Ending B

Uguu, Gao, and Aouuu!

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

by Eric Kociecki

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Woo! Guess who just picked up a copy of Brawl a day early? There's a huge snowstorm here now so all of the midnight launch parties that Gamestop and EB usually have for big launches are most likely cancelled. But even if they weren't, who wants to wait all the way until midnight? Anyway, I figured I would use this opportunity to give a play-by-play of my experiences with Brawl, and if the snow clears up a bit I may get Steve over here to try it out also. Until then, you're stuck with just my opinions:

6:00pm - Got home with the game in tow and opened it up. Pretty standard fare inside. At first glance it seems like a pretty lengthy manual, but the last third or so is all in spanish. Once in the Wii, the game performs a system update on your system which only takes a minute, but when thats one more minute between you and Brawl, it seems like forever. After the update I watched the intro movie, which looks a lot better on a TV than it does on YouTube, and then started into the Story Mode. Possible Spoilers for the rest of this paragraph (but I doubt it) The first fight is Mario vs. Kirby inside of a large stadium with the two Princesses (Peach and Zelda) amongst the audience. I picked Mario and won the first match, but only barely. I spent too much time playing with some of the new items that spawned. Afterwards, Kirby is turned into a trophy and Mario goes up and restores him back to normal Kirby by tapping the trophy. I'm guessing this is a plot point, because Kirby looked sort of surprised and happy that he was turned back to normal after the fight. Against foes less honorable than our fearless plumber, maybe a loss means spending eternity on the victors trophy wall.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl case, disc, and manual

6:50pm - I've beaten the first four or five levels and been introduced to two new characters, Pit and Diddy Kong. The story is not very deep, but it keeps up a good pace so with cutscenes and the occasional explosion between each level. I also decided to try the WiFi online play. After connecting you choose a player and a map, before entering the lobby. Well, by lobby I really mean practice stage / mini-game. While you're waiting for other players you are treated to a simple practice arena with the punching bag in the middle. At some point this may get old, but I think this is a great way to keep you busy while waiting for the real match to start. It took a couple minutes for the game to find some opponents, which I'm assuming will be faster once the game is officially released tomorrow. The first match was a four player free-for-all and three of us ended up entering Sudden Death. One of the players dropped out before the next match and the game wasn't able to find another opponent so it started us with just three players. Once again it ended with a three-way Sudden Death match.

7:20pm - Just watched part of a show about making swords on the History Channel. It looked pretty easy, assuming you have access to a bunch of Iron, a really hot furnace, and an assortment of hammers.

8:15pm - Played through a few events and a couple random matches. My favorite character from Melee was Sheik and I was thrilled when I heard she (or he ... whatever) was returning. Unfortunately it seems to take about two or three times as long to transform into Sheik, and I still haven't found a way to start a match as her. Oh well, still a great game so far.

11:55pm - Last update until I get a chance to play with some real people. Aside from playing Brawl, I've eaten dinner and watched The Fountain since the last update. Overall I enjoy the game, but there are a couple problems with it. The most annoying of which is the zoom. The game seems to assume that you're playing on a large, beautiful HDTV. For those of us who aren't, the characters and items are too small. The game still auto-zooms based on how far apart the characters are from each other, but it's perpetually zoomed out farther than Melee. Next, the load times are pretty long. Not much to say about them, just that it's annoying. Last, the story mode is a nice touch, but I'm still bored playing by myself. Gotta convince Steve and Craig to brave the weather tomorrow so I can get some true multiplayer going.