When you see a game having a sequal, you generally expect there to be a lot of improvements from the previous (assuming the formula was a bit shabby) and you want new features. Brawl encompasses everything you would expect, plus a little more.
Still one of the best party games out there, SSBB has made some significant improvements over the previous. I’m going to try my best to capture them all.
We’ll start with the game modes. There are countless modes that are available to you right off the bat, followed by two that are unlockable (sorry, gotta play through the game to find out what they are. Hehe.). They brought back the Home Run Contest, Smash The Targets, and Multi Man Brawl. We’ll start with those:
Home Run Contest is a game where you have to inflict as much damage as you can on a sandbag, then with a home run bat, smash hit it as far as you can within 10 seconds. This game was always fun but they made a substantial improvement on it. Around the circumference of the starting platform they put an invisible shield that prevents the bag from falling off accidentally. However, this shield will break if you repeatedly beat the sandbag off of it.
Smash The Targets (formerly known as Break The Targets) is a mode where you run a character through a level filled with targets and try to break them as fast as possible. In the past, each characher had his or her own individual course. This time around there is a default stage but there are five levels. With each level you progress, the targets become smaller and the stage much more hazardous. Its definitely a plus.
Multi Man Brawl is essentially a bunch of different challenges that you can do against generic characters. In the original everything was called melee (100 man melee, endless melee) and they changed it to brawl (10 minute brawl, cruel brawl). Not significant, but just shows they pay attention to detail. Also the wire frames have been replaced by colored alloys. Its a neat change. They kind of look like spacemen. Heh.
Now onwards to what was Adventure mode, and classic mode:
Adventure mode has been renamed to The Subspace Emmisary. This one has much more of a storyline (and a wonderful one at that) and is really very awesome. No longer are you limited to using one character throughout the mode, but you are given an option depending on what is going on in the story. Also, the cutscenes have no spoken words, and yet I found myself gasping and laughing during surprising and funny parts, respectively.
Classic mode is back in all of its glory and needs no real introduction. You play through 12 stages of characters and fight the Master Hand at the end. Its been this way since the original, and holds true.
Something I noticed about all the modes is that the AI is really intelligent this time around. I mean REALLY smart people here. Playing on a difficulty above hard is near impossible, and I’m a pretty good player.
Another thing they added, is that every single player mode can be done cooperatively with a friend. This, in my opinion is wonderful. It adds so much more potential to the game.
There are all new events for you to play through, and again, all can be done cooperatively. The difference in this mode is that single player events and multiplayer events are slightly different, so they count them as separate events. So when you fire up your game and only see 10 events, breathe easy, there’s really 20.
Graphically there’s no tremendous improvement. The backgrounds are a bit more sparkly, and the character models are rendered a bit smoother, but aside from that there are no real big changes. They did add widescreen compatibilty so all of you with enormous tvs can smash on your friends in full 16:9 glory.
Musically, however, is a different story. The amount of music and the quality of this music is simply outstanding. They have so many old and new music for you that you will constantly be excited about each new song. But it gets even better. They now allow you adjust the music frequency so you can hear more of what you want, and less of what you don’t. For example, the Zelda stage,Bridge of Eldrin, they play four songs: Legend of Zelda Theme, Ocarina of Time Melody, Hyrule Field, and the Twilight Princess field theme. Since I love the OoT melody so much, I have that playing as frequently as possible. No more crossing your fingers and hoping the Zelda temple played the Fire Emblem theme. Hahaha.
There is also a custom stage builder, where you can create your dream battlefield, with whatever music you want, and play on it. You can even send that stage to your friends so they can play too.
The items are extensive too. There are old favorites and new ones, but two items that really stand out are the smash ball and the assist trophy.
The smash ball incorporates a new feature called a Final Smash. Basically this is like the creme de la creme of all attacks. It does severe amounts of damage and almost always kills your opponent if they have over 30% of damage before being hit. They are unique to the character and look amazing.
The assist trophys are just an added perk if you are a Nintendo fanboy such as myself. Grabbing this item, you have a random Nintendo character pop from inside. Be it Lyn from Fire Emblem, or a Labrador puppy from Nintendogs, they really put thought into these. Each character that pops out does something that’s a signature move in collaboration with its game. Even Little Mac made it!
Ahh man, all this. Does it get any better? Yep. The characters:
The first thing I said when I saw the characters was wow. I was simply blown away. 35 total characters, which is definitely the most yet. This doesn’t count two transformations: Zelda to Shiek and Samus to Zero Suit Samus. How about them apples? And believe me when I say that each of these characters are absolutely phenomenal. I still wish they would make a few of them more unique but hey, there are more than enough characters to fill your needs somewhere.
So with that all being said, you’re probably wondering if there is a flaw in this game. Unfortunately there is, but it doesn’t even lie in the game itself. The load times are not so great. The game is a dual layer disk so it takes the Wii greater effort to find the data it needs, and the most load time I’ve run into was about 8 or 9 seconds. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up when you want to play a quick game.
Overall though this game is above and beyond everything it has ever done. If you’re thinking about getting into the series for the first time, and are on the fence about it, climb on over, its definitely worth it. Even if you played (or own) the other two games, buy this one too, because there are enough things to do to keep you busy for a long time.
Did I mention there is a wall of unlockables? :]
9.5 / 10