Video Game Reviews

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Super Smash Bros Brawl

Nintendo Wii

Summary:

Well there’s no real story to the game, just imagine being able to pick one of a whole cast of Nintendo characters and then have them pitted against up to 3 other characters in an all out brawl using character-specific special attacks, smash moves, a multitude of items and special “Final Smash” attacks to win!

As a fighting game it changes things a little by removing health bars using a damage % instead; the more damage you inflict the further your opponent will fly when you hit them, until you’re able to attack them hard enough to smash them off-screen to score a KO!

Each character has their own move set and abilities, giving you a full range of choices when it comes to finding a fighter that’s suited to your own tastes; however as they all follow the same fundamental game physics and controls changing from character to character is easy enough to do whenever you feel like a change is needed to freshen things up!

In one-player you have several modes to choose from, which are:

- “Classic” mode (A similar format to those seen in regular arcade fighting games)

- “Subspace Emissary” mode (Story-based levels where you play as various characters)

- “Target practice” (Hit various targets placed all over the place on a special bonus level as quickly as possible)

- “Home-run contest” (Smack a sandbag as far as you can after pounding it to build up as much damage on it as possible before time runs out)

- “Multi-man Brawl” (Fight several generic clones in a stamina test based on a time limit or a number of enemies to be defeated)

- Some other modes which get unlocked later... (I won't say what they are in case you’ve not played it yet...)

There is also multi-player Brawl, which is basically an all-out melee where whoever deals the most KOs wins... this can either be played on your own console with friends or using the Wi-Fi option where you can register people using “Friend Codes”.

There are also has plenty of options to choose from in terms of stages, items, music and scenarios (extra damage, different fighting speeds, etc) to keep things varied and diverse between each battle.

Also the more you play Brawl and the more game modes you complete the more secrets you’ll unlock; these include rewards such as new characters to play as, new stages to fight in, trophies of various Nintendo characters and nostalgia, various “stickers” of Nintendo characters (which can also be used by characters in the “Subspace Emissary” mode to boost their abilities) as well as various other items covering the history of the Nintendo characters in the game.

Pros:

- Fans of Nintendo will love the amount of Nintendo nostalgia which has been put into this game

- There’s so many characters, stages, modes, items, trophies, etc, to be unlocked and discovered while playing that you’ve always something new to look out for or try and unlock

- The game has a great soundtrack, with plenty of Nintendo tunes and remixes available and even more being unlockable too; the ability to choose which tunes you want to be played in each stage is a nice touch too

- The game controls are easy to pick up and learn for all age groups and with a little practice easy enough to master as well

- The various game modes available are diverse and challenging (especially on the harder modes)

- The ability to use a Wii-mote, Classic Controller or a Nintendo GameCube controller to play the game is useful (personally I prefer the Nintendo GameCube controller option)

- The “Trophy” Coin game where you use coins earned to collect new trophies is a nice idea and much more entertaining than the old ‘gumball’ machine idea in the GameCube version

- The Subspace Emissary Mode is much more advanced than the one-player adventure modes in previous games in the series, plus the unlockables available are definitely worth the effort...

- The “Final Smash” special moves as well as the Dragoon item add a new element to Brawls and require some skill to be able to pull them off before someone else beats you to the punch... (Literally)

Cons:

- The “Subspace Emissary” levels can feel a little repetitive; this is more notable when you need to go through the levels a few times in order to find everything…

- The Wi-fi online mode slow-down/lag issues can be very frustrating

- As with most Nintendo online games, adding all your friends to your Wi-Fi Friends list and then finding them online can be time-consuming and frustrating as well

- Some of the challenges can become very tedious and time consuming, especially when you have to play as your least favourite characters in order to achieve them, or even worse do something with every character in the game in order to beat it…

- The Multi-Man modes are very samey and repetitive; instead of “3-minute, 15-minute, Endless, 15-man, 100-man, Cruel” modes, they could have just had one mode where you select a difficulty, have no time-limit and then depending on how many KOs and how long you lasted then reward you accordingly

- You might be disappointed that some of the characters seen in the game trailers have to be unlocked first before you can play as them…

- Sometimes the levels zoom out far too much for you to be able to focus on your character movements and actions, especially when there’s explosions and special effects aplenty going off around you

Similar Games:

- Super Smash Bros Melee [Nintendo GameCube]

- Powerstone [Dreamcast / PSP]

Overall:

A game for players of all ages, SSBB is easy to get into, great fun if you have friends around (or online) to play with, has plenty of options to suit your own preferences as well as a plethora of secrets and nostalgic moments for any avid Nintendo fan to discover in one neat and tidy bundle of pure gaming fun and action.

Hardcore Street-Fighter and Tekken fans may find that SSBB isn’t really their cup of tea, but then again you can’t smack Pikachu and co around in those games can you? ;)

Final Score: 9/10

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