Super Smash Bros Brawl featured a hefty roster of Nintendo favorites and third party guests – 35 characters to be exact. The main problem is that many of the characters felt like carbon copies with a different skin, like Gannondorf and Captain Falcon. For Super Smash Bros. Wii U, Masahiro Sakurai, the lead director, has announced that the roster will not necessarily be larger than Brawl.
Rather, the team intends to refine the roster so that every character feels unique and balanced. With the recent announcement of Namco Bandai’s involvement, they probably need to save some room for Namco characters as well.
It isn’t a matter of ‘if the next game has 50 characters, that’ll be enough.’ There is a certain charm to games that have huge casts of playable characters, but they tend to have issues with game balance and it becomes very difficult to fine-tune each character and have them all feel distinctive…. In terms of quantity, we’ve probably already reached the limit of what’s feasible. I think a change of direction may be what’s needed.
It’s great to hear that the team is focusing on game balance this time around. We can only hope that another Meta Knight doesn’t make its way into the game as I’m sure I’m not the only who suffered a cheap death from him.