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Looking forward to a good Brawl

posted on April 26th, 2007 by chris

Nintendo still hasn’t announced anything solid on Brawl, and the closest thing we have to release date is still “Later this year”. Regardless of the release date being pushed back, however, I’m still eagerly anticipating it.

Super Smash Bros Melee certainly isn’t my favorite game single-player, but in multi-player it is an experience to be reckoned with. It’s not perfectly balanced, but the game’s major hallmarks are being easy to pick up but difficult to master. Advanced techniques such as L-canceling and some engine side-effects such as wave-dashing lend the game more depth than most other fighting games, which is why SSBM is the only fighting game I still enjoy years after playing it for the first time.

If only narcolepsy were really this powerful.

Three years ago, there was a Gamecube in my college dorm’s lobby. Although it was occasionally used for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, more often it was used for Smash. Since then, Smash has been the favorite group pastime of my room, with hundreds of hours logged per player. We’ve attended 3 different Smash tournaments on campus over the past two years and between the four of us found a good play style for nearly every character. And the gaming still goes on. Smash is played in the room for around 2 hours a night on average, and we’re still addicted. The variety of gameplay types, the customizability of the game (item types, random stage selection) and the amount of the characters all add up to a lot of depth.

Hence the anticipation for Brawl. Nintendo knows they have their work cut out for them if they hope to surpass Melee. From the little material that has been released, we know that there are a few new characters (Pit, Metaknight, Wario, Z-suit Samus, and Snake) and that Cel-shaded Link will replace Young Link. We can presume most of the characters will make their return, though the balance may be tweaked as it was from SSB to SSBM. There are a few stages that have been shown through the videos, but no detailed information.

For a time, Nintendo had a character suggestion survey up on a site (in Japanese only), since they have expressed their desire for third party characters to use. As far as that goes, I’m on the fence. I’d love to see tasteful third party characters, but only if they fit in with the theme of the game (good-natured comic fighting). Snake’s kind of borderline, as are a lot of the suggestions I’ve seen before. The best I heard was “the Harvest Moon guy” (Jack). Sure, it was a joke to the person who mentioned it… but come on. He could throw potatoes like Peach’s turnips, he has an arsenal: scythe, hammer, hoe, axe and various animals he could grab from offscreen. His super move could be ringing a bell and summoning a flock of cows. In any case, it should be interesting to see which characters Nintendo approves.

Of course, online play (which has only been confirmed for 2-player if I recall right) can only improve the game’s replayability. Though of course it may disappoint some who were convinced they were the best Smash players ever because they hadn’t played anyone better, if the game is well-balanced this could be a killer app for the Wii.

1 Comments

  1. Dan said on April 28, 2007:

    SSBM is never turned off in my apartment. Brawl HAS to be good. I think the wii’s continued expansion is depended on it.

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