Last Friday, I purchased the latest Nintendo franchise game to make it’s way onto the Wii – Super Smash Brothers Brawl. I enjoyed, rather than loved the previous two games, so how would this fare out.

To begin with, I thought it was terrible, it was overly simple, I like my fighting games like Tekken and Street Fighter, whereby you have to learn the special moves or tactics, and to begin with it does seem like a clusterfuck of special moves, and the camera is often so far out that all you can do is button bash.

The other really annoying thing is that two of the most heavily advertised characters (being Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog) aren’t instantly playable, there not even easy to unlock. I stumble upon unlocking them by playing the Subspace Emissary mode, after 5 hours of game time.

The Subspace Emissary mode is an interesting one, it puts the game in a side scrolling adventure mode. If you do play in this mode, heed my advice, use a Classic Controller. For those who have ever played Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero will know that most beat-em-ups have “up” as a jump, whereas most platformers have a separate button for jump. The reason is simple, platformers require pixel perfect jumps. With the classic controller, they designate a special button for jump, whereas the original controller uses up, which is tricky and unworkable.

I will say this though, the Subspace Emissary is a rather fun mode. You face wave after wave of easy enemies, such as goombas and koopa troopers, and has a pretty good storyline (found out later that the story is written by a chap who wrote some of the Final Fantasy games, so it is pretty good). It can get a bit frustrating at times, but it does work okay.

Online mode is passable, it’s not as good as Mario Kart Wii, it can slow down with a lot of action on the screen (I have been disconnected once before as well), and everybody online seems a lot better than me. But overall I can’t really think of much wrong with it, as it’s the same for a blast like other Wii games, nothing serious.

So, all in all, you’d think I am not convinced on this game? Wrong. It is really quite addictive, especially with mates. I’ve racked up over 20 hours of playtime (similar to Mario Kart on it’s first weekend), it’s something about it. When you get used to the snazzy effects and the way the game is played, it is an excellent beat em up, so my advice would be give it time.

The other thing that helps is an encyclopedic knowledge of Nintendo games. Seriously, I spent ages recognising tunes from games in the past, and little background characters and effects from previous games. There is loads to unlock on this game, trophies, characters, stages and music. The latter can be used on various themed stages (for example, you can use all of the Sonic tunes on the Sonic stages), there’s even some newer tunes like a Wii Sports Medley useable for the stage the Pictochat.

And the stages in the whole? Brilliant, but you need to have an idea of what Nintendo has done in the past to truly appreciate it. My personal favourite is the Wario Ware Stage, where fighting stops to complete a Wario Ware challenge.

So, if you like fighting games, or are a Nintendo nut, and you have a bit of patience, I would reccommend this game. Anybody else have it though? My Smash Bros number is 4554-1418-1010. I’ve added it to my Wii Friend Code Page, so drop your Wii codes in there if you wish

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