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Old 02-13-2013, 07:13 PM   #1
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Game Story irks Smash Bros. Creator

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Stories in games have a nasty habit of getting in the way of play, according to Kid Icarus: Uprising and Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai. Sakurai outlined a mini-manifesto on gaming narratives in the most recent issue of Famitsu (translated by Polygon.)

"As a player, as someone who's been playing games for a long time, the stories that get told in video games are honestly irksome to me pretty often," he said. "For example, games that take forever to get through the intro and won't let you start playing, or games that go through the trouble of being fully voiced and wind up having their tempo all messed up as a result. I just want to enjoy the game and I think I'm just intolerant of aspects that block that enjoyment. I can enjoy a story in any other form of media; I just want the game to let me play it already."

Sakurai wrote the entire script of Uprising himself. The personality of every character and boss was informed by its role in interacting with players, he said, a focus which would have been difficult to delegate across multiple people.

Sakurai said games that flip the equation and emphasize story to the detriment of play--say, by killing off a character players have invested significant time in, no matter what the player does--suffer.

"A game's story absolutely needs to match the content and the gameplay," he said. "In an ideal world, we could take advantage of this to provide new story developments that you'll never be able to see in other media."
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A pretty common thing amongst Nintendo's great creators. Story is always last on the totem pole, because it won't stick if the mechanics aren't there.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #2
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I think most people would be happy if there was no story in the game anyway, since reception to SSE was pretty lukewarm.

I expect a return of a Melee style adventure mode
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:09 PM   #3
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Sakurai isn't right, but he's not wrong, either. In a game like Street Fighter or Mario, of course you want to have as little of a story as possible to not get in the way of the action. But in an adventure game or RPG, story is absolutely critical. Getting immersed in a story like Ocarina of Time, Chrono Trigger, or Assassin's Creed leads to a larger immersion, and an eventual appreciation, of the game.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:10 PM   #4
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This is actually the opposite of what most eastern developers think. I mean, look at JRPGS. They are more popular in Japan than they are here to the point where Japan is like a totally different market. I think it's safe to say that most eastern developers are very story focused.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:50 AM   #5
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I usually skip the story even for JRPGs. It annoys me how long some cutscenes are. If the intro doesn't pull me in enough, I skip the rest of the story. If the intro interests me, I'll keep involved with the rest of the story.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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Besides the new Kid Icarus, Sakurai is more acquainted with Kirby games and the Smash Bros. series. The Kirby series was never known for their story but rather their joyous game-play. In my opinion, a full-on story is a bit unnecessary for what is essentially an arcade fighter. Just because there is a bunch of famous characters in a game doesn't mean that you absolutely need to have a story that connects them, unless it is something like an RPG.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:49 PM   #7
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The Subspace Emmisarry had potential it just was not executed properly. It was really cool seeing all the Nintendo characters interacting in the same story but the fact that they mostly used a made up generic land instead of using more of the recognizable Nintendo locales is what held it back.

It should have been more like the Melee Adventure mode just with an actual story.
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