Pac-Man and Game & Watch announced for Super Smash Bros. Wii U & 3DS
As promised by Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime, the Super Smash Bros. Developer Roundtable has shared additional news about the incoming Wii U and 3DS iterations.
That was expectedly a character reveal, two in fact. Pac-Man and Mr. Game & Watch join the battle as new and returning characters respectively. Namco Bandai’s iconic creation will throw fruit at his foes and munch Power Pellets, while Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai demonstrated his broader moveset to media in attendance. He battled Nintendo of America employees playing as Mega Man, Mario and Sonic, unsurprisingly beating out his competition. While Mr. Game & Watch wasn’t officially announced, many of those in attendance spotted him. So, maybe there’ll be a separate reveal this week through the Smash Bros. website.
Sakurai also discussed fighter customisation, where players can adjust the fighting style of each character for use within the game’s “With Friends” mode. The Mii Fighter, announced earlier, has broader customisation options, beyond this, such as special attacks, clothing, hats and… err… faces. Mii Fighers, however, aren’t able to be used in the “With Anyone” online mode or in non-friend matches, presumably due to their unexpected nature.
He then touched on Nintendo’s new amiibo figures, revealed earlier today. These will join battles as a CPU-controlled “Figure Player” (FP) and be trained up to level 50. That, naturally, means that they will become stronger than generic, level 9 CPU characters, and will see integration in tag team matches. In that sense, Sakurai hopes that players will see FP as their partners in battles rather than an unnecessary addition, opening up gameplay in new directions.
We’ve now moved on to Smash Run, which Nintendo discussed briefly at the Super Smash Bros. Invitational earlier. Sakurai chose Donkey Kong to play as, and is thundering his way through the maze before him. Powers can be collected and activated through the 3DS touch screen, one example being a jet pack that he’s just stumbled on. The final battle of Smash Run, which pits four players against one another, is randomised, and can be a regular battle, or who can throw an item the furthest or run fastest.
Now on to a Q&A session, let’s see if we can serve up some good questions. Asked why the games are releasing separately rather than at the same time, Sakura reasoned that the debugging process is fairly lengthy due to the vast parameters in the games. They require hundreds of testers, and by separating the Wii U and 3DS releases, it allows them to prioritise.
As to why characters such as Samus / Zero Suit Samus or Zelda / Sheik no longer transform, Sakurai said that he wanted players to be able to focus on single fighting styles.
Now asked as to whether Nintendo has any plans for competitions, presumably off the back of Super Smash Bros. Invitational, Sakurai said that he isn’t involved with those. He’s keen for fans to enjoy the games and appreciated the enthusiasm that he saw today.
Game balancing now served up for discussion, which Sakurai says is the hardest part and that it he essentially took it upon himself to do it all for Melee. Brawl shared that responsibility between four people, whereas the Wii U and 3DS titles enlist 12. Each grade the characters, although this presents difficulties due to their separate playing styles. The challenge is to satisfy the core fans, while appealing to new players who may not have played previous titles.
We’re now talking about the bold, characterised menu design. Larger menu items are those that are more important apparently, while smaller parts are those less significant. He wrote a column in Japanese magazine Famitsu about this, so recommends that everyone reads that for his further thoughts. We’ll have to find an accurate translation for that.
Sakurai’s been asked as to precisely when he chose to include Greninja as a playable character. That decision was apparently made when he saw early reference drawings for the Pokémon, way ahead of Pokémon X & Y launching late last year. They had already decided to include a new Pokémon, so that was the choice that filled that space in the roster.
The roundtable closes with a question as to how Nintendo will ensure that the online won’t be broken, a key complaint about Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii. Sakurai said that he feels that players had too much choice when taking the Brawl experience online, which led to to many variables because of such freedom. They’ll continue to work on stabilising technical issues with communication errors, and their efforts with Mario Kart 8 are already allowing them to learn and improve upon this. That said, implementation on Mario Kart 8 isn’t suited to Super Smash Bros. more variable gameplay and so they always recommend that players look to have the best Wi-Fi (or LAN) connection that they possible can.
We’re closing off with discussion about the Super Smash Bros. Invitational event, which Sakurai was nervous would crash part way through as it’s still in development. He predicted that Zero Suit Samus would win, and CT ZeRo certainly did. That character’s currently one of the strongest in the game, so may require some balancing.
That’s a wrap!