Super Smash Bros. Brawl Review
The Super Smash Bros. series has been a huge success since its first outing on the Nintendo 64. With its unique fighting system that requires you to knock your opponent out of the ring, the series has become a flagship title for Nintendo. This newest entry takes everything from the first two games and improves on it with more characters, stages, music, and options. This is a huge fan service for all Nintendo gamers out there. While the game has a few flaws that hold it back, none should stop you from purchasing, in my opinion, one of the best fighting games of all time.
I should get my few gripes with Brawl out of the way first. To start, I felt some of the character choices were a bit uninspired. Toon Link is way too similar to Adult Link and the fact that they replaced Mewtwo with Lucario still has me scratching my head. Keep in mind, all characters are fun to play, it’s just that some are too similar to each other. A few of the stages also feel bland as well and don’t have much going on. My biggest problem is with the online play. It’s great if you can exchange friend codes with others, but if you don’t have many friends with a Wii (like me), you will have to settle with two-minute free for alls and team battles. Regardless of Friend Codes, lag is ever present when playing online. You might get lucky and have a few lag-free games, but for the most part, you’ll be battling with it while playing online.
Now for the good stuff. To start, Brawl has an actual adventure mode with a story. Granted, the story isn’t very deep and there is next to no dialogue, but there aren’t many characters in the roster who have very in depth narratives in their own games anyway. The adventure isn’t long, only lasting about 8 hours give or take, but it is satisfying. What’s even better is that you can play this, and pretty much every single player mode with another player. Having another player rarely hurts any experience and this game is no exception.
Still, no matter how fun any of the single-player modes are with a friend, the Super Smash series has always been about four-player bouts and Brawl is no different. From fighting in Survival mode or battling as Giants in Special matches, fighting against 3 other opponents requires skill and a bit of luck. Thankfully, the game has you covered on both ends. One of the best options in the game is the ability to choose one of four different control schemes. You can play with the Wii Remote by itself on its side, a Wii-mote and nunchuck option, maybe you’d prefer the Classic Controller, or you can stick with the tried and true Gamecube pad. I tried all of the styles and my personal favorites are the Wii-mote/Nunchuck combo, and the Gamecube pad. Make no mistake however, as all control options are easy to use and add in the fact that you can assign the different actions to any button as you see fit, and you are sure to find the style that best suits you.
On the luck side of things, Brawl has numerous items that drop down as the match progresses that you can use to your advantage. From Superstars to Pokeballs, items can quickly turn the tide of any battle and should be used with caution as some can spell doom for the one who has them. For example, the golden hammer is one of the strongest items in the game and can knock anyone off the platform in no time. The downside however, is that sometimes the golden hammer turns out to be nothing but a squeaky hammer that does nothing to your opponents, and leaves you with no defenses. Such chance is part of the charm of the series and really makes you think on your feet to adapt to such situations.
The other big draw to Brawl is the character roster. From the familiar (Mario, Luigi, Link, etc…) to the less well known, (Pit, R.O.B., etc…) there’s someone for everyone. As I mentioned before, some characters play very similarly and has you wonder why they were included, but still almost every character has there own unique style. DK and Bowser are powerhouses while Sonic and Pikachu have the agility to go from one side of the field to the other.
I could go even further into the different options and extras like the level creation mode, trophies, stickers, etc…, but I’ll let you play around with those and see for yourself. When all is said and done, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a must play for any Wii owner out there. It looks great, sounds great, plays great; what more could you ask for? If you love to play online, then you may not care for what this game has to offer, but if you’re like me and prefer local multiplayer, then this is one game you cannot pass up.