Sakurai does not want Smash to be a competitive franchise

just some food for thought i guess…

Some people seem to have this notion that Sakurai “finally” took away from smash to make it non competitive or something, as if he once had a desire to have a competitive game… Other’s seem to think that sakurai doesn’t want to recognize the competitive community at all, and even less think that sakurai is completely ignorant of our community.

well… he never wanted it to be competitive in any way, nor does he ever want it to be competitive, nor does sakurai seem to have any sort of competitive spirit at all it would seem.

I was recently reading an article from wayyyyy back in 2003, well before even the melee competitive scene was really large or thriving (although obviously it still existed) and it was basically sakurai addressing the competitive nature of his games (in a manner of speaking anyways).

Competition is the core of gameplay. ***
~Masahiro Sakurai

If only the article stopped there.

But the he does go on to say…

*There is no doubt that competition makes games more
engaging, but depending on the person, competition may create different

**An example: a game is built with such depth that it brings to a
player’s mind memories of defeat. As a game designer, I can’t ignore
this possibility. If, in a multiplayer fighting game, only the winner
feels good and the other challengers get no such feeling, then there is
really no joy at all. No matter how people play, I want everyone to be
happy! Is this asking for too much? ***

Sure, everyone having fun is a great goal for most games, but, as I replied to somebody on youtube once, Smash is a FIGHTING GAME and NOT a “make your friends feel good festival”. Or is it? This is obviously not a competitive mindset to be coming from, it’s a mindset that is purely ANTI-competitive.

Basically rather than considering a loss a learning experience, or motivation to improve, he considers it to be nothing but discouraging, which is so anti-competitive I can hardly even believe it. There are many recent quotes that would go right along side this, so it’s not like he’s changed his mind on this one.

I don’t have the quote on me, but in one of the Iwata asks (i think thats what they were called) he explains why there is no online rankings system, it basically says that it’d be discouraging for somebody who has worked hard to look and see he is ranked 10,000th on an online ladder, so that’s why we don’t have a ladder. This attitude seeps out of every one of his interviews.

Everyone knows smash was never planned on being a competitive game, but in this article sakurai goes on to basically emphasize the fact that he went out of his way to make sure it would never be competitive.

*The game I worked on, Smash Bros.,
is a fighting game, but keeping in mind such reasoning, I set out to
make sure the game did not over-emphasize the notions of victory and
I won’t go into too much detail, but the game was built so that
if a player is strong in combat, just doing the same thing over and
over again won’t guarantee they’ll always win over their opponents.
There is a mechanism of accidents occurring, balanced so that the
game’s progress and results falter easily
. Whether you win or lose, you
enjoy a hearty laugh, and move on to the next round. I think this makes
quite a good game. *

so that basically sums it up rather nicely. “Balanced” to sakurai doesn’t mean balanced in the sense that it would to a competitive player or thinker, it’s balanced in the sense that regardless of skill the results will balance out to everyone basically “being a winner”. He went out of his way to make sure Melee wasn’t competitive and basically screwed up badly.

After seeing what the competitive players did to that game he had to ensure that the same thing would not happen again in brawl, and THAT is why the drastic differences in gameplay from Melee to Brawl, and it being “dumbed down”. Somebody once told me that the only reason Melee was so competitive is because it WASN’T like most Nintendo games in the sense that it WASN’T the super polished beautiful everything is on the table with little left to find sort of game we’d come to expect from Nintendo. Things that were becoming some of the dominant things were things the developers didn’t know about, or certainly didn’t expect to work in the way that they do. Just think of everything you could do with a shine if you really want an example… And so after years of watching the competitive community get better and better while the casuals fell behind Sakurai had to intervene when making Brawl.

Everything from recovering to multi hit standard a moves is easy mode in Brawl . The game is much much slower, and it seems to have been shot as far as potential goes. Everyone can escape from everything, combos no longer exist in the long string sense that they did in Melee, gimp kills are hardly worth mentioning because they are so avoidable, suicides are nearly impossible in this game, and let’s not even start on the OBVIOUS “balancing” that tripping manages to accomplish.

The article goes on.

*Its not like I think that serious competition is not interesting. Its
good to have equals fighting intensely. Yet, I understand quite well
the feelings of children who just enjoy hitting a motionless opponent
in things like a training mode.

I don’t watch sports much and I don’t find them particularly exciting.
Whichever player or team wins, I always end up thinking “well done,
everyone!” I’m not really cheering for or supporting any one team. If
there was something like the World Cup going on, I’d be inclined to
cheer for Japan and would be excited, but **if the opponent was putting
his heart into it, I’d feel that both were the same. ***

So there you have it, as long as everyone does their best, everyone is a winner!

I wish somebody who designed real fighting games made Brawl’s characters and physics… after that go ahead and hand it over to somebody else to add the items and craziness lol

alright so here is the link to the full article from way back then…

Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying btw… Brawl is competitive, and would be even if the game was much worse. regardless of ALL OF THIS anti-competitive attitude BY THE CREATOR HIMSELF brawl IS competitive, but it sure isn’t the
same as melee.

