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Masahiro Sakurai and Makiko Ohmoto (voice of Kirby) visit Kirby Cafe Tokyo

What a lovely visit!

Looks like Masahiro Sakurai took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down for a spot of tea. Both Sakurai and Makiko Ohmoto, the voice actress for Kirby, stopped in at Kirby Cafe Tokyo to check things out. The Cafe doesn't open until Dec. 12th, 2019, so these two got special early access. Must have been nice to get a quiet cup of coffee/tea and chat away from their everyday jobs!

Masahiro Sakurai praises Hideo Kojima and Death Stranding

Major praise from one dev to another

Masahiro Sakurai's latest feature in Famitsu offers up praise for a fellow developer. Sakurai has shared kind words on Hideo Kojima, alongside his latest creation, Death Stranding. Check out a summary of the details below.

- Sakurai says very few games manage to be as original and interesting as Death Stranding
- Sakurai notes that Death Stranding definitely isn’t for everyone
- Sakurai loves Death Stranding to the point of losing track of time when playing, and praises how the game was built
- Sakurai finds it rare for a game to mix its new possibilities, story, and gameplay so well
- Sakurai says the controls which can be difficult as they include a lot of button-hold commands
- Sakurai also says the UI is a bit difficult due to small text
- Sakurai mentioned that he does his best to avoid watching trailers or reading about something before experiencing it
- Sakurai didn’t know much about Death Stranding before playing it, but was really into it & frantically played until finishing
- Death Stranding reminded Sakurai of how talented Hideo Kojima is
- any game developers like himself are shocked and amazed with the game
- Death Stranding goes over common sense and brings its players to a new world other games didn’t explore ye

Masahiro Sakurai stops by Famitsu's Smash Bros. Ultimate corporate tournament after working on a new character

The man doesn't know how to rest

We all know that Masahiro Sakurai is a very busy man. He's constantly moving and shaking, and that hard work continues with the next round of DLC characters for Smash Bros. Ultimate. Still, Sakurai didn't let that work stop him from checking out Famitsu's Smash Bros. Ultimate corporate tournament.

Sakurai popped in at the event to check things out, and even spoke a bit. Turns out Sakurai was working on Smash DLC earlier that very day! Check out his comment below.

“Today I also made things in the company, such as a fighter whom hasn’t been known by everybody yet. And I came here after the work has ended.”

Sakurai talks about Smash Bros. Ultimate surpassing Street Fighter II in sales

A milestone achievement

Masahiro Sakurai's most recent column for Famitsu gives us some commentary on Smash Bros. Ultimate surpassing the sales of Street Fighter II. Check out a summary of what Sakurai had to say below, courtesy of @Sephazon.

- in Japan, Smash Bros. Ultimate is referred to as an action game, rather than a fighting game
- with so many variations of Street Fighter II having been released, it's hard to decide what versions should be tallied together
- since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate released as a single game, there's no doubt it's the best-selling singular fighting game
- despite Smash Bros. Ultimate surpassing Street Fighter II, Sakurai feels Street Fighter 2 is still the king of fighting games
- Sakurai says Street Fighter II is a wonderful game, and many titles followed in its footsteps
- Terry Bogard has a play-style like a classic fighting game, and his inclusion makes for a fun and exciting eSports game
- Smash Bros. Ultimate can be a difficult game to play online, particularly for children
- that said, it's still easy to have fun, especially with so many famous characters available
- Smash Bros. is a series based on the idea of a fighting game with many interesting tactics
- traditional final games can get stale once you learn all the tactics
- Smash Bros. is a paradox of a game, but Sakurai is happy to see it top the fighting genre
- Sakurai says thank you for supporting Super Smash Bros. and he will continue to work hard

Mai Shiranui will not be joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate because the game is "for good boys and girls of many different ages"

Mai oh Mai!

In the recent Terry Bogard reveal live-stream from Masahiro Sakurai, many SNK cameo appearances were announced. One major character missing however, was Mai Shiranui. Sakurai gave a reason for her lack of inclusion, as "Smash is for good boys and girls of many different ages." Mai is known for her scandalous clothing and fan-service heavy character design, so it doesn't come as too much of a surprise that her character would not be allowed to join Super Smash Bros. It seems that Bayonetta will be as far as sexiness goes in terms of fighters in the Nintendo published franchise.

New short-form documentary series interviews Masahiro Sakurai and more about the power of games

Well worth a watch

All Nippon Airways, the largest airline in Japan, has funded the creation of a new documentary series that focuses on the world of Japanese video games. The series, called Game Chronicle, has talked to numerous Japanese developers about their work on titles. Included among the big names is none other than Masahiro Sakurai, who you can see in the feature above.

There are other episodes that pertain to developers and games that have ties to Nintendo. Check out the related features below.


Street Fighter producer jokes about Sakurai's dislike of Blanka, talks about the potential for more Street Fighter on Switch

Blanking out

Smash Bros. Ultimate has a lot of Street Fighter representation, but there doesn't seem to be so much love for Blanka. In an interview at EGX, Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono jokingly mentioned that he thinks Masahiro Sakurai dislikes Blanka.

