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Why The Father Of Super Smash Bros. Was Disappointed In Melee

Super Smash Bros. Melee became a massive hit in the competitive gaming scene. Nintendo never could have anticipated that this family-friendly console game would go on to turn the fighting game genre on its head. The title was released on Nov. 21, 2001, for the Nintendo GameCube. With the very first sequel in the series, Super Smash Bros. went through a stunning evolution.


Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, while still a beloved game, was quite clunky compared to the current generation. Some modern players feel  that original entry is slow and sluggish, with clunky controls. Meanwhile, Super Smash Bros. Melee changed the series in many ways. The game was much faster, much smoother, and featured many more techniques than its predecessor. Super Smash Bros. Melee introduced mechanics that would set it apart from the other titles in the series.

However, Masahiro Sakurai, the director of the franchise, was disappointed with the final product. The question is, but why?

It was too technical

Change can be good. But to Masahiro Sakurai, that was not the case. In an interview with The Washington Post, Sakurai stated, "I think a lot of Melee players love Melee. But at the same time, I think a lot of players, on the other hand, gave up on Melee because it's too technical[.]" In other words, Sakurai felt that the game had focused too much on the bracket of high caliber players, and not enough on the casual gamer.


Super Smash Bros. Melee's new layers of complexity were too much for a portion of gamers. Fortunately, Nintendo still added some nice features for less technique-minded gamers. Players could spend a good chunk of time collecting trophies and defeating the various game modes that were offered. Unfortunately, Sakurai did not think that it was enough to satisfy the casual gamer.

Despite this fact, the game was a smash success, and multiple sequels have followed.