O-New: Now Extinct Website

A Generic Super Smash Bros. Brawl Review with A Generic Title (O-NEG 12)

DISCLAIMER: The following contains mentions of really old games. Or maybe not that old. But still. You may suffer from severe pangs of extreme boredom. I can’t think of anything else. Please see your physician if symptoms persist. I mean, symptom.

I understand that the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released a WHOLE THREE AND A QUARTER YEARS AGO GOLLY THAT’S SO !#@$#^%&^ OLD.

And for your reference: List of Complaints about SSBB and Hourai’s Responses

If you’re really going to argue that IT SUX OMG OMG OMG BAD GRAPHICS IT’S ON DER WII OMG OMG SO OLDDDD (etc, etc), please see Touhou Koumakyou (2004) and/or a local psychiatrist, because age is a stupid way to judge games.

The graphics are “bad”: “Minecraft”

It’s on the Wii: “Metroid”

SO OLDDDD: “EoSD”

SO STUPIDDDD: Complaint not found, syntax error 404. Please resubmit query with a decreased quantity of vagueness and stupidity in general. Or shut up. That works too.

Despite the fact that SSBB’s still a perfectly good game, I don’t know that many people who play it. Nevertheless, I shall don my nerd glasses. Prepare for WAAAAAARP ZONE (I don’t have a video clip of this, so if you have Super Meat Boy, you know what to do. Unlock a Warp Zone. Or, if you’re that idiotic troll from before, just beat your fingers against the desk for 10 minutes, because it amounts to the same thing.)

A Brief/Not Brief At All Review

Graphics
While not being amazingly amazing, SSBB is not crude. Colourful effects dominate the screen most of the time. Graphics were fairly good at the time of release. Compared to, say, Crysis 2, the graphics pale; but it looks good next to, say, Super Mario Galaxy.

One of the complaints I have is that customly made maps were kinda inflexible, as well as aesthetically ugly. There were only a few backgrounds, and many blocks end up being slapped together created a boring monotony in terms of visual appeal.

I’d like to note that many of the in-game characters seem to look a lot better in SSBB than in most of their actual games (I wouldn’t say that for Solid Snake, but Mario has sweeter overalls).

Cutscenes are limited to the Story Mode (we’ll talk about that later), and are kinda on the meh side, but aren’t that bad either.

Sound and Music
Sound effects in SSBB are satisfying and excellent. The game manages to create an atmosphere of some sort of fighting sports stadium, with cheering crowds and fairly good smack sounds and “soaring through air” sounds.

Voice acting is very limited in SSBB; apart from voices heard in the songs, you’ll only hear maybe a few guttural growls, and cries of pain. (I’m not sure if these are cries of pain or those grunts of manliness people make when they hit things, though) The trope (is it a trope? someone look that up on TvTropes) of “Saying name of move makes it stronger omg” appears during a few select Final Smashes. Apart from that, a few characters will briefly say things during taunts (Sonic, Pit, and Kirby mostly).

Also, there’s the communication cameos with Snake, Fox, Falco, and Wolf that can come up. These are really well done, and the voice acting is excellent (although it is really damn annoying to try and get the exact button combination right to activate those easter eggs).

And for cutscenes, there’s little or no dialogue, so ignore that.

Music is worth describing separately from SFX; SSBB offers a huge, ridonkulous store of music from previous Nintendo titles. However, there’s a catch: You’ll need to unlock a lot of it. And that’s not easy.

A lot of music has to be gotten from CD’s in-game- they’ll randomly spawn on the battlefield and disappear quickly. What’s more, they’re rather uncommon. A few CD’s can be unlocked though accomplishing certain feats, but a lot will have to come from luck.

But that music you’ll get isn’t sh&t at all. You can listen to some of them during the in-game stages, and you can pick what song you want to loop when making a custom stage, which is really great IMO. Nintendo did a great job picking out music to slap into SSBB. Personal fav: MGS4 ~ Theme of Love (plays on the Shadow Moses Island stage).

