Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

Sometimes you just want to put the smack down on someone and Nintendo are finally giving Wii gamers a chance to do just that the only way it knows how.

Every time we look at a Nintendo Wii game, a lot of us are expecting the gameplay to force us off out of our seats and do something remarkable.
“Hey, we’re going to lose weight by jumping around like a lunatic!”
“Wow, it’s almost like playing golf… but not!”
And who can forget that time loved classic, “Bugger! I’ve just made a hole in the new Plasma because I let go of the Wiimote!”

But we shouldn’t forget that the Nintendo Wii is still a video game system and there are still some games coming out for it that play like a video game has. Sometimes you don’t want to jump out of your seat. No, sometimes you just want to put the smack down on someone and Nintendo are finally giving Wii gamers a chance to do just that the only way it knows how: it’s time for a Brawl.

Super Smash Bros. first occurred on the Nintendo 64 and gave gamers the chance to beat the living hell out of Nintendo characters with other Nintendo characters. The series later appeared on the Gamecube and now it makes its triumphant return on the Wii giving you an unparalleled gaming experience like no other. Oh sure, I suppose you could compare it to the Marvel vs. Capcom titles that used to appear in the arcades and on consoles a few years ago, but Super Smash Bros is more something of a legacy. It includes characters & level design pulled from history that bring together that sense of awe-inspiring fun.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, you can be any of the follow characters: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Link, Zelda, Pikachu, Jigglypuff, that random kid Pokemon Trainer, Kirby, Fox (from Star Fox), Metroid’s Samus, and a whole ton more. And since this is a fighting game with an emphasis on fun and spectacle, it’s downright easy and hilarious to get into a match and beat the crap out of your favourite characters. Whether it’s single-player or against your friends, the arenas are a blast to kick the crap out of the characters you want.

Imagine the scenarios you could play out:

  • Mario & Luigi battling out to see who’s the best
  • Link and Zelda having a lovers quarrel but with over-the-top violence

or my favourite…

  • Pikachu beating the living hell out of Pokemon Trainer for making him/her/whatever-Pikachu-is live inside of a tiny ball.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl also brings something extra cool to the table this time around: third-party characters.

Publishers Sega & Konami have done good things with the release of the new Smash Bros. title and allowed their respective characters of Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake to appear in the game. “Yay!,” say all the fans video games, “now we can create that legendary battle no one would ever give us!”

Sonic VERSUS Mario

(and we don’t mean any of that Olympics crap…)

If all of this sounds like fun, it’s because it is, and it’s bloody easy to play. We’re not talking about complicated controls here. Simply pick up a Wiimote, Classic Controller, classic Gamecube controller, or plug in the Wiimote / Nunchuk setup and voila, you’re done. In a way, some people might find that Super Smash Bros. Brawl pulls itself away from what’s being seen as the Wii standard of innovative motion controlled gaming, but you probably wouldn’t see that working well with Brawl. There’s no real way to make fighting games – especially fun tongue-in-cheek fighting games like this one – work with a motion setup. Sega tried it with Mortal Kombat and their accessory The Activator and look how well that went: only old school geeks like me actually know what The Activator was!

Brawl then makes it easy by keeping a tried and true arcade style setup that’s easy to get into and won’t confuse you. While hardcore gamers coming from Xbox 360 backgrounds might argue that the lack of harder vibration stops it from being truly exciting, the Wiimote’s speaker will scream sounds at you too and that can sort of pull that one apart.

Single-player isn’t just that cacophony of fighting. The staple of almost every single Wii game to date is there – the mini-game – as is a mode that plays out like an extended story that links side-scrolling with fighting in a way that only Nintendo could have pulled off in this way.

And multiplayer? Well, that’s either you and three mates fighting in huge spectacle or the ability to hit the online world and battle it out with others across the world.

Some good to note about Super Smash Bros. Brawl is that this is a Nintendo game where you don’t have to feel ashamed for the lack of graphics and sound. Normally, Wii games feel like they’re lacking in both of these departments, but Super Smash Bros. Brawl feels like it’s been made with just the right amount of attention paid to each of these departments. Sure, the graphics aren’t Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 level, but they’re some of the slickest looking visuals you’ll find on the Wii to date. Likewise, what little sound you’ll find will be hard to fault. Sound in Brawl is less dependent on individual scripts of dialogue and more about fun, character, and sound effects.

What this all turns out to be is a game that is a great load of fun. Whether you’re playing by yourself, with a friend, or against a bunch of your mates at a party, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is one of the best games for the Wii that anyone who’s ever played a game can seriously get into.

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Classification: PG
Formats: Nintendo Wii
URL: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark