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. ***
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
defeat. 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…