Masahiro Sakurai, the fellow in charge of the Smash Bros. project for the 3DS and Wii U recently spent some time with the online mode for Smash Bros. Brawl and, unfortunately, found himself disappointed:
What I found was that nobody ever went on the attack; it was like everyone was taking the approach of waiting for the other guy to take the offensive. There were no items, either. I wanted to shout at them ‘This isn’t how you do Smash Bros.’! As the producer, what do you think of fights like this?
This is something he’s taking into account with the new project though:
I’d like people to take some freer approaches with their gameplay, but the sort of battle style you describe in your letter is not interesting or fun. That’s why I’ll probably be thinking of a way to deal with that in the next game. We’ve learned a lot about net play since Brawl was released, after all, so a lot more is possible.
Although he does cut Brawl a little bit of slack:
I suppose the fact that we’ve still got no-fee online battles available in a game that was released five years ago is another cause of the problem. It would have been nice if we could have revised the game rules as appropriate, but with the system we had, that wasn’t possible.
But no matter what, this is good news for the new project. Sakurai’s not burying his head in the sand and trying to make it seem like his previous work was flawless. He’s seeking out the flaws himself and working to correct them. Since Nintendo will surely give him the time to make the game how it should be made, this will probably pay off in the end.