Northern Ireland Gaming
game reviews07 Oct 2008 08:30 pm

Super Smash Bros Brawl – by Sparky

Just at the beginning of last summer, I saw an offer in Game for Super Smash Bros Melee, Metroid Prime and Wind Waker for £20. A pretty good deal for three of the best Gamecube games at about £6.50 each. I played each of them obsessively, and played Corruption and Phantom Hourglass, their sequels. I was obviously looking forward to Brawl, but so were most Wii owners. But, it was delayed over and over until I forgot, and I didn’t get it until almost two months after it came out.

Just a week before I got it, I read an interview with Masahiro Sakurai, the director, who created Kirby. He said something along the lines of every decision about what went into the game was made by him. A bit cocky, but he’s allowed to be; he made Kirby. He said he didn’t think anyone else would make the sequel, but him. A bit cocky, but he did make Kirby. He then replied to a question about the online play by saying it was an “action-reaction dynamic”, making it more complicated than Mario Kart, for example. Sort of ignoring all the collisions and shells and stuff like that in Mario Kart, but he made Kirby. Just cut him a bit slack, all right?

Then I got the game, with painfully high expectations, based on all the hype in the run up to its release and its predecessor. I played a multiplayer match, enjoying the improved controls and physics. I had been looking forward to the new adventure mode and online play, the only real new additions to the game. And they were awful.

The adventure mode went on and on, but you need to play it if you want to unlock any characters. The gameplay isn’t even remotely suited to side scrolling platforming, and the level design was terrible. Why did they make a maze at the very end?    It was like they didn’t want you to complete it. And it was awful. Your only guide was a map made of blocks, dots and lines. You just tried to go somewhere new; on the off chance you’d fight another boss, for no clear reason. Replaying previous levels to find additional exits didn’t work at all, especially when you had to do a level again to make any progress, but you were just left to guess which one. It was like that forest in Super Mario World, but not good and more confusing. I got sick of it before I’d unlocked all the characters. But, I hadn’t tried the online play, which I was looking forward to more.

Went to play online, waited about ten minutes to find a match, and even then, it was just me and one other person. I was Fox, he was Sonic. I didn’t even know Sonic was in the game. I had avoided every spoiler for months, but possibly the biggest surprise in the game was ruined the first time I played online. But that wouldn’t matter if it was fun, but it wasn’t. It lagged continuously, and my opponent, who wasn’t even named, kept chucking himself off the edges because he had no control over what he was doing. The WarioWare stage didn’t help either, being told to taunt or dodge some arrows while barely able to move. At one stage, it froze for about four seconds, and I ended up glitching backwards, almost off the edge.

I hoped it was just a one off, that it wasn’t normally that bad. But it was. Every time I tried to find a match, I had to wait for ages just to lag and skip all over the screen with little or no control over what I was doing. I thought the lag was bad in Mario Strikers, but this was something different altogether. As in, a complete disappointment.
If I had to give Brawl a score, I would give it around six out of ten, because the core gameplay is good, but everything else feels like it was tacked on at the last moment. Don’t bother getting this if you already have Melee. It is not worth forty pounds when you can get its predecessor for about a quarter of that. Also, the Wii controls do not work. Holding the Wiimote sideways is horrifying as you cannot reach any of the buttons, and pressing up to jump makes you feel unclean all over. This does nothing well that Melee couldn’t do. Ignore the hype. It isn’t much good at all.

3 Responses to “Super Smash Bros Brawl”

  1. on 27 Nov 2008 at 2:34 pm Mr. Giggles

    Poor review. Very poor. I understand reviews are subjective and you are entitled to disliking aspects of the game, but you have missed out ginormous chunks of the game and your focus is entirely on the wrong things. Nevermind. Take some lessons and I hope you write a better one next time!

  2. on 27 Nov 2008 at 2:38 pm Mr. Jiggles

    On a second note, maybe you should get a better internet connection, and not base things off things happening once. 😀

    +++ Play the game with a GameCube controller like you’re meant to, noob.

  3. on 29 Nov 2008 at 8:27 pm sparky

    Sorry, but I tried repeatedly to get matches and they were all like that. Everyone knows it’s Nintendo’s fault, and I played it with the Gamecube controller, but Sakurai had said on a number of ocassions that the Wii controls were better, which they weren’t.
    I focused on everything that went wrong with the game. The only good things I can think of off the top of my head is the offline multiplayer. The bad outbalanced the good, hence it featured more heavily in my review. Hope that makes sense.