The return of Nintendo’s premiere brawler

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By David S. Torres


By David S. Torres

Its go time! Thirty five characters, over 40 mind-bending arenas, and let us not forget the ever-important new addition of online multiplayer that’ll support up to four player brawls.

But what does it all mean?

It means one of the most anticipated games of the year, “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” for the Nintendo Wii, will finally answer that one question that has been plaguing most video gamers, or at least this writer, for well over a decade now; who would win in a fight, Mario or Sonic?

Setting aside the multitude of mega titanic battles for the ages that are surely possible in this game, the list of modes that “Brawl” offers compared to previous versions of the Smash series is something that most fans of the series might find worthy of their time and more importantly their money.

There is an adventure mode that could be described as solid enough, and should take most about 8 to 10 hours to complete. Of course, melee mode is the series bread and butter, but it’s the addition of online multiplayer that might give this new chapter in the smash series an added dimension that previous versions have been sorely lacking.

The characters and stages in the series have always been nothing short of fan service, as is tradition in the smash series. In “Brawl,” it seems that tradition continues to prevail more so than ever. The roster has 13 veteran fighters that include the likes of Mario, Pikachu, and Link. In addition to the returning fighters there is a plethora of newcomers to the series like Snake from the “Metal Gear Solid” series, Diddy Kong from “Donkey Kong Country” fame, and Sonic from Sega’s classic plat-forming series “Sonic The Hedgehog.” The arenas in “Brawl,” are for the most part, based on stages of various Nintendo franchises such as the classic “Donkey Kong” and “Mario Bros.” arcade.

But this is of course the ‘next generation’ of video games that we are currently enveloped in, and Nintendo has seen fit to put a next generation feature into the game. That feature is called “stage builder.” Essentially, the moniker means what it says. With these user friendly tools at the players’ disposal, one can only imagine what kind of arenas fans of the series could build for themselves.

“Brawl” is perhaps one of greatest examples of platform evolution on the part of Nintendo. This game has features in it that no other Nintendo Wii game has been able to muster.

The fact that this game has four-player online brawls alone should be cause for celebration, but other options, like ‘spectator mode’ may prove to be far more enjoyable for the more casual “Brawl” gamer.

In “spectator mode,” a gamer can choose to bet on a fight instead of actually participating in one, hence the term “spectator.” Its features like these that should give hope to Nintendo Wii gamers everywhere that find their online experiences somewhat nonexistent compared to other consoles on the market.

Gamers everywhere should applaud Nintendo for bringing out “Brawl” so early in the year, even though the game was slated for 2007, Nintendo could have just waited until November as is customary in the gaming industry.

No doubt that there is much fun to be had with this game, and if previous versions are any indication, “Brawl” will have a long replay value this generation.

Oh, I almost forgot, in case anyone is wondering, Mario or Sonic? It’s always the fat pudgy Italian plumber from Japan.

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