The 'Shroom:Issue XIV/Review
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Review
Hmm… Reveiws. I've always wanted to do these for The 'Shroom. And they're very fun to write. Hope you like this one, even though it's late.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Some say it's the biggest game of the year. Some people think it's the best game ever. Other people don't like it, and prefer the prequel, Melee. What's my opinion? That's what I plan to answer.
But where to start? There's so many modes in the game that there's almost nowhere to start. So I'll start with the very first things that I did when I opened the game and popped it into my Wii.
And by the way, this review will contain a ton of spoilers. So please don't read it if you don't want to be spoiled.
This is probably the section most players will use the most. The most commonly played mode in Group is probably "Brawl." This is where Time, Stock, Coin, and Team matches take place. As for the mode itself, it is very versatile. You can play very long Time matches or a sudden-death-type one-stock match. I love this mode. It is what me and all my friends play, so it is great for everyone. One variable that may change your gameplay style is the Damage Ratio option. It is not new to the series, but personally I hate it, because it seems very powerful in this game. What it does is changes the amount of damage you need to be sent flying. This makes it hard when I go to my friend's house, because whereas I usually play with the Ratio at a good, solid 1.0, he ramps it up to 1.5. It takes me a couple matches to get used to it. Otherwise, the only other problem with this mode is that it takes too long to load.
Also in Group is the "Special Brawl." This mode lets you choose from a large amount of effects to have very different matches. For example, in this mode you can have all of the characters Giant, Metal, Reflecting, slow, and heavy with 300 damage and a fixed camera. This mode is very fun and gimmicky, but it gets old really quickly. For example, heavy characters plus metal with Superspicy Curry is not fun.
"Rotation" and "Tourney" are also under the Group section. These can be fun if you have a lot of people at your house or if you are hosting a tournament, but otherwise are pretty useless.
Lastly under Group is "Names." This is a very useful feature, especially if you like to keep records of all your Brawling. It allows you save names that, when selected in any mode, lets you record your KO's, Falls, Self-destructs, etc. It also allows the use of different control types that you set for yourself. So, if you hate jumping with the control stick or you've always thought grabs would be easier with X or Y, this mode allows you to make those changes for yourself. It's a very awesome and useful feature.
Solo's name is actually very misleading, as you always have the option to play Co-op with one friend. Anyway, Solo is very exciting. The main mode here is the Subspace Emissary, known to most people as Adventure Mode. Subspace Emissary (SSE) is a very good diversion from the usual modes. Oddly for a Smash game, it has a quite developed story and a relatively deep plot. I won't explain the story in full detail, but it involves all of the characters in some way or another. Each level is very long and filled with all sorts of stuff. For better or for worse, most of the enemies are completely original, and not from any other games (this is excluding the four enemies from the Mario Series: Goombas, Koopas, Hammer Bro.s and Bullet Bills). These enemies, in my opinion are very creative. Other reviewers didn't think so, but I disagree. My problem with the enemies is that they are too repetitive. For example, you see Primids everywhere. Another thing is the inconsistent AI. For example, I'll use Primids again. You will get tired of their stupidity. They will usually just sit in one place, and they will stay there for so long that you can usually go up to them, charge a smash attack all the way and kill them in one hit. In contrast, there's another enemy, the Gamgyas (I think), that is extremely smart. It will shoot very powerful beams at your character. It is very good at aiming said beams, and will continue to shoot your character even if the monster is off the screen, whereas Primids will just give up.
Another annoying part of SSE is the Trophy Stand: an item that will transform any enemy into a trophy. It takes a while to throw, disappears quickly, and is not too effective.
Anyway, let's get past my silly rants. The SSE is a very fun, long mode. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Other Solo Modes
Also under Solo is… Classic Mode! This really is classic, and feels great to play. When you beat Classic, you get the trophy of the character you beat it with. My only complaint with Classic is that it feels too inconsistent. For example, for the first match you always fight a Legend of Zelda character. But you never know which one you'll fight, or if you will fight one of them or two of them. After the first match, everything gets foggier. For example, you could be fighting two people at the same time with someone on your team, and then you'll be fighting a Giant character all by yourself. Other than that, Classic is a great mode to play when you're bored.
After Classic is All Star Mode, which is unlockable. In All Star, you'll fight every character in the entire game with only one life. This is one of my favorite modes, and I don't really have any complaints with it, except that it takes a long time to beat it just once.
