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Sakurai Explains Why Smash Bros Brawl Online Isn’t Thrilling Any Longer


A Smash Bros fan recently wrote in to Smash Bros producer Masahiro Sakurai to explain that he was no longer enjoying playing Smash Bros Brawl online due to his competitors tactics. Here’s what he wrote: “The other day, I had my first run at Smash Bros. Brawl online play. What I found was that nobody ever went on the attack; it was like everyone was taking the approach of waiting for the other guy to take the offensive. There were no items, either. I wanted to shout at them ‘This isn’t how you do Smash Bros.’! As the producer, what do you think of fights like this?”

Sakurai responded with the following: “The idea of Brawl’s ‘carefree brawling’ motto was to get rid of as many restraints as possible and allow people to choose whatever play approach they liked,” he wrote. “I’d like people to take some freer approaches with their gameplay, but the sort of battle style you describe in your letter is not interesting or fun. That’s why I’ll probably be thinking of a way to deal with that in the next game. We’ve learned a lot about net play since Brawl was released, after all, so a lot more is possible. I suppose the fact that we’ve still got no-fee online battles available in a game that was released five years ago is another cause of the problem. It would have been nice if we could have revised the game rules as appropriate, but with the system we had, that wasn’t possible.”


96 thoughts on “Sakurai Explains Why Smash Bros Brawl Online Isn’t Thrilling Any Longer”

  1. It’s all abot being a pro gamer. When you think you’re good, you rely on strategies taken from message boards, tiers, and make the game not fun for everyone. When you’re a pro gamer, you stop caring about winning every battle, you level yourself to your oponent so everyone can have fun.

    1. i want a separate lobby in the next smash bros. that way people can play the way they want. like you said.

      1. Exactly, I’d like to play both different ways, one having a serious and intense match, and the other just being balls-to-the-wall nuts.

    2. Exactly, I am a pro brawl player so I know what you mean. At first it pissed me off but who cares if I wanna fight Ill just take on all three of them and I usually win but then one usually drops out out of emarresment and if you drop out mid battle it will disconnect everyone playing now thats what pisses me off it is just poor design

      1. Honestly, if you were pro why would you go on basic brawl/ team battle? Try allisbrawl if you’re pro. (tbh I doubt that you’re pro judging how you seem to go on basic brawl for playing.)

    3. This is all his frickin fault. If you make time matches and only have 2 minutes losers will all just pick Ike and wait to pick off someone with damage while hiding. We should be able to pick stock and play 1v1 if we want to. Friend codes are stupid too.

  2. I never had any problems with the other players when I actually could play it online, they were never on the defensive..

    I just want the issues brawl had gone is all.

    1. Virus mains Ness, Link, Sheik & Fox

      There’s no additional charge to Brawl online.
      Hoping that doesn’t change in Smash 4.

      1. I don’t say this often, but some people need to experience the horrors cancer. Maybe then they’ll think twice before wishing it on others

        1. He’s a troll, just ignore him, and he’ll go back to being a sad cretin behind a keyboard 24/7 because his parents hate him.

    1. Die? The man who made a hit game franchise when he was in his teens. The man who has made some of the greatest multiplayer games of all time. The man who has probably spawned more core Nintendo fans with Smash Brothers then Miyamoto himself did. Bite your tongue. Sakurai understands games, he knows what is best for smash brothers. Every game keeps getting better so far and the next one will follow the trend.

  3. Virus mains Ness, Link, Sheik & Fox

    I played online when Brawl first released and had fun, even though I had no skills.
    But running into idiots online? That’s CRAZY talk! /s

    Sakurai, could you include (in the results screen or something) a Rematch option?
    It would really speed up those salty run-backs!

    1. not only that, they are all 1 vs 3 when not moving. this bothers me because not only lag a.k.a frame issues bother me but i have to put up with these noobs.
      I’m shock that people barely notice this already, i been telling everyone this issue for years but no response from nobody.

      1. Virus mains Ness, Link, Sheik & Fox

        I’m guessing the way you kind of have to ‘behave’ on Miiverse,
        Smash 4 will keep idiots from ruining it for others.

