Smash Bros. Director Is Stressed Out Deciding The Roster

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Smash Bros. Director Is Stressed Out Deciding The Roster

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Masahiro Sakurai says the process of adding (and removing) characters to the game's roster is stressful to the detriment of his mental and physical well-being

A lot of people take Super Smash Bros. seriously, but none more than game director Masahiro Sakurai. Choosing who stays and who goes on the game's roster is "almost deadly in the amount of time it takes me," Sakurai tells Polygon.

Three new characters (the Villager, Mega Man and Wii Fit Trainer) have already been announced for the new game, but Sakurai wants to "trim the fat" from the old Brawl roster, meaning for every new character added you can probably expect an old one to be cut.

Sakurai says cutting old characters is much more difficult and stressful than adding new ones, telling us that "taking a character out [of the game] is what really hurts a lot."

"Whether it's a minor character or a character that is one of the most highly skilled and most played, if that character is removed from the game, the people who live for that character in Smash Bros. are going to have their feelings hurt."

"The amount of stress I feel, it's almost to the brink of death," said Sakurai, "Because it's not just a matter of me personally thinking this character or that character is going to be in the game; it's that we also have the game balance, animation, graphics and sound to think about in order to make that character fully fleshed out in that universe. I have to think about all of that when I go through this decision-making process."

Sakurai says the in the process of deciding the fate of a character, the developers ask themselves "What is the uniqueness of this character? What does this character bring into the Smash Bros. universe? What do they have that other characters don't? How do they complement or contrast other characters?" He says that Mega Man's inclusion was assured because of his unique move set surrounding the Variable Weapons System.

As for recurring characters, Sakurai promises that they will be re-built from scratch from the ground up. Characters should feel familiar to veterans of the series, but will be refined to help emphasis the character's "uniqueness."

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS comes out for the aforementioned systems in 2014.

Source: Polygon

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Considering Brawl's efforts to cut down on the pure clones of Melee, I can imagine how hard it is to choose. There aren't Dr Marios and Pichus around for an easy cut this time.

On the other hand.... Why the hell do you have to choose? It's not like Smash Bros is particularly spacious on the disc. You could easily have a roster in the hundreds! I'd wager even the 3DS could handle far more than you're going to end up giving us.

Crazie_Guy:
Considering Brawl's efforts to cut down on the pure clones of Melee, I can imagine how hard it is to choose. There aren't Dr Marios and Pichus around for an easy cut this time.

On the other hand.... Why the hell do you have to choose? It's not like Smash Bros is particularly spacious on the disc. You could easily have a roster in the hundreds! I'd wager even the 3DS could handle far more than you're going to end up giving us.

Well more characters would be even harder to balance but technical limitations I wouldn't have a clue. Maybe they need the space or maybe they don't, couldn't tell you.

Though you are right about there is no easy choices to remove. Maybe game and watch and one of the starfox companions considering how little they do anything with starfox.

I just hope there is finally another character from metroid in it.

We need at least 3 more space furries so that all stages can be all Land Mastah, all teh time!

I'm more concerned as to whether they've actually balanced the damn final smashes.

I want grumpy cat in the game maybe even Luke Skywalker.

I feel he is looking too much into it. I know it's important to think things through but they have so many characters to choose from, and I reckon some of the teams could easily be cut down for other characters to get a chance just once at least. How many characters do you need from Zelda and Mario really? You are going to hurt many people either way since everyone loves certain games for certain reasons, just compare Brawl to Melee and wonder where the hate came from.

"What is the uniqueness of this character? What does this character bring into the Smash Bros. universe? What do they have that other characters don't? How do they complement or contrast other characters?"

Looking past all the previous titles they all have a lot to offer, and I don't understand why they can't just add in new elements as well to make things a little more interesting. I mean, does every move and every level have to be from a classic game? The 'A' attacks aren't from classic games and some of those melee attacks where far more useful than the special abilities.

Maybe it's one of those times where you have so many great choices it's too difficult to decide. I'm usually like that at my favourite restaurants.

I can think of two characters they could get rid of that no one will care about so that they can make room for good one. I would suggest removing the Villager and the Wii fit Trainer. I mean, really? Why are they in the game?

Presuming, and it's reasonable to do so, that he's being honest, it's genuinely surprising how un-shitted-out these games are.

I'm not even saying it'll be good. I'm saying that any other company would be making a bigger and barely-refined sequel in this franchise *every year*.

Rutskarn:
Presuming, and it's reasonable to do so, that he's being honest, it's genuinely surprising how un-shitted-out these games are.

