Hobonichi – the company owned by Mother creator Shigesato Itoi – has been publishing new interviews with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai, and during one of these, he speaks about the untimely death of former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.
In the interview – translated by Siliconera – Sakurai opens up about the day he heard Iwata had passed:
Before I took the phone call, I felt sluggish for some reason. Like my body felt heavy… When my grandfather and grandmother passed, I had the same feeling. Like ‘I feel sluggish today’, and then finding out they passed away. Something like that happened, and for some reason, a similar thing occurred. Although I’m not one to talk about spiritual things. I wonder if I had a feeling… But I decided that either way, I’d finish the Smash Bros. project. That was the best way I could make it up to Iwata-san, I felt.
He then explains that his most recent game was the "final mission" given to him by Iwata:
So Super Smash Bros. Ultimate released, right? In fact, that was the final mission given to me by Iwata-san. That game sold that much not just in Japan but overseas as well, and became the highest-selling title in 2018 in Japan. People all around enjoyed the game, and it brought around the best results, and I feel thankful for this.
Sakurai is then asked about his next mission:
Only god knows. (laughs) The current DLC we’re developing right now already falls outside the mission.
Sakurai has certainly given his former colleague the perfect send-off with Smash Bros. Ultimate, and it's interesting that he himself doesn't seem to know where his career will take him next. After the Herculian effort that was the latest Smash instalment, you'd forgive him for wanting a change of pace – what would you like to see Sakurai tackle next?
[source siliconera.com, via nintendoeverything.com]
Sakurai can feel death confirmed.
I think the last game i saw with iwata's name in the credits was star fox zero. Yeah i finished it and loved it! Unlike most i bet. That game gets alot of unjust hate.
Anyway the credits said "this game is dedicated to our wingman who fell in battle." I was like awwwww! I teared up a bit when i saw that.
Mission accomplished, and then some. And yet, he still keeps going.
He certainly delivered. Iwata would have been proud.
Kinda figured with the scope of the game that it was one of Iwata-denka’s final directives. Makes sense that considering that Smash was kinda both Sakurai-san and Iwata-denka’s baby. I suspect that if not the last Smash it will be the largest version the series will see. Thank you both Iwata-denka and Sakurai-san for making this happen.
Anyone know what religion Sakurai is? Just curious.
Whatever Sakurai does next will almost certainly be worth playing. I don't have any requests.
(Although it would be kind of hilarious if he made a bad Waluigi game on purpose as revenge)
It doesn't matter what his next project is, if he puts as much love into it as he did with his other ones it will be worth playing.
@SteveDaSteve He used to believe in goddess Palutena. Now he is into the goddess Sothis.
Another smash. Edit. yes thats all i want to say damn it.
@JR150 do you have a pic?
Kid Icarus? I mean, Uprising felt like it pushed the 3ds hard. He's got to have some other ideas in his weirdly youthful looking head.
An HD remaster of Kid Icarus Uprising for Nintendo Switch! I mean if Zelda and Xenoblade can get HD remasters, why not that game too, right?
The next Kid Icarus game should have been done and dusted by now. Insane to me that the last one hasn't at least been ported over to Switch. I obviously want Our Guy Sakurai to do it, but just let somebody make the game please.
Here's an idea. F-Zero.
@Zeldafan79 : Ports of games produced during his time usually credit him as Executive Producer. I'm pretty sure his name popped up in the credits for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
@Venus_Adept Ha ha, very funny!
Anyone have a legitimate answer?
@Zeldafan79 Iwata is in the credits for Tokyo Mirage Sessions as a producer, not sure if that came out before or after Star Fox Zero. TMS was released in Japan in December 2015, about 5 months after Iwata's passing.
I really can’t picture another Smash Brothers, they literally crammed everything possible into this one. I hope they let the poor guy rest.
There will be another Smash Bros because it will sell a ton.
Mr Iwata would've been so proud of Ultimate
@SteveDaSteve Japanese people rarely identify as a religion in the same way westerners do. If pressed most will say Shinto or Buddhist but religion isn't really part of their identity the way it is with Christians, Muslims or Jewish people.
Kid Icarus Uprising 2... please
There are ways to improve upon Smash Bros outside of increasing the number of characters or stages.
Sakurai is an ambitious overachieving developer, so while the next Smash Bros game won't have "Everyone is here", I am confident that will not be short of content or features in any way.
"This one was my best so I'll never be able to top it; therefore, I wont even try" is a pretty bad attitude to have.
I know what he can do next: add online multiplayer to Squad Strike.
With how Sakurai seems to talk about God (assuming he's being literal) in a monotheistic, all knowing way, I'd guess he's either a non-organized theist or one of the big western religions (Christianity, Judaism, or Islam).
