Sakurai autographs a Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch dock for a fellow staffer

The Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch bundle is now available in Japan. As you know, the bundle includes a fancy Switch dock emblazoned with some fighters from Smash Bros. Ultimate. Turns out that wasn't flashy enough for one member of the dev team, though! According to Masahiro Sakurai, the dev bugged Sakurai about adding his signature to the dock. Looks like Sakurai was eventually convinced to oblige!

Sakurai talks Smash Bros. Ultimate - Ken and Incineroar's inclusion, lack of trophies, amiibo production, and more

As usual, Sakurai has a feature in the latest issue of Famitsu. This week's article is all about Smash Bros. Ultimate. Here's a quick rundown of what Sakurai has to say, as translated by NintendoEverything.

On Ken…

“There’s a good few moves that differ from Ryu’s – please think of him as a service to players who make the most of the frames they’re given.”

On Incineroar…

“I wanted to try making a pro-wrestler character at least once! Mr. Unshō Ishizuka did some new recordings for Incineroar for this game; may he rest in peace.”

On amiibo…

“It takes around a year for us to make the amiibo from the original prototypes, so please excuse the wait.”

On the removal of trophies…

“I came to this decision pretty quickly. I wanted to divide my strength among other things – making them took quite a bit more effort than people might think.”

On Spirits Mode…

“Everything will become clearer when you actually start playing. I’ll put together a summary of the mode’s design after the game’s release.”

On online match-ups…

“In this game, matches will be completely synchronized. As such, the distance between players is a top deciding factor.”

On Elite Smash Mode…

“Players with a high skill level will be able to enjoy true battles, as this prevents them from being pitted against beginners. Achieving this definitely amounts to bragging rights, among other things.”

On Piranha Plant…

“He’ll be available 1~2 months after the game’s release.”

On the “Biggest, Baddest, Enemy”…

“If the opportunity presents itself I’d like to write about the game’s ‘Adventure Mode’ bit by bit. That being said, as of right now it’s finished.”

Masahiro Sakurai providing commentary at Nintendo Live 2018 event

Nintendo has shared a few more details on their upcoming Nintendo Live 2018 event, and Smash Bros. Ultimate fans should be excited. As far as the playable demos go, all 74 characters will be on-hand for players to try, and the demo stations will be using Switch Pro Controllers. On top of that, none other than Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai will serve as commentator during the tournament event, and he'll also be doing some gameplay on stage.

Sakurai says Smash Bros. Ultimate character reveals will be slowing down from here on out, development wrapping soon

Masahiro Sakurai has a weekly feature in Famitsu, and this time around he's talked about Smash Bros. Ultimate character reveals. According to the man himself, expect things to slow down from here on out.

“We announced Isabelle in the Nintendo Direct...however, it would be a mistake to think that the new character announcements will keep going [at this pace] until Smash Bros. releases. We may have been a little trigger-happy so we’ll be living modestly from here on out.”

With all the reveals that have happened so far, and the game's release date fast approaching, it's no surprise to see character reveals slowing down. Unfortunately, we don't get any word on just how many reveals are left.

Wondering just how far along Smash Bros. Ultimate is? Sakurai also answered that question.

“It’ll be complete in just a little longer… or so we expect!”

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!