Nintendo Switch

Smash Bros. Ultimate Director Sakurai Talks About How The Game Isn’t Just “Nintendo All-Stars” Anymore


smash ultimate 2

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai wrote about the game this week in Famitsu, talking about World of Light’s inspiration, how the series has transcended its “Nintendo All-Stars” moniker, and more.


Here are the highlights:

  • The project plan for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was created right after Corrin and Bayonetta were released for the Super Smash Bros. for set of games. Originally, the plan included for things to differ between docked and handheld modes, but the Switch’s screen was better than he thought, so there was no reason to differ depending on playstyle.


  • A team was formed to choose and pick Spirits for the game, and research them thoroughly. The Spirits mode as a whole is essential to letting the team collaborate with other franchises.


  • The Inklings’ Ink mechanic proved a bother considering how much had to considered regarding how it interacted with the stages and other fighters. Meanwhile, Simon and Richter are designed visually to be as close to their original games as possible.


  • Incineroar was the only one not decided upon when the project started. Instead, a space was left for a Gen 7 Pokemon from Pokemon Sun & Moon. As for surprise challenger Piranha Plant, Sakurai confirms that this is the unexpected character of this title, because just having heroes and villains are boring. Piranha Plant follows the same vein as Ice Climbers, R.O.B., Mr. Game & Watch, and Duck Hunt in previous games.


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  • World of Light was directly inspired by the Subspace Emissary’s Subspace Maze, and how you had to re-collect every character. It would leave more of an impact if the mode started with a great disaster like Tabuu’s Off Waves, thought Sakurai.


  • Elite Smash is there to let the super elite players play against each other, although how it scales may be changed later on. This way, there will be less veteran vs newcomer matches.


  • Sakurai once again stresses that there is no right way to play Smash. He’s come to terms with the eSports playstyle, but a lot of work has been put into the casual side as well.


  • Regarding the series’ “Nintendo All-Stars” moniker: Sakurai believes that the series has evolved beyond that. In his definition, Sakurai believes the series is defined by its gameplay, and that it being just another 1v1 fighting game would make it no longer Smash.


  • Sakurai will always prioritize Smash Bros. if Nintendo asks about making one, but he doesn’t guarantee that he’ll be on the project forever. Currently, he’s ready to kick back and wait another 10 years before another one.


  • Finally, Sakurai gave thanks to the staff and third parties who allowed use of their characters. He’s unsure of how to top Smash Ultimate, and says that ‘Everyone is here!’ is something of a miracle.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available for the Nintendo Switch.

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