I myself would have no problem and would enjoy new installments of smash. It may not be as big as this one but a return to the trophy system individualized target modes would make me happy. Also Ultimate’s final smashes I don’t like as well as brawls, I liked the sense of control better than the cutscenes of doom. I get it tho the sheer content of ultimate is hard to top, but I’m ok for slimmer and trimmer smashes in the future as long as we’re getting the same superior presentation and amount of character I’m each one.
They haven't crammed everything possible.
There's modes and stages missing for a start.
Sakurai fulfilled Iwata's request and is going above and beyond with it. Even though he would not do that, Sakurai freaking deserves to retire with all that he's done. At least let him do a different project that isn't Smash.
There are a ton of ways to improve on Smash:
> Add an actual story mode
> Add more new non-DLC characters/stages instead of returning ones
> Re-introduce game modes/features from older Smash games (Trophies, Smash Run, Smash Tour, Break the Targets, etc)
> Implement basic QOL improvements (better graphics (maybe 4K?), faster load-times, 4-8 player online matches, better online play in general, etc)
Smash Bros Ultimate is an amazing watershed for fighting games, but it isn't perfect.
"I don't know what my next mission will be"
(grabs megaphone) NEW IP! NEW IP! NEW IP! NEW IP!
Sakurai how about you do the same thing you did to Kid Icarus Uprsing and revive a dead franchise in the Switch or create a new frachise in the Switch.
Not sure how "I want an improved sequel to a great game rather than no sequel at all" is supposed to make me part of the "greediest, most toxic/negative & most ungrateful fandom/community", but okay...🤔
Ultimately, it doesn't matter how much you try to "dispute" my list of (completely reasonable) improvements; there will be a sequel to Smash Bros Ultimate because any sane company will demand a follow-up to an insanely successful 17+ million seller.
Star Fox Zero HD without the odd controls, plus Kid Icarus Uprising HD for Switch, when?
Also, Kid Icarus needs a sequel Mr. Sakurai.
Did you know those odd controls for star fox zero can be resolved with a simple press of the select button? It puts the cockpit view right on your TV screen rather than having to look down at the gamepad. Apparently not many people realized this. Even Nintendolifes own review didn't mention this. It's exactly how you do it in the original. I guess it went right over peoples heads. Makes the game way easier to control during parts where you have to target specific areas.
@Zeldafan79 Bro, I didn't even own a WiiU but Iown this game on disc (as a collector for some reason I can't Explain) and never once knew that there were different control options.
I only knew from what the internet complained about.
Still, would it kill Sakurai to release the game on the Switch?
Yes i agree it should get a second chance! Not only was it passed over simply for being on the not so popular Wii U but because of all the reviewers bashing the controls without knowing how they work. One guy even said he refused to play the game anymore cause he didn't like having to use the gamepad for cockpit view. If only he knew.
@SteveDaSteve He’s an atheist- just like 97% of the rest of Japan. The rest are Shinto, Buddhist or nondenominational. Why anyone would adhere to Bronze Age poppycock is beyond me.
@Smashfan502 I think Smash Bros is Nintendo's 3rd biggest franchise after Mario Kart and Pokemon. I can't imagine them not making another Smash game.
Next mission: go on a holiday mate! Recharge yer batteries
Mr Iwata surely is proud. I wish he was still with us so he could play the ultimate Super Smash Bros.
I hope some vacations are the next step for Mr Sakurai. While resting his mind, he might come up with his next big idea
That can be a translation, however. Japanese doesn't distinguish between singular and plural - context is what matters there.
Kami-sama can mean Judeo-Christian-Muslim GOD, or it could mean the Gods of Shintoism, or it could even mean a Buddhist ideal.
To my understanding, most people in Japan are agnostic, but culturally Shinto and Buddhist (much like Christmas & Easter Christians and non-practicing Jews here in the West).
Iwata would have loved how Smash turned out, great work as always. I hope he works on a passion project next, take a little break from Smash for now.
Given how Sakurai revitalized Kid Icarus, I’d be interested to see how he could revamp Ice Climber.
Sorry for having been a total weenie-wad over Byleth, Sakurai-san.
(Well, it truly is all about Byleth's timing, nothing more.)
The sooner you're done with DLC, the sooner you can get a well-earned rest.
@Juga Considering their reality is frequently seeing wooden toolboxes float over their heads, I suppose you could surmise that the villagers would theoretically dream to do the same. Wright brothers, eat your hearts out, this here is balloon country!
It would an amazing way to explain Balloon Fight and garner enough interest to reboot the series. and a tribute to “Game/Mode B” (endless run) would be a perfect way to travel between islands, collecting some Bells floating in the sky on the way.
As a fan of both series, I am truly all for this!
@Maschinenmensch Yeah his quote here did sound more like he doesn’t practice any religion. I mean he is probably far too busy for it.
