Super Smash Brothers Brawl Review

A masterpiece that will be remembered as a generation defining game. Super Smash Brothers Brawl once again staples Nintendo as the masters of being able to blend a fun, pleasing, and easy to pick up and play.

It doesn’t happen often and most of the time it happens from October to December. A game release so big and done so well that it reminds you why you love this industry. Super Smash Brothers Brawl is yet another addition in to the Wii’s stellar line up of games. From the moment you load the game and you see the line up of Nintendo favorites you get the feeling you are about to play something special.

The presentation in Super Smash Brothers is top notch. The opening cut scene that starts with Mario and Link along the classical music is among the best the industry has ever seen. The menus are easy to navigate at the front end. You can quickly choose if you want to be playing by yourself, with a group of friends, or go online. From there the options are almost endless for what you can do. Something you will see me mention a lot is the music of the game. Even during the game selection screens, the theme to the game is absolutely superb. The amount of selectable characters is extremely deep covering every conceivable Nintendo favorite as well as a few third party surprises. You won’t have any trouble finding your favorite Nintendo characters as there are 35 to choose from. Besides first party however, Konami’s Snake and Sega’s Sonic also join the Brawl. The amount of stages to fight on are also in abundance and feature plenty of favorites such as the Pokemon arenas, to green hill zone from Sonic, and the Bridge of Eldin from Zelda. 40 stages in all which should be able to satisfy even the most ADD gamers.

The visuals in SSBB are without question among the best on the Wii. I am not sure how much further the limit of the console can be pushed to be honest. All character models are highly detailed. The entire experience runs smoothly at 60 frames per second. During the sub space emissary the environments are nicely detailed even though it is basically a 2D fighter in a 3D setting. Some of the enemies lack detail during the subspace and there is a lot of repeat use of textures, however that is all forgivable as the game does deliver visually where it counts. It is a treat to see higher resolution version of locations and stages you have been playing since you were a little child who just got his or her first Nintendo. The sound in Brawl is without question the best music to ever grace a Wii game. All the tracks surrounding every menu and every stage are top notch. Brawl is one of those rare games sound wise that will have you going “Wow!” I remember this song as you hear a theme from long ago! Tracks will get stuck in your head as well. The sound effects are top notch as well and sound true to their older counter parts.

The game play in Brawl is a transmitted 3D to 2D fighting engine. While the multiplayer component of the game is without a doubt still the focus of the game there have been great additions in the single player as well. The Subspace Emissary story modes adds a new twist to Smash Brothers universe. It appears the evil baddies of the Nintendo universe have devised a scheme to blanket the world in sub space. The story isn’t all that epic. However, going through an adventure mode using the Super Smash controls and gameplay was a lot of fun. Clocking in at eight hours you will travel every conceivable terrain from the Nintendo universe. You will trek from the midair stadium through the glacial peak all the way into subspace itself. The Subspace serves as a great way to unlock almost all the characters available in the game as well as gain trophies and stickers. My only complain with the mode is that toward the end, it seemed like you had to do a lot of back tracking especially during the great maze portion of the game. Also, the final boss is quite a challenge as he seems to have about 5 or 6 different moves that will end a character’s life. Some gamers may prefer not to play through the adventure and they will not be penalized. Nintendo has gone to great lengths to offer choice to everyone. You can obtain most if not all of the same unlocks from characters, to stages, to stickers and trophies by playing your multiplayer butt off. This was a great way to please everyone. Some people simply do not find the adventure mode interesting and would prefer to immediately jump online or against friends. I am happy to say, they will not be penalized.

Also, control wise I cannot stress the drastic difference made by using the Gamecube controller over the wand and nunchuk. Smash Brothers’ game play seemed like almost a chore to pull off any moves using the wand and nunchuk. The ability to use the gamecube controller to pull off smashes at will with the c – stick is essential during every aspect of the game. I was almost at the point of tears in some locations because I simply could not pull off the necessary double jump to continue. Especially during levels where the level moves and you are forced to keep up this became an issue with I am thankful the GCN controller solved. I would highly recommend anyone who purchases Smash go out and pick one up if they do not already have one.

The longevity of this title is one I expect gamers to be playing for years to come. The amount of options for matches between friends is extremely robust. Even playing solo to unlock all the trophies and stickers will take quite a while. The Nintendo WFC which allows you to pit up head to head against your friends or strangers online is also a welcome addition. However, for every great Nintendo title that comes out featuring online play a little of me dies as there is yet to be a centralized way to have your friends listed across multiple games. I know this is not something that is going to be changed any time soon, but a 12 digit number representing a friend is not the way online should ever be handled. I urge Nintendo to consider revising their online strategy going forward as more major titles come out featuring online.

Presentation : 9.0 – Top notch. A robust roster of characters and stages. Menus are all clean and nicely done.

Visuals: 9.5 – Move over Super Mario Galaxy you now have company among the most visually appealing Wii games. 60 frames per second and gorgeous environments and detailed character models.

Sound: 10.0 – Orchestral music at its finest. All the classic music from your favorite Nintendo games as well as some newer tracks that I cannot stop listening to. Character sound effects are also accurate to their older counterparts.

Gameplay: 9.0 – Easy to pick up and play, difficult to master. Do yourself a favor and use the gamecube controller which makes things a lot easier.

Lasting Appeal 9.0 – Lots of extras to unlock and multiplayer gameplay that will have you playing this one for years to come. Online needs an immense amount of work however, but that is the case across the entire console.

Overall Score (Not an average): 9.4 /10