Super Smash Bros. Brawl Is a Wii Essential
The third entry in Nintendo's "Super Smash Bros." series was released this month, and it refines an already well designed fighting system, revolutionizes it's story mode and retains its position as one of the top fighting games on the market.
Those who've played previous titles in the series, know that they are fighting games starring iconic video game characters in a style similar to "Marvel vs. Capcom," but with completely different gameplay. This time around, the total of playable characters reaches 35, with no roster padding.
The most obvious improvement is the addition of new characters and levels. There are fourteen new characters, most notably including Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog, meaning that future installations in the series could include just about anyone. I'm hoping for some Megaman on Belmont action.
All of the clone characters from previous games have unique move sets this time, so they are essentially new characters themselves. Nintendo rebalanced the old characters aswell. Link, for example, is now a more powerful sword fighter rather than a ranged specialist, making him my new favorite character. Nintendo removes only four throwaway characters, and replaces them with similar but more interesting ones.
The other major addition to the game is the subspace emissary single player campaign. No longer is it just a string of fights and min-games. The campaign has a simple but effective plot, well made cut-scenes and many levels. While the old single player modes lasted an hour, Brawl's took me three long gaming sessions to finish on medium difficulty.
My problems with Brawl are minor, and the only ones really worth faulting it for are the technical issues with the map builder and online play.
I am not a pokemon fan, so I would really like to stop seeing new pokemon and have them all consolidated into the new pokemon trainer character.
The map builder is very weak. I can't even flip objects horizontally. For someone who is used to making maps and mods for games that allow users to add their own textures, models and code it seems extremely restrictive. On the other hand, it is fun and I've made many maps including my own tribute to "Mega Man 2's" Metal Man level.
The online play is a nice option but, in order to prevent Timmy from ever seeing a curse word, it's neutered. You cannot effectively group with your friends to play online. The network forces the player to wait five minutes for random matching with three other anonymous players for each match. There isn't a skill-based matchmaking system or even text chat. On the bright side though, the net-code is fantastic. I haven't experienced any lag.
I find it hard to praise this game too much. If you own a Wii, you have no reason not to buy this game. Super Smash Bros. Brawl easily earns a perfect 10/10.