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August 31, 2011 / Ryan Robba

Review: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

Does Nintendo’s brawler pack a real punch?


Super Smash Bros, like pretty much all other fighting games, does not have a huge focus on  story. However, Brawl manages to incorporate an intriguing tale of some of video-gaming’s most memorable characters, which are all entwined into one ultimate Nintendo universe.

The story kicks off with Mario and Kirby duelling each other in a large stadium-like arena. Shortly after the battle comes to a close, another emerges – evil puppet drones come swarming in from above. The whole game revolves around Nintendo’s most loved villains like Bowser and Ganondorf teaming up and swearing to finally have their success story on world domination. Their latest plan is rather simple – to uses a unique and powerful weapon to turn each of the ‘heroes’ (Mario and Co.)  into a statue. Though the villains themselves do some of the work, they tend to stick to the traditional formula of allowing minions and goons to do it for them, hiring swarms of duplicating ball creatures, flying goldfish with ones eyes, giant goat-like creatures and a large variety of imaginative beings to destroy and defeat the resistance.

The story is told by a wealthy variety of well animated, and great-looking cut scenes and CGI sequences. Despite the lack of any voice acting what so ever, Nintendo have one an amazing job of getting across each characters emotions, intentions and hopes by effectively displaying character models and animations in smooth and colourful scenes.  Having said that, don’t expect a Da-vinchi of a tale here.

Presentation & Graphics

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is probably one of the better looking games on Wii. Some textures will appear blurred, some character models are reused far too many times (mainly in enemies) and there is no massive amounts of interactive and breakable options filling each level. There is, however, an assortment of detailed characters placed into an imaginative and creative world that is colourful, well-presented and littered with great environmental details. The game does a great job of filling tons of enemies and objects into missions, at some times having extremely large amounts of things going on on-screen. The game also does a great job of distinguishing foreground from background – the foreground if highly detailed with no ghosted or clear objects, whereas the background scenery boasts lush environments that are vivid, but more faded then the foreground.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl manages to provide detailed levels, with a lot going on screen, including occasionally, levels which are actually dynamic and change as time goes on, and others that actually move around, with you battling on them. The game manages to do all this whilst maintaining a crisp 480p resolution and sticking to a solid, smooth 60 frames per second.

Gameplay & Content

Nintendo once again manages to achieve one of the best experiences out there in terms of gameplay, and packs a heck of a lot of content in Brawl to go with that solid gameplay.

Brawl boasts amazing control options – not only does it support and allow you to play with the Wii remote by itself, the Wii remote with the Nunchuck, the Classic Controller, the Classic Controller Pro and the Gamecube Controller, but each control scheme features fully-customizable and re-mappable buttons. That’s right, you can make any button do any action on any controller. Awesome. We have no hesitation in saying this is our favourite game ever in terms of control scheme availability and customization.

The game is no push-over when it comes to level design and variety either. The adventure mode levels have been constructed with superb creativity and balance. They not only look great, but they offer a variety of gameplay experiences. You will be platforming, fighting and sometimes exploring for most levels, however each level introduces new platforming obstacles, new enemies, and new paths to take, so the experience never feels old. This is also true for the mass amount of genius boss-battles, all of which are stunningly detailed and require different techniques to defeat.

In terms of content, Smash Bros Brawl is undoubtedly one of the best games in the fighter/brawler genre, and on of the best on the entire Wii platform, or even of the entire generation. The game contains a 6-12 hour long adventure mode. But that is just a starter of what the game offers. It also has an Arcade mode in which you fight against each other character one-by-one, a Classic Mode, an Event mode which creates several scenarios and interesting battles, a training mode which lets you practice with any character on any stage, an 100-man brawl, 10-man brawl, cruel brawl, stage builder which lets you make your own levels, online Wifi play which allows you to play against friends, strangers or even watch other people playing in spectator mode, a tournament mode, target-finding game in which you need to destroy all the targets in certain levels in the fastest time possible, a coin-blasting game which puts you in an asteroid-like game, and of course everyone’s favourite Brawl mode. This allows you to play with up to 4 friends (or computer controlled characters). You can play every man for himself, or in teams. You can adjust the difficulty level of each computer controlled character. You can choose from over 35 characters (including old favourites like Mario, and newcomers like Sonic ans Snake), and countless stages and levels. There are hundreds of items and power ups that can be found and used, you can even customize which items you want to appear in each level, and how often. Not only that, but the game keeps track of all your stats (how many times each character has dies, killed, been used, etc.). As if that wasn’t enough, the game also has virtually every major song ever from Nintendo games including Kirby games, Mario games, Sonic games, Metal Gear Solid games, Zelda games, Metroid games and more, spanning games from the GBA, NES, SNES, Gamecube, Wii, N64 and DS. There is a crazy amount of content here, we haven’t even mentioned it all. Add collectable stickers and trophies to the mix and you have a game that will literally last months and years, and will keep you coming back for more every time.


Overall, Super Smah Bros. Brawl is an absolutely masterful game. It offers tight and customizable controls, unmatched content, amazing gameplay variety, a wealth of characters, levels and game modes, detailed and colourful graphics, easy-to-use menus, a gigantic soundtrack and some of the most fun scenarios you could ever ask for in a game. This is an absolute must buy.

Presentation – 9.0/10

Gameplay – 10/10

Content – 10/10

Overall – 9.5/10


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