Masahiro Sakurai talks Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's game speed, says Melee may have been geared a bit too much towards a core audience

Brawl was slowed down intentionally for casual fans

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • July 12, 2018 at 9:25 a.m. PDT

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is due out this December on Nintendo Switch, but we just can't get enough of the upcoming Nintendo brawler after its huge showcase at E3 2018. Mario, Donkey Kong, Link (as his Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild version), Metroid's Ridley, the Inklings from Splatoon, and many others will come together to fight and will make up a massive roster with over 60 characters on it.

We've seen a lot of gameplay already and many details have surfaced with new information still popping up. Reports from players and media outlets are always great, but it's even better when we get insight directly from the Super Smash Bros. series creator, Masahiro Sakurai.

Nintendo recently shared an interview with Sakurai, director of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, that delves into numerous facets of the latest title in the Smash Bros. franchise. Thanks to Nintendo Everything, we can read over the full transcript.

When a new entry in a fighting game series is on its way, it's nearly impossible to avoid wondering how similar it is to its predecessors or even other fighters in general. Sakurai addresses this head on when discussing the approach for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate compared to other Smash titles.

"And another comparison I can make between past titles and [Super Smash Bros. Ultimate], is that in retrospect, I do feel that Melee may have been geared a bit too much towards a core audience," Sakurai said.

He went on to explain that Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Nintendo Wii saw its overall gameplay speed lowered in order to attract casual players who had never really played video games before. Melee may have been a bit too fast for casuals and Brawl a bit too slow for hardcore players, and while Super Smash Bros. 4 could be considered somewhere in between the two in terms of tempo, Sakurai notes that parts of the game had to be designed specifically to improve playability on a portable device — the Nintendo 3DS.

So, what about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

"This time, the screen is easier to see than the 3DS version, and it’s not just people who are not used to playing games, so we focused on bringing up the tempo of [Super Smash Bros. Ultimate]," Sakurai explained. "I think that sort of covers the characteristics of the series."

Sakurai continues by making mention of some of the tweaks made that help increase the tempo of Smash Ultimate's gameplay. When a player is knocked away, for example, the speed at which they are launched has been raised making them controllable again more quickly.

"By slightly reducing the time the fighter can’t be controlled, we are aiming for a well-paced gameplay experience," Sakurai said. "We are aiming to make improvements here and there, like reconsidering buttons, allowing short hop attacks by pressing buttons simultaneously, etc. to make the controls easier, but at the same time keep a good tempo."

It seems like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's platform is giving Masahiro Sakurai free reign to truly design the ultimate Smash Bros. game. We see this with the return of every character ever from a Smash Bros. title — no hardware limitations here — and in the game's speed that appears to be aiming to please both casual and hardcore audiences.

Though competitive players will undoubtedly dive deep into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, at the end of the day Sakurai still considers the series a casual one and just wants fans to have fun.

"Fighting games have a lot of advanced players playing them, so it might seem a little intimidating," Sakurai started. "But fundamentally, this is a casual game, so I’d be grateful if people just had fun with it, without being scared. I’ve created the game with that intent."

Photo source: Nintendo. Mentioned by WMA.

Load comments (18)