Review by tenchizord

"Super Smash Bros. Brawl; Perfection Comes to the Wii"

Super Smash Bros. Brawl; Perfection Comes to the Wii

If you are a Nintendo fanboy, then there is no use in continuing to read because you already know what I am about to tell you. You have already played Super Smash Bros. Brawl, unlocked all of the characters, beat the ever loving tar out of Master Hand and are most likely only reading this review to prolong the sheer rush of Nintendo-endorphins that you received when playing this game.

If you are not a Nintendo fanboy, good news—this game is still perfect!

Far be it for me to throw around words like “perfect” as if they were to be trifled with, but when trying to describe Super Smash Bros. Brawl, no word in the dictionary better sums up my feelings on the game. From its countless cast of colorful characters, to the various modes of play available, this game should simply titled “Fun!” in big bold letters. Whether playing alone or with friends, both in real life and online, this game is liable to leave you with a grin so big, you could land an airplane on it.

Graphics

Those who think that the Wii offers little in the graphics department need to get their hands on this game, pop it in, and simply press pause. While paused, players have the ability to move the camera, zooming in to see every minute detail that was carefully crafted into this game. Characters we once knew as nothing but a smattering of pixels gyrating before a scrolling background are now rendered in detail so rich, you feel like you could actually reach out and touch every stitch on a pair of overalls, tuft of fur, or strand of hair peeking out from under a battle-weathered green cap. Add to the equation a multitude of lighting effects, and you have a presentation that is on par with the heavier duty next-gen systems.

Sound

A good game soundtrack is memorable; a great game soundtrack is unforgettable. You'll know that this game falls into the latter category when you can't seem to stop humming the main theme all week. From the moment the game starts and the score by the legendary Nobou Uematsu hits your ears, you'll be scrambling to find a way to add these songs to your iPod. Not only that, but Brawl features a colossal amount of extra music to be collected from a cornucopia of memorable tunes that span Nintendo's entire history. From the epic marches of The Legend of Zelda to the random power-up music heard in the company's earliest games, there is a lot of recognizable and unforgettable music to be added to each level. With the ability to adjust how frequent certain music selections are played, you can rest assured that your favorite tunes will be heard more often than the ones that you can't stand.

Music, however, only accounts for one half of the sound category. Sound effects in a video game can help to add to the overall excitement or leave the player racing for the mute button on his or her TV set. The sound effects in Smash Bros. Brawl are all well done and Nintendo knows well enough when to keep an old sound effect around for the sake of nostalgia. So yes, when Mario shoots a fireball it makes the same “pluck” sound effect that you remember from your NES days. Voice acting is reduced to grunts, taunts or exclamations and is provided by the usual Nintendo cast making each character sound as authentic as you remember them.

Gameplay

The simple, yet innovative gameplay from the first two offerings in this series returns in full force. Each stage serves as a sort of platform that the players try to knock each other off of in ‘king of the hill' inspired matches. Using a series of punches, kicks, items and special moves, players must lower the health points of the other contenders to make them light enough to “smash” off of the platform. The controls are responsive and straightforward, with special attacks assigned to one button as opposed to a complex combination. This factor, alongside randomly appearing items that summon help, allow you to pull off a finishing move or even reward you with an instant K.O., granting even novice players the ability to pick up a controller and smash the ever loving hell out of hardcore gamers. While some find this to be a turn-off, I welcome a game that is fun for casual and elite gamers alike. Nothing is more fun than getting together with a bunch of different friends and just duking it out all night.

Single player mode offers a smattering of fun activities for the lone wolves. Besides completing the game in returning “Classic Mode” and “All-Star Mode,” players are now able to access a side-scrolling story mode known as “The Subspace Emissary.” While this mode is nothing more than a simple platform of “beat-‘em-up” playing, it does provide hours of entertainment and the ability to unlock new characters. Even better, you can team up with a friend to take on bad guys together, which is a treat for anyone who ever had to sit through the tag-team efforts of playing a two-player game of Super Mario Bros.
Replay Factor

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a game you will be playing for a long time. Although the single player mode takes only about twenty minutes to beat and “Subspace Emissary” can be conquered in a little more than ten hours, this is a game is filled to the brim with re-playability. There is such an insane amount of unlockables to obtain that you'll spend days trying to get every character, stage, song, trophy and sticker the game has to offer. Once done with the main game modes, players can move on to mini-games such as the home run contest, multi-man brawl, challenges and boss battles. Players with a creative streak will enjoy the ability to create custom levels or to take snapshots to send to friends online. And, of course, multiplayer Brawl mode is like the ultimate party game that never gets old.

Buy, Rent or Skip?

If you have a Wii, then this is an essential game to add to your collection. You'd be doing yourself a great disservice not to buy the game outright; especially when your buddies come over for an evening of gaming and the video store is all rented out. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is just about one of the best games on the system and is definitely a must-have.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/06/09

Game Release: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (US, 03/09/08)


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