Super Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakurai recently took to his column in Japanese gaming publication Famitsu to discuss a fighting game mechanic known as “Hitstop”. Hitstop is when two characters are face to face and hit each other at precisely the same time causing both characters to momentarily freeze. If you’re interested in reading more about this mechanic and how it is deployed in Super Smash Bros you can read the full article, here.
“As a game designer myself, I’d like to use this column to talk about game design every so often. For this entry, I want to focus on hitstop.”
“Hitstop” is a term used to describe a technique employed primarily in fighting games. When you strike the opponent, both parties momentarily freeze, emphasizing the power of impact. It’s a crucial effect.”
“Hitstop features most prominently in 2D fighters. Every time you land an attack in games like Street Fighter and Guilty Gear, the characters appear to stop in place. In games like Tekken and Virtua Fighter, however, you don’t see much hitstop. Perhaps it isn’t very compatible with 3D fighters.”
“Games in the Dynasty Warriors series don’t employ much hitstop, either, probably because you attack large groups of enemies at once. If the action stopped every single time you landed an attack, you would likely end up frozen for a long time, reducing the overall game speed. Conversely, when you get bit by a Shellcreeper in the original Mario Bros., you and the enemy both freeze, and Mario falls off the screen. This sort of effect could also be considered hitstop in a broader sense of the word.”
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Super Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakura has written about former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in his weekly column in Japanese gaming publication Famitsu. Sakura was extremely close to Mr Iwata and says that when he first heard the news of Iwata’s passing he said, “My mind went white and even now the reality hasn’t sunk in.” In his most recent column, Sakurai tried to describe Satoru Iwata in five ways.
He was a man of virtue. Where a normal person would get annoyed or angry, he would never show such emotions and would instead analyze, organize, and offer ideas. He was someone who could bow his head and apologize for things that weren’t his fault. I often worried about his stress levels, but he always talked with a smile.
He had a brilliant mind. Even when people would talk at length or without focus he was able to quickly say, “so, what you’re trying to say is…” and quickly summarize their point. He was able to see to the heart of people and things and was a master of simplifying them so that anyone could understand their point. He could immediately make a call on changes to improve. I have no doubt that many people were saved by this quality.
He was a man of effort. Even though he didn’t start out in the managing field, he read numerous management books, he would ask for advice from the necessary people that he would take to heart, and managed to become the president of Nintendo. What he gained from his years as a programmer allowed him to take many long-term projects to successful fruition.
He was open and generous.Things like his Iwata Asks, and Nintendo Direct weren’t things that necessarily required the president of Nintendo to stand at the front and do. There was always the risk of frivolous criticism. And yet, by being the spokesperson, I believe he showed the importance of properly conveying a message to his audience.
He was empathetic. After he became the president of Nintendo, he would write emails to all employees to communicate and as hard as it was, took a stance to try to treat everyone as equals. He would often ask third parties to see how people were doing. As an individual, he had no self-righteous qualities.
Pac-man is an iconic video gaming character, but Super Smash Bros producer Masahiro Sakurai was seriously considering dropping him from the game unless Namco let him use the old-school design for the character. Presumably Bandai Namco initially wanted Sakurai to use their updated 3D design from Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, but he wasn’t interested in using that.
Thanks, MasterPikachu6 and Takamaru64
Just before E3 we were given three new paid downloadable content characters for Super Smash Bros. The characters that were added to the mix were Ryu, Roy and Lucas. Super Smash Bros producer Masahiro Sakurai has confirmed that these additional characters were all in development before the character ballot was created. Sakurai also confirmed that there’s only going to be several more characters added to the roster and that’s it. He finally asks for fans patience.
“There is a fighter ballot on the official Smash for Wii U/3DS website. We’ve received an extremely large number of votes, but of course, Lucas, Roy, and Ryu were in developed even before the ballot was created. I had a grasp on their popularity and demand, though.”
“From now until the end, it is going to be fan service, but I can’t keep the development team together forever, so there’s only going to be several more characters. I also ask for your patience, as we need time to develop more content.”
Just check any Super Smash Bros. balancing discussion in any gaming forum and you will find rumors that Smash Bros. producer, Masahiro Sakurai, gives his own characters from other games (i.e. Kirby, Pit, Meta Knight) preferential treatment by ways of stat boosts. Writing with the Weekly Famitsu, Sakurai faced these allegations with simple reasoning:
First off, what merit is there for me to play favorites with characters I worked on?” he wrote. Sakurai went on to note that Pit from Kid Icarus is in fact one of the characters he has trouble using in the game. “To bring up an example, two characters I have trouble with and can’t use very well are Pit and Palutena. Therefore, for me, I feel that ‘Pit and Palutena are weaker than the average character.’ If I were to adjust them to fit myself, they would become even stronger – but as you may notice, I haven’t.
Sakurai went on to discuss how someone on his team is given the task of checking fighter balance, and while things are never perfect, fun over balance is the main goal.
An update on 14th June brings new content to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, including Lucas from Mother 3 as a playable character, a new Wii U Miiverse stage and Mii Fighter costumes inspired by Splatoon.
To celebrate this update, Masahiro Sakurai will host a special video presentation at 15:40 BST, 7:40 am PT, on 14th June that outlines the details.
To tune in and see what the presentation holds in store, check out Twitch or Nintendo of Europe’s E3 2015 website, where the broadcast will be streamed.
Some DLC is well worth your money like the Mario Kart 8 downloadable content and some simply is not. Super Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakurai isn’t happy about the current downloadable content that we are peddled as he says developers are actually providing us with an unfinished product at launch. Sakurai feels that the product delivered to us at launch should be 100% complete and shouldn’t require us giving additional cash post launch.
These days, the “DLC scam” has become quite the epidemic, charging customers extra money to complete what was essentially an unfinished product. I completely understand how aggravated players must feel. After all, a game should be 100% at the time of release, and I would be livid if it were split up and sold in pieces.
Why, then, do you think so many titles provide premium DLC on or shortly following a game’s release? It’s because that’s the easiest way to make money.
After all, if you wait too long after a game’s release to distribute additional content, players will already move on to the next title. Even long tail titles–that is, ones that perform consistently well over an extended period of time–make more money the earlier they come out.
Moreover, we decided to release other characters as well because part of the fun of Smash is the anticipation: “Which character will join the fray next!?” If we keep distributing content, we can maintain that excitement, and I think that’s a really great thing.