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Super Smash Bros. Brawl!

The popular multiplayer focused franchise has popped out another addition to the long running series, but will it re-innovate anything from the last?

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Brawl-Cast: The biggest addition to the latest in the series is the huge amount of brawlers this time around. There are absolutely a ton of different selectable brawlers that each have their own fight style.

Take for instance Fox; he's fast, light, and has the element of speed on his side. Bowser, on the other hand, is a heavy, slow fighter with powerful attacks. In addition to those two different styles, there are many, many others that counter each other in a highly enjoyable fashion.

Environmental Damage: Another very welcome addition to the game are the new, interactive environments. The new environments are now more then just a stage for battle, they are much more interesting this time around.

Take the PictoChat level; when you first enter the stage, it will be nothing more then a blank background. But once you start the brawl, on the stage background objects will begin to appear as if somebody is sketching them.

Subspace = Sub Par: The storyline of SSBB is called "The Subspace Emissary" and is the single largest change to the series. If you haven't noticed, the SSB games have never had a good story based mode. They have always been just an excuse to battle various opponents.

This time around though, it at least tries to be a deeper, more story oriented mode. I said try though, I didn't say it pulls it off flawlessly. The actual story is a little silly, and sometimes you'll wonder how they even passed the story in the game.

Even still, the story is vastly improved over previous installments, but like I said, its not perfect.

Control Freak: One of the draw-ins of SSBB is the massive amount of control options. You can choose to play the game in the new way; using the Wii remote and Nunchuck, or just the Wii remote. You can also take the classic approach of using the Gamecube controller, and strangely that feels the most comfortable. The rest don't feel too bad though; so if you don't have an original GC controller, don't feel bad.

Who Are You Again? I Can't Hear You: Nintendo's approach to online multiplayer is quite different from what you'd find on the 360 or PS3. The first thing you'll notice is that the ability to use Voice chat is not an option, and likely won't ever be, thanks to the company's desire to create a safe environment for younger gamers. This is the reason all Wii owners are slapped with Friend Codes. The awkward identifier numbers that keep online players from getting together quickly or efficiently.

You can face off against random people without exchanging friend codes, but you won't be able to get together again after a well-played match ever, since player names aren't revealed. The online system feels very much like playing against the CPU, because the entire game feels impersonal.

Rent vs. Buy: SSBB is a pretty fun game, especially in multiplayer. The game isn't perfect, but the latest in the series is alot better then it ever was. I think this is a pretty solid buy for anyone, but it's not perfect, and I doubt if it will ever be.

Report Card

SSBB is a pretty fun game, especially in multiplayer. The game isn't perfect, but the latest in the series is alot better then it ever was. I think this is a pretty solid buy for anyone, but it's not perfect, and I doubt if it will ever be. (Krakrabbit.com)


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