Thursday 7 February, 2008
In addition to the lack of air-dodge, there is another game play flaw: tripping. Even after playing more of this game, I don’t understand why characters randomly trip. It tends to happen when a lot of buttons are pressed but the idea of tripping isn’t explained in the tutorial. Worst of all, the character is left vulnerable after fallen on the floor. This tripping element is extremely frustrating and it unnecessarily complicates the controls.
It is also important to note that Brawl features some of the best co-op game play that I’ve ever seen. Nearly all of the single player aspects of the game allow for co-op. This means that many returning fan favorites such as multi-man melee, home run contest, event mode and even adventure mode can be played in co-op. The inclusion of such a rich and varied co-op mode means that bystanders can freely join into the game – even in the “single player” mode – making Brawl an incredibly rich social game.
It is also worth noting that Brawl has an incredible reward system. There are additional playable characters that can be unlocked in multiple ways, stickers to collect as items in fights, CDs to pick up to unlock new songs, and so much more. Even if playing one simple match, you’ll unlock coins that can be used in a simple SHUMP-like mini-game to earn trophies and coins. Nearly everything in Brawl unlocks something else and you’ll find yourself losing track of time while playing this incredibly expansive game.
Furthermore, each of the different levels had a unique feel to it. Besides the game play altering aspects such as gravity changes and moving platforms, the different soundtrack in each level adds to the feeling of truly unique stages. For example, the dog howls in the Animal Crossing stage's song contributes to light hearted feeling of that stage while the opera soundtrack creates a much darker tone for the Final Destination stage. From flying shy guys bearing food in the Yoshi’s Island stage or the mini-games in the Wario Ware stage, each stage has been well thought out and each presents different new challenges while retaining the core game play.
With a little less then a month left, Smash fans will soon be happily united with Brawl. This game was given 5 stars because it rightfully deserves it. Despite its flaws, Brawl is an features good controls and is incredibly fun in groups or alone. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself in early March.