Nintendo had kept eager fans waiting for years of news regarding their next Smash Bros. game. After a long and silent period, the company had recently garnered the attention of their fans worldwide with its Smash Bros. Dojo webpage. Their latest entry, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, boasts new characters, new gameplay modes, new strategies and extra controls with the Wii and classic controller. 

The veteran fighters marking their return include Mario, Peach, Bowser, Yoshi, Link, Donkey Kong, Samus and Zelda. Battles take place in castles, islands and locales that casual and hardcore fans will easily recognize. The biggest news is the addition of new characters joining the coveted fighting ranks. They include Pit from Kid Icarus, Wario, Zero Suit Samus of Metroid, Meta Knight, Ike from Fire Emblem, Solid Snake of Metal Gear Solid fame and Sega's blue mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog.

Smash Bros. Brawl is similar to its predecessor in style and gameplay. As expected, all of the characters have their own strengths, maneuvers and unique abilities. You can pummel your foes in various stages and multiplayer brawls with standard, strong or smash attacks. Regular items such as crates, barrels, banana peels, gooey bombs and the golden hammer are accessible and put an interesting spin on hard-fought battles. The newest feature is the Final Smash move that allows you to unleash powerful attacks to obliterate your opponents. This special maneuver can only be performed by obtaining the Smash Ball item that randomly appears in different stages. An example is Kirby's Final Smash move where he pulls out a giant cooking pot, tosses his enemies inside and rids of them once his dish is ready.

Other game modes available are Special Brawl, Tourney and Home Run Contest. In Special Brawl, rules and character stats such as stamina, size, speed and gravity levels are customizable prior to multiplayer brawls. Tourney mode allows you to create a tournament and to pit fighters against one another for the championship title. The Home Run Contest is a timed challenge to pound and send a sandbag flying to the furthest distance inside a stadium.

The new adventure mode, the Subspace Emissary, is a side scrolling game where you can explore the history behind the characters. The game can be played either in single player or multiplayer coop mode with key events revealed in cinematic movies.

Visually, the game looks significantly better than its Gamecube brethren. Character designs are extremely polished and the animation smooth with no visible slowdown. The background stages and bright colors make the game vivid and refreshingly interactive. The audio features the creative talents of famous composers that have contributed to the game's overall soundtrack. Koji Kondo, Masato Kouda, Yasunori Mitsuda, Jun Fukuda and Tomoko Sasaki are enlisted, to name only a few.

Smash Bros. Brawl is shaping up to be the best fighting game involving Nintendo's beloved cast of characters that fans have come to expect and more. The inclusion of new characters offers more competition, fun and excitement that will satisfy hardcore and casual fans alike. The game has been a long time in coming but will be well worth the wait.

Solomon Lee, Gaming-Media Staff


Genre: Fighting Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Wii Players: 1-4 Release: February 2008
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