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Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) Review

Review for Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

From the moment the epic title music kicks in and the awesomely polished visuals of the opening cut-scene appear you know Super Smash Bros. Brawl is going to be a classic. We've waited a very long time for this game and in that time it has been hyped to a quite ludicrous degree. The Wii has been somewhat starved of 'proper' games for fans to get their teeth into, so the arrival of this one has been eagerly anticipated. So with the Nintendo gaming hardcore salivating over the prospect of a true gamer's game to develop blisters on their thumbs with, does Brawl stand a chance of living up to the hype?

Short answer yes. Long answer, well, we'll take the next thousand words or so nit-picking our way through what is perhaps one of the most epic Nintendo titles to date. Seems like a somewhat strange statement to call a fighting game 'epic', but this one really is. If you thought Melee was a ludicrous masturbate-a-thon of why Nintendo is the most awesomest company in the whole wide world then you'll find Brawl goes to a whole different level. More things to unlock, more characters, more stages, more winks and nudges towards Nintendo games of old and in general just more of everything.

Stored on a dual layered disk, Smash Bros Brawl contains so much data that some Wiis break down in trying to play it, and with good reason. Graphically this game is super sexy, especially if you shove on Melee and look at the character animation and lighting effects before switching back to the Wii game to drool over its beauty. Everything is faster, more furious and, in our humble opinion, a lot more fun.

Screenshot for Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Purists might argue that the game is now a bit more down to luck and button mashing than it was on the GameCube, but what this game offers is a pace, a style and a sheer abundance of options and modes that will have you purring like a mildly aroused lion enjoying a cool summer breeze. What's so refreshing is that this game has not only moved on from Melee but it has taken what was a pretty perfect formula and made it unimaginably better. The characters are more responsive and nimble, the attacks are more effective and the fighting is more furious.

One of the big issues with this game is how it controls, such is the speed of the action the way you tell your character to move and attack is key to how well the game plays. We'd normally be telling a Wii game off for not using the hardware to its full potential, but waggling around motion-sensing controllers would not just ruin the game, it would ruin your wrist joints. Consequently, the best way to play Brawl, in our opinion, is with the good old fashioned GameCube controller. Or if you like, the Classic Controller isn't a bad alternative. Using the Wii-mote and nunchuk isn't a terrible option, but it just feels wrong and takes a little bit of getting used to.

One of the best aspects of the Smash Bros games is the sheer amount of things you can unlock and play around with. Brawl takes this idea and runs away with it a little. We've got trophies galore, stickers, music, levels, characters and a whole lot more. What's good about all the collectibles this time is that you can use them in the game. Music you collect and unlock is used in fights and stickers add new attributes to characters. And yes, you can spend hours and hours and hours browsing through your stupidly large collection of trophies. If you're sad enough that is, which we're most definitely not...

Screenshot for Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The single player mode has been beefed up rather substantially, which is nice to see. Classic Mode makes a welcome return alongside a brand new offering which replaces Adventure Mode. The Subspace Emissary is a surprisingly large fighting/adventure hybrid with platform elements chucked in for good measure. The best thing about it is undoubtedly the storyline that sees Nintendo characters old and new linking arms in the most bizarre of situations. Needless to say the story is great fun. What isn't the best of fun is the adventure itself. Prolonged and at times tedious you'll find yourself complaining when you see another sodding door or another bleeding level which involves you holding right on the control stick and not much else. That isn't to say it is awful, but perhaps best in small doses rather than a prolonged session.

The Target Smash is now a far more substantial challenge. Rather than levels designed specifically for individual characters as we saw in Melee, there are now a number of generic levels which you can attempt with every single character. We could complain that it is lazy to not design levels for individual characters, but some of them are genuinely challenging and really quite good fun. Aside from that you can smash the hell out of the ruddy bag in Home Run Contest and of course kill lots of wire-frame robots in Multi-Man Melee. What's nice is that even if you lack friends to play Brawl with (we shed a tear for your loneliness) or your Internet is supplied by AOL or Orange making it impossible to get a good enough connection to play online (we shed a tear for your decision to go with a poor ISP) you can still enjoy playing the game on your own.

