Masahiro Sakurai talks all about game balance in the new Smash Bros. games - Nintendo Everything

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Masahiro Sakurai talks all about game balance in the new Smash Bros. games

Posted on December 30, 2013 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, News, Wii U eShop

Masahiro Sakurai had a whole lot to say about game balance for the new Super Smash Bros. games in his weekly Famitsu column. You can find an overview of what Sakurai said in the magazine below.

“Now that Sunday’s day off is past, I’m currently working on the character adjustment for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. At the moment, Bowser is very strong. He’s really strong. Fans of Smash Bros. probably never saw him as too much of a strong character, but this time, his ability to knock others out is very strong!”

– Bowser’s Smash attacks, special attacks, and aerial attacks now have quite the ability to send opponents flying through the air
– The best part about this is that it feels great
– This great feeling is what Sakurai would like to focus on for the upcoming Smash Bros. games
– He’s putting more care into that part of the game than ever
– Sakurai says having strong attacks are also something that must be carefully balanced
– This is because it may feel unfair to opponents if they’re too overpowered
– In order to meet the right standards, Sakurai and the rest of the development team have been spending a lot of time adjusting stronger attacks to see what works best

“Doing things like simply ‘lowering the performance’ can make games lose its fun. Additionally, making a strong attack weaker can take away from the ‘good feeling’. By making adjustments that get rid of all advantages and disadvantages, it can turn a game into a mediocre one without any challenge.”

– According to Sakurai, this is something you can feel while playing other competitive games
– He compares it to the depth of working on an RPG title, where there’s a lot of things that are taken into consideration like obstacles and what players need to do in order to clear certain areas
– You can’t solve the problem by simply making enemies stronger

“Rather than directly weakening an attack’s advantageous parts, we’re putting effort into keeping them strong, while adding other weaknesses to them. Like giving the attacks punishable openings, or weakening the character’s mobility or recovery rate. We’re making comprehensive adjustments to characters, even for parts that might seem completely irrelevant.”

– Sakurai also talks about the difficulty in adjusting balances for things such as four player free-for-alls and 1-on-1 fights
– For these fights, their circumstances are completely different
– This can’t be helped at times, he says
– Ex: some attacks such as Captain Falcon’s “Falcon Punch” might work well when there’s more players, but might not ever hit during a 1-on-1 fight.

“The game balance of Super Smash Bros. Brawl started six years before its release, and it most likely goes back even further during its time of development, and it’s never been reformed even through the updates afterwards. We’re at a stage where we’d like to release the new title as soon as possible, and offer something more enjoyable than ever.”


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  • Edgarska

    As long as tripping is out, I’m happy.

    it sucks having to use mods and codes in order to make a game playable.

    • Sonic 2099 The Hedgehog

      Edgarska it’s confirm that Tripping is REMOVED

  • Blue

    I can’t wait to play! Ohh I hope they bring out a demo soon. I actually enjoyed Brawl and melee. So I know I’m going to love this!

    • Chrop

      We won’t get a demo, Nintendo has never released a Demo of a game that they have created.

      • JcEp

        Wind Waker?

        • Chrop

          Wind Waker never got a demo, I go on the Wii U E-Shop all the time, never seen it there

          • JcEp

            idk about the Eshop but they did have a WindWaker demo for the gamecube, I have it.
            And they got or had game demos at the best buy near me.

          • Chrop

            That was 12 years ago :s, a recent game would be nice. Also those are best buy demo’s both only available for a few hours at most and american only. Not much of a demo.

          • JcEp

            Sure ok, it sucks that not everyone gets them and how limited they are I Defiantly agree with that.
            but they still are a demo released by Nintendo of their games.

            SSBB had demos of older games on it too

      • Corey Bloxham

        yes they have made demos where have you been

        • Chrop

          Sitting on the Wii U E-Shop and 3DS E-Shop, Where have you been? Please give me 2 games made by Nintendo which have had demo’s.

          • MIGHTY MOOT

            When you bought a gamecub, it came with a zelda collector’s edition disc, which had a demo of windwaker on it.

            Also FE awakening had a demo. I don’t really pay attention to demos, but I’m sure there’s more. But yea, that’s two 🙂

      • Sonic 2099 The Hedgehog

        only in the e3

      • sawyerscottstahl

        LOL 4-STOCKED

      • Blue

        9 months later and we go a demo xD

        • Chrop

          Ya know what, I’m glad I was wrong.

  • oh-so-windy

    I’m so glad Bowser is officially being redone. My hopes were already high when I saw him do a backwards dropkick in a trailer.

    • Yeah. Bowser should be one of the strongest (if not the strongest) characters in the game and other characters run circles around him and juggle him like he is nothing. Good to know this will change.

  • I would like to see this level of balancing on all characters, but more particularly on Ganondorf. He is supposed to be one of the strongest (if not the strongest) characters in the game, but he has so many weaknesses that his power doesn’t seem to compensate. Ganondorf needs to be redone!

    Also, something I would love to see fixed are some smash attacks that you make, let’s say to the right, and players behind you on the left are hit as well. Like Lucas Ike’s and ZSS’s front smashes. You are out of the swing zone, but yet you receive the hit. A huge hitboxes allover the place.

