Smash Bros. for Wii U, 3DS may need change of direction, says dev

Masahiro Sakurai explains beefing up the roster may lead to balance issues; says Nintendo and Namco Bandai instead looking at new ideas for franchise.

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The next entry in Nintendo's Smash Bros. fighting franchise may move in a new direction. Speaking to Nintendo Power (via Nintendo Everything), franchise designer Masahiro Sakurai explained that he feels simply adding new characters will not enhance the experience and that a more dramatic overhaul may be required.

What new direction might the Smash Bros. series take?
What new direction might the Smash Bros. series take?

"It isn't a matter of 'if the next game has 50 characters, that'll be enough,'" he said. "There is a certain charm to games that have huge casts of playable characters, but they tend to have issues with game balance and it becomes very difficult to fine-tune each character and have them all feel distinctive…In terms of quantity, we've probably already reached the limit of what's feasible. I think a change of direction may be what's needed."

Last month, Nintendo revealed that it had tapped Namco Bandai to develop the new Smash Bros. game for the Wii U and 3DS. Sakurai is helming the project, with Namco Bandai developers Masaya Kobayashi (Ridge Racer series) and Yoshito Higuchi (Tales series) involved as producer and director, respectively.

Nintendo officially announced the new Smash Bros. game during its 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo media briefing. The Wii U and 3DS versions of the game will work together on both platforms "in some fashion," Nintendo said at the time.

For more on the Nintendo-Namco Bandai collaboration on the new Smash Bros. game, check out GameSpot's feature story on the matter.

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