Earlier on we got all excited about the epic nature of proceedings. Nowhere is this more prominent than in the quite brilliant music. If you actually take time to listen through some of the tracks whilst smacking the crap out of your friends you'll realise that this is perhaps one of the best sounding games ever created. Graphically the animation has come on in leaps and bounds and the whole look of the game is really well polished and certainly very shiny. The backgrounds for example, are at times busier than the action in the actual fights. Impressive stuff when you consider that the Wii don't do graphics too good and stuff. Moving on...

Screenshot for Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The online aspect of Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a bit of a tricky aspect to score. There isn't anything inherently wrong with it other than the fact that you lose the fun of kicking the arse of the person sitting right next to you and instead do it to someone sitting in a darkened room in Berlin. You'll normally find three opponents to go up against in a couple of minutes and be brawling in a timely fashion, but the problems come in when you actually get there. The lag can, at times, be crippling and really ruins the whole experience of a fast moving fight. If this was XBOX Live people would be up in arms saying the servers were terrible, but as it is Nintendo's WFC and you don't pay anything for it, complaining becomes a bit tricky. Sometimes it works fine and you'll enjoy playing away for four or five matches, sometimes you'll manage ten seconds before it starts to jerk around and die like a bugger.

One more minor grumble, and this is one that will only annoy purists perhaps, is the introduction of the Final Smash Ball (or ball of crap as we've 'wittily' named it). This delightful little glowing ball is meant to be a fun new introduction to proceedings, and sometimes it is, but it is also a disruption to the pure fighting element of the game. Whoever manages to collect it gets to unleash a hugely powerful attack on their opponents and create a whole shed-load of havoc. It really can turn a match on its head, which is fun, but the sheer lack of talent involved in the whole thing brings the intricacies of a well earned victory crashing down. Put simply, we're not quite sure we like it all that much. Sure it looks pretty and creates some fairly frantic moments, but it isn't half annoying.

We'll stop being bitchy now, we promise. When a game is this perfect and this much fun, it is pretty hard to find points to mark it down on. Put simply, this is one of the most enjoyable and insanely playable games ever conceived. In the few days we've had it we've clocked up nearly a day's worth of collective play in VS mode alone. That's a lot of fighting, over 1000 KOs in fact. We stopped playing Melee just two days before Brawl came, and we can imagine the latest Smash Bros filling our glowing Wii slot of joy and glory for many years to come.

Screenshot for Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

It doesn't use the Wii controller to its full potential (read: any potential), but for once we don't care. The controls are gameplay are almost faultless thanks to the developers insistance to not mess around with the near perfection they achieved with Melee. The pace has been bought up a notch and the game really benefits from it. The fighting is near flawless, the characters are great and the levels are really well designed. This is a near perfect fighter and a totally perfect multiplayer experience.

Graphics

Shiny, pretty, flashy and excellently realised. The animation is top-notch, especially when you consider the pace this game pelts along at. From the cut-scenes to the lighting effects, this game is a great example of what can be achieved on the Wii if only the developers put the leg work in. Sure it might not be awesome HD gaming, but the pace and beauty of the thing will have your eyes pleading for mercy.

Sound

Boom, crash, wallop; insert overly operatic Nintendo musical score here. Not only is the music a great background to the fighting and single player modes, but the sound effects are fantastic too. From the very moment the opening scene blasts into life you know you're in for a treat, and Brawl never disappoints.

Value

It just goes on and on and on. Like Melee, you'll probably never tire of this game. There is more of everything and more modes containing more content and more fun with more characters and well...just more, there's even a level editor for you to create more levels with, madness it be, pure madness. You should always extol the virtues of quality of quantity, but the bloody thing almost never slips up.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

We not going to score it a perfect ten as we managed to spend a good few paragraphs nit picking out things we don't like, that's not to say this game isn't totally brilliant. Its a bit like a total snob going to a really good restaurant and complaining that the sauce drizzled delicately over the perfectly cooked pork joint is just a bit too tangy and making a scene about it. We're the snobs, Brawl is the pork and oh so very slightly erroneous sauce. What's great about this game is the way in which anyone can enjoy it. Single player, multiplayer, online multiplayer, sitting-around-looking-at-trophies player, this game has it all. Epic, beautiful and quite wonderfully Nintendo in its almost sexual brilliance. Arousing stuff.

