by Paul Tassi

Despite the struggles of the Wii U, it’s hard to find anyone, fans or critics alike, who isn’t excited for this November’s Super Smash Bros. installment for Nintendo’s latest console. We’ve been hearing about the game for literally years at this point, and now that Nintendo has finally set a premiere date for it (November 21st), everyone can breathe easy about further delays (we hope).

But naturally, fans aren’t pleased with every bit of information that’s come out regarding the game. One frequent topic of conversation has been the usual addition of clones. In Smash Bros. for Wii U’s case, that includes Lucina, Dark Pit and Doctor Mario, who aren’t really new characters, but just alternate models for existing characters in the game with a few minor tweaks. Think Mario vs. Luigi in the original Super Smash 64. In fact, every Smash Bros. game has a few of these types of clones, but some fans are upset that more work wasn’t put in into making them fully-fledged characters.

Smash Bros. director Mashiro Sakurai explained a bit about why and how clones exist when speaking to Famitsu with translation from Nintendo Everything:

“There are 3 fighters [Lucina, Dark Pit, and Doctor Mario] that are alternate models (clones) in the game. Each was originally a color variation, but during development, they were given balanced characteristics. Since their functionality had differences, forms were separated from each other. However, it was vital that this didn’t increase the required man-hours. Some relative tuning was sufficient as it wasn’t necessary to create balancing from scratch.”

Seems logical, but Sakurai goes on to appear downright offended at the implication that fans “deserve” more from him and his team in terms of making these clones into more involved characters.

“This is like a free dessert after a luxurious meal that was prepared free of charge. In a restaurant with this type of service, I don’t think there’s anybody who would say, “Change this to a meat dish!!” Yet, I’m told [to do that] about Smash Bros. But, I guess since a lot of them are children, it cannot be helped.”

Ouch. Perhaps this is one of those times where translation makes a statement sound more blunt than it is, but those are some pretty harsh words for his critics. I’m not sure if he genuinely believes that children are the ones complaining about these kinds of things, but I think most of us in the gaming space know that grown adults throw plenty of tantrums about their favorite games, depending on the topic at hand. I have to imagine that’s the case here as well, in addition to any actual children who may be complaining.

While I understand why fans may want more unique characters in the game, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is hardly lacking for fighters, and boasts a beefy roster, whether you include the clones or not. Here, Sakurai is essentially saying “You get clones or nothing” with these characters, and I can’t say that’s an incorrect stance to take. Would you want Smash delayed to 2015 so these three clones can become a bit more fleshed out? Because I certainly wouldn’t.

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