Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Sakurai Skips Cutscenes for Next Smash Brothers Due to ... Youtube?

The story is that there isn't going to be one.

I'm really having a hard time understanding Nintendo lately. I mean, they've always generally been the "good" publisher and developer in the console wars, haven't they? At least, that's the image that's been cultivated over the years: a company that cares about gamers for more than just their pocketbooks and stuff. Nintendo has a lot of people that still love it due to nostalgia, misplaced or not, but they haven't been making it easy for themselves lately.

There's been the Super Smash Brothers almost not making EVO stuff, and the latching onto Let's Plays stuff, and now to add to the list, there's the fact that the next Super Smash Brothers will not have any cutscenes. Why? Because the ones from Brawl found their way onto Youtube.

"Unfortunately, the movie scenes we worked hard to create were uploaded onto the internet."

"You can only truly wow a player the first time he sees [a cutscene]. I felt if players saw the cut scenes outside of the game, they would no longer serve as rewards for playing the game, so I've decided against having them."

Those quotes come from Masahiro Sakurai, the man behind SSB and the person generally in control of that game's content and creation.

Now, admittedly, I'm of two minds about this. The first two SSB games didn't have cutscenes either, or any sort of story beyond the most basic premise imaginable. Having played both extensively, I can't really say that the lack of a story mode or cutscenes is something that hurt the game. I mean, when it comes to a fighting game if you're playing for those things above all else then you're kind of missing the point, at least in my assessment. Now, on the other hand that doesn't mean I think those things shouldn't be enjoyed or included in the game either.

There is a point where investment in cutscenes becomes too much of course, that being when they take away from overall gameplay experience. Everyone has different levels of tolerance for that kind of thing, I mean, hell, I played Metal Gear Solid 1-4 and didn't take much issue with the dialogues that most found completely overwrought and ridiculous. At the same time though what Nintendo is doing with this comes off again as the actions of a somewhat petulant child, "someone ruined things so now I'm taking my ball and going home." That kind of thing.

Do I think that the lack of a story mode or cutscenes is going to hurt the next Super Smash Brothers? No, I really doubt it. At the same time though, when taken as part of a larger trend, it seems that these days Nintendo seems to be withdrawing from the shared community as those around it are moving more and more into said community. I can accept and appreciate the idea that some level of control over one's media is necessary. I mean, I'd be pissed if someone started plagiarizing this blog, even though it's only a little personal bedroom blog. At the same time though if a person shares what I've done and bases their own insights off of it, I'm happy that I've helped further discussion or entertained someone.

Perhaps it's a bit extreme, but I would say that if Nintendo keeps going in the direction that it has been that it risks souring its relationship with gamers, something that it definitely does not want to do that this juncture, with its competitors about to step into the next gen ring and with the WiiU having underperformed thus far by their own admittance. Nintendo doesn't have to do much to keep the crowd on their side when it comes to how they present themselves, so I don't understand why they are trying so hard to seemingly attempt to change that viewpoint for the worse.

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