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Smash Bros. Creator Talks About Customization, State Of Fighting Games


Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U won’t feature cross-platform multiplayer, but the games will be able to connect to one another—specifically, you’ll be able to customize characters in the 3DS game and transfer them to the Wii U.


Speaking with Gamespot, Sakurai provided a single hint as to how your customization in the 3DS game could potentially affect your characters. “Perhaps the best way to think of it is: it’s not the strength of the attacks that change—their power—but the directionality of those attacks will change with customization,” Sakurai shared.


Sakurai also reiterated as he has in other interviews that the tripping mechanic will no longer be a part of the game. That said, he doesn’t intend to turn Super Smash Bros. into a game that faces the same hurdles as all traditional fighters. Specifically, Sakurai says that he won’t turn the game into another Smash Bros. Melee.


“When I began working on the first Smash Bros., there was a great focus on [highly-technical] fighting games, and that’s something we’ve seen branch off into sort of a niche direction,” he says.


“Now, those types of fighting games have a very high barrier to entry for new players, while Smash was always meant to appeal to lots of people from different gaming communities. When you look at fighting game forums, you’ll see a preference for Melee, and yet, I think there are lots of people in the silent majority who don’t post online who prefer Brawl. Ever since I started working on the Kirby series, I’ve always thought about the needs of the less vocal, beginning players of games.”


Sakurai also feels that it might be time for fighting games to stop being a “hobbyist genre,” making comparisons to Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl in the process.


“I would say that the speed of gameplay [in the next Smash Bros.] is going to be a little bit less than Melee, but a little bit more than Brawl. One of the best ways to look at the fighting game genre is thinking about this pinnacle—this peak—we’ve built up to where these games have become more of a hobbyist [genre]. I think that trend might be reaching an end.”


Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.