As part of his continued series of videos on making games, Sakurai took time to discuss the creation of Super Smash Bros. Brawl in depth. He was approached by Satoru Iwata to make the game just after the reveal of the Wii in 2005, when Sakurai had just become an independent contractor at Sora Ltd.
Sakurai had two main missions with the title – online functionality and an in-depth single player experience. Sakurai professes that he doesn’t think online play is a good fit for Smash: he finds online ladders counterproductive compared to Smash’s casual atmosphere of playing with friends, and the synchronous nature of fighting difficult to get right from a technical perspective. But he did what he could, and was surprised he was assemble to get the mode up and running at all.
Sakurai also discusses Subspace Emissary and the adjustments that had to be made between typical versus matches and the adventure mode, as well as the game’s general casual leaning – he believed Melee to be a little too hard for casual players to grasp (with the high competitive ceiling bringing both good aspects and pain points), and with the Wii as a more casual console in general, he slowed down the game and made it more approachable.
Next in the series, Sakurai will discuss Kid Icarus: Uprising. Be sure to check out his channel for more videos.
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