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Sakurai Sounds Like He’s Absolutely Exhausted By Super Smash Bros Development

We can all guess just how complex it is to develop Super Smash Bros on two separate platforms and it sounds as though it has taken a toll on Sakurai’s life. Writing in his weekly Famitsu column, Sakurai says that development of Super Smash Bros has destroyed his private life as he’s had to put so many hours into fine tuning the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U version so it’s a quality product. Here’s what he had to say.

“As a result, I work from mornings to late nights, even on weekends and holidays. I hardly have any free time, let alone time to play other games.”

“Towards the end, there were instances where I would work for 40 hours straight and then take 4 hours off to go home and sleep.”

“I’m not young anymore so I can’t push myself like I did then, but I feel that the busyness due to the sheer amount of features [in the games] was much greater this time around. My routine was trying to complete my daily work every day while doing my best to maintain my health day after day.”

“I’ve passed my limit long ago.” Sakurai wrote. Even after the Wii U version of the game comes out, Sakurai still has follow-up work to do. “I wish I had time to think about what I want to do from here, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case.”

“I believe I should be thankful that I am given such funds to be able to use such iconic characters and content that represent Japanese games with such freedom, and have multitudes of people across the world play with them. I’m not depressed and I continue to remain healthy and positive, but developing Smash Bros. is beyond hard.”

59 thoughts on “Sakurai Sounds Like He’s Absolutely Exhausted By Super Smash Bros Development”

    1. All the more reason for this game to be the best selling Wii U game… I hope it pushes a lot of systems this holiday.. it will make it worth it for him at least.

      1. Also half the enemies in Smash Run are from Uprising- there are around 20-25 from KI while some franchises like Mother and Donkey Kong only have 2. Some series like Fire Emblem and Star Fox don’t have any at all.

        When a game like Smash Bros., which is a mash-up and celebration of all things Nintendo, gets the majority of its content and inspiration from one game, that’s where I take issue.

        1. Agreed. Sakurai says that he doesn’t want to showcase all his games like kirby and kid icarus yet he puts so much of them. Kid icarus did not deserve 3 reps nor all those villains like you said. Games like Donkey Kong, Star Fox, and Metroid deserves to have more since they are some of the top Nintendo franchises

          1. I don’t have a problem with the 3 KI characters- I like playing as Palutena and I’m not annoyed by Dark Pit anymore since he didn’t take a spot for someone else. The Reset Bomb stage in Uprising is one of my favorite chapters from the game, so I’m glad to see it was a stage in Smash.

            But too many KI enemies in relation to other series’ enemies in Smash Run, an overabundance of KI trophies from a game not even 3 years old (I daresay there may be more trophies of KI assets than Mario assets now), just calling the difficulty device the Fiend’s Scale (no effort for a better name from KI Uprising’s Fiend’s Cauldron), and- this last bit may be nitpicking- dropping KI references where they don’t belong (like a tip saying Ashley’s cloud causes food consumption to cause damage rather than healing damage ending with “It’s Pit’s worst nightmare!”).

            Smash 3DS IS good, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not fond of the blatant KI bias.

          2. The thing is about StarFox and DK enemies in Smash Run is that there’s very few viable options for StarFox and DK already has the Kremlings and the Tikis. What more can you do for DK that wouldn’t be a rehash of other enemies? Kid Icarus has more varying enemies than most other franchises, so it’s not too surprising that it has the most enemies in Smash Run.

            As far as Metroid goes, it has a decent amount of enemies, shy of the iconic Metroids themselves, but how would that work when the Metroids are an Assist Trophy?

            As far as the Mother series is concerned, it probably couldn’t do much more than what it already has, which is the Starman and the evil car, because all the enemies and bosses from that series are very stiff for a game like Smash Bros. In fact, the Starman enemy is proof enough, he is only in that one pose and teleports about to move. If anything, you’d think he was made of cardboard with the way he falls over when attacked!

