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Masahiro Sakurai

Masahiro Sakurai published a new Weekly Famitsu column in the magazine’s most recent issue. In his latest piece, the Smash Bros. director touched on his interest in VR technology.

First, Sakurai expressed interest in seeing VR tied into driving. “I often think to myself, ‘if only this dashboard and stuff around my feet were transparent’,” he wrote. Sakurai most enjoys seeing the world around him while driving, but he can’t see below the front of the vehicle. This is something that he believes would feel exhilarating, and the combination of gaming and VR would make it possible to experience.

Sakurai also feels that VR tech is better suited for games in which the direction of movement is fixed (think driving games). “Because, having two concepts of direction – like with movement of a tank and the rotation of its cannon – is quite complex.”

As for what sort of titles he would like to play, Sakurai commented:

“Personally, I’d like to play Jumping Flash! It’d probably be quite scary, though. You could probably make a crazy Love Plus game as well. A horror game like Resident Evil or Fatal Frame could be good, too.”

Of course, we won’t be seeing any sort of virtual reality elements in the new Smash Bros. titles (“Sadly, such a device is ill-suited for the Smash Bros. game I’m working on right now.”) But Sakurai did say he would be interested in using the tech in a first-person 3D game.

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Today’s screenshot gives us a look at a particularly odd Assist Trophy. I don’t think anybody could have seen this one coming:

The unexpected Assist Trophy, the TV-Game 15! Color TV-Game 15 is a home entertainment system that was released in 1977 in Japan before the release of Space Invaders. This is the oldest game to join the Smash Bros. series.

Sakurai even doubled down on explanations:

Normally, controllers for these types of games had knobs with variable resistors–these allowed the players to control in-game movement by how far they twisted the knobs. The TV-Game 15 used microswitches instead. We’ve worked a little too hard to reenact the behavior of the original, so the paddles always move in linear paths with the same, consistent speed. We pay attention to such peculiar details!

Trophy talk today! Sakurai shows a little bit of Pikmin love:

Here’s one of my personal favorites, the trophy of Brittany from Pikmin 3. She won’t be joining the battle, but her model and expression is well-designed.

Today’s screenshots have Charizard in the spotlight. Sakurai detailed a change to his Side+B move:

Here’s Charizard’s new special attack, Flare Blitz. It’s a very powerful attack–however, you’ll take recoil damage if you make contact. Pretty true to the original game, huh? Flare Blitz is Charizard’s side special move, and Rock Smash is the down special move.

We also got a look at Charizard’s Final Smash:

And here’s Mega Charizard X. This will appear as Charizard’s Final Smash.

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Another week, another set of screenshots! Here’s what Sakurai had to say about today’s shot:

Here’s wire frame Little Mac–re-envisioned from the original Punch-Out!! game. The man that actually drew the pixel art wire frame in the original was none other than Shigeru Miyamoto. He said he drew the pixels for the wire frame on graph paper.

Another double today! Today we see the return of the Dragoon item from Kirby’s Air Ride. Sakurai explains:

Uniting three parts will complete the legendary Air Ride machine…the Dragoon! It’s back! But we didn’t just leave it the way it was, and added some nice touches to the design of the targeting screen. It is, of course, in stereoscopic 3D on the 3DS.

There was also a picture of the Dragoon itself:

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Just the target screen felt lacking so here’s a pic of the Dragoon itself. I wanna get on it. I wanna get on and ride it.

A pair of screenshots today. Sakurai explains:

 Bullet Bill here is an item. Can you guess what happens when you use it?

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You turn into Bullet Bill and go full speed ahead!

Along with today’s screenshot, Sakurai passed along the following message on Miiverse:

Fight! The Wonderful 100!! We also made trophies of some of the other Wonderful Ones.

Octoroks and Mets make an appearance today, showcasing another way players will be able to interact with non-playable characters/hazards on stages. Sakurai explain on Miiverse:

Members of the Enemies That Love to Hide Association, here are Octorok and Met. Calmly grab them while they’re ducking.

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Today’s screenshots give us a better look at a ring stage tidbit:

You can get up on the lights of this special ring. It’s a perfect secret hiding place.