Alcoholism is a disease, and according to the late comedian Mitch Hedberg, it is the only disease you can get yelled at for having. Obviously, Mr. Hedberg has never grasped his palm around a Nintendo controller to gear up and play Super Smash Bros., an equally addicting venture.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Nintendo Wii takes every major Nintendo character from the past 25 years of Nintendo history and pits them against one another in arguably the most epic game Nintendo has ever made.
Gamers pick a character, a stage, and they duke it out with two buttons — one for specials and one for smash attacks — along with a jump button and a shield. The main goal is to knock up the opponent’s life meter to a high enough percentage where they will become weak and easier to “smash” off the board.
The character count now comes in at a staggering 37 characters, up from the 26 in the game’s predecessor (Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Gamecube), and far surpassing the measly 12 from the original. Every character from Melee is included with the exception of Young Link, Mewtwo, Pichu and Dr. Mario, who were more or less “fill-in” characters. Everyone ranging from Mario to Sega’s mascot Sonic the Hedgehog has decided to “join the brawl.”
Creator Masahiro Sakurai beefed up and trimmed different ingredients of Smash in order to make a more well -rounded game. Perhaps his greatest addition is the new adventure mode, The Subspace Emissary. One or two players are allowed to take part in an epic fight in a mixture of platforming, fighting and even roleplay elements. These are all baked to perfection to create an outstanding side-scrolling experience.
The icing on this deliciously addicting cake are the graphics, music and computer generated cut-scenes that tie The Subspace Emissary together. Sakurai collaborated with 36 different composers to bring forth a soundtrack that is not like anything else. Everything from the “Mario Theme” (from 1985) to the Metal Gear Solid 4 “Love Theme” graces this game with ease.
Nintendo finally made a smart decision with its online strategy and put an online mode in Brawl. The only way to play a friend though is to manually swap 12-digit friend codes. The lack of easily playing a friend online and the inability to voice communication are two things Nintendo has decided to do in order to protect children. This makes no sense on a gaming device that can search any Web site on the Internet.
But the biggest complaint that can be found with this game is that it is more of the same thing. If Sakurai even attempts to create another Super Smash Bros., then he will have to find a new recipe.
Basically the game has everything: tight controls, evened-out characters, an amazing character roster, a full 10 hours of single player adventure, beautiful character and level design, an online mode, and something enjoyable and just fun to look at. This is the game that eight friends from all over the world will play until the wee hours of the morning with sweaty palms and Doritos, Mountain Dew, or Dr. Pepper-ridden breath. I give this game 9.5 cakes out of 10.