        1. i just wish they fix the lag issue on the next smash, remember kid Icarus online, that was perfect, if that was in smash i wont complain.

  4. “the sort of battle style you describe in your letter is not interesting or fun. That’s why I’ll probably be thinking of a way to deal with that in the next game.”

    Oh what the fuck Sakurai….
    Don’t even bother, stop making Smash the thing that not everyone wants it to be.
    Yeah, whenever i play Smash with friends, i dont care what items are on, and i pick random stage and characters (with some disabled of course), because i like it like that, but you cant just ignore and give the middle finger to the hardcore community, please both demographics, put a free for all mode in online, and a seperate 1 on 1 no items mode, dont just think “i didnt make the game like that, i dont want it like that, so fuck those guys”.
    Smash is at EVO….EVO for fuck sake, THE fighting championships, why would you just simply ignore that fanbase and not satisfy both demographics….

    Honestly, now im warey of the new Smash bros. Better look forward to locked items and fucking tripping :/

    1. -“We are gonna change something to make the game better”

      That’s your logic.

      1. No, Sakurai has never wanted the hardcore fanbase the way it is.
        Thats why we had dumb shit like tripping in Brawl.
        He’s replying to someone who wants nothing but every item on and people flailing around.
        I dont mind those type of matches, thats what i do whenever i play normally, i rarely do hardcore 1 on 1 matches.
        But again, if you actually READ WHAT I FUCKING WROTE, he cant just ignore the hardcore fanbase, and make the game “better”. When he says “‘going to make it better” as a reply to this person, hes only talking about those matches that are what Sakurai wants, full items, or most, and any stage.
        He needs to please both sides of the fanbase.

        1. He doesn’t need to please anyone of the neckbearded sexist manchildren at these so-called tournaments. Not only do they refuse to strategically consider obstacles in any stage while fighting (Which is another layer of skill they just are too stupid to handle), but they sling sexist and homophobic slurs like crazy, shut out anyone who is not on the same level as them with trash talking and abuse, and have the nerve to act like their style of play is the only valid style. They’re cretins, the lot of them, and I’m laughing at their expense every single time Sakurai says something like this.

      2. The reason Smash Bros works is because it actually, inadvertently, has a very good combat system, its all about zoning, and doing combos and landing perfect timed strikes, thats why the game is good. But the more he messes around with it, because he wants it to be a cluster fuck of items going off every 10 seconds, the more cheap the game is going to get, and it actually could end up as a game with no depth what so ever, and basically just be a party game.

        1. I think sakuari wants a balance between party and competitive…. as far as making items mandatory and happen every 10 seconds… thats stupid and you know it. He said in the message that he wants people to take freer approaches to gameplay. ANd no where in the message did he say he was going to ignore the hardcore fan base, but he wants the people who are not hardcore still able to compete, (like how they really can’t in melee…) He just said a battle where the other person dosnt attack, and no items are on seems boring…. does it not? And he just wants a way to make it more exciting…. at least FOR that person who he responded to… So it seems like the solution would just be, an online mode that does always have items on. Which is cool. But really, this message from sakuari means a little for his online thoughts. But nothing for the game as a whole.

          1. I didnt say he was going to, i said he better not.
            Hes always been against it being a fighting game, so obviously when he says stuff like this, its hard to be optimistic.

        2. If they kept in everything from Melee except for Wave Dashing, and got rid of tripping, it’d be all good again.

          Also, this idea that the hardcore players of the game don’t ever use items, needs to DIE.
          Items make the game more interesting and fun.
          The only people I ever see complaining about items, outside of tournaments, are the ones that are more likely to hold resentment over a loss.
          No one should care about winning so bad that they feel they have to cut out a fun part of the game just to enjoy themselves.
          Go play Street Fighter, is what I have to say to those types. Or Marvel VS Capcom.
          Or literally dozens of other no-item fighters.

    2. Virus mains Ness, Link, Sheik & Fox

      There’s no excuse for adding tripping.
      Losing because you should have shielded, but didn’t, is one thing.
      Losing because you trip? Why? Human error not enough?