Also in Solo is Event Matches, where you attempt to win matches with special, set guidelines. Again, it's a fun mode, and I enjoy it. There's not really anything to complain about in it. It's just not the mode that you will be playing every day.
Another Solo mode is Stadium, where many different things are available. Just as with Events, I really don't hate or love any of the modes in Stadium. They're just… in the game.
Wifi… Frankly, I have played it very little. But I really do hate that no names are shown. We had them in Mario Kart DS, and that game was rated E! I dunno, I guess they wanted security, but still… The other crappy thing about Wifi is the Lag… When you press a button, the action does not appear until about 3/4 of a second later. This seems small, but can make all the difference in the heat of a battle. Otherwise, Wifi has lots of options, and is mostly like any other Wifi game.
Oh, how I do love the Vault. Being an obsessive completionist, I adore absolutely everything in this amazing mode. The first part of the Vault is the Trophies and stickers section.
Trophies have been a recurring feature since Melee. They are very fun to collect, and in this game, there are a LOT of them. A HUGE amount. From every series, in fact, form Mario all the way to Animal Crossing and Game and Watch. They have especially good special effects this time around, with amazing clouds of dust and even a cool lightning effect. Stickers are new to the series, and are slightly less awe-inspiring. Certain Stickers do give off a wave of nostalgia, however, such as some old Mario artwork and some cool Metroid ones. I do have a scathing problem with stickers, however. They appear way too much in Group and Solo Modes, and since I'm so obsessive, I feel the need to grab each and every one. This gets me killed a lot. I guess I could become less obsessive, but there should be an option to turn the darn things off. Another cool thing under the Trophy section is the "Coin Launcher," which lets you launch coins to get trophies in a old-school style shooter game. It's very addicting.
Also in the Vault is the Stage Builder. People have been wanting it since Brawl was announced. And it is rather awesome. But, unfortunately, it's rather gimmicky, especially when Computers play the stages. The idiotic AI of computers tells them to jump anywhere when there's an item of value. This includes jumping into a huge pit of spikes or, in some cases, off the edge. But with friends, the mode can be very fun.
"Masterpieces" is a mode that plays much like the Wii's Virtual Console: It allows you to play short snippets of old video games. And when I say "short," most of the time I mean REALLY SHORT. I mean, the longest time you can play a game is five minutes, and then it takes you back to Brawl. The one game I'm really sad has such a short time limit is F-Zero, which lets you play for a whole 40 seconds. This is not even enough time to finish a single lap.
Oh, wow, almost forgot this section… Hmm… I think I'll compare this game's gameplay to Melee's (SSBM).
Well, first off, the physics of this game are WAY different from SSBM. The characters are slower, they fall slower, the items have different launch rates, you can catch items easier, and you can do multiple air dodges, among other things. Now, don't get me wrong, this is not a bad thing. I think it fits perfectly. It feels much like the first game in the series, Super Smash Bros. Some other reviewers did not like this, and many people reading my review probably disagree with me. But me and my friends love it. We could play some rough battles in SSBM, but it feels less stressful with the slowed-down action.
The controls of Brawl are… varied, to say the least. You can use one of four control types, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. I personally use the Gamecube Controller, because it is easy and I am used to it. But I have used all of the other control types, too, excluding the Classic Controller (I don't own one…). And, surprisingly, I like the Wii Remote turned sideways more than the Wii Remote with the Nunchuck. This is my opinion, however, and I still like the GCN Controller the most. Plus, you can make your controller do almost anything you want to suit your needs with the "Names" function.
Finally, there is the Final Smash. This is Brawl's main new feature, and I enjoy it. It's been a while since the release, and I still keep those Smash Balls on. Admittedly, the cutscenes get annoying after the fiftieth time you've seen them, but the whole thing still hasn't gotten old.
Conclusion and Final Score
And this concludes my review. Sorry it's so long, but since Brawl is such a huge game, I think you'll understand. I promise that future reviews will not be as long. Anyway, here's my final score.
- Final Score: 9.7 – It's a great game. Even more than I hoped for. But there's a few little things that I didn't like, which brought my score down a tiny bit. But I love the game, and I recommend that everyone should get it.
Alright, hope you like the review! I'll have it in on time next month! Alright, I'm out. Bye!
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