Nintendo Puts Up a Good Fight
It has been a long seven years since Nintendo fans last experienced the hilarious, addictive fighting action of a Super Smash Bros. game. And while Wii Sports and Super Mario Galaxy have been wowing mainstream audiences for quite some time, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is exactly the kind of unique, cross-over hit that only Nintendo can deliver. It's certainly a must-buy for anyone with a Wii as the game caters to everyone from newbies to the Nintendo fan boys.
For the uninitiated, this is the third fighting game in the series, which brings together 35 characters from such classic Nintendo franchises as Mario, Donkey Kong, Fox McCloud, Samus, Pikachu, Wario and Meta Knight as well as other characters including Konami's Solid Snake and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. In addition to all of the playable characters and their special moves, there are dozens of additional characters that make appearances throughout the various game modes, including Pokemon Trainer, Tingle and even those 8-Bit Excitebikes. There's so much depth to this game, which supports up to four players offline and online, that it will easily last another seven years -- if Nintendo forces fans to wait that long.
The heart of the game is the multiplayer fighting, which is fast, simple and addictive. Players can use one of four player controls: Remote and Nunchuck, Remote, classic controller or GameCube controller. Those who want a workout will have fun with the Remote and Nunchuck, which require plenty of arm movement to keep up with the constant deluge of normal moves, special attacks and smash attacks (capable of knocking an opponent off the level and out of the game) unique to each character. The game is balanced because there are no long button combos to memorize, which means kids and parents have equal chances of winning any brawl.
There isn't any slowdown online in any of the multi-player modes. There's even a Tournament mode for up to 32 players (including 16 taking turns on a single Wii).
Perhaps the deepest game outside of brawling is the Subspace Emissary mode, which spans a solid 10 hours of classic platform action with many of the characters from the Brawl.
Toss in the fact these vibrant visuals are the best yet seen on the Wii and you have a game that will win anyone over.
-- John Gaudiosi
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Teen; Wii ($50) Nintendo Super Smash Bros. Brawl Teen; Wii ($50) Nintendo