Attack of the Fanboy

Smash Bros. Roster and its stress on Sakurai

by William Schwartz


Super Smash Bros. is constantly one of the most demanded of all Nintendo exclusives nowadays, with the original, Melee, and Brawl being critical and commercial successes. As such, it would make sense that the directory, Masahiro Sakurai, would stress out when it came to balancing the characters and deciding which ones get added, as there are only 20 characters in the upcoming Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS.

The amount of stress I feel, it’s almost to the brink of death

As Sakurai told Polygon, “The amount of stress I feel, it’s almost to the brink of death. Because it’s not just a matter of me personally thinking this character or that character is going to be in the game; it’s that we also have the game balance, animation, graphics and sound to think about in order to make that character fully fleshed out in that universe. I have to think about all of that when I go through this decision-making process.”

He also mentioned that the character roster is what defines the game, and gave examples, saying that if Link, Mario and or Kirby weren’t in, then “it might not be Smash Bros. Whether it’s a minor character or a character that is one of the most highly skilled and most played, if that character is removed from the game, the people who live for that character in Smash Bros. are going to have their feelings hurt. I think we have to really consider that, so I take a very serious, hard look at that and have empathy for the players who look for these type of characters when we’re making these decisions.”

Currently, Nintendo has announced 15 characters for the upcoming Smash Bros. game. They are:

  • Peach
  • Luigi
  • Pikmin and Olimar
  • Mario
  • Donkey Kong
  • Link
  • Samus
  • Kirby
  • Fox
  • Pikachu
  • Bowser
  • Pit
  • Villager
  • Mega Man
  • Wii Fit Trainer

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