Other single player distractions, such as the Home-Run Challenge and the Classic Mode, made their return, but they were just that: distractions. The core of what makes Brawl and any other Smash Brothers game worth owning is its multiplayer. Local Brawl mode offers the traditional four way tangos and provides many hours of hijinks with its myriad of gameplay options. Items on or off? Handicaps? Stock mode or time limit? Lots of options for all sorts of play styles. The only missing option I would have liked to see was the ability to omit stages from the level selection list. Donkey Kong’s stages are terrible – all of them. I wish I could replace them permanently with the stages I made through the in-game level editor.
If you lack local friends to Brawl with, you can always gamble with online Brawl. At the game’s launch: it was not so great, but now it’s playable. Just don’t expect it to be to silky smooth like local play. The lack of voice chat support puts a bit of a damper on the fun, but the four customizable in-game quick chat messages allow for rudimentary taunting and provoking. If you want the full range of Brawl’s gameplay options, it is recommend that you exchange friend codes with people; random battles are restricted to just 2 minute battles.
After several weeks of letting Brawl settle in, I can honestly say that I enjoy the Super Smash Brothers Brawl. A lot even. The addition of the floating Smash ball changes the game dramatically since everyone stops fighting each other and desperately seeks to bash that floating orb open. The owner of said Smash ball then becomes the most feared and/or hated individual in the game. Once I understood the addition of Smash ball as a gameplay mechanic, the rest fell into place. To me, the Smash Brothers franchise isn’t strictly a fighter, but a platforming fighter where your ability to move on the level is equally important as your ability to fight. The inclusion of items solidifies this notion as only the quickest can reach that oh so important “M” health item which randomly appeared.
I agree that items and the random nature of some of Brawl’s stages may interfere with the skilled and turn the tide of an all important battle, but it’s all about playing with your chances. Just because someone has the Smash ball three times in a three stock match doesn’t mean they automatically win; it just means that their chances of winning are higher. Besides, it gives the less skilled players a chance to even out the game and have their moment in the lime light.
Here is where I would normally recommend a stellar game like Super Smash Brothers Brawl to everyone, however this is not the case. There’s enough Nintendo history, trivia and paraphernalia to test the most die-hard fans and scare away the timid, but once you filter that away; you’ll be hard pressed to derive full enjoyment from Brawl –especially without someone to duke it out with. Still, Brawl’s ease of play, charming presentation and highly malleability is a fine example of what a good game should offer. So if you are a Nintendo fan looking to celebrate all things Nintendo, Super Smash Brothers Brawl should fit the bill. Just remember to bring a friend along for the fun.
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