Although plenty of gamers enjoy Super Smash Bros. competitions within the comfort of their homes, the title has slowly begun to branch out into eSports. Over the past two years, for example, popular fighting game tournament EVO has included the Nintendo published and developed title in its line-up.
However, if a recent message from Nintendo holds true, then the most recent Super Smash Bros. for Wii U might not have as much eSports appeal. According to Nintendo, the most recent balance patch for the game was the last they plan to release, leaving the game's current roster as is in terms of viability.
This isn't just some PR message from Nintendo either, but comes straight from series director Masahiro Sakurai. As Sakurai explains, continuously balance patching Super Smash Bros. would result in an endless cycle of patches. So, rather than tweaking characters throughout the life of Super Smash Bros., Sakurai and his team have decided to draw the line here.
"If we were to do something like tweak characters' customized special moves, then there'd be no end to it."
Obviously, this isn't the kiss of death for Super Smash Bros. in the eSports scene, but it will make the game less viable. Most fighting games receive regular balance patches throughout the year, in an effort to make as many characters worth using as possible. Sure, there will be favorites, but every EVO event usually features the resurgence of a new character either in Street Fighter, Injustice, or Super Smash Bros. The Ice Climbers from Brawl, for example, made an impressive showing at a recent EVO event.
That isn't to say Super Smash Bros. is the type of franchise that sees those types of patches, but some thought Nintendo might make a more concerted effort towards giving the game eSports viability. Then again, up until a few years ago they were against EVO streaming Super Smash Bros. at all.
But while Nintendo is done with balance patches, they are by no means done with Super Smash Bros for Wii U. Rather, as Sakurai explains, the focus now turns to online play, and making that experience as smooth as possible. Good net code is another key to a great fighting game experience, arguably more than balance patches even.
Should issues with balance arise, like a single character becoming too overpowered, Nintendo is not against stepping in with a hot fix. However, those issues would need to be, in their words, “glaring.”
How do you feel about Nintendo calling it quits on Super Smash Bros. balance patches? Are there any characters that you currently consider overpowered?
Source: Event Hubs
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