Blizzard says Nintendo can have any Overwatch character they want for Smash Bros.

Who would you pick?

Overwatch is coming to the Switch in less than two weeks, finally giving Nintendo fans a chance to see what all the fuss is about. Blizzard is obviously excited about the move, and they're already thinking about what's next. Could an Overwatch character make their way to Smash Bros.? That's completely up to Nintendo, because Blizzard is more than willing to let it happen. Jeff Kaplan, vice president at Blizzard Entertainment, shared that tidbit in an IGN interview.

"To the Smash Brothers team, whatever character you want, we love them all. They’re all our babies, you can have any single one of them. We have 31 to choose from. Tracer's our girl, Tracer's our mascot. She'd be my first choice. There's a lot of great runners up. I think a lot of people can immediately see Doomfist gameplay applying to Smash, but if it were up to me, I'd like to see Tracer."

Smash Bros. Ultimate's next tournament set for Oct. 4th, 2019

A spirited tournament

Nintendo has announced the next Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament, which is set to kick off on Oct. 4th, 2019, and will run for three days. As you might suspect from the image above, this tournament will focus on Spirits.

Check out Masahiro Sakurai's full Grand Award speech at the Japan Game Awards 2019

A very gracious acceptance speech

As we discussed weeks back, Smash Bros. Ultimate took home a ton of wins at the Japan Game Awards, including the Grand Award, which is as big as it gets. Masahiro Sakurai himself was at the show to accept the award, and he gave an acceptance speech as well. You can now check out that full speech with English fan-subs in the video above.

Nickelodeon artists create Smash Bros. Ultimate-style artwork featuring Nicktoons

So much nostalgia in one image!

The official Nickelodeon Animation Twitter account has shared the above artwork, which was created by Kurt Snyder and Tim Prendergram, two artists who work on various Nicktoons. According to Nickelodeon, the Animation gang hosts a Smash Bros. tournament every year, and this time around Kurt and Tim created some fantastic tribute art for their tournament that features Nicktoons from throughout the ages. How many of these characters can you name?

Masahiro Sakurai and Yuji Horri talk Hero in Smash Bros. Ultimate, the development process, and much more

A task of mammoth proportions

Dragon Quest XI S' launch live-stream in Japan featured numerous Square-Enix devs, as well as a special appearance from Masahiro Sakurai. Wondering what Smash's head honcho had to say during the stream? Check out a recap of the live-stream discussion below.

- Sakurai and Nintendo told Square-Enix they had a proposal for Hero in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- the proposal itself was very detailed, and Sakurai and Nintendo spoke very passionately, saying “We want to use Hero.”
- there was discussion about a monster being better for the role, but that was decided against
- Sakurai says that requests to add in a Dragon Quest representative have been around for a long time
- Nintendo approached Sakurai saying it might be possible, so he ended up doing the presentation proposal
- Sakurai knew he wanted to work with the franchise, but wasn't sure in what way at first
- Sakurai felt Hero was the best option, but would have worked with the Slime or other suggestions from Square-Enix
- Sakurai was quite convinced that he’d be rejected, but the agreement came surprisingly quickly
- Square-Enix approved the idea due to Sakurai’s passion, and because the ‘best of’ element in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- With Smash Bros. being such a popular series, Horii wanted Hero to join the game
- the rules for Dragon Quest appearances were much stricter years ago, but have changed in recent years
- Sakurai acknowledges that there are people who hate characters like Hero who add in random elements
- Sakurai says Smash is an unpredictable game where you have fun and move onto the next game anyways
- one spell Sakurai had trouble with was differentiating the Frizz line of spells (neutral B) and Sizz/Sizzle (via Command Select)
- he had to look up how the spell functioned in the original games, and how Frizz would float out to hit the enemy
- Sizz would fly quickly and sear the enemy when it hit the enemy
- making the Yggdrasil’s Altar was very troubling, to the point Sakurai thought of giving it up
- some other alternatives included the volcano
- in the end, they decided upon the altar as it would show the world tree that symbolizes Dragon Quest XI
- the world map as seen in the stage references the world map in the PlayStation 4 version, but was made from scratch
- originally there were only two Heroes set to join Smash Ultimate, being Erdrick and Eleven
- Horii later said it would be fine to have four Heroes join
- according to Sakurai, he was ready to make eight different Heroes, but that wasn’t a realistic option
- after Erdrick and Eleven, the hero of Dragon Quest VIII was decided as he was popular overseas.
- popularity wasn’t the only factor, as then the hero of Dragon Quest V would be included
- in the end, it came down to either the hero of Dragon Quest I or Dragon Quest IV
- as there wasn’t a unified image for Dragon Quest I’s main character across media, IV was decided upon
- Sakurai feels being a game designer is all about bringing together that sort of “fun” which is usually intangible and subjective
- for Horii, it’s something from a more practical angle, as in game designer = game creator
- Sakurai finds it nice when he’s working on something alone, as he’s usually in the director role and talking to people
- it’s more fun or interesting for him when he’s working on inputting data, especially the moment there are successful results
- for Horii, as an RPG creator he loves the part where he’s setting the stats and characteristics of battles
- Sakurai's the type to work under pressure, and he approaches his work not in an imaginative approach, but rather task-like
- for Horii, he’s the type to get a lot of inspiration from other media, which transform into other ideas for his works
- Sakurai gets inspiration by playing many games, such as Dragon Quest Walk, Link’s Awakening, and Borderlands 3
- Sakurai plays games while doing other things like watching Netflix, or gaming while riding the aerobic bike
- Sakurai makes sure to think of what the players want
- overall, he tries to go for a wide range of players, while still keeping a certain amount of depth
- for Horii, while it’s something similar, it also has to be fun to play for himself
- Sakurai has other hobbies like going driving, although he doesn’t want to make a driving game
- for Horii, he’s more relaxed, until meetings where he sort of shifts into working mode
- Horii doesn’t worry too much about outdoing each game in content
- when he adds in all the ideas, the game just ends up really large in scale, so he just focuses on adding in the ideas he has
- for Sakurai, he’s uncertain what to do next if there is a next game in the series
- he’s making the current one with the mindset that this is the last one, and he thinks that it might be impossible to top this one
- in Kid Icarus Uprising, Pit and Palutena are always trading jokes, and that was all written by Sakurai
- Sakurai says he's not that serious of a person
- as a game director, he puts on a stoic mask, and might say harsh things to his staff
- Sakurai thinks that if people were actually that serious, they wouldn’t be able to make fun games
- Sakurai does acknowledge he has some trouble showing off that fun side of him though

