There are some things that Smash Bro fans have wanted for a helluva long time but there was an understanding that it would never happen. Yet, with Nintendo's announcement of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, they may have delivered unto us, a game that aspires to give us our greatest desires. That's why it seems to me that this might be Smash Bros creator, Masahiro Sakurai's last rodeo.
In 2014, in an interview with Game Informer (the original article appears to be unavailable,) he said Super Smash Bros. for Wii U would likely be his last Smash. He said:
He went on to admit that his team had long ago gone past their limits in terms of sustainability. Just in terms of the number of characters in the game. If you put more in, you might be cutting quality, if you take things out to maintain quality, there will be push back. It's a viscous cycle. As evidence of that, just read a bit about how people reacted to the news that Snake wouldn't be returning to Smash Bros Wii U. They were pissed.
There has to be balance and yet, balance seems to have been thrown out entirely in the newest iteration of Smash. And the newly announced fighter for Smash Bros Ultimate, Ridley is proof of that. Smash fans have been asking for Ridley as a playable fighter for a decade to no avail. And, it's not surprising. He's huge, unwieldy, difficult to imagine as fighter but we've seen it. It's happening. This along with the comprehensive nature of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate it feel like this may be the end of a chapteer.
When the news broke that Sakurai would be returning for the new game on Switch, it was hard to imagine what direction they would go in, given Sakurai's previous statements. It felt like Smash Bros. had come to a logical conclusion. Or at least that's what its creator believed.
But it seems that maybe since then, his thoughts have changed. Though Sakurai hasn't announced anything of yet, Smash Bros. Ultimate feels like a final entry in a series. A remembrance of over a decade of brawling, a final refinement. There's no question in my mind that there will be more Super Smash Bros. games after Ultimate but it seems this may be Sakurai's swan song. Something that he feels he is "totally satisfied with." If it, this is one hell of a way to retire.