If you were
to look at these games on a gameplay standard only, looking only at
game physics and options, not at graphics or number of characters or
anything like that, you’d assume that the order of release was smash 64, brawl,
and then the last game to come out was melee.

I don’t know why I made this topic, I just found this stuff interesting… getting a sort of look into the mind of sakurai at least in part. I thought others might find this interesting too.

so just discuss, that’s what this is for, I’m not saying brawl isn’t good and that sakurai is a big dumb dumb, I’m saying that melee was never supposed to be a competitive game, so there should really be no surprise that brawl hasn’t been catered specially for the competitive players…


Smash was never meant to be competitive.

Brawl will have backwards progression (which is a bad thing)

(this is sort of a sub topic spawned off of the other topic of mine)

after experimenting and playing the game enough the conclusion I’ve come to about brawl is that it’s progression will be backwards.

The game starts with decent combos and gimp kills, and the only reason they exist is because people haven’t mastered the defensive options in the game, as the game progresses combos will become smaller and smaller, and gimp kills will nearly fade out of existence. That’s just how the game is.

In most games the progression is the opposite, starting with smaller combos and the like and ending with more elaborate things.

This makes for an eventual overly stale simplified game that isn’t exciting to watch in a competitive sense, and will eventually shorten the game’s overall lifespan.



Smash Bros. is an interesting beast, I am unsure of how the higher levels of Brawl will be played out (Evo will be interesting).

I will state, the developers accomplished the main goal of the game being fun, I always have a blast playing Brawl. It will never replace SF in my heart for a competitive game, but as far as fun games go, Brawl sure ranks high on my list.

what does this have to do with smash game strategy, this is a broad discussion of fighting games subforum, and this is a broad discussion of brawl

again, how is this is brawl strategy thread? this is a broad fighting games forum and is in no way related to the specific strategies in said game, it is a broad discussion of the game’s potential.

Forget about semantics. If it’s about Brawl, it belongs in the Brawl forum. Everyone on SRK who wants to talk about Brawl is already at the Brawl board. Barely anyone remaining on FGD will care.

:u: most of SRK hates smash as competitive fighting games. One of the sure fire way to get a flame war going is to start a smash thread on srk. If you actually want to talk smash you post in the brawl forums because that is the only sanctuary smash players have.

There’s absolutely no reason this thread to make two separate threads commenting on the same problem.

Merge them please.

this isn’t even a support thread for brawl lol

nice topic, but ill have to merge and move it now.

also, again…theres a specific smash forum now, and it gets a lot of traffic. it might not be strategy per se, but id like to keep most of the discussion on that board. of course if a mod/higher up feels otherwise they can do as they like.

Great post Gimpy.

Although Brawl wasn’t intended to be competitive, it’s quite hard to keep it from being played competitively. A lot of the new system tweaks do make it much easier for new players to learn and excel at the game, and it is rather dumbed down.

However, there is still so much to learn about the game. How long into Melee was it before people figured out how to SHFFL and wavedash? Despite attempts at making it less competitve, dedicated players will still find a way to work around the systems. With all the tweaks to keep players alive longer and take away gimp kills, this may very well make it so that a stock lasts well into the 200% eventually. This could be compensated for by changing tournament rules from the standard 4 stock to 2 or even one stock to cut down on match length. The game already appears to be evolving away from the Melee mindset, yet we still use Melee standards to critique it. You said yourself this is a completely different game than Melee. Yes, it’s a “dumbed down” version of Melee, but it’s also competitive in it’s own right.

Another aspect I haven’t heard much about is teams. I’ve been playing some teams lately and I think that it might outlast 1v1 with Brawl. A lot of the problems with getting kills and ridiculous recoveries are cut down or eliminated on teams.

I will always have fun with the Smash series regardless of whatever intentions he had with the game.

Even if it is dumbed down the better player will win, and furthermore any game can become competitive if it has a good enough following even if said game has completely no depth at all. Shit it could be the worst kind of button masher but if enough people play it we dare to call it a tourney worthy game lol. Realz Talkz

Some people on the “Evo Brawl Rules Discussion” thread needs to understand that Brawl was never designed to be a competitive game. So the whole notion of playing the game the way it was meant to be played, or going by the developers intent, is simply moronic. Doing so would mean not even having tournament for the game in the first place, since this game was never meant to be competitive in the first place.

I’m not shocked that smash isn’t supposed to be competitive, I think it’s pretty obvious given that it’s a game made by nintendo. However what I don’t get is why even try to limit what is possible in the game. I don’t think that sakurai quite gets that a good player will win no matter what. You can to make the game as simple as you can but what you can’t get rid of is things like spacing, priority and zoning so why even try. I think he needs to look at blizzard’s model of making games. What they do is make a game for hardcore players but they add in things that will allow the average gamer to have fun as well.

Well put. It doesn’t matter how much you “dumb down” the game, the player that is better able to read the opponent and apply basic mechanics/strategies will always do better.

It’s a fun game that has rock paper scissors with your favorite characters
that sums up most of your mainstream fighting games

the talk of depth doesn’t really matter because there is always an algorithm that people will try to figure out no matter how random it may appear at first