I'm not even saying it'll be good. I'm saying that any other company would be making a bigger and barely-refined sequel in this franchise *every year*.

I think we can all attest to that! Love or hate his changes to the roster, at least the guy in genuinely stressing about it and trying his best to make the best game possible, instead of just pumping out a new version every 12 months...

Crazie_Guy:
On the other hand.... Why the hell do you have to choose? It's not like Smash Bros is particularly spacious on the disc. You could easily have a roster in the hundreds! I'd wager even the 3DS could handle far more than you're going to end up giving us.

THIS exactly, I mean, you could tell they were definitely using that (mini) DVD extra space on Melee with lots of characters (still my favorite roster though) and you could definitely tell that Brawl used every single megabyte available for a dual layer DVD, even though the roster wasn't expanded that much, you could feel it did.

I mean, the Wii U literally uses Blu-ray discs, it's not like they could suddendly run out of space. Why not just add more instead of removing them?, make it a massive roster!, I don't care if it gets shitty characters, Marvel vs Capcom 2 does and nobody gives a shit!.

drschplatt:
I can think of two characters they could get rid of that no one will care about so that they can make room for good one. I would suggest removing the Villager and the Wii fit Trainer. I mean, really? Why are they in the game?

I'm sorry what.

Did Villager ask for your opinion?

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How about you Wii Fit Trainer? What do you have to say?

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I thought so.

SupahGamuh:

Crazie_Guy:
On the other hand.... Why the hell do you have to choose? It's not like Smash Bros is particularly spacious on the disc. You could easily have a roster in the hundreds! I'd wager even the 3DS could handle far more than you're going to end up giving us.

THIS exactly, I mean, you could tell they were definitely using that (mini) DVD extra space on Melee with lots of characters (still my favorite roster though) and you could definitely tell that Brawl used every single megabyte available for a dual layer DVD, even though the roster wasn't expanded that much, you could feel it did.

I mean, the Wii U literally uses Blu-ray discs, it's not like they could suddendly run out of space. Why not just add more instead of removing them?, make it a massive roster!, I don't care if it gets shitty characters, Marvel vs Capcom 2 does and nobody gives a shit!.

I believe he said he wanted to keep the roster small for "balance" reasons

Crazie_Guy:
Considering Brawl's efforts to cut down on the pure clones of Melee, I can imagine how hard it is to choose. There aren't Dr Marios and Pichus around for an easy cut this time.

On the other hand.... Why the hell do you have to choose? It's not like Smash Bros is particularly spacious on the disc. You could easily have a roster in the hundreds! I'd wager even the 3DS could handle far more than you're going to end up giving us.

Au contraire, Brawl was actually the first Wii game to require a double-layer disc and even then it filled that to the brim. We can argue how much of that is taken up by the game's 300-song soundtrack, but the game's other assets take up quite a bit of space as well, especially the characters.

There were actually a lot of tricks in Brawl to help cut down on the loading times. For instance, when you choose your character and color on the select screen, the disc automatically starts loading that model and skin before you even get to the next screen. That way, by the time you actually get to the game, it's already partially loaded and the actual match loads quicker. You're actually discouraged from fiddling around with your character choice in Brawl, because the game'll keep starting to load everything you pick and it'll increase load time.

To be fair, though, Brawl characters were incredibly detailed and I'm not just talking for a Wii game. The Wii was only 480p, but the models and characters were very high resolution to the point that they still look really good imported into Garry's Mod. Why they put all the effort into said characters in an SD game where the action is usually zoomed-out is anyone's guess.

TWO WEEKS LATER...

Actually, it may be for the pre-rendered cutscenes in The Subspace Emissary. The models in those cutscenes are exactly the same models used in the game itself, and since the cutscenes have to look good...

I'm noth worried about the thought of cut characters because I can always play older versions of the game either on my Wii U or my GameCube. I hope that whatever the roster is it has a lot of variety.

I can definitely see that.

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I was sadly underwhelmed with the trailer and announcement of the new Smash Bros game. It just felt lacking. This may seem petty, but looking at the announcement of Brawl, it felt grander and more epic, but most importantly more characters. We had Metaknight, Pit, Zero Suit Samus, Wario, and Snake. All of them fantastic characters, characters that make sense. Characters that made us shit our pants when we learned we were going to finally play as them (maybe not Zero Suit Samus, but you get the idea, right?). The newest trailer didn't seem to have the same amount of "Oomph" that the previous one had. And other than what the meme spouting might say, did any of you really desire to play as the Animal Crossing villager? Or the goddam Wii Fit trainer? Mega Man I totally get, though. I'm on board with Mega Man.

