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Nintendo Explains Why Super Smash Bros Ultimate Is A New Smash Bros And Not A Port

Super Smash Bros Ultimate looks like its shaping up very nicely on the Nintendo Switch judging from today’s Nintendo Treehouse streams. The game is a new entry in the series and contains all the characters that were found in the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. Here’s what Nintendo product marketing manager for Nintendo America Bill Trinen and localization manager Nate Bihldorff told Game Informer.

You’re calling this a new Smash. What makes it more than a port?

Trinen: My first answer is – has there ever been a port of a Smash Bros. game?

3DS and Wii U?

Trinen: They were developed in tandem.

Sakurai considers them separate entries, right?

Trinen: Yeah. Every Smash Bros. game is a new game. I think for me personally what really defines it as a new game is just the core change to the core mechanics. When you change the speed like that, that cascades through character motion, through the speed at which the various moves are coming out, the animations and whatnot, and you have to rebalance every character in the game, so then as a player, when you come in to start playing the game, you’re having to re-learn every character in the game. Essentially when those core mechanics are new, then the game becomes new. Then, as you saw, in addition to changing the core mechanics you’ve got characters that have new models, characters that have new moves or dramatically changed moves. Changes to even the final smashes and the speed in which those happen to match the tempo of the game and things like that. To me, overall, once you’ve changed that core mechanic, you really are looking at a new game.

49 thoughts on “Nintendo Explains Why Super Smash Bros Ultimate Is A New Smash Bros And Not A Port”

  1. It’s Smash.

    It’s got new characters as well as every single old one.

    It’s got an indescribably gorgeous aesthetic (seriously, I thought it was claymation at some parts, Nintendo outdid themselves).

    It’s got tweaks and improvements to your favorite fighters and modes to make everything smoother and faster and better overall.

    It has even more to come.






      1. No. It’s a brand new game. A deluxe edition means it’s a port with minor content added. (See MK8D or Pokkén DX.) For SSBU, it’s crystal clear they’ve reworked almost everything to make it something entirely new.

    1. it’s more like a Smash 4.5, not a port, but not exactly a new game. it’s kinda like when monster hunter puts ultimate in front of their enhanced version. Fitting analogy since this is called smash bros ultimate.

      1. Another analogy could be to Splatoon 2, which at first felt like Splatoon 1.5. This is a more solid argument that actually makes sense.

      1. I didn’t mistake it for claymation, that was poor wording on my part. I’m just saying it looked claymation-like at some points. Especially Giga Bowser and Donkey Kong.

  2. They’re trying hard to make sure it doesn’t get labelled a port, which I think makes the title choice weird. I also think they’re worried because its running on the sameish engine as the last, but that’s okay. It’s a sequel, Nintendo, we get it.

  3. I don’t consider 3DS and Wii U as separate entries at all, just one that is more portable and having its own changes to make it have at least something separate from its more powerful counterpart. If they’re explaining it that way then I see Ultimate as being a Sm4sh Deluxe than Smash 5.

  4. Its made in Unreal Engine 4… so yeah… it’s a new game. With more added content and a hell of a roster…It’s not the same game as in the Wii U, but takes stuff from said game.

    1. It’s not Unreal. That endcard was for the entire conference, not the game itself. It also included Bethesda and From Software

  5. THANK YOU BILL! The amount of people I’ve been telling “Smash 5 IS Smash Wii U” and them blocking their ears to it is absolutely crazy.

    I’ve been saying this for years. It had a different release date. It has different modes. It has a different approach, different levels, custom music, event matches, Master and Crazy Orders, a different type of Classic mode, All Star backwards, Tournaments and 8 Player Smash.

    That is way more than enough to say it isn’t Smash 4.

    1. Not a feminist, but I’m glad her chest is smaller because it was stupidly huge in wiiu and 3ds. Not to mention that in her first few appearances in the zero suit she had an average bust size. And her design is more balanced now so she doesn’t look like shes going to fall over if she leans forwards.

    1. The deal for the sale was Nintendo get to keep all Donkey Kong and Star Fox characters while Rare get everything else so Krystal and General Scales are owned by Nintendo. Diddy Kong Racing wasn’t developed under the Donkey Kong license so Rare own everybody except Diddy and Krunch.

  6. Definitely a port. Anyone that says it’s not a port because they made minor changes or added characters is crazy. That’s like saying each patch was a new game. It’s still largely the same game as Sm4sh. Basically, it’s just Sm4sh Deluxe.

    That said, I’m probably not getting it. I hated Sm4sh. So dissapointed with this game and Nintendo’s entire E3 T_T

    1. “Definitely a port. Anyone that says it’s not a port because they made minor changes or added characters is crazy. That’s like saying each patch was a new game. It’s still largely the same game as Sm4sh. Basically, it’s just Sm4sh Deluxe.”

      Completely ridiculous. It has more new content than Smash 4 than most sequels in general have over their predecessor, especially for a fighting game. It’s made in a different engine, has a dramatically different roster, changed core fundamentals of the combat and gameplay, and reworked most of the cast. This is as different as fighting game sequels *ever* get. By these standards, Mega Man 2 was a “port” of Mega Man 1 on the NES.

  7. Adding more characters & changing a few things around doesn’t mean anything. Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate added new characters, changed a few things, & added a few more things, too, but if you call that a new game & not an enhanced port, you’re clearly smoking something.

    That aside, I won’t say for a fact it’s an enhanced port, either, as they could have held back on revealing a lot more stuff because they were already pushing it since the Smash Direct was shoved into their E3 2018 Direct. Maybe if the Smash Direct was it’s own, separate entity, they probably would have shown even more stuff for Smash.

    Til they reveal more, I won’t say for a fact if it’s a new game or an enhanced port, so I’ll leave the debating for everyone else.

    1. So what exactly *are* your criteria for calling something a sequel? Because any set of requirements I can think of that make any kind of consistent sense say that this is clearly a sequel.

      1. I want to believe it’s a sequel (hence why I added a 5 into 5mash with the whole “Ridley for 5mash!” thing.) But in this day & age, a sequel to what is essentially a fighting game needs more than just a big roster of fighters & a big roster of stages. It needs new game modes, a new story mode, more customization options for outfits, bigger movesets, etc. Basically it needs more original content. Bringing back old content just makes the game an enhanced port of the game that came prior to me.

  8. Calling this game a port is like calling New Super Mario Bros U a port of NSMB Wii. While the games may share some character models, stages, and music- EVERYTHING ELSE is completely different!

  9. Same en
    Same engine, same assets, same roster.

    It’s a port and anyone saying otherwise is as dumb as Smithers going “But the hat is new!”; quit defending the indefensible.

  10. If people think this is an enhanced port then they are morons. Just look at the gameplay and see how much they have changed. The speed is faster, character models look way more detailed and more expressive, even the menus have been redesigned and all the characters have received new renders of their official images. People need to realize that just because a game is using the same engine and reused assets doesn’t mean it’s an enhanced port.
    Amazing, simply amazing.

  11. People were worried because of the very clear trend of porting Wii U games to Switch. It’s clear that Nintendo plans to bring as many of their Wii U games to Switch as they can. Smash would’ve been one to bring. But honestly it was clear it was a new game when they spent half of their E3 Direct on the new features.

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