Kirby and Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai is showing no signs of slowing down thanks to his YouTube channel, where he shares insights on his history in the games industry and gives out advice based on past experience.
His newest video, however, is a bit more simple, but it's a rather lovely showcase of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's fantastic variety of stages. Between Battlefield — the Smash Bros. series classic — and the final game added to the game via DLC, Hollow Bastion (from Kingdom Hearts), there are a mammoth 115 stages to battle it out on. And all of these stages are fantastic representations of the games and series' that they originate from.
Sakurai lets the stages and the visuals do the talking, but in a short introduction, he muses over the feat of squeezing 115 unique stages (without considering the Omega and Battlefield forms):
"Making them work on Nintendo Switch with eight fighters on-screen at 60 frames per second really didn't give us much leeway. Still, through recreating the worlds of so many different games, it feels like Smash Bros. Ultimate has incredible breadth for a single title."
The video then goes through a large number of the stages available in Ultimate. Some of the close-ups show us how the effects and hazards work in-game, while others highlight little references and Easter eggs that we might have missed as we're busy showing our friends who's the best at Smash Bros.
With some stages, like Delfino Plaza, Yoshi's Story, and Flat Zone X, it's a chance for us to look at how the stage is "set up" in the wider world of the game, or software, that it comes from. Flat Zone X is literally on a Game & Watch, after all, and behind the Delfino Plaza stage, you've got the whole town, perfectly recreated. It's the same for many flying stages such as Corneria and the Halberd. The camera zooms out from the main stage, instead showcasing the backdrops as they change while the stage itself flies through the skies.
Not every single stage is shown off here, but almost all of them get a little snippet showing off some of the cool features we might have missed. Sakurai believes that these stages — which were all created with great love, care, and attention to detail — "should prove great reference for any aspiring game artists". And we think we agree.
What do you think of this overview? Do you have a favourite stage in Smash Ultimate? Let us know in the comments.
Nice that he dedicates some spotlight to the stages. Seeing third-party stages like Green Hill Zone or Shadow Moses Island really makes me think external characters are really in the original game. Similarly to how my mind believes Sonic, Pac-Man and Erdrick are in Super Mario Sunshine when I see them in Delfino Plaza.
Now if only Planet Zebes, Sector Z, Mute City 1: Figure Eight, 3DS Rainbow Road (how did I forget my favorite stage on 3DS when I originallyposted this?), Pac-Maze and Orbital Gate Assault had made a return in Ultimate as well.
This is beautiful! Difficult to resist firing up the game right now!
This game is legendary. My first smash game was the 3DS entry which was admittedly short on quality stages and older ones from Melee and Brawl which I liked like Big Blue and Halberd. The stage selection in ultimate is the greatest in gaming history, and I’m glad more people get to realize this!
@HammerGalladeBro PAC Maze was such a simple yet fun stage, Mute City Melee too. I’m sure they’ll be back one day
With all due respect, you don't really see much, if anything at all, that you don't already get to see in the game. On that regard I think it's more fun, and educative, to watch a Smash Bros episode of Boundary Break, where you'll learn about some developer techniques on how certain effects are handled.
Not to rain on Sakurai's parade of course, I have immense respect for him and it's still amazing how he managed to make this series into what it is today.
Even today, I still can’t help but be impressed at all of the stages in Smash Ultimate. I can’t even pick a favorite. And with the game’s amazing Stage Builder that I’ve maxed out at 99 with mine and other’s custom stages, the replay value is out of this world! I still occasionally go back and play Smash Ultimate just to appreciate this amazing game.
It almost seems a waste that there is only a small handful of stages that I really like playing. But that's what makes Smash a truly transcendent game: there are so many different ways to play it.
New season pass in ...1...2...3
I am still enjoying this game.
Yeah, but how many of them are OSHA-compliant?
Man, the new stages in the downloadable content packs really were terrible, weren't they? Floating platforms in front of what amounted to a video clip. Particularly the Square Enix ones. Dire.
Smash 3DS was awesome and a severely underrated gem.
@TheBigBlue Short on WHAT? Quality stages? Did we forget that magicant was on the 3ds? Prism Tower? Gerudo Valley? Rainbow Road?
DID I FORGET MAGICANT?
@Chunkboi79 Magicant? I understand the Gerudo Valley, Prism Tower and Rainbow Road (I miss rainbow road) but magicant?Anyways, I only meant the sheer number of quality stages in ultimate is far greater than 3DS’s selection. I’m not saying 3DS didn’t have some absolute hidden classics in there
@TheBigBlue Yes the holy grail of smash stages, magicant
@RevrsblSedgewick but it's not just a video file. For Dragon Quest They almost completely rendered the world map of Erdrea
For FF7 they recreated a faithful rendition of upper Midgar and several of the Mako reactors with the Shinra HQ building and Also rendered and modeled the surrounding map outside of the North cave, several areas inside the crater and finally Meteor itself being pushed back by the lifestream...all in real-time with (mostly) full 3d models. Not a pre-recorded video.
They did the same for KH, recreating the final world, fully modeled, including the Great falls leading up to it. They also threw in a bonus "stage" that covers every major protagonist of the series.
I actually think they did a prettygood job at some of these stages unless you just absolutely hate the "traversal stages" in the series.
@Bizzyb No, I know, I was just being needlessly rude and I shouldn’t be. Didn’t want to undersell the artists. I’m just frustrated that there’s no interactivity or movement or hazards in those stages like Delfino Plaza or Mute City equivalents. I thought Kingdom Hearts was particularly offensive with the animating platforms that I’m just… not allowed… to play on. Feels like all the stage development work went into Minecraft.
Don’t have a bad word to say about the Midgar stage. Very interactive cool features.
@HammerGalladeBro Add Jungle Hijinx, Pokéfloats and Pyrosphere to that list and I’m on board.
Ufff awesome stages. If only we would use more than 10% of them.
I hope this game gets the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe treatment. If topping this game isn't feasible, just port it to the next system and replace World of Light with a proper story mode. Then just keep adding to the game with new characters, new and returning stages (Rainbow Road, Pac-Maze, Pokéfloats), more Echo Fighters, replace Spirits with Trophies, Smash Run, Break the Targets... It shouldn't be too difficult to add all this extra content if they aren't starting from scratch. They can even piecemeal it like Nintendo is doing with the Booster Corse Pass. Just please don't give me a hard reset with a roster of like 20 characters. That is an absolute worst case scenario for me.
So he did a video form of his stage tweets.
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