Retro Video Game Collecting

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Tag Archives: "Super Smash Bros."

That Time Satoru Iwata Debugged Super Smash Bros. Melee

Posted on 1 August, 2015  in GameCube, Nintendo

A photo of Satoru Iwata in the 2014 Nintendo Digital Event at E3

Forever in our hearts. (Credit: Nintendo)

 

July brought us the devastating, heartbreaking news that Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has died after a valiant battle with cancer.  The outpouring of grief across the online world is particularly moving for longtime Nintendo fans like me.  But happy memories and surprising stories about the gaming legend are still emerging and showing what an impact Mr. Iwata had on the industry.

 

Last year, Iwata-san gave a rare and wide-ranging interview to Japanese gaming site 4gamer, excerpts of which are now being translated into English by some of the fine folks over at NeoGAF.  Of particular interest is this passage on Iwata’s unusually hands-on role in finessing the programming for Super Smash Bros. Melee back in 2001, when he was not yet CEO but still a high-ranking manager at Nintendo:

 

IWATA: …my actual last work on programming happened when I was working as the General Manager of Corporate Planning at Nintendo. Something happened and the GameCube version of Super Smash Bros.didn’t look like it was going to make its release date, so I sort of did a code review for it (laughs).

4GAMER: No matter how you look at it, that’s not the job of the General Manager of Corporate Planning, is it? (laughs)

IWATA: Yes, it isn’t really, is it? (laughs) At the time, I went to HAL Laboratories in Yamanashi and was the acting head of debugging. So, I did the code review, fixed some bugs, read the code and fixed more bugs, read the long bug report from Nintendo, figured out where the problem was, and got people to fix those… all in all, I spent about three weeks like that. And, because of that, the game made it out on time.

4GAMER: So you even did the debugging yourself!

IWATA: And that was the last time that I worked as an engineer “in the field”. I was right there, sitting by programmers, in the trenches, reading code together, finding the bugs, and fixing them together.

 

For those needing context, Mr. Iwata began his career as a programmer / coder for HAL Laboratory, working his way up the corporate ladder there and later at Nintendo to become the first non-Yamauchi family member to head the 125-year-old gaming giant.

 
You can (and should) read much more of the translated interview over at NeoGAF.

 

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I Played Super Smash Bros. for 3DS Today. Who Wants to Touch Me?

Posted on 15 August, 2014  in Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS

Photo of a Nintendo 3DS demo unit playing a beta version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

 

I said, WHO WANTS TO F***ING TOUCH ME??!?

 
All right, so it’s not THAT big a deal. The Play Nintendo 2014 Tour was in Atlanta today, and I got what a Nintendo rep told me was the very first opportunity on the entire tour for ordinary folks to play Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. Yes, Nintendo chose Atlanta to be the first city where the demo would be available. What luck!

 

Photo of a Nintendo 3DS demo unit playing a beta version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

What did I think? To be perfectly honest, I’m not an ideal candidate to review a Smash Bros. game. I own both Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl but I have not played either a great deal, and neither in a couple of years, so I was, shall we say, a bit rusty. I lost nearly every battle I participated in! Fortunately, I stopped by on a Friday morning, and since Atlanta kids are already back in school, there was no line and the Nintendo employees invited me to play as long as I wished. I gave it about half an hour.

 

My impressions: I have to admit… I was mildly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong — this looks like it will be a very good game, and I should note I was playing a demo version which does not include all the playable characters and stages. But I think my expectations were rather lofty due to the massive hype leading up to what should be the biggest 3DS title of the year, besides the upcoming Pokemon remakes.

 

The game runs at a flawless 60 FPS, and the graphics are good for the most part. But I couldn’t shake the fact that every fighter appeared to be, well, very small. It seems like an obvious consequence of a handheld screen, but I don’t have this feeling when I’m playing Super Street Fighter IV or Tekken 3D or Dead or Alive: Dimensions. But owing to the wide-open nature of SSB gameplay compared to traditional fighting titles, the dynamic stages take up a lot of real estate on the screen. I found it difficult to focus on where my fighter and my opponent were, while also trying to snag items and Smash Balls and whatnot. I should mention I was playing on a 3DS XL, so if they seemed small to me on this screen, they would be nigh impossible to see on a standard 3DS or 2DS.

 

Photo of a Nintendo 3DS demo unit playing a beta version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

 

I wasn’t thrilled about the controls either, although a Nintendo rep assured me they would be fully customizable in the retail version. The biggest problem was the requirement I use the analogue circle pad to control the fighter, rather than the digital + directional pad, which has always been my preference. With the slightly slippery circle pad — perhaps because this was a well-used traveling demo 3DS unit — I frequently had difficulty nailing down+B or diving attacks, sometimes inadvertently doing a side+B or nothing at all.

 

The other thing — for lack of a better word, the game felt a bit “sluggish”. It wasn’t chugging, processor-wise or anything like that; I just expected the fighters I used to move a bit more swiftly. Bowser was INCREDIBLY slow, much more so than expected; Mega Man and Samus Aran were not a great deal faster. Toon Link and Pit were pretty decent. I didn’t play as any of the traditionally quick fighters, such as Sheik and Marth, so maybe that makes a difference.

 

Again, this was a demo version, so the final one might be tuned differently. If you’ve had an opportunity to play SSB 3DS at any events this summer, let us know what you think!

 

Aside from the SSB demo, the rest of the Play Nintendo event featured games I already own and seemed geared more toward kids. It still looked like fun, especially the Mario Kart 8 tournament, in which I did not partake, as all the participants looked to be younger than ten years old, and the result would be utter dominance and humiliation. I’m not sure whether I’d be on the giving or receiving end.

 

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WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN

Posted on 9 August, 2014  in Nintendo, Random, Sony, Wii U

 

What might happen if we got a Super Smash Bros.-style Mario Kart mash-up? And if PlayStation characters started showing up, too?

 
YouTube animator Flashgitz takes a totally NSFW stab at it in this cartoon, but since it’s the weekend you probably don’t have to worry about it. Unless you’re at work on the weekend, which I totally get.

 

Anyway, you have been warned. Contains naughty language and partial Peach / Daisy nudity. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

 

 

 

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