Today on Nintendo’s Direct Broadcast, the big N announced that the next Smash Bros. game won’t actually be developed by HAL Laboratories, as every previous Smash title has been. Instead, it will be developed by NAMCO Bandai, who is famous for fighting game franchises such as Tekken and SoulCalibur, as well as the highly fighting game inspired Tales RPG series. Series creator Masahiro Sakurai will still be heading up the project, though the rest of the team will come directly from the NAMCO Bandai side of things.
Of course, the question on everyone’s mind now is, will NAMCO Bandai attempt to make Smash Bros. more hardcore friendly? Brawl was a fairly blatant statement by Sakurai saying that Smash is meant for casual audiences only. However, the pro community still figured out a way around the hideously unbalanced characters and random tripping through a variety of fan-made mods that could be run on even unmodified Wiis. Perhaps Nintendo has seen this and has finally decided to make Smash Bros. tournament-worthy?
Then again, we also have to wonder if NAMCO Bandai will be able to capture the core Smash feel that has kept people coming back year after year…
Also, does this mean we might see Tekken, Tales, and Soul Calibur characters in Smash? My head just exploded.
By Angelo M. D'Argenio