Developer: Game Arts
Release Date: 3/9/2008
Available Exclusively On
The Good: Fun fast paced action, tons of fighters and stages, simple controls, lots of customization, online play is a blast
The Bad: Overly simple fight system, many stages are bad, too many unbalanced characters, not enough modes, can get boring pretty quick
This is the fighting game all Nintendo fanboys live and die by. There’s nothing wrong with that, Brawl is one of the most competitive fighters I have ever played. There’s a huge lovable roster, tons of stages, and a lot of power-ups to turn the tide of the battle. With the addition of online play, this is any Wii owners dream come true.
Once you select your character, a choice of many, you can select the color, and also various stages from Melee and different Nintendo franchises. You can choose which power-ups to disable as well, but I just couldn’t get the huge roster. Link, Peach, Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Kirby, Fox McCloud, Ganondorf, Sonic, Solid Snake, Samus Aran, Ness, Jigglypuff, Wolf, Captain Falcon, and a ton of others. This is a huge roster and nearly every character is recognizable. Once you get into the battle, that’s where the fun begins.
Brawl was confusing at first. It doesn’t play out like normal fighters. There’s no health meter, instead, there’s a percentage meter and your job is to keep yours down and get your opponent’s up. You can reduce yours by eating food that falls, but the ultimate goal is to get the most KOs in one round. The controls are fairly simple, but take getting used to on the Wiimote. the best way to play is with a Nunchuk. Using the C stick to move around, A and B are your main attacks. B is your projectile/special and A is your normal attack. You vary the attacks but using different directions combined with these attacks. C allows you to jump and Z is your shield. This may seem way too simple compared to standard fighters, but it’s kind of a breath of fresh air. The attacks look awesome, and the fighting is fast paced.
Various power-ups fall on the battlefield like melee weapons, projectiles, and the one super finisher which is always fun. Hit this orb three times and you can unleash a deadly power attack. Just stand still and hit B. Some characters need to be close, some far away, and some hit the entire area and can’t be avoided. These tend to be deal breakers for hardcore players, but they can be turned off. Honestly, the worst part about the game was how many bad stages there were. The ones where the levels constantly move up and down or to the right make the game feel like a platformer rather than a fighter. I hated these moving stages. It distracted from the core of the game. Some arenas were just way too small and there was no room to move around. There is a large enough variety though so everyone will have favorites.
Some characters are also unbalanced and overpowered, while others are underpowered. I felt Kirby, Samus, and Ness were overpowered. On the flip side, Zelda was underpowered and felt boring to fight with, same goes with Wario. This may vary between players, but me and my partner both felt the same way. There is such a large variety that everyone will find their main character to fight with. I also found there was a lack of modes, with just Battle and online. The game is complete garbage with the AI, this game is only fun with another person.
Overall, Brawl is a solid fighter that’s fast paced and breaks away from the normal fighting formula. There are too many bad stages, over or under powered characters, and the game gets boring really quick due to the simple fighting system. The many power-ups will keep you busy and there are a lot of customization options, but in the end, the game has limited appeal unless you are a hardcore Smash Bros. fan.