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Super Smash Bros. Brawl Review - Wii

8
Gameplay: 8 stars 8
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 9 stars 9
Multiplayer: 9 stars 9
Innovation: 5 stars 5
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Introduction

To say that Super Smash Bros Brawl is anticipated would be to say that water is often damp. Brawl is the most hyped title in the last decade of gaming, and with good reason. It's pedigree is so strong that there is not a gamer alive who does not love at least one of the games represented within. It helps that Super Smash Bros Brawl is also a very good game. It is one of the most immensely enjoyable titles on the Wii, and definitely the number one multiplayer game on the system.

With only three titles in the series, Smash Bros has already become Nintendo's premiere franchise. Nintendo characters knocking one another off platforms until one remains is the most absurdly enjoyable thing I have ever experienced. But I have experienced it. Seven years of experience with Melee (Brawl's predecessor) has left me without much stomach for what is, essentially, the same game with a few new features, none of which are perfectly executed.

Gameplay

Brawl is amazing fun, and lovingly executed. The gameplay is both intuitive enough to pick up and play and deep enough to sink your teeth in to. With only two attack buttons, a jump button and a block button, and each action different depending on the direction of the control stick, the number of moves available is absurd and puts most fighting games to shame. Add in an insane number of ridiculously varied arenas on which to battle, and even more items to include during gameplay, and you've got yourself a relentless buffet of deliciousness.

But if you've gnawed the bones of Melee, there's probably not a lot of meat left on the bone to keep you satisfied for long, despite some new features. The biggest additions to Brawl are a new single player campaign, online multiplayer and a brand new level editor.

The major addition, the single player campaign called the Subspace Emissary, is also the biggest disappointment. While at first it appears to offer a broad campaign with an actual plot, some new villains and absurd teams of various Nintendo characters, the actual gameplay is entirely reminiscent of Melee's adventure mode. The controls, which work so well in multiplayer, are awkward in the confined spaces of the Subspace Emissary. The loose and fluid movement becomes a problem when you attempt to accurately navigate hazardous platform stages, even while battling large numbers of small minions.

The boss fights are exceptionally good, and almost worth the trek through the mundane and repetitive hallways and levels that make up the bulk of Subspace, but it's the ridiculous plot twists and teams thrown together, the story told through beautiful full motion video, that barely makes it worth the effort to slog through one ...

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