Nintendo says Smash Bros. Ultimate's Hero is now once again permitted in their tournament

Welcome back!

Earlier in the week, Nintendo France sent shockwaves through the Smash Bros. Ultimate community by saying that Hero was banned from competitive play in their official tournament. Many in the competitive scene have thought the character to be too random for tournament play, but it was surprising to see Nintendo take the same stance. Now just days later, Nintendo has reversed their decision.

In a statement provide to Kotaku, Nintendo said that they will be standardizing rulesets for all tournaments on the European Team Cup circuit in response to the French qualifier’s deviation.

“We’re harmonising these rules across Europe to make sure that no community or country is disadvantaged when competing in the pan-European final next year. In terms of future fighter releases, we’ll create more detailed guidelines for our tournament organizers, to make sure that we maintain a level playing-field through consistent fighter eligibility across Europe.”

This change has bumped Hero from the banned list to the permitted side of things. In all of this, no branch of Nintendo has ever said why Hero was banned in the first place.

Thanks to Andreslop24 for the heads up!

Dragon Quest creator shares his excitement for Hero's inclusion in Smash Bros. Ultimate

It's all thanks to Sakurai, says Horii

While Dragon Quest might not be as big a franchise in NA/EU, the series is huge in Japan. We also know that Smash Bros. as a franchise has the ability to raise the profile of other properties worldwide. That's why seeing Dragon Quest's Hero in Smash Bros. Ultimate is such a big deal, and Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii knows it. He shared his appreciation of the character's inclusion in an interview with RPGSite, which you can find below.

I'm very happy that the Hero has been added to Smash! I'm also so happy that they included things like the commands, the MP... and also the character is really strong! [laughs] I'm really happy about that.

Regarding the process of having the Hero in Smash, Mr. Sakurai really wanted to have the Hero in Smash and they'd been proposing it for quite a long time. Also, since Dragon Quest XI was coming out, we felt it was the perfect time for him to join Smash. It's all thanks to Mr. Sakurai.

Smash Bros. Ultimate 'Daemon X Machina' Spirit Board event announced

An arsenal of new Spirits

The next Spirit Board event for Smash Bros. Ultimate has been announced, and it kicks off Sept. 27th, 2019. This time around, a new set of Daemon X Machina Spirits will be added to the game. One more reason to get in there and flesh out you collection of Spirits!

The Cat Mario Show - Ep. 148 (Zelda: Link's Awakening, Super Kirby Clash, Smash Bros. Ultimate)

Episode 148 of the Cat Mario Show is now available. This episode takes a look at The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Super Kirby Clash, and Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Robot Chicken's Smash Bros. skit was lost on the staff's older writers

It's a generational thing

Robot Chicken is a show that's steeped in pop culture. Almost every skit is a send-up of something in something popular from the 60s onwards, and sometimes that includes things that are a bit more relevant to the younger generation. Case in point, a skit about the Smash Bros. series. In an interview with Variety, co-head writer and executive producer Tom Root explains that even when some of the older staffers aren't in on the joke, they're willing to trust the younger writers.

“There was this Super Smash Bros. sketch that was pitched, and the younger people in the room were laughing, and the older people were like, ‘We don’t really understand why this is funny.' We had to decide whether we’d trust the younger guard, and we did, and it was really great.”

Thanks to Mr_Raccoon for the heads up!


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