Note: Do not repost the full translation. Please use the first two paragraphs and link to this translation. For additional information, please read this post. This translation is for fan use only, and may not accurately reflect the opinions of Masahiro Sakurai.
This column was originally published on February 10th, 2016.
[TN] indicates a translation note. It is not present in the original text.
The last two DLC fighters for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U, Corrin and Bayonetta, are now available. At long last, development on Smash for 3DS/ Wii U has ended!! To all of the staff who were involved in this project, thank you for all your hard work. To all who supported and followed the game and its development, thank you so very much. Personally, I’m happy I can finally take an extended vacation.
I’ve said this before, but excluding Lucas and Roy, who are returning veterans, every DLC character has unique mechanics and playstyles. Corrin transforms into a dragon and boasts incredible reach. Bayonetta utilizes special combos, her Bullet Arts, Witch Time, and even speaks in both English and Japanese. [TN]
Smash invites a large variety of possible playstyles. It’s one of the first games people suggest when inviting guests over, and our data shows the average playtime is quite high. You could say people are getting more than their money’s worth.
What that means is that the game can wear you out pretty quickly every time you play. If you turn on items and visit a bunch of different stages while playing with a group, things will unfold differently every time, so there aren’t a lot of problems. However, there are a lot of people who enjoy serious matches, and in order to win, they’ll narrow down the number of fighters that can be used, and that diminishes some of the breadth of the game.
This exhaustion necessitates some kind of change. It takes a little extra tweaking to provide something fresh and stimulating.
However, I don’t want to simply do something outlandish for the sake of surprise. I think it’s best to approach things from an objective perspective. Most people out there choose to play one specific game every time out of the wide selection of available games, and play that one. I see fans as those who don’t limit themselves to playing the same thing over and over, but those who will enjoy each day on its own, reaching out to play whatever new and interesting game is out at the time.
For example, the Star Wars main theme is the same every single time. This doesn’t mean, however, the composer is unable to come up with something new. Rather, it’s precisely that theme which makes us roar with excitement: “Star Wars is back!”
As for Smash, I haven’t changed the fundamental rules of the game (despite using new theme music each time). I haven’t made the transition to 3D, added any new gauges, or anything because even if those ideas might create new excitement, those changes wouldn’t make the players happy. Of course, people still tell me “the last game was better”—especially when they’re talking about a game they’ve built into muscle memory over many years.
If I were creating something completely new and original, I might prioritize generating excitement. However, I feel creating Smash is a process that’s very different from simply making a brand-new game. Just adding a single fighter becomes a show of public support for that character and their game. Moreover, each new title is built upon the tremendous number of Smash matches played over the years.
As a result, the mindset I had when developing this game was that the game’s “rules” are set in stone, but the fighters themselves are very flexible and allow for new, exciting elements. The fighters themselves become the sources of new excitement. That’s why the new fighters can do things the others cannot, to bring to life a number of battles that did not previously exist. Smash is much more extravagant in its design than other fighting games, development is difficult, and I have to deal with oversight from the original creators, but I have to do my best.
Of course, the players are the ones in control, and the strategies employed will vary from person to person. At the same time, there are others out there who have a good time throwing out nothing but Smash attacks, and I think that’s perfectly okay. After all, I intentionally made the controls simple to make it easier for those who enjoy simple fun.
I’m extremely grateful to see Smash is enjoyed by so many people.
TN: In the Japanese version, Bayonetta can use her English and Japanese lines, depending on the costume.
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