Smash Bros Wii U: Sakurai wants to target silent, Brawl-loving community

Thursday, 20th June 2013 10:19 GMT By Dave Cook

Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai knows that there’s a vocal majority of players out there who loved Melee on Gamecube, and realises they will be back for more on Wii U and 3DS. So instead, he wants to focus on the silent minority who prefer Brawl and to win them back into the fight.

Speaking with GameSpot, Sakurai shed light on the debate over Brawl and Melee being the better Smash Bros game.

“When I began working on the first Smash Bros., there was a great focus on [highly-technical] fighting games, and that’s something we’ve seen branch off into sort of a niche direction,” he began. “Now, those types of fighting games have a very high barrier to entry for new players, while Smash was always meant to appeal to lots of people from different gaming communities.

“When you look at fighting game forums, you’ll see a preference for Melee, and yet, I think there are lots of people in the silent majority who don’t post online who prefer Brawl. Ever since I started working on the Kirby series, I’ve always thought about the needs of the less vocal, beginning players of games.”

On the issue of simplicity ad technicality, Sakurai firmly believes that Super Smash Bros. is no base-level fighter, and suggested that the game has real depth. He added, “I think the idea of the fighting game genre can be somewhat limiting. People have defined in their own minds what constitutes a fighting game, and that can be such a specific set of characteristics that when other people are viewing a game from the outside and they learn it’s a fighting game, they may predetermine it’s not for them simply because of what they expect from it as a fighting game.

“When planning the development of a new game, I always take a lot of care to discuss the concept and try to define it as best I can. For example, I like to think of Smash as a four-player battle royal action game. You’ll notice that’s a lot longer than saying it’s a fighting game, because ‘fighting game’ is a completely different label.

“You can talk about a fighting game or an action game or a racing game, but as soon as you define your game specifically in those terms, you start limiting your creative range because you’re thinking of the limitations of that genre. Perhaps the best thing we can do now is start with a concept rather than a genre. If we can do that, perhaps we can grow the whole idea a little bit.”

Do you think Super Smash Bros. is secretly or overtly technical? What game do you think is better – Melee or Brawl? Let us know below.

Also, here are 91 Smash Bros. Wii U screenshots, because E3.

Thanks Nintendo Life.



  1. Zidane

    I’m indeed part of the Brawl loving community. You have my trust, Sakurai. =)

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    Smash Bros. is one of the most hardcore fighters out there, once you really start picking at its bones.

    The problem with Melee is that there was a severe amount of imbalance between the best and worst characters in that games. Some of them just completely decimated everyone else.

    Brawl was far more balanced in that respect (Final Smashes not withstanding…), but it also introduced some mechanics that seemed to be very frowned upon, especially when it came to the recovery game. Still, I much prefer Brawl.

    I hope Namco can find a decent balance between the two.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Hirmetrium

    What? did you even play brawl? it was a complete shambles. Speed characters dominated EVERYONE. You could literally not touch a good fox player, it was really tragic. At least some of the tricks in melee made characters like Samus incredible.

    Melee felt like a much fairer and balanced game to me, and you could make a lot of power characters work, whereas in Brawl it was a fight to survive anybody whom was faster.

    Not to mention how complex and deep Melee was. None of that returned for Brawl. The silent lovers are the people who really enjoyed the new characters, and could never enjoy the old ones.

    I will also say I’ve never forgiven the fact that Samus loses her armour in the final smash. Mastering one character is enough…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. debbiecakes

    Ok, lets look at them like this. Melee was the first of its kind, its technical, fast, its like chess.
    Brawl is slower and less technical easier to get out of combos which lowers the difficulty Between players.Like checkers..I get hit u get hit we both win…fun right sure but. Wat happens to the replay value. Everybody shouldnt win. Wat kind of logic is that.

    Lets be honest.. We all would be satisfied with Ssb4 if the gameplay speed is between brawl an melee. All of us want the right to say “im better than u in this game”. This is a very iconic, popular,one of a kind game. Sakurai is fulling himself trying not to make this game competitive!!!!!! Its over his head at this point lol…

    #4 1 year ago

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