All the Fan Service You Could Ask For Crammed Into a Single Disc - Super Smash Bros Brawl - Nintendo Wii -
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Super Smash Bros Brawl

All the Fan Service You Could Ask For Crammed Into a Single Disc

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is unquestionably the most anticipated game to come out on Wii. After all, why play as just one Nintendo hero when you can control almost all of them? Eclipsing the popularity of classic franchises via consolidation, Brawl effectively takes everything that made Melee great and improves upon it in subtle yet effective ways. 

The combat system is practically identical to the previous iteration. While this will excite hardcore fans, players who never got into Melee will find little here that will change their minds. The nunchuk/remote control option is completely serviceable, but you're really going to want a GameCube or Classic controller to truly succeed. The sideways remote-only control scheme is a complete mess, and should only be used to put friends at a hilarious disadvantage.

Outside of alternate control options, the biggest change to core combat is the Final Smash. These icons randomly float through the air and encourage players to drop what they're doing and go for it. The first to grab it can unleash a satisfying over the top, screen-filling attack that may turn the tide of battle. Final Smashes do not, however, guarantee victory and can be turned off in multiplayer for concerned purists.

The dozen-plus new characters bring a little something fresh to the fight and are balanced well with the rest of the roster. Pikmin tamer Olimar gains stronger attacks as more little friends follow him around, Metal Gear's Solid Snake has a steerable Nikita missile shot, and Sonic utilizes his trademark speed in interesting ways. However, characters like Fire Emblem's Ike, Zero Suit Samus, and Mother's Lucas are slightly tweaked palette swap replacements of existing or former characters. It would have been nice to see more reimagined classic characters like Pit, but it's tough to complain when there's already this much variety.

New clever stage design is where you'll find most of the innovation in Brawl's battles. My particular favorites include arenas based on the constantly changing environments of WarioWare and Pictochat, and the side scrolling world 1-1 of the original Super Mario Bros. With the constant stream of unlocks, it always feels like you're getting a fresh backdrop to experiment in.  

While Classic, Event, and Stadium modes return in similar form, the centerpiece this time around is the Subspace Emissary. This seemingly endless barrage of platforming stages and battles joins together the cast for one giant war against a mysterious enemy. An absurd amount of impressive pre-rendered cutscenes ranging from epic to just plain silly tie everything together, and will most likely be the primary incentive for many players to make it through the entire campaign. Essentially a 10-hour Classic mode, this adventure gradually loses its promising luster through repeated environments, challenges, and enemies. Like most games out there, however, playing co-op style helps keep things fresh.

Online play is implemented about as well as it can be within Nintendo's structure. After going through the friend code hassle, Smash buddies can be easily browsed to see who's online. Friend battles include basically all the options of the offline mode, though true voice chat is disappointingly replaced by customizable phrases mapped to the d-pad. Facing off against strangers, however, is a different ballgame. You can't see anyone's name, communicate with them in any way, or customize your match outside of item toggling. Everyone's so devoid of personality that it's almost like you're fighting bots. The only match type available is a ''2 minute KO-fest.'' No time options. No stock matches. The only thing you can definitively choose is your character.

Outside of the need for online improvements and a more concise and engaging campaign, Brawl still hits all the right buttons. With extremely tight controls and finely tuned balance, the core fighting mechanics and local multiplayer are spot on. There's still nothing like learning the intricacies of every character, discovering possibly the most unlockables in any game yet, and using all of that to beat the crap out of your friends late into the night.

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Second Opinion:


This is the kind of game that sparks fights amongst eight-year-old school kids. Who am I kidding; this is the kind of game that sparks fights amongst 28-year-old journalists. Smash operates on the theory that anyone should be able to play, and it provides just the right level of outside, random forces that even a newbie can sometimes beat a skilled veteran. The bizarre thing is, it's the resulting level of onscreen craziness that makes this game such a blast. Just like Melee, Brawl is so jam-packed with modes and unlockables that you'll be playing this for months just to complete it all. I found few characters in the game that I didn't like. Even the new fighters are so evenly balanced that I often just left the character select on random. Online play is a welcome addition too, and should keep you busy with plenty of four-player versus battles until Nintendo comes out with a new console and is forced to release another sequel.

User Reviews:

  • 9.75
    Super smash bros is a fan favorite that has been around the block. Starting in 1999 with the original release for the Nintendo 64, Smash Bros had a bright future. The game was originally a Japan only release but an overwhelming response from fans brought it to the world. The games premise was simple...
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  • 10.00
    The first thing I have to say about this game is that it is everything that you can imagine from Nintendo. This sequel to Super Smash Bros Melee that was released in 2001 surpasses it in Graphics, Sound, Replay Value, Entertainment, Unlockables, and more! The Fighters in this game come from the classic...
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  • 9.50
    Super Smash Bros. Brawl is incredible game because SSBB is first time story mode and awesome new characters. A massive yet surprisingly balanced character roster. My favorite character of SSBB is Snake (Metal Gear Solid series), Ike (I never play before), and Wolf (Star Fox series). Super Smash Bros...
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  • 10.00
    in my opinion this is the best fighting game EVER! its got a good character roster with sonic and snake! and the story mode is really cool.i also liked the TONS of music from various games.
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  • 10.00
    Super Smash Bros. Brawl Reveiw By The Dark Ninja Let's start with the graphics. They mix beautiful character renditions with retroliciously pixelated assist trophys. Assist Trophys are little support characters you activate by picking up. The concept is an all out fight with all your favorite Nintendo...
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  • 9.25
    Yeah, Super Smash Bros. Probably the best series I've ever played. Who wouldn't want to see all the Nintendo characters they've played as over the years fight against each other. And yes, it's a video game, so you control the characters. I just really enjoyed this game. The best, if not...
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