In a video last night, Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai casually took out two controllers to show off the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter Banjo-Kazooie. He was on his own. That’s how he sometimes plays the game. Against himself.
If you’re a Smash aficionado, you might already know about this. There are pictures of Sakurai using two controllers while playing Smash a decade ago when Super Smash Bros. Brawl was new. If you want to see this in motion, you can check out last night’s stream where Sakurai casually played against himself. (Sakurai starts talking about playing with two controllers at about 40 seconds in, and then plays at around 3:30)
During the presentation, Sakurai explains that back in the Gamecube days, he played Smash against himself with the controllers stacked vertically. “Try doing this with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers, however, and you’ll end up accidentally pressing the R and L buttons,” he continued. Now, he has to line up the controllers side by side.
If you still can’t believe your eyes, Sakurai also played this way for a livestream to show off Dragon Quest’s Hero for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Sakurai didn’t have a script for this livestream, so he’s also riffing about the game while playing against himself. If you’ve ever streamed, you know that talking while playing a game can sometimes be a challenge in and of itself. (Sakurai starts playing with two controllers at around 5:30)
It’s not just astonishing that he is so good at his own game that he plays against himself to show off new movesets, it’s that he does it so naturally. Watching Sakurai play with two controllers is like watching a normal person tie their shoes. All I can hope for is that someday, I will be as good at anything as Sakurai is at Super Smash Bros.