Masahiro Sakirai has a weekly Famitsu column where he talks about several various topics, though most of it isn't extremely relevant to current on goings. This week is different, where he specifically talks about Smash Bros. coming off his holiday break (which appears to be just a single day off). The column discusses a lot, but it kicks off rather interestingly by talking about adjustments made to Bowser:

“Now that Sunday’s day off is past, I’m currently working on the character adjustment for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. At the moment, Bowser is very strong. He’s really strong. Fans of Smash Bros. probably never saw him as too much of a strong character, but this time, his ability to knock others out is very strong!"
  • Bowser’s Smash attacks, special attacks, and aerial attacks now have quite the ability to send opponents flying through the air
  • The best part about this is that it feels great
  • This great feeling is what Sakurai would like to focus on for the upcoming Smash Bros. games
  • He’s putting more care into that part of the game than ever
  • Sakurai says having strong attacks is also something that must be carefully balanced
  • This is because it may feel unfair to opponents if they’re too overpowered
  • In order to meet the right standards, Sakurai and the rest of the development team have been spending a lot of time adjusting stronger attacks to see what works best
“Doing things like simply ‘lowering the performance’ can make games lose its fun. Additionally, making a strong attack weaker can take away from the ‘good feeling’. By making adjustments that get rid of all advantages and disadvantages, it can turn a game into a mediocre one without any challenge.”
  • According to Sakurai, this is something you can feel while playing other competitive games
  • He compares it to the depth of working on an RPG title, where there’s a lot of things that are taken into consideration like obstacles and what players need to do in order to clear certain areas
  • You can’t solve the problem by simply making enemies stronger
“Rather than directly weakening an attack’s advantageous parts, we’re putting effort into keeping them strong, while adding other weaknesses to them. Like giving the attacks punishable openings, or weakening the character’s mobility or recovery rate. We’re making comprehensive adjustments to characters, even for parts that might seem completely irrelevant.”
  • Sakurai also talks about the difficulty in adjusting balances for things such as four player free-for-alls and 1-on-1 fights
  • For these fights, their circumstances are completely different
  • This can’t be helped at times, he says
  • Ex: some attacks such as Captain Falcon’s "Falcon Punch" might work well when there’s more players, but might not ever hit during a 1-on-1 fight.
“The game balance of Super Smash Bros. Brawl started six years before its release, and it most likely goes back even further during its time of development, and it’s never been reformed even through the updates afterwards. We’re at a stage where we’d like to release the new title as soon as possible, and offer something more enjoyable than ever.”

Source: Siliconera, breakdown via Nintendo Everything

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