Super Smash Bros Brawl


So then we come to possibly the most highly anticipated wii game of this year. Or for the whole of the products llife cycle looking at how long I have wanted this game. The game was originally scheduled for the launch of the console in December 2006 as the second game in the series was when the Gamecube came out. Instead it is released in an hour and a half (27th June 2008). What is worst is that America got it several millenia ago leaving us Europeans gnawing on our elbows waiting for it. For those who don’t know, Smash Bros is a fighting game, yes the usual button mashing affair but one which lovingly includes many Nintendo favourites… all of whom are preferable to playing as the annoying plumber. The new game introduces several characters from other series such as a certain hedgehog and this is nice as it finally lets me bring Sega against Mario…

Opinion time I guess. In the olden days I never liked Nintendo, to me the N64 was by far inferior to the playstation due to the lack of good games on it. That was until a friend brought melee round my house soon after the launch of the gamecube. I loved it, as did the other people in my house at the time and so we all bought gamecubes with melee. Since then I have become something of a Nintendo fanboy and I guess I can trace it all back to that one night… thank a lot Craig.

Brawl then had high expectations for me, I preordered it the day they announced the release date and luckily for me it arrived early. I booted it up and was immediately disappointed, on reflection this was because I used Link on an arena from melee. I thought, sure the graphics are nicer but its exactly the same game (well done genius). After more delving and trying the single player and online I can say the improvements are many. The game will take hours and hours to complete, it has some brilliant characters which are nicely spread as to when they are unlocked and the gameplay has been tightened. I would say it is easier for someone with no experience to do well in this version which makes it brilliant for parties but the person who plays the game a lot will always still have an advantage. The addition of a super move for each player upon breaking open a special shiny oval is a nice addition as a frantic battle to smash the oval first insues among everyone. The new levels offer many challenges just to stay on the screen and the new characters are brilliant. The game then is a superb addition to the series and I guess with the improved singleplayer can be said to be the ultimate Smash Bros game, whether it will be the last in the series I do not know though.

The bad points are few. After a while the game can get repetitive, the story mode while good is effectively still just doing the same moves over and over to kill the foes off there is some depth but not a whole lot. The online has some problems, it can take a long time to find a game you can play in. I have yet to play a friend match as none of my friends yet have the game but I can see that working better. Also after the deep online experience of Mario Kart I expected a little better from Brawl. Instead its a very shallow experience where Nintendo seem to have been afraid of letting little kids know they are fighting big kids and so there are no rankings no names of other users nadda. Lastly the game is essentially just an updated version of melee hence my original disappointment with the game. I am going to be playing it for months to come and hold onto it for as long as I have a wii but it is just a tightened and added to version of melee then again if it ain’t broke don’t fix it works well here. A brilliant game and a fine addition to the wii catalogue. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be my game of the year.

8/10