After about three years of that first video featuring a nuclear fart from Wario (which you can't actually do, sadly) Super Smash Bros. Brawl has finally hit state-side after three delays. And over all, it's a bit of a let down. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love the game. It just wasn't what I was expecting. Story Mode
The Subspace Emissary, Brawl's 'adventure' mode (which strangely feels more like filler for you to do when nobody on your buddy list is online) is very lacking featuring no dialouge and little to none backstory. It's fun for say the first thirty minutes then it starts to get old and repetitive, with only about three five cut scenes that provide any actual explanation (most are just there to introduce a character, such as seeing Snake's Box for about five seconds only to revert back to another less-awesome character). The only part I didn't see coming is when Master Hand turned out to be the good guy after seven years of thinking the glove was out to kill you.
The saddest part was that it was short, and that many characters could have talked, but instead Nintendo choose to have them communicate through mere grunts and nods, which leads your to wonder if Otacon gave Snake some device that allowed him to read minds.
The only real advantage to this is quickly unlocking characters and getting trophies.Grade: C-
The game has fairly nice controls, but the Wii-mote/Nunchuck combination feels awkward. I would recommend digging your Gamecube out of the basement and stealing one of your controllers from it. While sometimes it does feel like the game is ignoring you pressing the A-Button (Which you do use much more than the B-Button in this game, unlike Melee, which is a welcome change) and it will sometimes not register you dodging one of those pesky smash attacks, overall they keep it nice and the game works with very few glitches.Grade: B+
Most of the items are the same things we've had since since the early days of Smash, which means Capsules, Pokeballs, and Beam Swords, but we see some new -- and very welcome -- additions.
However, one addition is completely and totally unfair. However, it's not useless, but the opposite of useless. This item is the Smash Ball. Certain characters such as Meta Knight have Final Smashes that will kill nearly anybody on screen. Then we see Final Smashes such as Wario's, where he turns into Super Wario. The only advantage of this is about an extra 5% damage per hit and invincibility. It's pretty much just a powered up power star. This item is unfair, and extremely annoying if your best character happens to be one such as Wario.
Dragoon is probably one of my favorite items, as this item has a higher kill rate than most final smashes. You get it by picking up it's three pieces from the ground (if another character picks one up, you can make him drop it by combo-attacking him) and once those three items are obtained, the screen gets shaded red, and there's a crosshair in the center. Once a character gets inside that crosshair, hit the A-Button as fast as you can, in the hopes of hititng said character.
All the other in-battle items aren't really worth mentioning (Usually the Assist Trophies don't assist, as they should be called Hinder Trophies). The trophies are the same as melee, and the stickers are the same as the trophies. You can find them on the ground in Subspace. You can play a mini-game to get them. You can get them by beating classic mode. You can get them by just leaving your game on. You can get them an nearly anyway.
Overall, the new items are a welcome addition.Grade: A-
This is where Brawl truly shines. Just as any other Smash Brothers game, you get to see some of gaming's greatest characters come together and beat the blue bloody hell out of each other. While it is unfortunate that Pit and some other character's move-set feel like they were made for the Emissary and not for the Brawl matches, making them suck, the game retains its fun. It's excellent for parties, and you can now go online.
The online, however, is very laggy. Though it has been getting better, once they get the 'against anyone' up, who knows what will happen. It does seem though that the more you play with one person, the less lag you get. So maybe Nintendo will find a way to fix this problem. But keep in mind, it's Smash Brothers. Online. Seriously. Isn't that awesome enough?Grade: A
Do you have to ask? No, seriously, do you? This is possibly the greatest roster put into one game in the history of the world. Though it feels like King Dedede and R.O.B. were put in as filler, we couldn't have asked for a better list.Grade: A+
The Classic Mode is the same as always. Pick a character and go through a few stages. Though they unfortunately took out Race to the Finish and didn't bring back Board the Platforms as I was hoping, we now have 12 stages, and two Target Tests per Classic Run (However, these aren't customized for each character. We get about five very generic stages with targets put in them. Nintendo being lazy again, anyone?) and we get the first 4 vs 4 free-for-all in Classic
They did some good and some bad in the new version of the Classic Mode.Grade: B+
This game takes some of the greatest melodies and jingles in gaming history and gives some of them a welcome remix. The slowed down, more electronic version of Luigi's Mansion and the Ocarina of Time Medley are two of this games highlights as they showcase this games musical diversity. Boasting literally 100+ songs ranging from musical genres of orchestrial to speed metal, we really couldn't have asked for more.Grade: A+
Now featuring a Boss Battle mode (Which can be very challenging, as Tabuu and Meta Ridley are very annoying) a somewhat upgraded Home-Run Contest, an upgraded Multi-Man Melee (now called Multi-Man Brawl. Isn't that so original!), and a watered down Target Smash, this mode is excellent for wasting time.
It can give you bragging rights as well, if you manage to defeat ten of the creatures in Cruel Brawl, or work your way through 150 in endless Brawl, or survive the 15-minutes brawl, beat the Boss Battle Mode without using any heart containers, and giving that Sandbag a good hard 2000 meter whack in Home-Run Contest, this mode is made probably as good as it could be, with the exception of the now generalized Target Smash (Which they botched entirely, as you there isn't a custom made level for each character).Grade: A-
The letdown of the Subspace Emissary is excused with excellent multiplayer, the somewhat laggy online, one of the greatest soundtracks in gaming history and the still solid Classic mode. Both general gamers and Smash Brothers fans alike will be walking away with pride in the fact that Nintendo only screwed up the most anticipated part of the game, contrary to most of the crap they've been throwing at us lately. Seriously, who's idea was it for a Mario Soccer game?Overall Grade: A