Super Smash Bros Brawl is a continuation of the popular Super Smash Bros franchise and does not fail to live up to or exceed its predecessors.
The games basic premise is simple. Take iconic Nintendo characters from various games, shove them into an arena and make them fight.
The brilliance is that each character retains their unique traits and powers, making it feel as though they have not been compromised to fit the games mechanics, but rather the game is able to encompass them all.
For example, Link will swing a sword, fire arrows and throw bombs, while Kirby using the same controls will punch, swallow then spit out enemies and turn himself into a heavy weight.
The controls function in an easily memorable way that adapt to each characters strengths. You have a basic attack button which usually handles hand held weapons or melee attacks. Then a special attack button which used in conjunction with directional controls performs the characters more unique abilities that generally coincide with the direction chosen. I.e., pushing Up and Special will in most cases perform a jumping attack or recovery move such as Princess Peaches Umbrella Glide, Sideways and Special will perform a unique attack in the direction that the character is facing such as Donkey Kongs Headbutt.
There are also grab moves and throws and some context specific moves such as counters, ledge recovery attacks and further unique abilities.
Each character is also equipped with a ‘Final Smash’ move, which is their signature finishing move, in most cases dealing a huge amount of damage, though this differs for some. Princess Peach for example heals herself while putting every other player to sleep.
With this game having the largest amount of playable characters in a Super Smash Bros game, with plenty more to unlock, there is plenty to try out and learn while figuring out who your favourite is or trying to master them all. It also adds much replayability as you can retry every challenge with as many characters as you wish to. Each characters strengths and weaknesses mean that you must use different tactics to become adept at their use.
Two non Nintendo exclusive characters also join the Brawl for the first time, Sonic the Hedgehog and Snake from Metal Gear Solid.
The game in essence is a beat ‘em up type, though the emphasis is on Ring Outs rather than Knock Outs. Players can beat on each other almost endlessly if they do not manage a ring out, although the more damage taken increases the chance of a player being hit out of the play area by less powerful moves.
Many stages take place above seemingly bottomless pits, but in those that do not, there is still the ability to hit enemies skyward and out.
Rules for matches can be edited at will, lengthening the game time, changing the amount of lives characters have, or the objectives of the match. Players can also edit items that appear in game and special bonuses like extra agility and fire breath among others.
Included in usable items are a number of weapons to increase damage or have effects against enemies, such as lazer swords, baseball bats, lazer guns and large flowers.
There are also summonable allies in the form of Poké-Balls or Assist Trophies. Poké-Balls of course summon Pokémon, while the trophies can reveal any number of Nintendo characters ranging from Waluigi to the Nintendog.
The ingredients all add up to create an incredibly wacky game that never ceases to be manic and surprising. You may believe that you have seen everything, but then it throws something new at you.
This is only the basis of the game though. The Brawl battles are only one part of a this huge game.
There is also a Story Mode under the name of ‘The Subspace Emissary’. Though it is not clearly explained in the game, the characters in Super Smash Bros Brawl are not their real counterparts. Rather they are trophy incarnations of the Nintendo heroes brought to life with the sole purpose of competing in battle matches. For these beings, turning back into a trophy is the equivalent of death.
In the Subspace Emissary, mysterious creatures attack various heroes starting with Mario and Kirby with unknown intentions. As the story goes on, more characters, such as the Pokémon Trainer, Pit (Kid Icarus) and Diddy Kong, are revealed to suffer similar assaults and go on the offense in trying to defeat them. They are joined by further allies as the game continues and more characters are unlocked for play in all modes.
The Story Mode takes the form of a side scrolling beat ‘em up style game crossed with a platformer and can be played alone or co-operatively with two players.
Besides this are a number of challenge modes including, Target Smash, Home Run Hitting and character specific events.
Through all this are a huge amount of things to unlock including more playable characters, music, more assist trophies and stickers to strengthen your Subspace Emissary characters. The sheer amount of things to try, do and complete provides a huge amount of play time, with the opportunity for replayability with unlocked characters.
If that is not enough, you are also able to create your own levels using the in game editor, giving the game your own personal touch.
This is simply one of those games that is too difficult to put down. It is addictive yet not repetitive. It provides a challenge each time you play and should you get bored of one mode for a while, there are plenty of others for you to get stuck into. It can be played as a fun party game, or alone equally. In this review there are even some fun aspects that I have not even mentioned.
The only reason that I do not give this a full five out of five is that just in case they make another sequel, which somehow packs in even more material, then I will have nowhere higher to go!
I recommend this to anyone.