News Article

New Smash Bros. to be "Something Right in Between" Melee and Brawl

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Balancing a priority, while patches will be considered

While we saw some nice footage during E3, there's still relatively little known about the new Super Smash Bros. titles that we'll see on Wii U and 3DS. We know that Mega Man and The Villager will be new characters, and that each version will have its own platform-specific stages, while some potential — but in all likelihood limited — connectivity will be possible between systems.

With a loose 2014 release window, it's a game that could still be over a year away, and that's certainly the impression given by iconic developer Masahiro Sakurai in an interview with IGN. Specifics clearly aren't on the agenda right now; Sakurai explains how data transferring on 3DS (we assume via StreetPass and SpotPass) is "something we want to take advantage of – without going into too much detail.” It's an interview where priorities are confirmed and basic principles outlined, without any firm details.

Sakurai has explained that patching could be on the agenda if characters are found to be unbalanced in the final product, even after extensive pre-release play-testing. There's a desire to utilise the improved Nintendo Network online capabilities, and to ensure that online multiplayer doesn't evolve into a "ranking pyramid" where "only the people at the very top can enjoy it." Following up on hints already dropped, Sakurai also explained that customisation would be considered, but not to the detriment of character balance.

We’re planning for a level of customization to some degree and in some form. It’s not completely decided at this point. But it’s very important to point out that we do this in a careful way that doesn’t affect the strength and balance of the characters. One thing we’d like to do is to be able to customize the direction of attacks. But not give characters a stronger jump or a stronger or weaker attack. You can consider customizations like that possible.

Perhaps the most interesting segment of the interview is how Sakurai explains the contrasting styles of Melee and Brawl, and where the new entries will likely sit in comparison.

Quite simply Melee was something that was targeted more towards hardcore, advanced players. With Wii, on a platform where you were getting experiences like Wii Fit and there was an audience that tilted slightly more towards beginning players, we slowed down the gameplay. This time around, we don’t see a situation where we’ll be encountering as many beginning players, and so as far as the speed and the feel of the game, I think you could say confidently that we’re targeting something right in between those two versions.

Do you like Sakurai's suggestion that the new titles will fall somewhere between Melee and Brawl in style, and are you encouraged by his comments on patching and balancing characters? We certainly are, and also hope that customisation options will be suitably wacky, without distorting balance, of course.

[via uk.ign.com]

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User Comments (64)

Wonder_Ideal

#1

Wonder_Ideal said:

As I really enjoy both Brawl and Melee, I think that Sakurai's suggestion sounds fine.
So much hype for this game.

Gioku

#4

Gioku said:

I will basically be a beginner when I get this game; although I'm a quick learner when it comes to games. Plus, I've heard the combat is uncannily similar to that of Kirby (the original ran on the same engine as Kirby Super Star), so I should be able to jump in fairly quickly (and comfortably). I've enjoyed Sakurai's other series, so I'm excited to finally have the chance to play SSB.

StephenYap3

#5

StephenYap3 said:

I hope the customization will be 100% awesome and not end being absurdly limited and incomplete like Stage Builder, which I hope will also return in a more complete version. I like to customize things and being able to fully customize my own fighter will be the cherry top on this smashing sundae.

ToastyYogurt

#7

ToastyYogurt said:

I hope that they don't have to balance it with a patch. I hate it when things gameplay wise change as part of a patch, even if it is to bring an overpowered character down to standards.

@MrSRArter: Yeah, like how Shadow was confirmed for Brawl with a screenshot, and was later found to be an assist trophy. It's an Animal Crossing stage, I'm pretty sure she's just part of the background. I'm not saying it's not possible that she'll turn up as a playable character, but I don't expect it and it was so far not been confirmed by words.

@Gioku: Really? How did they make a 3D N64 game out of a 2D SNES one? Or are you talking about Kirby 64?

Gioku

#8

Gioku said:

@ToastyYogurt SSB only uses 3D models for the characters and stages; everything's still moving on a 2D plane. From what I've watched of my friend playing it, it's very believeably based on the same engine.

Phantom_R

#9

Phantom_R said:

I want the skillful, improvised combos of Brawl. Not the pre-memorized mash-fast of Melee.

banacheck

#10

banacheck said:

Phantom_R

I want the skillful, improvised combos of Brawl.

I agree combos button mashing is no good, and to be able fully customize your characters, but otherwise it sounds good.

sinalefa

#12

sinalefa said:

Nice to hear about patching.

@ToastyYogurt

I think he was joking, as the picture works perfectly for that. The whole picture shows Villager trying to get the smash ball.

NintyMan

#13

NintyMan said:

It's been years since I've played Melee and I play very well in Brawl, but I'm fine with Sakurai wanting to mix the two gameplay-wise. I don't know what to make about the customization. It sounds interesting, but it seems rather vague right now, so who knows how that's going to work? Sakurai said before that it won't be costumes and now he says he wouldn't want customized attacks that would make a character stronger or weaker, so we'll just have to wait and see about that.

