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Sakurai describes 'grueling development' of Smash Bros. Melee

David Hinkle, @davehinkle
December 8, 2010
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If you own a GameCube, odds are you probably have a copy of Smash Bros. Melee, arguably the platform's greatest game. It sold like it was, anyway -- over seven million copies were moved worldwide. Those sales were the fruit of what Sakurai says was a "grueling development cycle," very different from how he crafted the follow-up, Smash Bros. Brawl. Honestly, he's kinda underselling it.

"I worked on that game for 13 months straight, after all, without a single Sunday or holiday off that whole time," Sakurai recalls in a Famitsu interview translated by 1UP. "During parts of it, I was living a really destructive lifestyle -- I'd work for over 40 hours in a row, then go back home to sleep for four," he added. Putting himself through the grinder like this stemmed from concerns about spearheading the massive undertaking, which Sakurai called the biggest project he'd ever worked on.

Today, he looks back on it as "the sharpest game in the series," adding that it's "speedy all around and asks a lot of your coordination skills." To him, "it just felt really good to play" and was the most hardcore entry to date. As for his latest, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it was more an attempt to find some middle-ground and present a more accessible game -- and to finally help us solve one of gaming's greatest debates, of course.





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