Gameplay
The gameplay is kinda like that of most generic fighting games like Street Fighter. However, there are a lot of differences:

1. There’s a lot more projectiles in the game. It’s kinda similar to TH7.5, 10.5, and 12.3 in that way.
2. There’s a dodging mechanic that’s very essential to the gameplay, which also kinda works like the grazing mechanic in TH7.5.
3. The battlefield is no longer a single, flat box. It can be, but often, it’s not.
4. Instead of a limited health bar, characters only lose lives when removed from the screen, or otherwise moving outside the bounds of the field. To replace the health bar, a damage percentage goes up every time the character is hit. Higher percentage points increase the distance and speed at which characters are flung at after being hit by attacks.
5. The game has a multitude of items that completely screw around with the game. I’m not going to talk about these much, but suffice to say that a lot of luck comes into play when there’s items. (Remember, Real Men Use Items.)
6. Movespeed varies a lot more in SSBB- Sonic compared to Ganondorf >.>

There’s also no input combos- swinging the analog stick from bottom position to right position and pressing the Special button is no different from just keeping the stick at right position and pressing Special.

Landing hits on your opponent comes down to a couple of basics:
– Moveset and special moves. These are what you need to raise the damage percentage of opponents through harassment and poking, and are part of your combo.
– Positioning yourself so your moves hit. “Show me your moves!” – Cpt. Falcon. This is a lot more important in SSBB than, in, say Street Fighter.
– Timing your moves. In addition/To position, you need to time your moves so that they will hit your opponent whether they’re standing still or not (leading), and also to time them to prevent the opponent from dodging your attacks.

Another interesting part of the gameplay are the Final Smashes. This is an ultimate that you can use by grabbing a rainbow-coloured psychedelic orb that flies randomly through the air and also moves through terrain, in a physics-defying demonstration of WTF.

You can definitely see that there was a lot of work put into the FS’s. They’re mostly unique. Some must be used in combos, (here I note Lucario’s Final Smash, a giant vertical laser that you move around; I like to throw people upwards as a pretty effective prelude) while others can be used where you please (the Landmasters of Wolf, Fox, and Falco, for example).

All of them look pretty awesome.

Replayability
There is a lot of fun just from playing with other people. I didn’t find the Story Mode, the “Subspace Emissary”, all that great (it was OK, but not brilliant, nor horrid).

Achievements, as I mentioned earlier, are a mildly good incentive to keep playing, but didn’t keep me on the controller. Some of them were somewhat difficult, so getting all of them will not be a cakewalk. There are rewards (stages, songs, stickers, trophies) for completing them, which I like. I also think it was good of Nintendo to make all the stage achievements a bit easier to complete, just so people would be able to access every stage. Unlocking all the characters didn’t take a really long time, which is a bit disappointing, but still forgivable (I wanted them to keep dropping a character or two every once in a while).

There’s an online matchmaking system, but I haven’t used that, and I’ve heard that there a few lag kinks. Personally, playing with friends is my main experience of Brawl, but that experience was a good one.

The addition of a custom map editor adds a moderate dimension of replayability- the editor is rather crude (yes, music selection is great, but not a lot of block variety) though. However, Brawl provides enough for a good mapmaker to effectively ply his trade. This, however, doesn’t mean that there are a LOT of maps that are horrible. Out of the 15 or so I’ve made, very few are very good. If you’re going to make one yourself, protip: slanted terrain changes a big part of fighting gameplay. Also, pick the arena background, not the mountainous BG.




Final Conclusion
SSBB has replay value, REPLAYS themselves, and a lot of depth. The gameplay is solid, luck is only a major factor on certain maps and with certain items, and the soundtrack is massive.

They could use a few more characters, and a few more balance changes wouldn’t hurt, though.

Final Score – 95/100

Hourai Honours (these are kinda meaningless):
– Character Cast Variety Award
– Non-Crap Animation Medallion
– Multiplayer Done Right Medallion
– Trophy of Smooth Combat

And if you think I’ll post more here, you’re sadly mistaken.

Well, I’ll try, but luck bids against it.

Comments are closed.