As with its predecessors, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a departure from traditional fighting games, notably in its simplified move commands and its emphasis on ring outs over knockouts. This installment also includes a deeper single-player mode than its predecessors, known as The Subspace Emissary. This mode is a plot-driven, side-scrolling beat 'em up game featuring Brawl's playable characters. Super Smash Bros. Brawl supports multiplayer battles with up to four combatants, and is the first game of its franchise to support online battles through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
A new battle technique is the Final Smash, which can be only be used by collecting a Smash Ball. Also, players are able to walk and jump while using some specific shooting items, like the Super Scope.
Another new feature for this game is Slipping. Any character can slip. This feature has no upside for the player that slips, only creating their opponents a chance to batter them. Players can slip when running, going down slopes, or slipping on a Banana Peel.
This game also features three different Taunts for every character, while the past games only featured one taunt. Snake is the only character that has various taunts.
In addition to the standard multiplayer mode "Brawl", Super Smash Bros. Brawl features other multiplayer modes and options in Group mode.
Special Melee from the previous game returns as Special Brawl. In this mode, players are able to battle in matches using special rules for a greater level of customization. Whereas previously standard options such as "Giant Melee" or "Invisible Melee" were limited to only one feature per match, players may now select as many options as they like for a single match.
Another returning game type, Tourney mode, formerly Tournament mode, enables players to create an elimination-based tournament with a large number of CPU or human opponents.
Previously only available in Tournament mode, Brawl features a multiplayer option called Rotation. Rotation allows up to 16 players to compete in sequence by switching out winners or losers after each round.
Keeping consistent with its predecessors, Brawl includes various modes of play from the previous game designed for a single player. In Classic mode, the player goes through a number of semi-randomly generated matches. Each match features an arena or opponent from a particular series, such as The Legend of Zelda or Pokémon. Several matches also have a unique battle condition, such as a metal opponent or a two-on-two team battle. The final stage pits you against Master Hand, which has a certain amount of health depending on what difficulty you choose. If you beat Classic Mode with one of the Mario characters (not including Yoshi), you start the credits playing the Delfino Plaza theme.
As in the previous game, Brawl has Events, which are matches with predetermined battle conditions. These conditions include defeating opponents within a time limit or using a specific move on opponents. New to the mode, each of the sixty-two Events has three difficulties, with a high score recorded for each. In addition to the normal set of forty-one Events played with a single player, a smaller set of twenty-one two-player Co-op Events is included.
Also returning from Melee, Brawl features objective-oriented minigames in Stadium Mode. The Home-Run Contest mode is one of these features. In Home-Run Contest, the player must beat the Sandbag to deal as much damage as possible in ten seconds, then strike it with a Baseball bat to send it as far as possible. Returning from the two previous games is the Target Smash! minigame, in which the player must break 10 targets as quickly as possible. Departing from previous incarnations of this mode, players can access five different maps with any character, whereas the previous Super Smash Bros. games featured one unique map per character. In addition, items are also now available. Updated from Melee, some Stadium Mode minigames feature cooperative or competitive multiplayer.
Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary
Super Smash Bros. Brawl features a new Adventure Mode titled "The Subspace Emissary". This mode features unique character storylines along with numerous side-scrolling levels and multiple Boss to fight, as well as CG cut scenes explaining the storyline. "The Subspace Emissary" features a new group of antagonists called the Subspace Army, who are led by the Ancient Minister. Some of these enemy characters appeared in previous Nintendo video games, such as Petey Piranha from the Super Mario Bros. series and a squadron of R.O.B.s based on classic Nintendo hardware. "The Subspace Emissary" also boasts a number of original enemies, such as the Roader, a robotic unicycle; the Bytan, a one-eyed ball-like creature which can replicate itself if left alone; and the Primid, enemies that come in many variations. Though primarily a single-player mode, "The Subspace Emissary" allows for cooperative multiplayer. This mode also features a unique power-up mechanism in the form of collectible Stickers that can be applied to the base of the player's character trophies. Every stage accessible within "The Subspace Emissary" can be played on five different difficulty levels.
Unlike other game modes, "The Subspace Emissary" has a team system for the characters. The player begins with a limited choice of characters. Others join the team as the game progresses, while some characters may leave the team. Once one character loses a life, another character on the team can take his or her place until the stock count, of which each stage has a set number, runs out. The character order can be changed to the player's liking.
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Super Smash Bros. Brawl allows players to play against distant opponents through the use of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Online multiplayer games can be played either with registered friends or with other randomly selected participants. The players' nicknames will be displayed during multiplayer matches. Additionally, players can converse with up to four phrases that are set by the player beforehand. The four phrases correspond to the characters' taunts and will appear in speech bubbles above the characters. It has been stated that these names and phrases will not be displayed in random-player matches. A Spectator mode allows players to watch matches from players who have enabled the 'Allow Spectators' option, and bet on the outcome using coins earned within the game. The winner of the bet receives a jackpot of coins. While waiting for a match to start online, players may practice fighting against Sandbag. Some other gameplay modes, such as the Home-Run Contest, can also be played using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
In addition, snapshots may be taken during battles or in certain other modes. These snapshots can be sent to friends or submitted to Nintendo through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Video replay footage can also be captured in specific game modes, including Brawl and Target Smash! modes, and sent to friends in the same manner.
