New Smash Bros. Games Won’t Feature Single Player Story Mode, Cutscenes

Smash Bros Wii U

Fans of Super Smash Bros. Brawl‘s highly entertaining Subspace Emissary single player mode are apparently to blame for the lack of a similar mode in the new Smash Bros. games coming to the Wii U and 3DS. According to game director Masahiro Sakurai, via the Escapist, too many people uploaded videos of Subspace Emissary’s elaborate cutscenes to YouTube.

“Unfortunately, the movie scenes we worked so hard to create were uploaded to the internet,” said Sakurai. “You can only truly wow a player the first time he sees a [cutscene]. I felt if players saw the cutscenes outside of the game, they would no longer serve as rewards for playing the game, so I’ve decided against having them.”

This takes us back to an era where cutscenes served only as rewards for successful play, and not narrative devices meant to help drive a story forward. Perhaps the attitude of treating cutscenes like… well, treats, is partially responsible for this decision. Or, it could be based on Nintendo’s decision to attempt to control rights and revenue for YouTube videos and live streams of their properties, most recently seen in a quickly overturned decision to ban Super Smash Bros. MeleeĀ live streaming from EVO2k13.

At least we’re still getting some kind of cutscene treatment, albeit in the form of promotional videos for new characters like Mega Man, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer. These videos “potentially benefit by being spread around,” which I can personally attest to. The second a new Smash cutscene comes out, my social media feeds are generally abuzz with posts, re-blogs, and gifs of these infinitely re-watchable little vignettes. Maybe the game’s cutscenes would have helped serve to promote the game as well, but now, we’ll never know.

WSJ: Amazon Working on a 3D Phone

WSJ: Inc. is expanding beyond its range of Kindle devices as it aims to compete more directly with Google Inc. and Apple Inc.

One of the devices is a high-end smartphone featuring a screen that allows for three-dimensional images without glasses, these people said. Using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to float above the screen like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles, they said. Users may be able to navigate through content using just their eyes, two of the people said.

Do people really want a 3D phone? 3D functionality comes on most TVs as standard nowadays. Despite being technologically capable and having a reasonable amount of 3D content through my satellite TV provider available to me, I very rarely find myself watching things in 3D. It has always seemed a bit of a novelty feature to me.

In the gaming world (which I’m admittedly no expert on) the Nintendo 3DS seems to be doing well, but that’s not likely to be due to the 3D nature of the screen. As Avery Penn of gaming website Blue Sun told me, "it’s always games that sell systems".

With regards to the phone, I just wonder if making the screen of a small device (such as a phone) 3D is actually innovation, or a matter of trying to boost sales through novelty features.

We’ll see if this report is correct. If it is, it’ll be interesting to see how a 3D phone is received.