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Super Smash Bros Director Says Play The Games You Dislike

The Guardian has recently published a wide-ranging interview with the legendary Super Smash Bros director, Masahiro Sakurai. Mr. Sakurai said to the publication that he goes out of his way to find and play games he dislikes, or has no real interest in, simply to give him a wider gaming experience and additional knowledge about video games.

“I went out of my way to play games I didn’t like or find interesting. Those ended up being a lot more informative for me,” he explained. “At home I have literally thousands of games, and I think of them as pearls of wisdom from my predecessors.

“Game development is very difficult. Nobody sets out to create a game that’s not fun. It’s all of the challenges and difficulties that happen throughout development that determine whether a game is a failure or a success. I think playing those thousands of games is the single best and easiest way to learn from my predecessors.”


37 thoughts on “Super Smash Bros Director Says Play The Games You Dislike”

  1. When I was a little kid, my Father used to insist that we rent a small studio / independant film from the video store along side the big releases we usually go for. We saw a lot of straaaange movies that way … low budget sci fi and kids movies.

    I must say, it had a big impact on my perspective of how movies are made and who makes them.
    … sadly, I didn’t go on to become a film maker or anything.

  2. My dad did force me to buy a lot of games I didn’t initially wanted to play, like the first Phoenix Wright for example xP I ended up loving the series. I even played the 6 first Layton games just so I could get all the references in Layton vs. Wright, even though I HATED all those games x’D

      1. I completed every single puzzle in every one of those titles. Some of them almost blow mind to pieces xD But I rather keep playing Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training. Not the same game by any means, but I remember back when I was 14-15 I beat my math teacher in mathsolving competitions because of that DS game. I was so glad when the 3DS game launched here in Europe at last^^

  3. This was my experience with Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door and How To Train Your Dragon (both of which I thought were dumb beforehand). They’ve gone on to become some of my favorite pieces of entertainment.

  4. Yeah it is important if your a game designer for sure to play all sorts of games beside the ones you love,but as a gamer,I won’t torture myself by playing bad games,we already have AVGN to play the bad games for us lol

  5. Fine, Mr. Sakurai. I dare you to play:

    -NiGHTS into Dreams/NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams
    -Klonoa (Wii)/Klonoa: Lunatea’s Veil
    -Pac-Man World 1-3
    -The Simpsons Arcade Game
    -DuckTales/DuckTales 2/DuckTales Remastered
    -Captain Rainbow
    -Joy Mech Fight
    -For the Frog the Bell Tolls
    -Wario Land 1-4
    -Fight Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time (any version)

    Maybe that’ll influence his decisions in the future.

    1. Also:
      -Sonic Championship
      -Sonic Adventure 2
      -Sonic Battle (Sonic is more than just Spin Dashes and Homing Attacks)

    2. He’s played all of those.

      The man exercises on a stationary bike while streaming TV shows at 1.5x speed on one monitor and playing video games on the other monitor SIMULTANEOUS.

      He’s got a pretty impressive collection of physical games too.

  6. Nice try, The Pokemon Co. I will NOT be purchasing a Let’s Go game even if you get/pay Master Sakurai to coax us into trying it out.

  7. …. Do I hate any games? I don’t play any sports games, or gambling games… But not because I hate the games. And even if I did have games I hate, my income is limited.

    1. I think people are interpreting this wrong. Most people see “dislike” = “bad”. I don’t think Sakurai is suggesting people go out and buy genuine dumpster fire games but he’s more suggesting that gamers step out of their comfort zones once in a while.

  8. That’s dumb. It works for game developers but not people doing it just for fun. I’d understand if he was saying “play games that don’t seem appealing at first” since you could potentially learn how to play and start to enjoy it, but a game that you’re actively not having a good time with, no matter how long you try? Drop that like a hot potato. and probably don’t waste your time with any sequels if the core concept did nothing for you.

  9. I mean, he’s not wrong. There’s a lot you can learn from a bad game or a game you don’t like- where did it go wrong, why DO other people like it, etc.

    I do something similar- I’ve been looking at more fighting games after I became inspired to create my own, so I’ve tried Street Fighter II, SFV, SF 30th Anniversary Collection, Skullgirls, Pocket Rumble, Skullgirls (when is that coming to Switch, by the way? I’ll GLADLY buy that a third time), King of Fighters XIII, BlazBlue, and a few more to see what works, what ideas can I lift from these games, or even if I can come up with a mechanic not yet seen.

      1. Actually, I have to technically agree with you. I dislike Zelda 2 on the NES because (and I’m not ashamed to admit this) that being able to use save states makes this game much more accessible.

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