Masahiro Sakurai. The man is the director of the Super Smash Bros. series since its inception. He has a penchant for working tirelessly on every title, to the point of physical harm. Thankfully, the legend has finally admitted to taking a break for some rest with his latest game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
You need a vacation, Sakurai
According to an interview with DenFamiNicoGamer, Sakurai worked on character balance himself for the N64 original. From Brawl to Smash 4, the director had a team collect battle results so he could adjust characters based on the data. Since Ultimate has seventy bajillion fighters to balance, however, a more organized system was developed so team members could work on the balancing directly.
Of course, since Sakurai takes great pride in his work, he had to point this out during the Q and A:
I take pictures and other stuff of the motions I want, then decide, ‘Using this pose and composition, the attack begins in this frame and ends in this frame.’ I add these to the project plan at the very beginning. If it’s too strong or too weak, the startup frames are changed bit by bit… So while to a certain extent the balancing is left to others, the work before that regarding the image of the attack is my work.
Let it be known that Masahiro, while deserving of rest, wants all gamers to understand that Smash is still his baby.
It’s clear from the interview that Sakurai is a perfectionist. He understands Smash better than anyone else because he’s been with the series for many years. Still, it’s a relief he has let others work on the Nintendo crossover games. There is a moment during the last Smash Direct where I swear the man is going to collapse due to exhaustion.
Fellow gamers, what are your thoughts on the Masahiro Sakurai interview? Do you think the director works too hard on Smash? Is he deserving of a long rest? Should he work on another IP after Ultimate? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Arthur Damian is a writer, editor, educator, and lover of video games. Based and living in Brooklyn, NY, he has been gaming since the age of five, from the NES to the Nintendo Switch. His favorite system is the SNES, his favorite game is Chrono Trigger, and you cannot convince him otherwise. He loves dogs, rainbow cookies, Spider-Man, and songs with intricate drum patterns. Arthur is also the Editor-in-Chief at That VideoGame Blog.