As is traditionally the case for any fighting game in existence, balancing the attacks and abilities of the roster is of the utmost importance. If characters are over powered then the game quickly becomes unbalanced and the experience suffers as a result. While no fighting game has ever achieved perfect balance amongst its combatants, Masahiro Sakurai (the creator of the coveted Super Smash Bros. franchise) has stressed how hard he's been working on balancing the roster in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS.
In the latest issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (translated via Siliconera), Sakurai stated that he's currently hard at work on adjusting the the move sets for each of the fighters present within the upcoming pair of Smash games. More specifically, he went into detail about how the new and improved Bowser will be quite a formidable combatant in the new titles.
“Now that Sunday’s day off is past, I’m currently working on the character adjustment for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. At the moment, Bowser is very strong. He’s really strong. Fans of Smash Bros. probably never saw him as too much of a strong character, but this time, his ability to knock others out is very strong!”
After going into detail about about the newfound power that Bowser has in his Smash attacks, special attacks, and aerial attacks, Sakurai proceeded to discuss making the game feel satisfying with each and every successful maneuver. Implementing these powerful feel-good assaults, as one would imagine, takes a lot of fine tuning.
“Doing things like simply ‘lowering the performance’ can make games lose its fun. Additionally, making a strong attack weaker can take away from the ‘good feeling’. By making adjustments that get rid of all advantages and disadvantages, it can turn a game into a mediocre one without any challenge.”
“Rather than directly weakening an attack’s advantageous parts, we’re putting effort into keeping them strong, while adding other weaknesses to them. Like giving the attacks punishable openings, or weakening the character’s mobility or recovery rate. We’re making comprehensive adjustments to characters, even for parts that might seem completely irrelevant.”
One of the major challenges that Sakurai faces, and likely won't be able to rectify, is the difference between one-on-one combat versus the likes of the four-player simultaneous mayhem that Super Smash Bros. is so well known for. Some attacks just don't prove as effective during the one-on-one bouts, with one such example that was brought up being Captain Falcon's iconic 'Falcon Punch' since it's much harder to successfully land with fewer fighters on-screen.
Many fans are usually concerned with the characters that'll be included, but Sakurai spends copious amounts of time just trying to find what he believes to be the perfect balance. He even revealed that balancing Super Smash Bros. Brawl kicked off six years before it was released — meaning he was working on it before the game was green-lit.
“The game balance of Super Smash Bros. Brawl started six years before its release, and it most likely goes back even further during its time of development, and it’s never been reformed even through the updates afterwards. We’re at a stage where we’d like to release the new title as soon as possible, and offer something more enjoyable than ever.”
While balancing is a crucial element to the Super Smash Bros. experience, fans of the series will be paying close attention to the games' official website for more updates on the final roster. So far in the past month Nintendo has confirmed that Zelda will be returning and that Rosa and Luma will be debuting, but there are still plenty of other spots on the roster awaiting to be claimed — and balancing for those unannounced characters to be done.
Which character do you think needs to be balanced the most, Ranters? How many more fighters do you think there are left to be revealed?
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