      I don’t think they’ll ruin this one. Options have only improved with each sequel.
      Then again, I never thought they’d add tripping to a competitive game.

      1. Loosing due to you not shielding is entirely your fault so i don’t get what you’re talking about, but yes tripping is bullshit.
        Its annoying when i see people complaing about “oh Fox is different from Melee”, its like yeah, because all the characters need to be balanced. But yeah, dont ignore the hardcore fanbase, again.

        1. He’s saying that losing because you didn’t shield is understandably a human error, like you said with the “entirely your fault” statement. But tripping is a forced error.

    3. Hey its his game he can do whatever the fuck he wants. When I make games in the future I will do vidocs and interviews where I say NO THERE IS NO HARDCORE COMPETITIVE MODE. MLG players are NOT welcome on my game. Stupid fucking competitive baboons.

      1. hahaha great marketing technique Rey Hardy how many games were you looking to sell 10
        the point is games are for gamers. Just like medicine is for patients. You don’t just say I’ll make it the way I like it. It’s for them and thats the whole purpose of it. If your just doing it just for the money and don’t give a shit about the people that are buying it you are an asshole. You should make it for the people even if you are in it for the money because it’s actually a great way to get more people to buy it

      1. Ike is SO slow, way too easy to get around to be considered cheap…

        And if they’re going to add a fire emblem guy, I hope they add someone with something other then a sword.

        1. Unlikely.
          I mean characters in FE use magic anyway, so they could add a swor character but who also has magic attacks.

          1. yeah… BUT I like to think if my theory, of being able to customize character’s B attacks happens, maybe we could get someone who could have some other weapon.

            1. Well we dont know how Sakurai is going to do the next game.
              I never thought about choosing set moves. Although i think that’ll make the game unbalanced, they’d have to set every variable

      2. Not really. Ike’s powerful, but slow as Hell. I think he’ll stay, and Chrom will be the middleman. Marth’s fast, but weak. Ike’s strong, but slow. Chrom will be in the middle. Ike’s insanely popular, so I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

  5. IStalling/being overly defensive in fighters always reminded me how ground grappling eats up the bulk of some MMA fights and how it seems like nothing happens for a period (Pride FC in Japan didn’t have that problem though as it was about keeping fights exciting and active). He could put in an optional Pride FC-stye rule for Smash where you get a yellow card/penalty for being inactive and making the fight uninteresting for a certain amount of time. The penalty could be taking some of the offending player’s life bar the longer distance is between them.

  6. Nintendo Commander

    I want there to be the option of having Stock Matches and not only 2 min time which is what really made me bored after a while playing online…

    And I want to see my opponents name and add people to my friend’s list whenever I want to…in game…

  7. I can see where the guy who wrote in is coming from, although I personally prefer little to no items. And I rarely go online anyway.

    As long as Sakurai keeps the core mechanics the same for SSB4, I’m happy with whatever changes he decides to make to the game. He knows what he’s doing.

  8. I’m what I would consider a Nintendo Loyalist. I loved them on Colecovision. I choose to only support Nintendo for my reasons. This game has someone for everyone to fight with. Truth is I don’t connect with fighting games. I beat the piss out of maaany players on arcade Mortal Kombat 1&2. Might just be the anchored “joystick” I enjoyed play with vs a controller. Going forward if it has voice chat and you get to play with friends all over the world and1080p 60fps, that’s a solid start. Throw in some data transfer to the 3ds and game on the go. I look forward to trying this out U style.

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  10. I really hope the don’t dumb down the gameplay any further to appease guys like this. It’s a COMPETITIVE game. If you can’t handle that, go play with your friends or, better yet, play a different game.

      1. Very ignorant statement. Smash is indeed competitive, very fucking competive. However, whether you want to play competitively or not is pure personal preference (which makes SSB so awesome, you have a choice between party and competitive fighter). I personally love competitve smash, its the reason SSB is one of my all time favorite game series.

  11. Stop crying if you wanna fight just fight who cares if you lose. If you want to solve that problem there should be online tournaments. The problem with SSB was poor online functionality. Subspace Emissary is a great idea but it should have online coop. And sharing custom levels online is another must. And it goes without saying that you should be able to add people to your friend list through random battles. I shouldnt have to a go to a 3rd party website just to find people to play brawl with its way too inefficient.

