Sakurai Wasn’t Interested in Balance in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

Super Smash Bros. 4 Wii U and 3DS New Character

In yet another of the many interviews Masahiro Sakurai has done regarding the development of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, he shared his thoughts on the game’s balance, and how this influenced the choices he made during the game’s development. When asked about the process of designing and balancing each character, he stated that while the actual planning often went relatively quickly (Greninja’s entire moveset was planned out in a single evening) the actual job of character creation, including balance, takes over a year to complete. Sakurai then went on to say the following:

“One of the important things for me was having a large difference between the characters, which I call their ‘dynamic range’. In a typical fighting game where you just square off against an opponent, other things like the environment have less of an impact, so even small differences between characters can be very noticeable. With Smash Bros., however, I want to bring out the individuality in the characters and I think it’s rare to see a game with such a wide dynamic range as this.

So although it may end up that some characters are stronger than others due to way the game works, we have focused on allowing a lot of ‘accidents’ to happen in a party game sort of way – resulting in things that make players laugh – so the emphasis is on variety rather than making Smash Bros. into a sport.”

While I’ve certainly been disappointed by some of the balance of prior games in the series–in all 3, Ness is usually found near the very bottom of any given tier list–I still appreciate this approach to the game’s design. Although mechanics like Shulk’s Monado Blade and Little Mac’s 1-hit KO punch may have been difficult to balance, I feel that the large differences between characters are a large part of what makes the Smash Bros. series fun.

The full interview with Nintendo Life can be found here, and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS releases tonight at midnight EST.

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About The Author

News Reporter/Game Reviewer

Jacob Rifenbery is a content writer for Always Nintendo. While first and foremost a fan of strange rhythm games, he enjoys playing and writing about a wide variety of titles.