Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series has grown astronomically since it first debuted over a decade ago. Now considered one of the publisher's flagship franchises, the manic fighting series has more than quadrupled its playable roster, introduced characters from third party companies, featured a stage editor and even a robust, story-driven single-player campaign. Its latest installment, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is figuratively bursting at the seams with content. What, then, could franchise creator Masahiro Sakurai possibly do with the Wii U and 3DS versions?
"As you noted, there is a certain dead end we come to if we just expand the volume of the game," Sakurai told me in a recent e-mail interview, clearly recognizing that simply adding more characters, items and stages wouldn't be enough. The Smash Bros. franchise, though repeatedly earning high praise from critics over its three entries, has effectively followed the same formula since its inception, evolving its style of play without shaking things up too much. So if merely expanding the idea isn't the only thing on Sakurai's mind... what is?
"I intend to change direction a little as we go," Sakurai said, indicating his desire to possbily find a new mechanic or idea to drive two new entries in the series. "The key to that's going to be its dual support for 3DS/Wii U."
Sakurai, as well as Nintendo global president Satoru Iwata, had previously acknowledged his interest in linking the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game, which were announced simultaneously at E3 2011. "I'm really just getting started on this so it's going to take time, but I'll come up with something that uses that link as the game's central axis, so I hope you're looking forward to it."