What I'm trying to say is that Nintendo doesn't really seem to have a lot of enthusiasm for this game. And the only one who really seems to give a shit just might be Sakurai. The rest of Nintendo just might see this as inevitable and something that was bound to happen. It wasn't really supposed to be epic for them, it was "yeah yeah, here you go, now shut up and take it." But this is still Sakurai's child and he still cares for it. So I think he wants this to be a much more advanced balanced game for people to take a bit more seriously. This just might be why he's having such a stressful time picking and choosing characters. Hell, you'd think with the newest game in the franchise, we'd have waves and waves of new characters, but that doesn't seem to be the case. And that's kinda sad...

But I only ask Sakurai to do this: Just keep the roster from the original Super Smash Bros for the N64 (Luigi, Mario, DK, Link, Samus, Captain Falcon, Ness, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, Pikachu, and Jigglypuff). They're veterans, been there from the beginning. You know you want to keep them in, dude. Everyone else can fuck off! :D

If none of my ramblings make sense, it's because I am up late for some reason. Shut up, this argument makes sense to me.

I guess this means there are going to be more new characters than previously thought. I mean, if thee was a 1:1 new character-cut ratio, then it would be pretty easy to find three characters to cut from Brawl. Those being ROB, Mr G&W, and Wolf. Easy cuts afterward include Snake, Lucario, Lucas, ZSS, Falco, and Toon Link (who is a confirmed cut).

I'm very happy that Sakurai seems to be keeping his word with having a more streamlined Smash experience.

Smash Bros. is one of those games any Nintendo fan will buy, yet the inclusion of the Wii Fit Trainer confuses me since that was apart of a product non-gamers bought since Wii Fit wasn't so much a video game but a casual training device. If we get "her" over the likes of Wario, Metaknight or even Mr Game & Watch then I think the fan service which the game has always been built upon is lacking.

Even Sonic still makes sense.

Daystar Clarion:

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Ot: Well I can see how getting rid of some characters would be hard but there are a few characters that in my opinion are easy choices.
Here's who I think could be trimmed;
Toon Link, Wolf, R.O.B, Lucas, Jigglypuff, Pokemon Trainer, Mr. Game & Watch, Zero Suit Samus and Lucario.
(Lucario is my main and favorite but I really think he could be cut for someone new without to much hassle)

Now just give me Klonoa in exchange.

As long as we can finally play as Ridley I'm not too fussed.

Give us Shulk & Fiora, or the girl dies.

To be honest, they could cut any of the following: Wolf, R.O.B, Mr Game & Watch, Lucas, Captain Olimar, Pokemon Trainer... and I wouldn't particularly care. I hope they do bring in some good new characters, Megaman is a good start but Waluigi and maybe a different classic pokemon could do with some love too!

xdiesp:
Give us Shulk & Fiora, or the girl dies.

Seeing as we're including threats now...

Eight years ago i came under posession of a working Metal Gear that was in development in Alaska's Fox Archipelego. If Solid Snake does not remain apart of the Roster, i WILL unleash it upon the Nintendo offices...then probably give it to Hideo Kojima as a birthday present.

Damn...I don't think I've ever heard of a game dev who sounded like he could drop dead of stress before this.

JoJo:
To be honest, they could cut any of the following: Wolf, R.O.B, Mr Game & Watch, Lucas, Captain Olimar, Pokemon Trainer... and I wouldn't particularly care. I hope they do bring in some good new characters, Megaman is a good start but Waluigi and maybe a different classic pokemon could do with some love too!

I can agree with most of that...I would say change out Kanto Trainer with an Unova or...uh...X/Y Trainer. I liked R.O.B. too (he may have been my best SSBB character...haven't played in a while) but I'd rather have the Teleroboxer than have R.O.B. return. Captain Olimar may get the boot but you just know he would be replaced with one of the new captains from Pikmin 3. Weren't there also two sword-wielding characters from Fire Emblem? Marth and Roy? I would cut one of them to make room for Shulk or, Zael. A buddy of mine posted that Groose is in but I haven't found confirmation (Groose would fight using his Pompadour and manly tears)

...

I just realized that Namco Bandai currently hold the rights to a very popular franchise and while their current contract is up in 2014, the games under...this particular brand...have been pretty popular and *checks numbers* well it looks like they got mixed reviews and reception overall but still...

