Smash Bros. clones didn’t ‘increase required man-hours’

It’s not Dr. Mario’s fault that Ridley had to stay home

Smash Bros. for the 3DS has been out for a week now, and while reception has been generally positive, there are naturally going to be some gripes after the hype dies down — fighting Little Mac on a totally flat course, 3DS nubs getting gummy and worn, and of course, the clones. Ever since Melee, each new Smash Bros. has had a few characters who share all the basic moves of another character, but offer stat and property tweaks to help justify their existence. 

The main thing that bugs people about these additions is that the may have “taken a spot on the roster” that could have gone to someone more interesting. Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai has made it clear that this isn’t how it works. He says “There are 3 fighters that are alternate models (clones) in the game. Each was originally a color variation, but during development, they were given balanced characteristics. Since their functionality had differences, forms were separated from each other. However, it was vital that this didn’t increase the required man-hours. Some relative tuning was sufficient as it wasn’t necessary to create balancing from scratch.”

Sakurai on the clone characters in Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS [NintendoEverything, via GoNintendo]

He also has a word or two for the people complaining about clones. He says they’re like “…a free dessert after a luxurious meal that was prepared free of charge. In a restaurant with this type of service, I don’t think there’s anybody who would say, ‘Change this to a meat dish!!’ Yet, I’m told [to do that] about Smash Bros. But, I guess since a lot of them are children, it cannot be helped.”

I’m just sad Samus doesn’t have a Justin Bailey clone. If that makes me sound like a child, then pass me a pacifier. I’ll suck it with pride.

Jonathan Holmes
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1 "I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes