Sakurai On Competitive Smash, Patches


A recent interview with Masahiro Sakurai was published in a Japanese magazine, and it’s a long one. The full interview has not been translated yet, but Reddit user get_in_the_robot posted a translation of one of the more interesting snippets to /r/smashbros. The section of the interview posted talks specifically about future patches, and Sakurai’s thoughts on competitive Smash. SmashBoards also has a copy of the translation.

Sakurai’s thoughts on patches and competitive play seem disheartening, especially if you enjoy playing competitively. It’s easy to respect his goal to create a game that’s for everyone–from experts to newcomers, and that really shows through in the many different game modes and insane randomness of items and some of the stages. But while Smash is fun for everyone and will always remain so, why can’t it also be a competitive game? Yet Sakurai says:

"Mmm. Personally, I feel that if you want to play a fighting game seriously, there are other competitive fight games that are more suited to that, and people like that could have fun playing those. If you play Smash Brothers seriously as a competitive game, the game itself has no future. If I wanted to, I’m sure I could make a more hardcore Smash Brothers game. I could make the game speed much faster, increase the number of inputs…but then, beginners would no longer be able to play the game. When the game becomes more like a sport, a tool that more strictly rewards the player with more skill, the game tapers off more, like a mountain. Just like how a mountain tapers off into its peak, that area becomes more and more narrow."

You can read this as a complete disregard of the competitive community, but what it sounds a bit more like is that Sakurai simply refuses to tailor this game or any other game to the competitive community if doing so will drive away newer players. Sakurai has stated in the past that he values interesting gameplay that everyone can enjoy over story and other factors.

He also stated, when asked about more patches:

"I don’t think anything that was fixed in this patch was particularly critical. Only the most hardcore players would notice. Moreover, in a game where advantage and disadvantage because of the rules, I don’t think there’s a point in trying too hard."

Indicating that more patches for the game are unlikely unless there’s a serious problem, though obviously Mewtwo is still on its way in 2015. Though this still doesn’t technically rule out other forms of DLC, the general tone of this section of the interview was that Sakurai was done with anything they had planned thus far, and any further additions would have to start from scratch.

Hopefully someone translates the rest of the interview soon, in case there’s more interesting tidbits in there.

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