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King K. Rool fans gather to send a thank-you to Masahiro Sakurai for the character's inclusion in Smash Bros. Ultimate






You know, you hear so much talk about the negativity from Smash Bros. fans that you become jaded. You start to think the internet is just out to cause trouble and bring people down. Then something like this comes along. Tons and tons of Smash Bros. Ultimate fans who worked together to send Sakurai a thank-you note about King K. Rool being included in Smash Bros. Ultimate. I certainly hope he sees these tweets and special artwork. I'm sure it would make his day!

Thanks to Bkupa666 for the heads up!

Sakurai hopes Richter's appearance in Smash Bros. Ultimate helps more people learn about the character, talks King K. Rool's inclusion

We've already covered some tidbits from Sakurai's most recently weekly feature in Famitsu, but now we have some specifics on two particular characters. First up is a bit of talk on the inclusion of Richter in Smash Bros. Ultimate. Translation courtesy of NintendoEverything.

As for the reveal movie, I put my absolute all into making it, even if it was just a character reveal. I’d imagine there were a lot of people that went, “huh!? Who’s Richter!?” too. I’d be happy if those people could become more familiar with the character through Smash Bros. Ultimate.

While Castlevania was a huge reveal for the game, it did leak the night before. On the other hand, the reveal of King K. Rool was a complete surprise! Sakurai explains why the character made the cut, and some tweaks that had to be made.

When deciding what fighters would be included in this game, we used Smash for Wii U/3DS’ character survey as reference. Ultimately, we found that King K. Rool from the Donkey Kong Country series was one of the most popular picks! In the reveal, I felt it’d be better if I left room for imagination, so I didn’t really explain his moveset or the character’s peculiarities. To capture King K. Rool’s likeness, I based his fighter on the fact that he “stands upright.” Yet because of the height limit, I had to make him a little smaller compared to his original appearance, so he’s not exactly to scale – sorry about that.

Sakurai discusses development challenges with Smash Bros. Ultimate, talks dev team size, compression tech, and more

As is always the case, Masahiro Sakurai has a new feature in this week's issue of Famitsu. While we don't have all the details, we do know some of the discussion that was shared. As you might have guessed, Sakurai is talking about Smash Bros. Ultimate. Here's a handful of tidbits, as translated by NintendoEverything.

- there are 34 Castlevania music tracks
- some stages took upwards of a year to develop
- Omega/Final Destination and Battlefield versions of each stage were especially difficult
- Manpower was strained because they cut the primary development team off at 100 people
- Compression technology is better, so while the sound quality is the same, the music takes up 1/4 the space it did in Smash Wii U
- the Final Smash charge is optional, and is turned off by default

Sakurai says Smash Bros. fans make lots of weird requests via social media

Masahiro Sakurai may not tweet all that much, but he's definitely keeping an eye on what goes on in the Twitterverse. He sees the suggestions, comments, and everything else that people send his way. Turns out a lot of people are sending him some rather strange Smash Bros. requests!

There are a lot of fanboys, so there are a lot of strange requests and questions…. But really, I’m just a person who makes video games.

I can only imagine what Sakurai's thinking when he sees some of these things. I imagine the thousandth time you see Shrek tweeted to you, it starts to get just a tad annoying.

The above blurb was translated by Source Gaming, and their full feature has a lot more on Sakurai's feelings about Twitter. Check out the feature here.

Sakurai on Smash Bros. being a 'dream project,' keeping the game open for all gamers, continuing work on the series, and more

Masahiro Sakurai recently sat down with The Guardian to talk about all things Smash Bros., as well as gaming in general. In the interview snippets below, you can check out Sakurai's thoughts on a number of topics.

On Smash Bros. being a 'dream project'

“I feel like it should be a dream project for anybody who is into video games! The fact that we can collaborate with all these different people and characters and meld that all together without any inconsistencies is something I am very proud of.”

On making Smash Bros. games for all types of players

“If we were to lean towards one kind of player or the other … game development would be easier, but forgoing the pros, or forgoing the beginners, wouldn’t result in Smash as it is now, and that’s something I hold dear and important.”

On continuing work with the Smash Bros. franchise

"The best way to enjoy video games is to play what other people have made. But at the same time, I have a role. At this point I have been asked to create Smash and so I am doing that, and will continue to do so if the demand is there."