Returning from Melee are trophies, statuettes of video game characters and objects that can be collected in the game. These trophies give brief histories or descriptions of their subjects. A mini-game, the Coin Launcher, replaces the lottery machine from Melee as the primary method of obtaining trophies. The Coin Launcher is a machine that uses coins as projectiles to shoot trophies and counter incoming dangers such as missiles. Coins, earned by completing stages in the Classic mode, can also be used to bet on the victor of online battles via Spectator Mode.
Some trophies which are unavailable in Coin Launcher mode are obtained by using an item called the Trophy Stand on weakened enemy characters and bosses within The Subspace Emissary single-player mode. Trophies obtained in this manner may contain information on the backstory of the game.
In addition to trophies, players can now collect stickers of video game artwork. Players can place stickers and trophies onto virtual backgrounds and record snapshots, which can be sent to other players via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Stickers can also be applied to characters to power up their abilities during The Subspace Emissary. CDs can also be collected, which offer new music choices for playable stages.
New to Brawl is the Challenges menu, an interactive display which catalogs unlocked features and items in gridded windows. Once a window has been broken and its contents are unlocked, horizontally adjacent windows display the conditions necessary to unlock their contents. This system is similar to the Checklist feature of the Nintendo GameCube game Kirby Air Ride.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl contains demo versions of classic Nintendo titles, known as Masterpieces within the game, allowing players to relive defining moments of the characters' pasts. These titles utilize Virtual Console technology to emulate classic hardware. The demos have time constraints, and some utilize save data to allow the player to play a certain scenario or level.
The cast of characters includes various returning characters from Super Smash Bros. Melee and a variety of newcomers. Some returning characters have been updated or refined since their last appearance, either in terms of appearance, fighting capabilities, or both. For example, Link and Fox McCloud have taken on new designs from more recent titles, while Samus Aran has gained the ability to change into a new form, "Zero Suit Samus".
Some characters also took on a weight change due to in-game physics. Link falls faster in Super Smash Bros. Brawl that he did in Melee. Most other characters only took on a minor weight change or no change at all.
Some previously represented series have had more characters added to Brawl. Diddy Kong from the Donkey Kong series and Ike from the Fire Emblem series will make their first appearance in the Smash Bros. series. Other newcomers are the first to represent their series. These include characters such as Pit, representing the Kid Icarus series for the first time since the 1991 Game Boy game Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, and Wario, from Nintendo's highly successful WarioWare and Wario Land series and an occasional antagonist of Mario's. Solid Snake, the main protagonist of Konami's Metal Gear franchise, from Nintendo's former rival Sega are the first third-party characters to appear in a Super Smash Bros. game.
Overall, eight characters from the Mario series are playable in this game. Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and Peach all return from the last game, while Diddy Kong and Wario were added to this game.
List of Characters
For the full article, please read List of Characters in the Super Smash Bros. Series.
With 35 playable characters, Super Smash Bros. Brawl has 10 more characters than the previous installment. 21 characters are available from the start, while the other 14 need to be unlocked to become playable. There are 2 third-party characters. Them being SEGA's mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Konami's Snake. Their Special Moves and Final Smash are listed on the right-side column.
The game was designed by Masahiro Sakurai, who also created the other Super Smash Bros. games, and developed by a team especially created for it, he also provides the voice of King Dedede in Brawl. The game uses a game engine called Havok that mainly focuses on the game physics.
Reception and sales
Super Smash Bros. Brawl has received positive reviews thus far. The editors of Famitsu, who awarded a perfect score, praised the variety and depth of the single-player content, the unpredictability of Final Smashes, and the dynamic fighting styles of the characters. Chris Slate of Nintendo Power also awarded Brawl a perfect score in the March 2008 issue, calling it "one of the very best games that Nintendo has ever produced". GameSpot praised the simplicity of the game, noting that "its simple controls and gameplay make it remarkably accessible to beginners yet still appealing to Smash Bros. veterans", while 1UP concluded "For the Nintendo fanatic, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is like manna from heaven."
IGN critic Matt Casamassina noted that although Brawl is "completely engrossing and wholly entertaining," it suffers from "long loading times" and "uninspired enemies" in the Subspace Emissary adventure mode. The review also gave a mixed response to the quality of the graphics, and described them as "an enhanced version of Super Smash Bros. Melee" with improved character models and backgrounds that "lack detail in areas." Similarly, GameSpy claimed the graphics "looks like the GameCube game." NGamer points to the franchise's lack of innovation with the verdict, "Smash Bros risks growing too familiar. It never breeds contempt, but it doesn't quite muster that Galaxy magic."
In Japan, Brawl sold over 500,000 units on launch day, 820,000 units in its first week, and about 1.3 million units total as of March 2, 2008.