by Keaton Arksey
reviewed on WII
How it all began
Nine years ago, Nintendo released the low budget game Super Smash Bros for the N64 wherein they pit their greatest stars against one another in a fight to the finish. The premise sounded so genius that many were amazed no one had thought of it before. Super Smash Bros went on to become a huge hit, and a franchise was born.
Two years later, Super Smash Bros Melee was released on the Nintendo Gamecube. Melee featured more characters, more stages, more unlockables, and more modes; the ultimate fan service. It became one of the greatest Nintendo games of the last generation, as well as the top selling game for the Gamecube.
Fast forward to today. The Gamecube is long dead, and the Wii has taken its place. Back before the Wii even got its name, we knew a new Super Smash Bros game would be coming. For years fans created their dream roster lists, with names from all over the Nintendo spectrum popping up. Ridley, Staffy, Geno, fans couldn’t seem to dig deep enough into Nintendo’s storied past. Super Smash Brothers Brawl is the result of years of anticipation, dedication, and numerous other –actions-. Taking the fighting franchise into the new generation, the game brings even more characters, stages, unlockables, and modes to gamers’ sweating hands.
Luck as part of the match
You’ve never heard of Super Smash Bros? Here is the crash course. First, you select your fighter from a wide variety of Nintendo pugilist. Taking them into an arena, players fight either friends or AI using a numerous basic moves and special moves specific to your chosen character.
Unlike other fighting games where attacking an enemy brings down their life bar, every time you connect a move on your opponent a certain percentage of damage is dealt. The overall objective is to get that percentage high enough so that when you knock your opponent off the stage, they’ll be too far flung to return, thus gaining yourself a point. Another part of Super Smash Bros that sets it apart from your average fighter is how much luck can be part of the match-up. Random items fall from the sky, which can make the difference between losing and winning. Ranging from healing items, helper characters, and weapons, these items greatly influence the flow of the match.
Stages, much like items, also make a difference. Some stages, like the flat Final Destination, are the professional competitors dream. Nothing ever changes in the level, remaining exactly the same from beginning to end. But where is the fun in that? The best times that can be had in Super Smash Bros are when things get incredibly chaotic. From constant movement, interventions from environmental hazards, destructible environments; knowing how to assess danger and use it to harm your opponents makes all of the difference.
If there is one thing that you could say about Super Smash Bros, it is that it is the perfect example of “controlled chaos”. While you will feel that things are out of control on many occasions, things are never really that far gone. If you keep a level head and are aware of your surroundings, you can always use what’s going on to your advantage.
Super Smash Bros Brawl brings with it four control schemes. The classic Gamecube controller support is probably your preferred control method, as the controls pretty much match up with Super Smash Bros Melee.
The most basic of the control setups is just the Wii remote, held on its side like an NES controller. The first thing you will notice (and the coolest thing ever) is that when you select your character, a noise specific to that character will play. Other than that, the Wii remote setup works fairly well. The second option, a Wii remote/nunchuk setup, is much the same. Except the Wii remote is held vertically and the analog stick on the nunchuck is used to move. The third option utilizes the Classic Controller. If you don’t have a Gamecube controller, this might suit you. It’s basically the same as the Gamecube setup, though the analog stick used for movement, in my opinion, is inferior to the Gamecube analog stick. If you want to change the controls on any of the 4 methods, you can create a name that will keep track of people’s preferred control methods, which can be transferred to your Wii remote for when you go to a friend’s Wii.
No Pros and Cons at this time