On playing games for fun

"On the one hand, I play games because of my job, but on the other hand, games have this eternal, immortal attraction. Of course I do go back to old games if I need a refresher, but I think it is important to intentionally play and observe new games, to know what’s out there. Games that are coming out now are just incredible; they’re amazing. Even for people who say that they grow out of games, once they have kids and there’s a game they can play together, they return. It’s not about quitting or graduating from playing games; it’s about finding what’s enjoyable for you at that time in your life, and playing that.”

Sakurai says he'll do his best for tomorrow's Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct, apologizes for his red, tired eyes



Sakurai has taken to Twitter to not only hype up tomorrow's Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct, but also to apologize for his appearance. The following translation comes from SourceGaming.

“Again, I’ll do my best for the presentation tomorrow. It’ll start at a relatively convenient time in Japan, so please watch it! My eyes might be a little red, that’s because they are a little tired…”

I can only imagine how hard these final months of development are. There's no doubt Sakurai and the rest of the team are working overtime to hit that Dec. release date. Let's hope they all get some rest very soon!

Sakurai talks about the scope, size, and importance of Smash Bros' presentations

With E3 2018 come and gone, Sakurai has used his most recent Famitsu feature to talk about the process of putting together a reveal presentation for Smash Bros.. Obviously he most recently handled the Smash Bros. Ultimate presentation for E3 2018, and not surprisingly, it was a huge undertaking! The snippet below, translated by NintendoEverything, gives some insight into the situation.

It takes a lot of different people to make a presentation like this come together, you know! Yeah, quite a few. Even for a game director, it’s a considerable number of tasks to undertake; development is pretty serious. Half the role is acting as a producer!

Even still, presentation is essential. Typically, we’d leave that to the public relations team, and I’d continue to supervise things here and there – yet, I’ve found that how we did things this time around worked best.

When it comes to games though, simply making them just isn’t enough. A game’s content and its publicizing magnify each other: even a good game can be nothing if people don’t know about it.

Sakurai talks making Smash Bros. Ultimate for everyone, why Nintendo hangs back from eSports, and more

Sakurai wants Smash Bros. to be a game anyone can enjoy. This has been his goal from day one, and continues to be his goal with Smash Bros. Ultimate. In an interview with the Washington Post, Sakurai talked a bit about not catering too much to one particular audience, and why Nintendo is a little reluctant to really get behind the eSports scene with Smash.

“When you talk about audience, I don’t really think too much about the audience per se. I feel like a game, at the end of the day, is about playing the game. But if we focus too much on the top level players — or the audience — then the game skews a little bit too much on the technical side.

The philosophy behind eSports doesn’t go in line with Nintendo’s philosophy in that some of these players are playing for the prize money. It comes to a point where they’re playing the game for the money, and I feel that kind of direction doesn’t coincide with Nintendo’s view of what games should be."

A lot of competitive fighters in the eSports scene feature super complex command inputs, and that's not something Sakurai is interested in. He elaborated upon this with the Washington Post.

“It’s not to say that Street Fighter is failing [by more fully embracing competitive gaming] by any means, but personally, I think any games with command inputs are difficult. The creator side is trying to raise people who do that. It doesn’t beat a game where you press one button to create a special move. I think that’s really easy to pick up for a lot of people.”

It's this deep focus on mechanics and button presses that made Melee so popular. Sakurai realizes this, but also sees that the complex nature of the title also drove people away.

"I think a lot of Melee players love Melee. But at the same time, I think a lot of players, on the other hand, gave up on Melee because it’s too technical, because they can’t keep up with it and I know there were players who got tendinitis from playing, and messing with the controller so much . . . that really is hard on the player. And I feel like a game should really focus on what the target audience is.”

Masahiro Sakurai checks out the Smash Bros. items at Nintendo's E3 2018 booth


I wonder what it was like for Sakurai to see Smash Bros. Ultimate dominate Nintendo's booth this year. Even with all the time he's poured into the franchise over the years, I imagine this was quite a sight to behold.

Masahiro Sakurai will be part of Nintendo Direct: E3 2018



Sakurai himself has confirmed that he'll be part of the Nintendo Direct: E3 2018 presentation. It's really not that surprising, considering how Smash Bros. Switch is going to be a major focus of Nintendo's E3 2018 coverage. Can't wait to see if somehow Sakurai is looking even younger!