Sir_JBizzle

#15

Sir_JBizzle said:

@ToastyYogurt I'm somewhere in the middle for with the whole balance patch issue. Taking the various patches done on Super Street Fighter IV and SF x Tekken, On one hand it can be a little annoying to kind of relearn some of the nuances of a character you spent a ton of hours with, but at the same time, it's super frustrating to get destroyed in an online match against a character that's more powerful than they should be or somebody that expoits a glitch.

Neram

#17

Neram said:

"With Wii, on a platform where you were getting experiences like Wii Fit and there was an audience that tilted slightly more towards beginning players, we slowed down the gameplay."

Um, that's not true though... Smash Bros. Brawl was much faster paced than Melee. Am I wrong? I seriously felt like it was way more hectic.

umegames

#19

umegames said:

@Gioku
This video i made will be perfect for you! and all other smash fans too.

melee was great, but i really prefer brawls play style, minus the tripping. either way, whatever they decide to do, i will be happy and will adjust accordingly like all other fighting games.

3DSAllDay

#20

3DSAllDay said:

So if it is in the middle of the 2 games then that means the new game will include tripping and clone characters....Perfect!!!

Meaty-cheeky

#21

Meaty-cheeky said:

I'm super excited to finally have a portable version of Super Smash Brothers, I have been wanting for a hand held version of super smash since the GameBoy Advance.

(I thought a 2D sprite version of Melee on the GBA would have been awesome)

SockoMario

#22

SockoMario said:

This sounds good. But I'm sick of people saying "brawl sukz!!! itz not fast paced as melee!!!!". And I'm assuming once this game is released, people will say "super smash broz for wii u and 3ds sukz!!! itz not fast paced as melee!!!!".

Vincent294

#23

Vincent294 said:

This sounds like it will be great. Interesting direction for the series that will please all, & improvements for the game balancing.

AndyBurner

#24

AndyBurner said:

im not into the whole looking out for "beginner players" crap.. reading that makes me not want to play lol... same with the new mario rpg coming...make them harder and the new generation of gamers will thank you later.. thats just my 2 cents.. i'm still very excited for this game lol

AugustusOxy

#25

AugustusOxy said:

How about if we just get an ultimate game, instead of a rushed HD game. I want something that updates periodically and adds new characters every month.

Retr_acro

#27

Retr_acro said:

I posted a very similar comment on an older topic, but anyway:

I still think Sakurai should make gamemodes relating to game mechanics like Regular Mode (casual) and Advance Mode (competitive). Regular Mode has more restrictions in game mechanics while Advance Mode lifts restrictions on game mechanics. So for example, wavedashing (if this returns at all) would be impossible to do in Regular Mode but possible in Advance mode.

Game modes can prevent an experienced, competitive player from ruining casual opponents good time on casual mode (such as during parties), as well as pushing casuals to step up their game should they dare play on the competitive mode with hardcore players. Also doing this equals both a happy casual AND a happy competitive group; casuals don't have to play the fast paced, competitive mode, and competitive people will probably never bother with the casual mode.

Madmanonfire

#29

Madmanonfire said:

Isn't this old news? I'm pretty sure it's already been said that SSB4 will be somewhere between melee and brawl.

EvisceratorX

#31

EvisceratorX said:

Looking back on it, I really don't think that melee aged too well. SSB is meant to be a cartoony and laid back game to casually play with friends at parties and stuff. If it's a serious fighter you want, go play Tekken or Street Fighter.

OptimusG

#35

OptimusG said:

Note that he said the SPEED of the game will be like Melee, not the technical part.

Honestly, might not pick it up. Casuals are just ruining the game and Nintendo. Thanks to the casuals we got an underpowered console because Nintendo thought that casuals would double dip even though the majority of them abandoned the Wii.

Anyways, Melee wasn't even that bad. The learning curve was NEVER that serious. You could easily learn it. What it came down to was if people, excuse me, the casuals WANTED too.

Also since when was smash bros labelled as a laid back cartoony game meant for casuals? Like who came up with this bs? I would like to have a word with them..

OptimusG

#36

OptimusG said:

@EvisceratorX Yes, Melee the game that is STILL played at tourneys all over the world and got accepted into EVO the biggest fighting game tournament ever didn't age well.

Caryslan

#40

Caryslan said:

@OptimusG Smash may have evolved to appeal to different groups of gamers, but let's be brutally honest here. The first Smash was intended to be a casual party game where players could pick their favorite Nintendo character, toss around some items, and have a fun time.

I believe it was intended to be the Mario Kart of fighting games. I'm not even sure SSB64 even had a large competitive following until Melee came out and grew in popularity. Melee was the title that brought the competitive mindset to the series and while there is nothing wrong with that, it still creates a problem for Smash.

Casuals did not ruin Smash, since the series was pretty much intend to be a party game anyway. Why do you think things like Final Smashes, outlandish items, and stages with hazards keep popping up? Because the core focus of the series has always been on the party elements of the game.

The Competitive audience while notable, was never the focus of Smash Bros from the start. The series always sold itself as a fun party fighter where you can have your favorite Nintendo characters beat each other up.

Don't get the wrong idea, I think the competitive audience is awesome and I've tried to improve myself in serious matches. But let's be honest, Smash is not Virtua Fighter, Street Fighter, Tekken, or any of the VS games. It was not built on the idea of being a competitive fighter.