            Other series like Mario and Zelda, I find that they are represented just fine in Smash Run, espescially considering how many variations of the same enemies those two series have. We’ve also got a fair number of enemies from Kirby, granted a good number of them are variations of Waddle Dee without being the Bandana Dee.

            I doubt that they could’ve put too many enemies from Fire Emblem because then that would’ve made it a bit tricky to tell the playable FE characters apart from the enemy FE characters, due to them all being human and having somewhat similar physical builds.

            Megaman and Sonic do seem to be lacking in the enemy department in Smash Run, with only one each (to my knowledge, I’ve only seen the Mets and Egg-Robo) where they come from games that have had literal dozens of unique enemies with only a few that were variations of the same one. There’s also a surprising lack of Xenoblade enemies, but that could be chalked up to them primarily being larger than life most of the time, or could be considered walking spoilers.

            I guess the only reason Pac-Man doesn’t get any enemies from his games are because they are part of his moveset, whereas we get one of the enemies from Dig-Dug as the Namco enemies.

            Concerning Pokémon, I’m surprised they even had enemies in Smash Run to begin with, but I’m glad they managed to make do with what they could work with, considering most enemies in the Pokémon series tend to be other trainers leading their Pokémon and not the Pokémon themselves. I do like the attention to detail they went into for some of the Pokémon enemies, like how Ghastly can’t be harmed by physical attacks like punches or kicks, but is vulnerable to projectiles like fire breath or missiles.

            Kind of sad to see a distinct lack of enemies from Game&Watch, Duck Hunt or Gyromite. But in the case of Duck Hunt, the character itself is all-encompassing for that game. Punch-Out would’ve been awkward with all human enemies, especially considering that Smash Run tends to swarm you with multiples of the same enemy at times, so it would be awkward to see a dozen or so King Hippos or Glass Joes beating on you all at once.

            …wow, that was waaaaay more than I intended to type. Guess I got carried away there.

            1. I could easily think up a number of enemies that could have been in Smash Run and how they would work, even for series that don’t have any.

              Star Fox:
              Aparoids- invulnerable unless knocked on their backs; strong attacks would expose them
              Sharpclaws: just regular enemies
              Wolfen: faster than Banzai Bill but drops more rewards

              Fire Emblem:
              Generic Risen Fighter- their axes deal less damage if you’re holding a sword; they also take more damage from sword attacks
              Generic Enemy Sorcerer- hits you with Mire from a far distance away- you may not even see them at first- but you can tell when you’re being targeted and it’s easy to avoid if you’re paying attention
              Generic Enemy Soldier- can attack with Silver Lance at close range and does large damage, or can toss Javelins at you for less damage at range

              (all in their Awakening models)

              Zingers- only hurt by projectiles like Ghastly and cause damage if touched at all, but these can fire their stingers; also go down in one hit no matter what
              Klaptraps- can only be hit by attacks you can perform by crouching; again, down in one hit

              Master Porky Statue- impossible to defeat like an Orne, but won’t instant-kill like one and is still slow; however, can teleport, making it more difficult to escape from
              New Age Retro Hippie- regular enemies (I’d put them in just because they’re memorable and hilarious, personally)

              Graveler- durable, but drops lots of rewards; however, its cannonball effect can hurt you like it does other SR enemies, so be careful where you launch it

              Burrowing Snagret- emerges from the ground and snaps at players; only the head is vulnerable; cannot emerge from thin, pass-through platforms
              Swooping Snitchbug- when it attacks you, it steals a treasure or two that you have obtained; defeating it before it plants them into the ground will make it drop them, and you can pick them back up

              I think Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, and especially Kid Icarus, have enough enemies. Though, if Poes from Zelda were in, they could replace those KI enemies that only appear when they attack and are incorporeal when they aren’t

              I think the reason Sonic, Pac-Man, Mega Man, and Xenoblade have one or no enemies is because they’re third-party, though I’m not too sure about Xenoblade because I don’t know the relationship between Monolith and Nintendo.