    And don’t get me started on those moves that players don’t use because they are almost useless in most situations.

    • KoRLumen

      Indeed, plus Ganondorf has been in need of a proper moveset for far too long.

      He was portrayed as a swordsman in WW and TP, so why not capitalize on that?

      • He is known as a great wizard and a formidable swordsman. In Smash Bros., he is neither. In what universe would a swordsman wizard fight barehanded? Also, he is known to wield a trident, which he also doesn’t have in SSB.

        • KoRLumen

          You know, I bet that Trident would make for a very interesting moveset.

          And yeah. Ganondorf’s portrayal in Smash is just wrong on so many levels.

          Crossing my fingers, but I think the chances may not be that slim after all. Just look at Bowser and (maybe) Zelda. It appears they’ve had some major changes to their movesets, so perhaps there’s hope for Ganondorf yet.

          • You’re right. I am hoping for a moveset refresh and most characters. And the trident would make Ganondorf a very unique character. If you add magic attacks to that, we have a winning combination.

            People tend to think that just because they had showed us some characters, their moves are final and won’t change. Sakurai said in Peach’s reveal that we should remember that the game is still in development and that moves can change. Here’s special hope for Ganondorf to be revamped and Toon Link to be decloned.

          • Snowskeeper

            Ganondorf has yet to be confirmed for the new game. It seems they might have just chosen to gib him entirely.

          • KoRLumen

            I doubt that. One of the reasons why I believe Ganondorf is returning is because they decided to go with a TP style for Link and Zelda instead of SS – Ganondorf and Sheik do not have SS counterparts. They will both most likely return with their TP aesthetic, updated to match the new focus on primary colours.

            Besides, Ganondorf has been around for two games now. And he’s Sakurai’s favourite character to play as!

        • GJR78

          He needs the dead man’s Volley as his neutral special,dead man”s volley is Gannondorf’s single most iconic attack from the zelda series and after all it’s just a simple missile attack that can be reflected.

          • Agreed. People often ask for Ganondorf to have his sword and I am not against it, but I would like him more to be a magic-based fighter. He is a wizard after all. And what better attack for him to have than the Dead Man’s Volley? I agree absolutely.

            A sword-wielding magic-based fighter would be a very original character in SSB. It again brings the question, why has Sakurai not done it already?

  • Gus Duenes

    let’s do this!! i couldn’t be anymore excited for this game.

  • UltimaLuminaire

    As a Bowser main, my eye brows were raised when I read “At the moment, Bowser is very strong.” But then I read, “Bowser’s smash attacks… send opponents flying through the air.”

    And then I was like, “no sh**, Sherlock”

    Every line after that read, “feels great.”

    With that I am back to square one. Thank you, Sakurai, for reassuring me that Bowser will have the tools to fight against even the most obscene of foes (/sarcasm). The headbutt and its monstrous lean-back will be sorely missed.

  • Rick Lee

    All I honestly want is a subtitle for the game lol
    Super Smash Bros Universe? 😛

    • Clint

      Super Smash Bros. Rumble, Super Smash Bros. Skirmish, Super Smash Bros. Fisticuffs, Super Smash Bros. Grapple, Super Smash Bros. Scuffle, Super Smash Bros. Exchange Blows, etc.

      But not Super Smash Bros. Universe. That’s not inline with the previous titles at all.

      • Rick Lee

        Super Smash Bros….4. XD
        They could just do that like Nintendo now does with Mario kart just calling it Mario kart 7 and 8

  • Filipe Gioielli

    So Captain Falcon is a confirmed character???? o.O

    • Rick Lee

      Captain Falcon is a veteran character so he’ll be in it anyways

      • Crab

        Like how mewtwo, young link, dr. mario, pichu, and roy were in brawl.

        • ganon

          with veteran they mean the original SSB, so mewtwo, young link, dr. mario, pichu and roy are no veterans.

          • They are Veterans, eez. Only, they are “retired” Veterans.

  • Daisy Mae

    Did he just confim Captain Falcon..? :3

    • Sonic 2099 The Hedgehog

      Not Really if on the official site he’s there then he’s confirm but Sakurai have a break this time so he will say if Captain Falcon is corfirm or not in Jan 6.

    • Rick Lee

      CF is a veteran character so of course he’ll be in it

  • Shota

    “We’re at a stage where we’d like to release the new title as soon as possible” so no demo before release?

  • Sonic 2099 The Hedgehog

    – He compares it to the depth of working on an RPG title, where there’s a lot of things that are taken into consideration like obstacles and what players need to do in order to clear certain areas.

    is this mean that after Smash Bros. 4 Sakurai is going whit a new game???

  • Deedz Lomu

    “Ex: some attacks such as Captain Falcon’s “Falcon Punch” might work well when there’s more players, but might not ever hit during a 1-on-1 fight.” Captain Falcon!? But be’s not in the game!

    • jay

      correction hes not confirmed in the game!! but he will obviously lol

  • Steven McDowell

    I sure hope he also focuses on combos, powerful attacks are defensive and require timing, that sort of gameplay only caters to certain players, if he did that and made the really offensive characters who can combo and go real fast, this game would be great, but if he just makes like brawl where the light characters couldn’t really combo and they were basically just less defensive but still mainly defensive.