Smash was never intended for the hardcore market. While it took on a life of its own and managed to appeal to those players, I say the focus of the series will always be as a 4-player brawl with items and crazy things happening during matches.

Doma

#45

Doma said:

Cool, but they should've just taken the Melee route again, in all honesty. There's fat chance of any new players being drawn to the WiiU version, at all. I only hope now the 3ds version isn't too nerfed, cuz that's all i'm buying this time.

@EvisceratorX Untitled

bahooney

#47

bahooney said:

@Phantom_R lol if you think Melee was a mash-fest with pre-memorized button combos you're wrong. Just straight up incorrect. Totally false. Have you played Melee?

Goginho

#48

Goginho said:

@Yoshi88 Patching is sorta like polishing up on something, refining something, or simply fixing something in game after it has already come out and people have it in their homes. This is usually done through simple downloads I believe.

Xiao_Pai

#49

Xiao_Pai said:

I enjoyed both games, as long as these two have my favorite characters I'll be fine. (since we know Final Smashes are still in, those things are epic. :p)

scrubbyscum999

#50

scrubbyscum999 said:

I'm excited about the patches. That means if we get a broken character like Metaknight in SSBB it can be tweaked. Very excited about more balance within the game.

PokeTune

#51

PokeTune said:

I'll believe it when I play it. So far footage has shown this game still looks just as slow as Brawl albeit it seems to be a lot less floaty. Which is good

Dodger

#52

Dodger said:

Melee is way too heavy and fast, even compared to other "hardcore" fighters. I can play it but I don't like it as much as Brawl. Still, I'm fine with it being a bit less floaty. It really weakens characters who aren't like Link and Ike too much.

I'm a G&W main mostly because I like the floaty physics more then heavy physics. He has some great downwards approach moves, the ability to bucket break and some really great aerial attacks. That third jump that doesn't send you into a helpless state also really helps.

EpicGamer

#53

EpicGamer said:

What they should do is make characters with wings actually fly. Now, I know with characters like Meta Knight and Chairzard, there was a way to fly, but I always keep forgetting what to press to make them fly. That's why they should make characters with wings to be like Kirby. (I may be wrong about this but) I think with Kirby, you can press the jump button as much as you can and kirby won't drop to the ground. That's what they should do with other characters with wings.

OptimusG

#54

OptimusG said:

@EpicGamer He has a limited amount of jumps. Also Charizard, Meta Knight and Pit have multiple jumps and can glide..

So no. They don't need to "fly" since their recoveries are all ready good.

EpicGamer

#55

EpicGamer said:

@OptimusG
I just find it annoying that they CAN'T fly. Besides there recoveries. Having them fly would be a little more realistic. Maybe they don't have to fully fly, but at LEAST give them more jumps. Instead of 3, give them 5 or 6.

jedisquidward

#57

jedisquidward said:

Honestly, I'm not to keen with character customization. There's just something about it that I really don't like.

bassoongoon

#59

bassoongoon said:

Great news. I am glad that it will be between Brawl and Melee. Personally I always liked Brawl better. I thought the response of all the characters felt a lot better, and the game physics were more natural.

PowerBuster

#62

PowerBuster said:

what people don't really realize is that there is no other competitive game like smash. You may say if you want to play a competitive fighter to play the other big games like street fighter (and I play a whole lot of them with tournament standard in mind), but the game is way different and there really is nothing like melee (yes melee, i did not care for brawl). Unless you got into the professional scene you would see its more than a mindless spam fest and is very deep in gameplay and hardcore players love the speed of the game (have you seen melee combo videos? they're fun to watch even if you don't understand the game). Imagine if street fighter were the only 2d fighting game out there of its kind (we know it isn't) and suddenly it was never made again and everyone was forced to play 3d fighters (not that those aren't fun). Casuals need to understand in any fighting game there is going to be competition. If you play online, no matter how big the meta-game gap may be you are going to be beat by someone better than you, and vice versa of course. I don't want to trash on casual players. When i played smash64 casually that was fun with my casual friends. If you are casual and you play with casuals you will have a very good time, but please, don't take away from the ones who want to step it up a notch and have a good time in the competitive scene too.

those are my two cents on the game. I am in high hopes for the game, but the back of my head will always knows that this could be the next flop...

Henmii

#63

Henmii said:

They won't patch a characters statistics just because some players think a character is unbalanced! That's just nonsense! Nintendo will work hard on every character, in the end they will stand behind their character! I am sure of it!

DarkKirby

#64

DarkKirby said:

The game HAS to be faster. Brawl was TOO SLOW. Increase movement speed and attack speed! Increase fall speed back to Melee, don't make the game floaty! There can be some character specific floaty characters but don't make the entire game floaty! No more infinite air dodging. Brawl was in part bad because the offensive options were not good enough and defensive options too good (not because people who played the game optimally were playing the game "wrong" Sakurai)! Patching is GREAT but PLEASE don't patch too often and don't patch recklessly! Time must be given for things to be figured out. Many games seem to have the issue where patch makers seemingly have no real idea what the problems are outside of basic play and forum complaints.

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