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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Nintendo
Developed By: Nintendo/Game Arts
Genre: Fighting
Rated: T (Teen)
Players: 1-4
Release Date: March 9, 2008
Screenshots: Link!
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Rangebar Merani

March 16, 2008 - Nine years after the original Super Smash Bros. and seven years after Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is finally here and is by far the most anticipated game to come out on the Wii. Fans of the series will be happy to hear that Brawl has taken everything from the previous games and has improved on it with all new characters and stages, an Adventure mode, a stage builder and the ability to play online with multiple players from anywhere! With so much to do in this game, players will be busy for months, even years, with Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

For those not familiar with the Smash Bros. Series, the game is very different from traditional fighting games because of its simplified controls and its emphasis on knocking your opponent out of the ring rather than just knocking your opponent out. The combat system is practically the same as the previous games but this time you can choose what kind of controller you want to use. Brawl allows players to choose from four different control schemes: the Wii-remote and Nunchuk combo, the Wii-remote alone, a Classic controller or GameCube controller. The Wii-remote and Nunchuk combo is used as the default control scheme and takes a little getting use to but is a much better option than just the Wii-remote alone, which is a huge disadvantage for any player. The Classic Controller and the GameCube controller seem to be the best options if available and for those who mastered the controls of Melee will be happy to hear that the GameCube controller button layout has not changed at all, so you should feel right at home with Brawl.

Outside of alternate control schemes, the biggest change to the combat is the Final Smash. These floating icons will randomly appear during a match and will get players to stop what they're doing and hurry after it like fiends. The Final Smash will give whichever player that breaks it the ability to unleash a powerful, screen-filling attack that could ultimately help them win the match. The Final Smash doesn't necessarily guarantee victory, but does greatly affect the outcome of a match. Just like any other item in the game, the Final Smash can be turned off in multiplayer matches.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl introduces dozen-plus new characters to the fight including Pit from Kid Icarus, Meta Knight from the Kirby games and Wario. And for the first time in the series Nintendo has added two third-party characters to the roster, Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog. With 35 total characters, including 14 that have to be unlocked, I can see why they named this game Brawl. All the characters bring their own unique fighting style and are all well balanced with the rest of the roster. It would have been nice to seen a few more classic characters or for a few of the assist trophies to be playable, but with so many characters already to choose from itís tough to complain.

With new clever stage design and interactive environments, youíll find a lot innovation in Brawlís battles. Some of my favorite arenas include the constantly changing environments of WarioWare and Pokťmon Stadium. But I really like the stages that are just plain and donít have too much going on so that the match relies more on pure skill, rather than luck. With so many different stages to play on, the matches always seem fresh. And when youíre done experimenting with all the stages available, head over to the Vault and enter the Stage Builder to begin building a stage from scratch. You decide the size, scenery and background music for your stage then place random parts on your stage to add some personality. The Stage Builder is just another example of how much there is to do in this game.

While Classic, Event, and Stadium modes return in familiar form, the new addition this time around is the 10-hour plus Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary. Essentially a side-scrolling Classic mode, the Subspace Emissary joins together the entire cast of Brawlers for one giant war against an unknown enemy. A number of impressive pre-rendered cutscenes tie everything together and kept me wanting to play just so I would see the ending. The Subspace Emissary is also the best way to unlock most of the hidden characters as well. Once you complete the adventure, most of the hidden characters will be unlocked including Solid Snake and Sonic. After awhile though, the adventure seems to get repetitive with the same enemies and a lot of back tracking. Luckily, there is a co-op option that helps keep things fresh.

My favorite addition to Super Smash Bros. Brawl is online play. Using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection players can get online and brawl with players from anywhere. Although you have to go through the hassle of getting friend codes to play with buddies, once you get online itís pretty easy to get a match started. Friend battles include basically all the options of the offline mode, though voice chat is disappointingly replaced by customizable phrases mapped to the d-pad. But playing with random players is totally different. You canít see anyoneís name, communicate with them in any way, or customize your match outside of item toggling. You really canít even tell that youíre playing someone else and almost feels like your fighting against bots. The only match type available is a ď2-minute KO-fest.Ē Sadly, no time options or stock matches are available.

Besides the need for online improvements and a more engaging adventure mode, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is still the game I was hoping for. With extremely tight controls and incredibly fun gameplay, the core fighting mechanics and local multiplayer are nearly perfect. With so much to do in Brawl like playing online, building a stage, playing the Subspace Emissary or discovering all the unlockables, I donít see how this game could ever get old. But in the end, the best part of this game is getting a few friends together and brawling late into the night.


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