              And as for G&W, Punch-out, and WarioWare, I can’t think of enemies from those either.

              I don’t think Wii Fit even HAS enemies.

  1. He put all this effort into trying to get TWO Smash Bros games out! And with an arm injury! I feel bad for him and I hope he can take a nice, long break after he’s done with all of this. It’s amazing how far he actually pushed himself just to get this accomplished. He could’ve just delayed the progress of the game until he felt better but he went all the way instead! Now Nov 21st we can all play one of the best Wii U games because of all his hard work and dedication! Give this man an award! :D

        1. Yeaa, it’s better than not playing at all. But it’s still really irritating because 2 weeks is a big deal, especially for major game like SSB. The 3DS version had a global release too, so why not again ?
          Sorry about your WiiU though. Have you contacted Nintendo about it ? As far as I know they offer a repair service if you can’t get it to work yourself with the trouble shooting tips on their support website. But I (luckily) haven’t had any problems with my consoles, so I’m not sure how it works exactly.

            1. Why not get it repaired by Nintendo and invest the $300 you’d have to spend for another WiiU towards the PC you were saving up for ? d: You also should keep in mind that you won’t have access to your digital downloads and all that stuff on a new WiiU, whereas Nintendo can most likely restore your data on your current WiiU.
              Just my thoughts on it, of course you know what’s best for yourself. (:

  2. Casual Smash players ought to cherish Masahiro Sakurai: he’s the only dev I know who’s very capable of making a deep and varied fighting game that is like no other in the genre, but would rather spend that resource and much more to make a game for those who are turned away by the learning curve of the usual fighting games.

    I will never stop wanting for another Smash Bros that is actually a fighting game in the vein of Melee, but I have immense respect for Sakurai’s tenacity, and it grows every time I hear about his self-sacrifice in the pursuit of his direction.

  3. Pingback: Sakurai Worked Day & Night on Smash Bros. 3DS & Wii U, Says Developing Smash Bros is "Beyond Hard" | TheGamingPixelShowTheGamingPixelShow

  4. The epitome of dedication; a prodigy whose talent is seldom found anywhere in the industry. Mr. Iwata (with all due respect) was once a genius programmer at HAL laboratory inc. and coincidentally so was Sakurai, so I hope one day history repeats itself for this case :]

  5. I just hope that all of Sakurai’s hard work shows in Smash Bros. Wii U. I was rather disappointed in the 3DS version. It lacked WAY too many features. And I found myself getting bored in record time.

  6. Well it sure shows in the Wii U version which has more content and things to do than ANY other game I’ve ever seen.

    I hope it gets a 10/10 from multiple respected reviewers, because it looks like the game will deserve it.

  7. Nice job Sakurai! You have sacraficed a lot for your beloved fans and we all say thank you and you deserve a month vacation, to anywhere you want!

    Also Kid Icarus Wii U please ^^ I don’t know, not rushing though.

  8. Ironic that he says he is not young anymore, yet he looks young, unlike Miyamoto lol. No doubt he worked his ass off, and caused his own body damage (his wrists and arms) my only complaint is YOU GET NO VACATION TILL WOLF IS BACK AS DLC!!! lol.

  9. I don’t feel sorry for him a bit. it’s he choice at the end of the day and I am sure he must be pay good money (if not he even more stupid than I though). He has a team with him and if he does not trust them and he has to do everything (then his fault). Now I guess his wife must have left him or give him grieve and I understand her. On the other hand you can understand why he made the comment about complainer are just children. Indeed he work really but that his choice.

  10. Pingback: Sakurai se esfuerza demasiado por Super Smash Bros - TierraGamer

  11. Thanks for all your hard work, Sakurai. But at the same time, you only have yourself to blame since you want to do most of the bloody work. Next time, you should do a better job at splitting up the work. I doubt even the great Miyamoto did ALL of the work for his games all by himself. (Or maybe he did & I just don’t know it.)

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