The secrets of Smash Bros. play-balance, from Masahiro Sakurai
"At the end of the day, I’m aiming for intermediately-skilled players to be able to properly enjoy the game."
- Smash Bros. director, Masahiro Sakurai
The Smash Bros. series is beloved by competitive fighting game players, but series creator Masahiro Sakurai, director of the latest installments on Wii U and 3DS, aims his balancing efforts at the larger "intermediate" audience.
This info comes as part of his column in Weekly Famitsu magazine, as translated by Source Gaming.
"Fundamentally, my goal with Smash has been to create an 'enjoyable party game.' If you want to enjoy thrilling tactical gameplay, you might be better suited for other 2D fighting games," Sakurai writes.
That might be news to the organizers and participants of the annual Evo competition -- two Smash Bros installments (Melee, for Gamecube, and 4, for the Wii U) are official tournament selections.
His view of high-level play, meanwhile, could be described as "grudgingly impressed":
"Recently, there was a tournament featuring the top Japanese and American players. In 1v1s, the natural tendency is to use low risk moves to gradually deal damage to the opponent. Smash attacks rarely came out, and the matches were prone to becoming long, drawn out affairs. When considering the variety of ways Smash can be played I think this is a waste, but the winner was certainly decided by skill," Sakurai writes.
The developer tends to stand firm in his own opinions, and is outspoken about issues that are commonplace in the fighting game genre. He recently used his column to decry industry-standard DLC plans, calling them a "scam."
The full column goes into further detail on how, exactly, Sakurai and his team balance Smash, and it's worth a full read.