“I don’t think Mr. Sakurai likes Blanka a lot. (Laughs) Now that you mention it, the word ‘Blanka’ never came up while we discussed who to put in Smash, so either he’s never heard of Blanka or he hates him. So I’m sorry. (Laughs) But next time I get in touch and if we’re discussing any future content, I’ll be sure to mention Blanka and be like, ‘Have you heard of this guy?'”

While Smash Bros. shows Street Fighter some love, the Switch in general has seen the release of some Street Fighter games as well. Could there be anymore Street Fighter titles on the way to Switch? Here's what Ono had to say.

“Can you go over to the Nintendo booth and maybe just like shout that at the VIPs in the back stage? Because they’re the ones you really need to talk to – not me. Even with our previous Nintendo title Ultra Street Fighter II, Nintendo came to us and said, ‘We want to do something with Street Fighter II because it’s been 25 years since it came out on previous Nintendo consoles,’ so I think they’re the ones you need to convince, so go and mob that booth.”

Thanks to Dondom95 for the heads up!

Masahiro Sakurai's controller collection, living room setup, and more details revealed

Sakurai and the legend of the 12 PlayStations

Masahiro Sakurai is nothing short of a legend. It's always interesting to find out new details on his work life, as well as his personal life. With special thanks to @nokoloc and @PushDustIn on Twitter, we have full translated details from Sakurai's latest column. Check out the summary below!

- Sakurai bought two Nintendo Switch Online Super Famicom Controllers.

- He enjoys the feel of the Playstation 4 'Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller', he owns one himself.

- Astral Chain was difficult for him to play due to his tendonitis, so he purchased a Switch rapid-fire controller to help with those specific sequences.

- Sakurai owns over 60 controllers across all platforms, not including the ones in his main home. He forgets why he bought some of them.

- The initial reason Sakurai had so many controllers, was because he wanted four of each for 4-player multiplayer. Then other various reasons for controller purchases caused the amount he owns to be as high as it is.

- His second home is closer to work, so he doesn't have as long of a commute. He returns to his main house on the weekends (picture above is from his main house).

- He personally owns four Switches, two in each home. He has two TVs per home as well.

- Sakurai's main house is more like home, his second house is used as his own personal office.

- He owns six PlayStation 4s and six PlayStation 3s across his two homes (three of each per house). He likes to compete against guests in various games, using his multiple displays.

- Organization helps Sakurai keep his gaming items easily accessible. He includes labels on his HDMI cables, boxes to separate controllers, and other various methods. For his classic 80s/90s hardware, he uses a storage unit underground.

- It's difficult managing all of his different hardware. He charges his controllers before he plays.

- To avoid anything being overwritten, Sakurai always has things saved to multiple consoles. He mostly uses the cloud for his saves, so he needs to be prepared to have the ability to download an update twice.

[Check out full translations here!]

Tekken producer fed up with requests for Smash Bros. Ultimate cameos, says devs don't "negotiate with spammers and terrorists"

He's not Tekken it anymore!

Katsuhiro Harada, the producer of the Tekken series, is getting quite annoyed with requests on Twitter about various characters appearing in Smash Bros. Ultimate. As a matter of fact, Harada's been so angered by these requests that he said he's specifically telling Masahiro Sakurai not to consider characters for Smash Bros. Ultimate. You can see the two tweets Harada made about the situation below.

I'm honestly a bit baffled by this. I understand that sometimes people can be rude with their requests and spam things over and over again on Twitter, but there can also be legitimate fans who are reaching out due to genuine interest. I'm not sure how far things have gone with the various people called out in Harada's tweet, but I guess the harassment was bad enough in his eyes to make a public comment.

Masahiro Sakurai talks about Smash Bros. Ultimate winning multiple awards, shares his thanks

A honor to be a winner!

This week's issue of Famitsu sees another articled penned by Masahiro Sakurai. Check out a summary of that article below, courtesy of PushDustIn and Nokoloc.

- Sakurai says it's a bit silly to give games awards, as each game has its own merits
- Sakurai can’t believe Smash Ultimate won 5 awards at the Japan Game Awards this year, it’s an amazing achievement to him
- Sakurai thanks the development team, those companies that allowed them to use their IP, and the fans of Smash’s characters
- the Future Award at Tokyo Game Show is given to promising games shown at the event
- only attendees can vote for the awards
- Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout won the top prize for having standout character design
- the vote for the Future Award isn’t done by a simple tally, as a committee oversees the competition
- the committee works to make voting fair and to bring out more viable contenders
- since the games are played by the judges, playing with as much attention to detail as possible is necessary
- it’s very difficult for Sakurai to decide after considering all of the candidates
- every year, Sakurai’s been invited as a special guest alongside others with similar merits
- being a part of this took a lot of time, though, since it was difficult to play games when he wanted to
- as a creator and a consultant, Sakurai says it’s an honor to be called on to do such a job
- after 10 minutes of a demo, he has to figure out what to do in his next 50 minutes of playing
- Sakurai also has his own work to do, so it would be a huge loss of time to leave his office empty for too long
- since games like COD: Modern Warfare feature 12 players, or 4v1 in Project Resistance, his staff has played with him too
- “I’m just one person playing these games, so thanks to all of you for your help!!”
- Sakurai avoided many details about the winning games of the Japan Game Awards so he can make a fair, unbiased decision
- when it comes to playing these games, he's usually keen on making his own conclusions about them
- if Sakurai continues to be called upon for this kind of thing, he wants to try his best to the greatest extent possible

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