Yoko Taro Regrets Not Getting Nier Automata’s 2B Into Smash Bros

Yoko Taro Regrets Not Getting Nier Automata’s 2B Into Smash Bros

Nier: Automata director Yoko Taro should be really excited that a port of his legendary 2017 RPG is finally coming to the Nintendo Switch, but he can’t seem to get over his shot at Smash Bros before the game wound down.

In an interview about the new Nier: Automata port with Nintendo Life, the famously be-masked director was asked about his feelings on the game’s long road to the Switch. His answer betrays his priorities (and perhaps a tinge of regret): “I am hugely disappointed that we did not make it in time to get into Smash Bros…”

Unfortunately, Nintendo Life’s interviewer did not ask Taro to expand on this statement, which is a shame because I’d love to know more about what happened there. One has to imagine that the interest in getting a character into a game like Smash Bros Ultimate would have been huge. The game brought together characters from so many different publishers that hype and interest in who was arriving next remained at a fever pitch until Nintendo brought production to a close last year. Characters like Joker from Persona 5 and Sora from Kingdom Hearts were fan favourite moments, but it even managed to bridge the hardware divide, reuniting Nintendo with Banjo-Kazooie almost 20 years after Rare became an Xbox studio.

Nier: Automata‘s lead character, 2B, feels like a perfect fit for a game like Smash Bros, sitting alongside characters like Joker, Sora, Sephiroth and Byleth. In a game that was increasingly criticised for favouring sword-based characters Fire Emblem as time went on, 2B could have been exactly the kind of character that shook the game’s meta up.

Maybe a Nier character will make it into Smash Bros next time (if Nintendo can ever convince Sakurai to make another one). It’s not all doom and gloom however — Bandai Namco did include 2B as a playable fighter in Soul Calibur VI, so Taro did get her into a fighting game eventually.

The rest of the interview is peppered with Taro’s dry wit, sprinkled in around polite platitudes from composer Keiichi Okabe and producer Yosuke Saito. Asked why newcomers should go for the Switch port over any of the others, Taro asked readers who could think of a reason to let Square Enix marketing know. “I think they would be delighted to know that. They might even buy you a beer.”

Asked if Nier: Automata‘s sucess had changed his design approach, Taro shrugs. “We had more capable staff on this one, so there was less for me to do. I mean, it feels like there is nowhere in the games industry left for me to inhabit anymore.”

Never change, Taro-san.

You can read the full interview over at Nintendo Life.

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