In an interview with Famitsu, Masahiro Sakurai reveals that Super Smash Bros Ultimate was originally going to add air smash attacks. While the addition would have added some variety to the game’s aerial combat, the development team ultimately scrapped the concept. [Thanks, Famitsu!]
During early planning for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the development team considered adding aerial smash attacks. This was due to the fact that aerial combat had become a vital component in competitive play. While Sakurai highlights how aerial combat only features two types of movesets, he also believes the addition would have overcomplicated combat.
During the initial planning stage for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we were considering adding air smash attacks … As much as we think aerial combat is important, we did not add it because it overcomplicated things. Even so, combat options in the air are limited. Players end up checking each other using neutral or forward air attacks.
If we can change these things, I believe it will create a deeper level of strategy. But we did not, because I believe that there should be a line drawn between casual and competitive play.
Additionally, Sakurai states that the development team designed all of the DLC characters with aerial combat in mind. He highlights how Sora attacks become progressively air-based towards the latter half of the first Kingdom Hearts game. In line with this, Sakurai reveals that he designed Sora so that casual players could also enjoy aerial combat.
In the same interview, Sakurai also revealed how Sora’s addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate happened due to a chance encounter with a Disney executive. He also talked about the future of Smash, including the possibility of handing off the series to another producer.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is immediately available for the Nintendo Switch.