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Tuesday, March 11, 2008


After playing extensively with my friend on his Wii (to be read as, after I was finally kicked out of his home since the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl on midnight, Saturday) I have a fairly good idea of how all the characters play and have a good sense of the stages and the Sub-space emissary story.

This might be the hype speaking, but I love it. Characters were given a run-through in terms of balancing issues and overall, all characters have noticeable strengths and weaknesses. One thing I found really nice was how every character has their own set of animations now. Ganondorf still looks like he's imitating Captain Falcon but much less. Every character's triple A combo looks different and generally the game plays much better.
There are some stylistic changes to the game. First off, many stages have interactive features to them such as the ice climbers stage where the tip breaks off and hurdles down a mountain or the handful of mini games on the Wario Ware stage. What the game moved was from a very strict fighter to a more relaxed game that really is there for fun. Characters deal less damage and are sent flying at higher percentages which entails much longer battles and more use for the final smash. The final smash really changes gameplay as the ball appears, it's a battle to break the ball and that could even turn the most conservative players into a reckless berserker.

There's a little bit for everyone. For those who loved the platforming style gameplay from brawl, rejoice, for there's about 10-15 hours of it (including beautiful cutscenes). You can either go head on, or for the RPG types, use stickers to modify your characters' damage/resistance and use stats to your advantage. Classic mode is the style we all know and enjoy including the two break the target stages. Master hand is more or less the same, but now even looking more fluid. More unique stages force you to play a different style from just sending your opponent flying off the screen and the interaction between the background and foreground was genius.

If there's one noticeable part in graphics, it would be the same thing you notice in the Pokemon games(if you've been following) and it's the beams and projectiles. My god, Lucario's and Samus's final smashes are just beautiful. Getting hit by those lasers is simply worth the loss. Another interesting take on graphics would be the alternate colors. Instead of just having a handful of blues/greens/yellows/reds/white/blacks some characters have alternate costumes from the multitude of games they starred in. for example, Samus now has (in addition to her colors) the fusion suit from the GBA game, the typical final purple power suit, and a black power suit (that kinda reminds me of robocop.) Wario and Luigi both have alternate costumes purposefully red/blue to look like Mario and hilarity ensued as we saw all the different "shapes" of Mario. Peach can look like Daisy, or appear in a "wedding dress" and there's an alternate for Link to look like his darker counter-part.

Now for the parts I'm not so fond of. (Yes, there are such parts)
This is me nitpicking, but the switch of Ike for Roy was not a good choice in my opinion. While I understand that characters such as Ike are to flaunt and promote the newer games, I honestly would've preferred someone different like Lyndis (though I appreciate her as a assist trophy) or Ephraim to be in Brawl. There can only be so much sword fighting in Brawl, which is something I totally agree with, and is why I believe those two characters may have been better to replace Roy. Lyndis has a quickdraw style of swordplay that I feel would be fun to play around with and Ephraim has a spear. I like Ike, but to attempt to have another unique Fire Emblem character and then to go halfway with it (Ike has counter and his own version of Dancing Blade)felt odd. Not only that he was very slow, which took some time getting used to.

2x speed is gone. It was in the original and melee in training mode, but now it's just completely gone. My friends and I always used 2x speed training mode to improve reaction times and learn to adapt to a new character faster, but with it gone, the game feels very sluggish. 1.5x isn't very fast which means lightning brawl isn't very fast. Some special brawl options were interesting and produced funny effects, but were poor choices for gameplay. For example... I decided to screw around and made a invisible, bunny band, hot curry, speed, high gravity brawl. As funny as it was watching bunny band and high gravity attempt to cancel each other out and then try to differentiate one another with fiery invisible characters, there's something I have to say. We couldn't really play at all. Even if we were to set one option, things like infinite curry interfere with the attacks. I thought it was a great idea to have options instead of having that long list of specialized melees from the second game but some, while seemingly good in theory, doesn't seem to work well in practice.

I don't know about you, but I liked the arcade feel to Melee. With an extensive assortment of characters and stages, I felt like you could play constantly and not be bored. I don't feel that way with brawl. There's a weird feeling that theres very few characters in brawl compared to Melee, which is weird because the original has 12, Melee has 26 and brawl has 35. This is probably because, if you've played Melee extensively, then you really look carefully at the 9 new characters and notice the minor changes in the others. That isn't to say that the brawl characters aren't good, but I guess I was expecting something more. Perhaps I was expecting more since the difference between the first Super Smash bros and Melee was very large.

Some final smashes are hard to use, while others are easy, and some require no effort. This is all gameplay really but I found Pikachu's Volt Tackle exceptionally hard to use. He starts off with a lot of momentum which is hard to control and often had me spinning around the stage multiple times before he became more controllable, but by then the damage the electricity dealt was insignificant. On the other hand, Snake was too easy to use and often ensued in multiple deaths of all the other players. Pit's final smash is a bit lackluster. While his character is balanced his final smash appears to be more of a damage dealer than a crowd cleaner.

Speaking of final smashes, I noticed something very problematic in Brawl. The Smash Ball and the breaking of the ball often involves multiple characters bum rushing it with attacks. This is all fine, I think that's nice. The problem is, the smash ball is very prone to momentum, and will often be sent flying on the first hit. Then it just lingers as it loses momentum quickly. What often happens (and this happens too often) is that the smash ball is thrown into the air and hangs at the top or far sides of the stage for a good amount of time. What happens? All the flying characters get Final Smash priority. Now, for Pit, it's fine, but for characters such as Charizard, Metanight, Jigglypuff, Kirby and Pikachu (if you know how to exploit Pikachu's skull bash and agility really well, he doesn't touch the ground too often)they have highly unfair advantages, as it's more or less an instant kill. (I've rarely seen the smash ball knocked out from someone.)

Regardless. This game is very good. Of course there are choices that everyone doesn't like, but the good points of Smash Bros. Brawl heavily outweighs the negative aspects. It's much easier to write about what you don't like then what you do but in the end this game is a keeper. I don't really say this often, but to not like this game is to be crazy.

For a more extensive review. I'm going to hand you off to my friends and for more brawl techniques and info go to A good resource for videos as of now would be, and mooplet should pop up with some newer content once they get some sleep.

1 comment:

mooplet said...

Ahh thanks for linking hehe :P

The game is excellent... and yeah, this weekend we will write some more stuff, add some more videos... and i always have to be on the lookout for adding to of course.

peace for now