PUNCHLINE! Namco-Bandai have the distribution rights to Dragon Ball Z. STOP FREAKIN' LAUGHING AND GIMMIE A MINUTE TO EXPLAIN! Look, who here honestly expected Solid Snake to appear in Brawl? Think back to 2005: If someone said "Hark fair fellow! Thine on fictitious sleuth Solid Snake and the rapscallion Sonic the Hedged Hog are forthcoming to the third installment of Smash Brothers!" You would have smacked that person for talking funny. I'm not saying it's going to happen but I will say there's a better chance of Goku being in 4 than my beloved Teleroboxer.

I hope they don't cut Zero Suit Samus. Playing a speedy version of Samus was one of the most fun parts in Brawl. D:

Well there's so many shitty characters you can probably cut a lot.
Falco, Wolf, R.O.B, Lucas, and on top of that I'm guessing Sonic, Snake and Toon Link will be removed because of timing/copyright issues. Maybe do something more viable with or update Pokemon trainer too and the roster could be fairly well built.

Eh, I'm just counting down the seconds until Ryu shows up.
Nintendo Vs. Capcom, you know you want it.
Falcon Punch Meet Bionic Arm!

In my opinion, we're only missing a couple of absolutely vital characters.

First up would have to be

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And of course, replacing R.O.B would be...

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You know they both make the most sense.

drschplatt:
I can think of two characters they could get rid of that no one will care about so that they can make room for good one. I would suggest removing the Villager and the Wii fit Trainer. I mean, really? Why are they in the game?

They're characters from two really popular Nintendo games, is that not enough reason? I think they actually fit in pretty well, and look like they'll be a lot of fun; any new characters are going to have big fan bases, these are no exception. Even if they turn out to be rubbish, you can't say they *shouldn't* be in the game until you've played it. Who would you rather see in the game than these two then?

OT: Roy's our boy! Roy's our boy! Get rid of Marth, bring back Roy.
I think Medli or Makar from Wind Waker would be cool, but maybe that would lead to too many Zelda characters. Maybe have them as support characters or something.
Skull Kid from Majora's Mask could be an interesting addition.
Instead of Toon Link, have Majora's Mask Link that can turn into either Deku, Zora or Goron forms, like the Pokémon Trainer! To me, that makes so much sense, lots of scope for special moves :D

Andy Shandy:
In my opinion, we're only missing a couple of absolutely vital characters.
-snip-

Groose and G.O.B., just brilliant!

For the love of god drop Sonic. I would say Pit too, but they just revamped him, so he might actually be worthwhile this time around.

As long as they keep Captain Falcon any and all cuts shall be forgiven....

looking at this thread... and we wonder why he's so stressed out. between players wanting to keep their old favorites, either clones who actually deserve to be cut or characters people don't like due to playstyle or just personal opinion of the game they are from, or threats to the developers to include character X over Y or adding clones just because they like the idea, maybe we all should take a chill pill and let him figure it out. (i'm half joking by the way - only half).

as for me - go Mega Man!

Seeing this gave me hope. Lucario's mechanics are pretty unique, and I'd love to see him stay.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if they cut him. I don't envy this guy's job at all, it would be really hard to cut characters out.

Let me make your decision easier. Take out Ike cause he's too OP and Olimar cause he sucks. I have 2 characters that need to be in the is game:

1) Rex Power Colt

2) Oblivion Guard

Do this for me Nintendo and me and all my friends will buy Wii U's

But I swear, if you took Snake out of the game... There will be no place for you to hide

Looking at this thread its obvious why he's so stressed! It's great to see that they are putting alot of effort into the new Smash Bros. One thing you can bet on is that the game will be awesome! They always take alot of time & effort to make each Smash Bros game spectacular!

One thing people have to take into consideration is with lisenced characters like Snake & Megaman, Nintendo have to jump through a lot of hoops in order to get them into the game!

I applaud Nintendo for keeping most of their franchises one per console. When this one comes out it will be the 4th/5th Smash Bros game in 15 years! Even Mario Kart 8 is only the 8th game in 21 years! Call of Duty reached that number in 9 years (and that doesn't even include the numerous expansions, console spin offs & handheld titles)! Assissin's Creed will reach that number when 4 is released with an even shorter time frame!

Aww...after the new roster, I was hoping this would open up a can of worms for other characters. And I already started a list of characters I would LOVE to see, including:
-Pauline
-Chell
-Banjo & Kazooie
-Princess Daisy
-Cranky Kong
-Gruntilda
-Bayonetta
-Simon Belmont
-Gameboy (see where I'm getting at)
-Dr. Robotnik
-Blues/Protoman
-Megaman X
Oh, and instead of Master Hand as the final boss, use Toilet Hand from the Zelda games.

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