Sakurai Explains The Reasoning Behind The New Characters in Super Smash Bros.
Posted by Andy Green
No choice was made "for the sake of cheap novelty"
Super Smash Bros. was one of the highlights from this year's E3 Nintendo Direct presentation and it gave us all a first glimpse of the new characters joining the fight in the Wii U and 3DS iteration of the popular franchise.
Naturally, the inclusion of Mega Man, the Villager and Wii Fit Trainer got many a chin wagging and Masahiro Sakurai, the game's director, has now delved into why the characters were selected.
Speaking in his regular Famitsu column - translated by Polygon - Sakurai said the addition of the Villager and Wii Fit Trainer "were not choices we made for the sake of cheap novelty".
Each has their own unique attacks and battle strategies, and they make the game more interesting. If I have an image of a character in my mind that dances around and jibes with what I want, then that's the most important thing.
On the other hand, even if you have a character suited for a fighting game, if you can't make him stick out from the pack and extract something unique from him, then what can you do?
In fact, Sakurai, who wrote this column at the end of the first day of E3, revealed the Villager was originally pencilled in to be playable on Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but instead was relegated to a mere stage. This time, however, he's being given his time to shine and he has amassed quite the cult following already.
Naturally, Mega Man is a more obvious addition when looking through the archives of gaming but Sakurai said the same scrutiny was given to the famous Blue Bomber.
For Mega Man as well, if all we cared about was who we could get in the game, then he would just have regular old punches and kicks, like how he largely does in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
Mega Man famously gains new attacks from the bosses he defeats on the way up to Dr Wily, therefore Sakurai wanted this to be the foundation of the character's move set:
Working that fully into the game results in a more complete Mega Man that we can give you. That's why he's done up in NES-era proportions rather than something more realistic; that's why he's a little expressionless; that's why his jumping and damage motions and the way he can fire the Mega Buster while walking are all what they are. It's all in an effort to present the character.
Sakurai clearly put a lot of thought into which characters can make it and which ones can't. It would certainly be interesting to know which ones have fallen by the wayside over the years.
What are your thoughts on the addition of Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer and the Villager? Are they justified? Let us know in the comments below.