Nintendo Switch

Sakurai Talks About Why Isabelle Isn’t An Echo Fighter, And The Chaos That Is Smash Bros.

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Apart from saying that people should expect the announcements for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to slow down in pace, Masahiro Sakurai also talked about Isabelle, why she’s not an echo fighter, and the chaos that is Smash Bros.

 

Here are the highlights from Sakurai’s column:

  • Because of the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake, the Nintendo Direct was delayed, meaning that the prepared scripts couldn’t be used. This also led to a week’s delay in his column as well.

 

  • Isabelle is indeed based on Villager, such as being able to pocket items, fly with balloons, and more. But she’s not Villager’s echo fighter. In the first place, Villager and Isabelle have different body types and proportions, and there isn’t a single shared animation between the two. One of the reasons is because Isabelle follows the slimmer, updated proportions of characters in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

 

  • In the previous game, the development team had a debate over whether Villager should use the new proportions as well, but decided against it as it didn’t fit the character, and because limbs felt shorter in Animal Crossing anyways due to the bird’s eye view.

 

  • Sakurai talks about how Smash Bros. is a chaotic, and frankly weird game. Cool things need to be cooler. Cute things need to be cutter. But they also need to get rid of the out-of-place feeling between the two sides. Thanks to this though, working on Smash isn’t boring to Sakurai. There’s nothing with quite as much variety as Smash Bros.

 

  • Just what is coolness and cuteness? It’s not as simple as assigning it based on body types, but rather is something tangible-yet-intangible that requires a lot of knowledge. What is important then is probably to consume a lot of media, and get a feel for it. This is especially important in a series like this that deals with characters with lots of history behind them. You can’t make something suitable for the present if you only base it on their history, instead of balancing it out with new elements based on current standards.

 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches for Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018.

Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!