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05.07.2008

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Developer

HAL Laboratory

Publisher

Nintendo

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (587 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I'll accept your score because my view on reviews has changed. Brawl, although brilliant, has a good few negative points, meaning it doesn't automatically deserve a 10, since lots of things were not done as they could be. Smilie Nice review as always guys.

What's this? No score! No screenshots! Word processing only! Final Destination.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I like pork.

I might just have to pick this up. In a few months for 20 quid. Also, friends are required for that 9. I think that, similarly to any Mario Kart you care to name, if one was scoring this as purely a single-player experience, it would struggle to get a 6. It's all about the multiplayer.

Good review though. Stop doing backstage bobbins and get on the forum Tempo!Smilie I'm sure you'll find something to comment on. The new guy's cooking up a 'Your Favourite Goat?' thread as we speak.

Less posty, more gamey.

I like to lurk Smilie Guess I've failed to catch the forum bug in the last year...or two. Erk, it has been a while since I frequented them. I'll make a concerted effort though...perhaps!

Glad you both liked the review.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

Completely agree with this review, great stuff Mr T.

I seriously regard this game as almost perfect. There is only 3 flaws, ONLY 3 flaws in my opinion. Number one loading was just a tad longer than I would've liked, second, the online was a lot more limited than I would've liked, and finally, where's the Wii cursor in the game?

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Some people believe the online flaws are a huge flaw though, and it was something that could have easily been a lot better. (Not the lag, but the modes)

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

SuperLink said:
Some people believe the online flaws are a huge flaw though, and it was something that could have easily been a lot better. (Not the lag, but the modes)

Not too concerned about the modes online - the friends options are great. Just the lack of stats, even between friends, really does suck.

* * *

Great review T-man! Smilie Top score too, love the summary 8)

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

This game is the best it even have a good looking link
link in it also snake all the character are awsomeSmilie

EM Wave Change Geo Stelar On The Air

most disappointing game for me this gen

"Sony always wins baby.. Sony always wins.." - Chad Warden on pstripple
Brawl FC : 2191 - 6919 - 2772

How so?

SmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmiliehello world!!!!!!!!!!!
how do u paste some thing on??

( Edited 07.07.2008 01:25 by THE RAQUAZA MUHAHA )

paste
Staff Member

This game deserves a 10/10, maybe there are a few flaws and lack of options in online modes, but these are something they'll adjust for the sequel, also the character roster is good and i can imagine that by the next game there will be 40+ characters Smilie

Nice review.

My only problems:

-The online is crap.

-There's only 5 target smash stages whereas in Melee each character had their own unique stage.

-Again, the online is crap.

Other than that though, I love it.Smilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The online's not crap. The options are pretty crap, but at least you can play people online!

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I would agree with your score, here are one too many flaws in this to get a perfect score. Most of them have something to do with the online...Smilie

Can't believe im only reading this just now.

Got a question though, can you not turn that smash ball thingy off?

SuperLink said:
The online's not crap. The options are pretty crap, but at least you can play people online!

Yeah the options are what I meant sorry. But it's the lack of options that puts me off online with or without friends. There's no proper way of setting up matches over the Wii and time it takes to find 3 other opponents is ridiculous, especially when Mario Kart Wii is very quick to find 11 other races.

Omitting pointer controls from the menus is an error. It's weird how natural they've become now. When I was first navigating the menus I felt very restricted without it.

I need some friends.

Less posty, more gamey.

meowthemouse said:
most disappointing game for me this gen

Agree

mOojc said:
How so?

Because it could have been so much better (I know your going to say I'm asking too much but whatever)

SuperLink said:
but at least you can play people online!

Barely, I would have actually perfered no online to shit online. (And it is lag with 4 people is awful and the options are very very limited especially for friends)

Flynnie said:
Can't believe im only reading this just now.

Got a question though, can you not turn that smash ball thingy off?

Yes

artmonkey said:
Omitting pointer controls from the menus is an error. It's weird how natural they've become now. When I was first navigating the menus I felt very restricted without it.

Totally agree when I first played it, I was like what the fuck?

Nice review T-man, the score is perfect.

Yeah not having pointer controles for the map maker was a pretty stupid oversight.

Probably only use the online for trading maps and sending silly pictures really, great game for offline play though.

XBL Gamertag: James2t3

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