Sakurai on the challenges of character balance
Any Fighter aficionado will tell you that character balance is one of the most important aspect of a fighting game. It can LITERALLY make or break a fighting game.
Speaking to Famitsu (via Siliconera) has spoken about the challenges of character balance.
Good news for Bowser fans – Sakurai has confirmed that Bowser has been buffed in Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS. Bowser will be able to knock out foes easier according to Sakurai.
“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!”
Furthermore, Sakurai has detailed the challenges of getting the balance right.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
I get the impression that most of the work has been done such as character rooster, stages and modes. Sakurai could very well be in the stage of polishing the game to perfection which would include balancing the characters. Sakurai did mention twirking the game via updates, however, I hope they release a product that is near perfection without the need of many patches.