Super Smash Bros. Director Masahiro Sakurai Discusses Game Balance and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in His Famitsu Column

By on September 8, 2016 at 10:00 am
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The gents over at Source Gaming are back with another translation of Masahiro Sakurai’s latest Famitsu column. In the past he’s discussed some intricacies of Smash’s design and balance and compared it to other high profile games, and the subject of today’s column is none other than 2011’s FGC staple Marvel vs. Capcom 3. And he’s not just talking about the game’s design–he’s talking about how it functions in tournament-level play and how it can be compared to the Super Smash Bros. series.

“When you watch high level matches of Marvel, you will often see players start a combo, and keep it going until their opponent is KO’d,” Sakurai said. “You can convert a single stray hit into a very long combo, and it’s not rare to see a character start with full health and lose all of it from a single combo.”

It’s fair to say that there’s not been a game in the Smash series as combo-centric as any Marvel vs. Capcom game, so it might not be immediately clear that there are any parallels between these games, in tournament play or otherwise. But reflecting on some common fan feedback in regards to balance in Smash, Sakurai makes some sense of it.

“In the case of Smash, that would be people who say things like, “This character’s down-special is too strong, fix it!” They probably think that because they keep getting hit by it and can’t avoid it, or they think the move simply isn’t balanced. I think that reasoning is fairly common.” Sakurai said. However, Sakurai then goes onto state that “if someone’s using a tactic that’s giving you trouble, just adopt their tactic, and win,” rather than complaining about game balance and certain tactics being overpowered. Hearing Sakurai basically say “learn to adapt” is quite something, seeing as he has had quite the strained relationship with the competitive aspects of Smash in the past.

The whole article provides a lot of insight and Source Gaming’s translation is fantastic as usual. If you’re a fan of either series and have ever wondered about the philosophy behind balancing either of these games, it’s definitely worth a full read.

Sources: Source Gaming

Bringing Shoryuken readers the hot scoop directly from beautiful Lexington, Kentucky, Jacob "YourGoodPalJake" Collins loves nothing more than pressing buttons and stumbling around Midwest tournaments in his fresh Bovattini. Frankly? His Ken is pretty slick.