Turning over a new leaf?

As we all know, there's a new Smash Bros. title coming to the Wii U and 3DS next year. It looks amazing, has Mega Man in it, and is driving its creator to the point of mental exhaustion.

Series director Masahiro Sakurai has been speaking to GameSpot about the development of the two titles, and has made some interesting comments on the age-old debate about which is the better entry — Super Smash Bros. Melee or Super Smash Bros. Brawl:

When I began working on the first Smash Bros., there was a great focus on [highly-technical] fighting games, and that's something we've seen branch off into sort of a niche direction. Now, those types of fighting games have a very high barrier to entry for new players, while Smash was always meant to appeal to lots of people from different gaming communities. When you look at fighting game forums, you'll see a preference for Melee, and yet, I think there are lots of people in the silent majority who don't post online who prefer Brawl. Ever since I started working on the Kirby series, I've always thought about the needs of the less vocal, beginning players of games.

Sakurai also states that he no longer considers Smash Bros. to be a simple fighting game; he feels that such a label gives the wrong impression of the game's content:

I think the idea of the fighting game genre can be somewhat limiting. People have defined in their own minds what constitutes a fighting game, and that can be such a specific set of characteristics that when other people are viewing a game from the outside and they learn it's a fighting game, they may predetermine it's not for them simply because of what they expect from it as a fighting game.

When planning the development of a new game, I always take a lot of care to discuss the concept and try to define it as best I can. For example, I like to think of Smash as a four-player battle royal action game. You'll notice that's a lot longer than saying it's a fighting game, because 'fighting game' is a completely different label. You can talk about a fighting game or an action game or a racing game, but as soon as you define your game specifically in those terms, you start limiting your creative range because you're thinking of the limitations of that genre. Perhaps the best thing we can do now is start with a concept rather than a genre. If we can do that, perhaps we can grow the whole idea a little bit.

Did we mention that we are rather excited about playing this game? We did?

[source uk.gamespot.com]