Super Smash Bros. Brawl Review
Super Smash Bros. Brawl box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: HAL Lab. / Sora / Game Arts 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Nintendo 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 9, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

In Brawl mode you can create your own rules and add special effects, which include gravity, speed, camera modes, body types, character size, etc. This makes it even more interesting than a plain old fight. Since Super Smash Bros. Brawl is multiplayer oriented, you can select Tourney mode next time you have a party with up to 32 friends; everyone can enter their name and become part of the competition. Rotation mode makes sure that, no matter how many controllers you have, everyone takes turns and gets to play. As always, up to four players can battle at the same time in these "Group" game modes.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl screenshot

The real innovation this time around is the Nintendo Wi-Fi support. In "Wi-Fi" mode you'll get online and play against your friends or unknown people from all over the world. Once again, Nintendo opted for the friend codes in order to have you play co-op or against your friends (I wish the codes weren't that long!). If you want to brawl against people you don't know, all you have to do is enter a quick match (Basic Mode). There's also the Team Battle option, where you can team up with someone and play against another pair. It seems like the online options could have been beefed up a little by adding a few extra modes and the much-wanted headset support. I think almost everyone playing against a friend far away will appreciate this feature. Plus, where is the fun if you can't tease your opponents? They better add it to Mario Kart!

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Brawl's "Solo" category (not Wi-Fi) includes several other challenges that are welcome additions to the series. In Classic mode you'll choose a character and fight over a dozen battles against different enemies, sometimes one at a time and sometimes you against many; at the end you'll face the Master Hand boss. When you beat the classic mode you'll obtain a trophy of the character you used during competition.

In the Stadium there are three minigames: Target Smash, Home-Run Contest, and Multi-Man Brawl. Target Smash also appears on Classic mode: you'll have to run through the platform-based stage as fast as you can, breaking targets along the way. The Home-Run Contest can be challenging at first: you and a punching bag are trapped inside a glass capsule; by performing a strong attack you'll break the capsule and send your enemy flying with a baseball bat. The further you send it, the better. Finally, there's the Multi-Man Brawl, where you just fight enemies according to the rules.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl screenshot

In the Events mode there are numerous challenges where you'll be required to beat certain enemies, perform a Final Smash, destroy the terrain, race Bowser to the flag, and much more. Training mode allows you to hone your fighting skills with different characters and setting your own in-fight conditions; you can choose a dummy enemy that doesn't even move or a more balanced competition. You can also change the speed of the fight, the items you can use, the damage the CPU character can cause, etc.

Last, but certainly not least, Super Smash Bros. Brawl includes a great adventure mode called "The Subspace Emissary." While it doesn't contain a very in-depth story, you will follow a nice plot that progressively brings up different characters and makes them part of the gameplay. What's best, you can play the adventure mode with a friend, which I found really fun. Your friend can drop in and out at any time during the adventure, making it easy for you to continue with it whenever you want. There's no dialogue in Story mode, but you'll understand the story by watching the cool cutscenes. The Super Smash Bros. world has been invaded by the "Ancient Minister" and his subordinates. This mystery character is turning everyone into trophies, ridding them of their powers. Little by little, he's taking over the world. Using different playable characters, you'll have to restore peace by conquering the side-scrolling levels. All the characters must work together to defeat this evil force.

If you thought all these options weren't enough, the game still has even more to offer. While playing, you should make sure and collect all the stickers that drop to the ground. While it may seem gimmicky, it turned out to be one of the best ideas they could have had. The stickers are not only collectibles that include all the Nintendo characters, game items, and power-ups you could imagine. They actually have a purpose: each sticker is worth a certain amount of points applied to aspects like arm and leg attacks, overall power, resistance, etc. You can give different stickers to each character, increasing their abilities as if it were an RPG.

Screenshots / Images
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