@Heavyarms55 Ah ok that makes since. The mentioned eastern religions are more about personal devotion (from my understanding), so I can see that.
@Toy_Link I doubt slightly in the likelihood of him being of a western religion, but it’s not impossible.
@Maschinenmensch Why not adhere to an older religion? Moral rules typically don’t change, you know. The mere age of it shows the religions’ spread and peoples’ dedication to it. Don’t go disrespecting religious groups based on their age.
@SteveDaSteve I live in Japan and one of the first things I learned after moving here was that they find it strange how westerners identify as a religion at all. Many Japanese people are not religious at all and just practice many of the traditions because it's just what their family has done for years. Like I suggested before, to get them to even answer the question you usually have to press them in some way, like "Yeah, but if you have to pick something, what would you be?" Then you'll get the Buddhist or Shinto answer.
Not to say everyone's like that of course, there very much are still very active temples and shrines that have practicing monks. But the average person here? Heck my students don't even really know the difference between the various temples and shrines unless they have some family connection to one.
@Heavyarms55 Very interesting, thanks for sharing this! So it’s very unlikely that Sakurai will tell us his religious beliefs... which is fine.
@SteveDaSteve Personally I think it's smart for any remotely public figure to keep their religious beliefs private. Better to avoid any potential business complications or online drama.
@Smashfan502 I disagree on the LGBT issue only because I have many LGBT friends who feel they have little to no representation in media and it's important to them to feel included. I have not heard the same concerns from religious people ever really feeling left out. On the contrary, I've run into a lot of religious people who dislike having their group seen in the media at all.
@Smashfan502 I'm not going to continue this conversation here. This is not the time or place. We've veered too far from the topic as it is.
I'm not expecting or wishing for the next Smash Bros game to be rushed out; the fact that this current pack of DLC characters won't be complete until December 2021 means the next Smash Bros will be released until late 2024 at the earliest. That's plenty of time to create a worthy sequel to Smash Bros Ultimate with improvements and innovations.
Any game can be improved upon, and any game can introduce innovations or new game modes/features.
Like, imagine in the late 1980s if Miyamoto said "Well, Super Mario Bros 3 is the best Mario game we have ever made - there is no way to improve or innovate upon this, so let's retire Mario and let him end on a high note." Nintendo wouldn't have gotten very far in this industry if that happened.
Apply that example to any game and it's developer, and you'll see how ridiculous that sentiment is.
I can't think of a single video game franchise that can't be improved upon with future games. I listed a bunch of things that Smash Bros could do to be a better game outside of simply expanding the roster, but it seems like you have dismissed all of them as meaningless even though just about everyone would be happy with them.
Like, who wouldn't want a new Smash Bros game (or any new game for that matter) with better graphics, improved online play, returning game modes/features, an actual story mode, more new characters, etc??? If all of these things were added to Smash Bros Ultimate as free (or even paid) updates, then everyone would be excited. Since Smash Bros Ultimate isn't getting more content updates outside of DLC characters and stages, these things would be primed for the sequel.
Give the poor guy a break. He deserves a nice tropical vacation.
@Smashfan502 I guess it depends on how you judge top franchise. In terms of sales for a given game, Smash wins... but they can only release one every five years.. whereas with Zelda they can release something almost every year.. so you are probably right about saying Zelda is a bigger franchise for Nintendo. That said.. Smash still sells way too many copies for Nintendo to ignore
Iwata realized that Sakurai was sick of directing sequels, even if he brought him back and built a studio around him just to make more Smash Bros. ...
I wonder if Furukawa will be the benevolent president who lets Sakurai make something that ISN'T Smash Bros. or a Kirby Game. I mean, Kid Icarus Uprising was pretty good.
The only project I want Sakurai to work on next is a vacation with all the DLC included. This man almost died working on Smash Brothers before, imagine what he must be feeling right now.
@Antraxx777 too busy and too logical to fall for such nonsense.
So it seems like you agree that any game can be improved upon, but you don't think its worth the effort to implement those improvements if they are too "small".
It's fine to have that opinion, but it's probably not something Nintendo will think about when they inevitably greenlight the sequel to the best-selling fighting game of all time 💴💵💷.
@SteveDaSteve you can have morals without relying on a book of fairy tales writ by illiterate sheep farmers in the Bronze Age. Grow up.
@SteveDaSteve I will always ridicule and despise cults that promote incest, mass murder, ritualistic sacrifices, slavery and bigotry. Take your so called advice and nonsensical adherences and keep them to yourself. I completely loathe cults and the people that support them.
@Maschinenmensch ...Who said anything about cults?
@SteveDaSteve you either have a very short attention span or you are completely uneducated or both.
@Maschinenmensch Getting major neckbeard energy from you.
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