Sakurai: Smash Bros Ultimate has too many Fire Emblem & sword characters

In a recent Famitsu interview, Sakurai admitted Super Smash Bros Ultimate has too many Fire Emblem and sword characters, but it's still Nintendo that has the final say on new characters.

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Byleth is turning out to be a mechanically quirky character for the Super Smash Bros Ultimate roster. Despite the outcry over them being another Fire Emblem character and sword user in a cast that already has many of them, Byleth’s use of various weapons makes them a unique combination of both distance and force at the cost of some speed. Even so, Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai recognizes player concerns on the matter of Fire Emblem and sword characters taking up the cast, though Nintendo ultimately decides which new characters get into the game.

Sakurai recently offered up his opinion on the matter of Fire Emblem and sword characters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate in an interview with Famitsu on February 5, 2020, with a pertinent section translated by BlackKite on Twitter. In the section translated, Sakurai understands player complaints about the number of Fire Emblem and sword characters, but ultimately the final decision on new characters lies with Nintendo. Sakurai suggests that ultimately he takes what is given to him and he and his team do their best to make those characters unique.

Despite being a sword user, Byleth's use of the three treasure weapons from Fire Emblem: Three Houses helps to set his playstyle apart.
Despite being a sword user, Byleth's use of the three treasure weapons from Fire Emblem: Three Houses helps to set his/her playstyle apart.

Sakurai’s efforts aren’t exactly in vain. Byleth is a good example of variation despite being another Fire Emblem sword wielder. The extra weapons that make up the treasures of their game’s titular Three Houses add a lot more variety to his kit than just being some regular duelist. That said, it doesn’t entirely feel like Sakurai has no say in the matter either. As seen in the interview and mentioned in the Nintendo Direct that revealed Byleth as the fifth DLC character, Sakurai went out of his way to work on a character for a game that players would already be playing actively in its own game when it came to Smash, which is why he poured so much time into working on Byleth even while Fire Emblem: Three Houses was still in development.

Even so, it also makes sense that if Nintendo is calling the final shots on the matter of character inclusions, then Sakurai mostly has to roll with the punches. As he says, there are likely other things to “think about more.”

What do you think? Is it a cop-out answer or does Sakurai’s efforts to make even similar franchise characters unique shine through? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty comment section below.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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