I suspect The Subspace Emissary might be a good place for Smash Bros. beginners to learn the ABCs.
I think you’re right. The objective is clear since there’s a storyline and, if you have someone to play with, you can make progress as a team.
The Co-op mode, in other words.
Right. Co-op. Fundamentally, two characters take the field in Adventure Mode and battle side-by-side through the stages. The level of difficulty can also be adjusted which means it’s good for beginners too.
How many levels of difficulty are there?
Five. Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard and Intense. Intense, however, was made mostly for the curious, and Very Hard can be considered the highest level of play for standard playing purposes. By the way, the level of difficulty can also be adjusted for other modes of play and not just for The Subspace Emissary.
That means beginners can start with Easy then. Fundamentally, Smash Bros. is designed to make different things happen simply by pressing random buttons, so some amazing things can happen without even trying. This makes it easy for beginners to get involved.
Which reminds me, Shogo Sakai-san did some test play the other day and cleared The Subspace Emissary on the Easy setting.
You mean the same Shogo Sakai-san from HAL Laboratory who was in charge of music for Smash Bros. Brawl? I’m guessing the reason you bring him up is because he’s so bad at gaming.
Right. He’s absolutely hopeless. (laughs)
Sakai-san is another fellow who has a long history of designing games with us. Not only is he a talented musician, but he also acts as our Beginner Guinea Pig. He’s helped us out quite a lot.
I’m afraid he is so bad that no one can officially ask him to even become a game-testing Guinea Pig, though. (laughs)
Did you make a point of asking him to help out this time around?
Not really. He just happened to be around when I needed him and played the game for several days. It was then that our hopeless Sakai-san cleared the Easy level.
That’s very reassuring considering our efforts to make the game readily accessible to new players.
Exactly. After beating it, Sakai-san said he finally understood how people get so addicted to gaming. (laughs)
What’s he talking about? He’s been making games for twenty years.
Well, he’s played very few action games. He told me that he had been stuck in many places, but when he was taking a shower, he would think “it might just work if I try this.”
So that’s what he meant when he said he finally understood how gamers feel.
Right. That means The Subspace Emissary should be okay for unskilled gamers too. Of course that doesn’t mean that it’s not challenging, but Sakai-san is living proof. (To be continued)
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