  12. I could write a list of reasons why it’s not fun to play online. Or should I say, why NO GAME is fun to play online.

    1. Thats what my brother does and it is boring as hell. -__- He won’t play any other way because he thinks it is “unfair.” What a wuss. I love all the items and the challenge of every stage design. Actually, I do like stock better than timed matches. I don’t like to feel pressed for time.

    1. NO VOICE CHAT WOULD BE AWFUL!!!! I don’t want the Wii U to turn into an Xbox 360 where stupid children yell disgusting swear words in your ears as you play. However, lag and poor invite set up are the two major ones.

  13. You people ruin Brawl online.

    All you people do is spam Final Destination and the Zelda stage. There are over 20 stages, very fun stages, and you people pick the most boring ones. Also, you turn all the items off. Also, you don’t attack anyone. I try to attack people to get the brawl going, and the three people not attacking all team up against me and attack only me.

    1. Nothing wrong with matches like that. If you’re actually GOOD at the game theyre bery intense and fun in a differet way.
      Please both fanbases, dont push away one.

  14. I have no idea what Sakurai was talking about. Sounds like he is going to somehow fix the “problem” that the random guy posted, but other than that he spoke in gibberish.

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  16. I’ve been reading over the comments and some of you just don’t understand certain things. First of all I’m a competitive player and a top player in Kentucky. (not saying too much) This game can be fun with items and all those random gimmicky stages, but for competitive, skill – showing matches they are banned for a reason. Here is a great example: Bridge of Eldin- an incredible place, why is it banned? Because there is no edge on the sides meaning a grab close to the kill zone means death. Also DeDeDe kills from anywheres with one grab at any percent on certant characters- because of chain grabs. Now I’ve seen alot of you use Ike, why should he lose a match because of not skill, but because the stage and his weight causes him to be EASILY chain grabbed to death? If this was a more balanced stage like Final destination, he would be grabbed 4 times and it would end. Also in japan they only have 3 stages legal, FD, Battlefield, and smashville. Americans try to get as many stages legal as possible, you would be surprised as to what is actually legal. (The most surprising being Rainbow cruise, Frigate orpheon, and brinstar) These stages are incredibly gimmicky, so why are they legal? Because they are pretty balanced for all characters, that is why so many stages are banned so that these “Terribe tactics/strategies” that are boring don’t occur. For example: Temple has no stage gimmicks. So why is it banned in melee and brawl? Because characters like snake can camp all day and there is little to no way to approach. It is just too big, also there is some competitive rules you are all unfamiliar with, one is that there is 3 stocks, but there is also 8 minutes, so you can’t just run away the whole match. Also there is no sudden death allowed, at the end of the 8 minute timer (which rarely occurs) the player with most stocks and lowest percent wins. (If they are the same a 1 stock match is played) Also charactes like ganondorf who have suicide moves if they kill themselves and the enemey on both their last stocks, no matter what the game says the person who initiated the suicidal move wins. Also, there is an edge grab limit of 50 for every character except Metaknight who gets 35. So there is less camping and abuse. So see competitve players arent bad and boring we just take as much luck as possible. That doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy turning items on every once in a while. Btw, one last thing, if your wondering why smashballs aren’t legal, it is for 2 reasons, one, characters with projectiles are more likely to get the smashball. Two, characters like sonic have OP have incredible final smashes that guarantee AT LEAST one stock. While characters like zero suit samus have terrible final smashes. My final point is the next smash bros should be made for both groups (hardcore and casual) especially since smash bros is starting to become a huge tourney game.

  17. I hope Sakurai realizes that its not the fault of the players for playing that way. Almost no one is going to play with the goal of losing. If he wants to stop people from playing that way then he needs to make a game that doesn’t favor players who do that. Melee had no such problem.

    Its not the players that are to blame.

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  19. bueno conmigo nunka se conecto en random battle ni team battle y cuando jugue con amigos que va demasiado lag en verdad muy triste el modo online sea 50 veces mejor que brawl!

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