A few weeks ago, I sat down with Super Smash Bros Brawl expecting more of the same. Instead of a compelling storyline and an interesting platform-esque experience, I expected a Melee redux. Instead of a slew of characters and fantastic combo moves, I expected another button masher. Instead of one of the best games released this year, I expected an average title that does little to push the series forward. I was wrong.
Let me get this out of the way -- Super Smash Bros Brawl is a fantastic game that you should buy as soon as you can come up with the $50 (and Wii) it takes to play this title.
Super Smash Bros Brawl is the result of years of time and effort put into a game that does all of the big things right and only fails on some of the smaller, less important facets of the title. And it's that dynamic that not only propels this title to instant greatness, but helps set a new tone in the industry.
Super Smash Bros Brawl starts off with an extremely fun battle between Mario and Kirby that also sets the tone for the rest of the story. In the beginning, you're presented with an issue where the two fair ladies, Peach and Zelda, are once again prisoners of the evil and it's up to Mario and friends to save the day. From there, the story progresses and although it's not an epic tale that will keep you engrossed for hours, it's noteworthy nonetheless and good enough to justify some kind words.
Overall, the title plays extremely well and I was quite pleased by just how nice the game looked on the Wii. Until now, most of the titles looked like a second-rate PS2 title, but SSBB looks much more like a graphically second-rate PS3 game. Because of that, Wii titles now have a higher standard they should all be held to and I for one, believe there's no reason we can't have better looking titles going forward. Of course, the chances of that happening are slim considering most developers who ship ugly games are so quick to cite the "ingenuity" of the title. Whatever.
Although the fighting mechanics are great and the number of combos for each player is simply amazing, I was upset with the fact that at times, button mashing works about as well or better than combos. That said, this tends to be an issue in all fighting games and is par for the course if you're into a more arcade-style game like this.
Ironically, one of the best features of the game isn't even the fighting itself -- it's the platform-esque gameplay that allows you to do much more than simply fight enemies. In fact, it becomes such a compelling story that at times, I found myself becoming addicted to moving through the title just so I could unlock more players and find a way to save the day.
All in all, SSBB is a great game that any person who enjoys fighting games would appreciate. And although I didn't get into the major details (click here if you want all that), I can say with all honesty that the title lives up to the hype and then some.
But if you're not the kind of person who enjoys fighting games or if you're sick and tired of the same Nintendo formula, you may not like this title. After all, the game is far more evolutionary than revolutionary. And although that characterization may be enough to push some away who were looking for something drastically different than Melee, Nintendo created a title that not only improved upon a proven formula, but created a fun and enjoyable experience you'll want to see.