game so competitive, not the combo strings.

  • Armane

    “Also, I feel on a personal level that this game is more interesting than the three previous games in the series.”
    Yeah because you filled it full of your own characters.

    After reading this interview I actually cancelled my SSB4 3DS pre-order.

    • Dexterino


    • AuraGuyChris

      …He just has three characters.

    • Johnathan Lenig-Lopez

      I don’t quite understand what you’re whining about. All of them had Kirby and Brawl had Kirby, MK and Dedede. Now we have Pit, Dark Pit and Palutena, but they’re still the minority here.

  • Dexterino

    Thanks Sakurai. I can’t wait for this game now. WOOOOO

  • fancycakes

    Never not Princess Peach for me!!! So long as she’s in it, I don’t care if she’s the best or the worst, because I love the character.

    • Dexterino

      MK8 Bikersuit alt. Peach and banking on new Final Smash for her.

      • fancycakes

        I’m always just her standard color and prefer her princess gown to her biker suit. I wouldn’t mind the ponytail hairstyle though as an alternate! It’d also be cool if they made her pink gold whenever she gets the metal box.

        I have a strong feeling that she’ll get a daisy outfit similar to melee’s daisy-colored alt… I feel like that will be the extent of her outfit changes though, but I could be wrong.

        Also I would absolutely love a new final smash. Peach blossom, while fitting, was wimpy! Even it the opponents were close if they were good button smashers they’d wake up and sometimes get peaches before you!! The damage it did wasn’t significant either.

  • Kornelious

    I never really noticed a difference between Melee and Brawl in terms of combat, the move-sets for characters changed a bit but other than that it didn’t seem to different….Though Sakurai says they had to lower the pace…..That worries me, though I probably won’t even notice the difference :P

    I agree with him on one thing though….Smash bros. 4 is definitely the most interesting and lively out of the bunch with all the new characters! :D

    • Asura

      “I never really noticed a difference between Melee and Brawl in terms of combat”

      Try both games again I’d say (especially if you can actually wavedash and SHFFL).
      The difference is enormous.

      • 하세요

        It’s like when people say CoD and Halo (1-3, before sprinting was added) are the same. Woo nelly, sure they are the same genre, but the pace between the two are massive. Changing between the two was hell.

      • Judgephoenix

        Agreed the feel from Melee to Brawl I just couldn’t stand it. I hope I enjoy playing this at a friends if not oh well. Nothing from my wallet anyways except the cube controller XD.

  • Jadfish

    I hope my life will be as fulfilling as someone who can say that a game he made was a failure, because it became hugely popular with the wrong crowd.

  • pokeroi

    Go good way to make game. Easy to have quick fun, hard to master.

  • Tonton Ramos

    Hey here’s an idea why not put L-cancel and wavedash exclusively on For Glory Mode only for the WiiU version that way no one complains!

    • Dexterino

      Is Melee getting released on the Wii U? I thought this was a new game? Lol.

  • “… Smash Bros game for hardcore fighting fans,” and that isn’t the goal of the series at all.

    “the goal of Smash to be an “opponent-based action game” where a wide variety of events can occur, some of them “quite outrageous”.”

    kinda hard to get a variety of events when the norm is to turn off all items in public play O_o…

    This ain’t no “Half-circle forward + punch button game” here guys. Quit treating it like one of ‘those’ games and let’s just have us our fun with Bowser vs Game and Watch vs Yoshi vs Lucas, and I’m talking about Brawl Vanilla here people. (ohmahgerd no tahp teer characturs dere :O)

    Sure Project M is fun and all (they sure as hell made my fav. Lucas downright awesome if I may say so myself.) But turn on the items now and again and remember what it was like to do so every once in a while.

    SSB 4 is gonna be awesome, ain’t no amount of “TR4Q” and it’s opposite “FD/NO/FO” is gonna stop me from having my fun :P

    • Dexterino

      When I heard Project M. I swore that was a new Metroid game. Turned out it wasn’t. :(

  • StarkEx

    Melee wasn’t complex or intimidating. Like at all. I was eight and I had blast playing it, and the speed was never overwhelming (in fact I preferred playing as Sheik). I didn’t need to know about wavedashing or L-cancelling to fully enjoy the game back then.

    Smash Bros. is a simple fighter and always has been, far from the highly technical stuff of Street Fighter and BlazBlue. Even Melee. There is absolutely no need to dumb down your game for everyone because you apparently want to misguidedly pander to the skill level of a preschooler.

  • Snorlaxation

    I’ve never played competitively, (though I did manage to defeat someone who’d done well in a tournament a week before: Confidence===> raised)

    But yeah, the mechanics were a lot more fun in Melee. When I first got into Brawl, I just couldn’t stand how weird the handling felt. I loved the stages, the weapons, the graphics, but yeah, it took a while to get used to the new feel of the fighting.

  • Tails the Foxhound

    Even while understanding why Melee is better than Brawl, Brawl is still my favorite of the two. Brawl just FEELS better to move in, whereas Melee has always felt rigid and stiff to me, and that’s what’s most important to me. That Tripping mechanic and Meta Knight can eat it though.

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