|Super Smash Bros.|
Merged logo for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions.
|Developer(s)||HAL Laboratory, Sora Ltd., Game Arts, Bandai Namco Games|
|Genre(s)||Fighting, action, platform|
|Platform(s)||Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U|
|Platform of origin||Nintendo 64|
|Year of inception||1999|
|First installment||Super Smash Bros. (1999)|
|Latest installment||Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (2014)|
The Super Smash Bros. universe, known as the Dairantō Smash Brothers (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ, Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu, lit. "Great Melee Smash Brothers") in Japan,
Franchise description Edit
Through 1998, second-party Nintendo developer HAL Laboratory, creator of the Kirby franchise and led by Masahiro Sakurai, developed a fighting game for the Nintendo 64 titled Super Smash Bros. The game was originally planned to be released in Japan only, and it had a small budget and a small amount of promotion attached; it was developed more as a "novelty product" rather than a high-profile heavily-anticipated video game and was not expected to be a huge success. The event proved otherwise; the game was popular and successful enough in Japan after its 1999 release that it was decided to be distributed as an international release, and it garnered immense critical acclaim and sales figures abroad as well as at home. It was popular for featuring famous Nintendo characters such as Mario from the Mario series, Link from The Legend of Zelda series, and Pikachu from the phenomenally popular Pokémon franchise, and it gained high marks for its unique take on the fighting genre.
The success of Super Smash Bros. provided HAL Laboratory the incentive and financial means to develop the series' 2001 GameCube sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee, with a larger development team and higher production values. It was released to a massive amount of glowing, positive reviews and was widely received as a vast improvement over its predecessor, with upgraded graphics and audio, refined gameplay, and a tremendous amount of new characters and content. It became the GameCube's best-selling title, with sales of 6 million copies worldwide. The depth of the game was such that in the years after Melee's initial release, the appearances of various fan-organized tournaments set in motion thriving international tournament scenes for the game, and Melee was soon officially made part of the game rosters of Major League Gaming and Evolution Championship Series.
At a pre-E3 2005 press conference, Iwata announced that the next installment of Super Smash Bros. was soon to be in development for its next console and would be a launch title that utilized the console's Wi-Fi-based online capabilities. The announcement was a surprise to Sakurai because he was not informed of Nintendo's intent to release another Smash Bros. game, and was only asked after the conference by Iwata to again serve as director; Sakurai agreed, and development of the third game began in October 2005. What followed was a development project handled by roughly 100 individuals working full-time. The game was officially showcased at the E3 2006 conference as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but its actual dates of release early in 2008 were well over a year after the Wii console's launch
Super Smash Bros. Brawl was critically and commercially successful upon release, garnering praise for its new focus on improved single-player content, a further-expanded and better-varied cast, and one of the largest video game soundtracks in history, and became the fastest-selling game in Nintendo of America's history and a seller of over 10 million units total. However, the game also drew reviewer criticism for long loading times and a laggy online experience, and the game's multiplayer aspect was controversial among the established playerbase - the competitive circles of which had long been established around the gameplay styles of Melee - for a comparatively slower pace and scale of gravity, the removal of some advanced movement and attack mechanics, and a much heavier slant towards defensive gameplay. Most universally disliked was the game's inclusion of tripping, a non-negotiable element of randomized chance that could easily dictate the outcome of a competitive match in a manner that rewarded luck over skill. In an interview two-and-a-half years after the release of Brawl, Sakurai revealed that he himself retrospectively considered Melee to be "the sharpest game in the series."
Immediately after Sakurai employed his redesign of the Kid Icarus series' aesthetic in the 3DS title Kid Icarus: Uprising, released in March 2012, he announced the beginning of development of the fourth installment in the Smash Bros. series, which would be a joint venture between Sora and Namco Bandai Games and would be co-directed with Yoshito Higuchi (who had previously directed and produced several games in Namco's Tales series). The first showcase of the project took place at the Nintendo Direct presentation preceding E3 2013, where it was shown that the series would, for the first time, develop and release a pair of titles simultaneously for separate platforms: Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Prior to the showcase, Sakurai indicated that the games would receive a different development approach for measuring competitive character balance, and after the showcase, Sakurai confirmed the removal of randomized tripping.
In the Smash Bros. series, the emphasis is not on lowering opponents health meters to zero to achieve a KO, but rather sending the opponent Out Of Bounds with strong Smash attacks that send them flying far away enough that they reach one of the stage's four borders and lose a life. Inflicting damage on opponents raises their percentage meters, and higher percentage meters mean that the opponents will fly away further when the character with that meter is attacked. Each of the available fighters aims to be unique, featuring their own move styles as well as their own collections of special moves. All fighters have the ability to double-jump, and most have a special move that constitutes a third jump, and what is often seen in standard competitive gameplay is a fighter sent flying away by an attack and trying to return to the edge of the stage with multiple jumps to avoid losing a life. With stages that come in all shapes and sizes, most of them featuring their own environmental hazards to complicate the action, and Smash items that can appear and be wielded to assist a character's game, a given entry in the Smash Bros. series is always a dramatic departure from the formula of standard fighting games. The popularity and legacy of Melee is such that regularly exploiting game physics to perform "advanced techniques" such as the Wavedash and the SHFFL is standard in top-tier competitive tournament play.