Super Smash Bros. Brawl Wii Review - 09/07/2008

It's been more than six months of delays, but the 3rd instalment of the Ninty-Fighter is upon us, but is it worth the half-year wait?

A magic formula was conjured up around ten years ago when Nintendo started to develop a 2D side-scrolling fighter with 3D animations. The catch? You can play as all of your favourite characters from almost every Nintendo game at the time and battle for bragging rights amongst friends. Some were disappointed that it didn't contain all of their favourites, so in 2002 Melee was released on Gamecube and the craze caught on again. It's now 2008 and Nintendo have created yet another title, using the same formula with more new characters.

If you aren't familiar with a Smash Bros. Game (have you actually got a life and go outdoors?) they are fighting games in which the aim is to get other players off the arena/stage. You can punch, kick, throw or even summon a Meowth to spit coins at them to get them off; just do it how you want! The more damage that is put on the foe, the easier it is to get them off. You can view a player's damage by looking at the % number at the bottom of the screen. The higher the %, the easier it is to knock them off, simple. But the truth is that when you add a great mix of characters and extras to unlock it'll last you months, years or even decades!

Plenty of old favourites and new additions grace the game.

Obviously characters play a huge role in Brawl, and this time Sonic and Solid Snake, both traditionally from other consoles, make their debut and with a decent enough move-set they could be here to stay! Lucas, Pokémon Trainer, Olimar and his Pikmin, Lucario, Diddy Kong, Pit and more from the history of back catalogue games, all from Nintendo, make their first appearance also. All of these combined with the regulars, such as Pikachu and Bowser brings the grand total of playable characters to 35. This can seem very overwhelming at first, until you find your perfect playing style and fighter to suit you, and this is what makes the game special. Trying different characters, items and controlling techniques and personalizing them is half the fun and enhances the longevity of the title. You could stick with a slow, but heavy-damaging King Dedede, or go with Sonic, who can hit fast, but with very little damage done. Unfortunately, this makes you wonder what other characters it could've included, but that's always been the case with each new version of the series. But if you're reading Nintendo, a few Marvel Comic Heroes wouldn't be bad.

Let's start off with the new mode: Subspace Emissary. SE is the main campaign for Brawl and contains the same features of the fighting system, with a platforming element to allow you to move freely around levels. It feels and looks exactly like a Donkey Kong Country clone (especially when you play as DK in the swamp areas!), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The story of this mode is that all the evil playable characters (such as Bowser) are planning on making evil copies of the good guys (such as Mario) and creating a Subspace to escape to. Obviously Mario, Yoshi, Diddy Kong, Link and the rest of the gang are going to try and stop it. It is a little bit predictable and some of the later levels are just repeats of previous ones, but for a hard-core multiplayer/party title to provide a half-decent single player offering is a feat in itself. Of course there are boss battles with infamous characters along the way and even a friend can hop in to join the action, but if you do happen to have a mate over, I'd suggest the multiplayer Brawl modes.

Pokemon play an even larger role in this edition.

The graphics are superb for a Wii game, and wouldn't be too badly accepted on a PS3 or 360. It contains some excellent detail so that you don't miss a single fanboy detail from each character or stage. The Final Smashes are colourful, dazzling and make the eyes weep with joy. There are no issues in frame rate and everything runs smoothly, even with 4 players jumping around and a few Pokémon charging amongst the fracas. It really excels the Wii's power and sets a great example for other titles.

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