314 of 350 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2008
My 10 y/o son LOVES this game! I am usually pretty careful about how much and which video games I let him play (this is the only "T" rated game he has, and he only has 1 E-10 game, everything else he has is "E" rated). The action/violence level is relatively tame -- all cartoon characters battling eachother, no blood, no visible injuries, the character who loses the battle kind of flies out of the scene. The battling itself isn't very graphic, with highly fictionalized "weapons." That said, my son and his friends love the game, lots of interesting "level-ups" and plot twists, plus fun characters you'll recognize from elsewhere.
158 of 176 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2008
I wasn't much of a console gamer for a long time after the N64, but one game that stood out on it was Super Smash Bros. Fast forward to 2008 and I broke down and got a Wii for the party-gaming potential. I have not been disappointed. Yesterday, this game arrived.
Oh boy. This is a heck of a lot of fun. The number of things to do is incredible. You can even practice your character's moves against your choice of inert or active opponents. Nintendo seems to have intended this game to be epic as they not only include an in-game retrospective of the entire line of Nintendo gaming products going back all the way to the NES, they include time-limited trial versions of the classic games.
Wifi works wonderfully. Online matches are frantic and fun.
One odd thing is that the wireless pointer feature of your wii controller is completely inert once you load the game. This is one area where they shouldn't have stuck to their roots- it feels silly to move a token with the analog joystick when I could theoretically just point at the character I want to use. But you get used to it.
If you have a kid, he will spend months getting all the unlocks (there are lots). If you have a kid inside you, you will rediscover some console joy.
The maps are pretty amusing/crazy. They touch on many themes/ideas from previous Nintendo works. Put it this way: There is a Pictochat map. The terrain is drawn as you play... Many maps have destructible terrain or areas you cannot jump up through, which adds a strategic element.
The characters are varied and seem very well-balanced against each other. (Aside: I love how the announcer says "KING DEDEDE" so seriously.)
If you are completely new to the game, you still have a pretty good shot at winning by button-mashing, which I consider a good feature. If you have mastered the combos and moves however, you still have the advantage.
I haven't played the adventure mode much but it is also fun.
You pretty much have to buy this game if you own a Wii. This is as much a Wii-defining game as Super Mario Galaxy or Wii Sports is.
132 of 156 people found the following review helpful
Even though I was Nintendo label die-hard and fan of their coin-op franchise from the beginning, Super Smash Bros or brawl titles in general haven't interested me too much.
So the most anticipated title of 2008 wasn't guaranteed to strike my electric fancy. But, when you add WI-FI play for free online brawling and custom controls in order to configure anything from the Wii controllers to the old school (4 variations on play) you've got me curious. Add to that the longest list of cross-title cross-era characters ever produced (Thirtysomethings: remember "Battle of the Network Stars" ). Characters from `87s' Kid Icarus (Pit) and Metal Gear's Snake, Pikachu and various Pokemon. Loads of Mario characters including the man himself: Diddy and Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong dating from Mario's 1981 coin-op premiere of the title of the same name), Wario, Yoshi, Princess Peach, Bowser, and more. Other melee cameos include the Ice Climbers, Metroids' Zero Suit Samus, Kirby, King Dedede and his Meta Knight, Sonic, LINK & Zelda (from '86 and on), Star Fox, Lucas & friends from Mother 3... and lots of other unlockables. Some noteable, but Non-playable, assist trophies include Devil from Devil World, Star Fox's Andross, Mr. Resetti from Animal Crossing, Little Mac from Tyson's Punch-Out and even Excitebike ('85) is on the scene. What is particularly cool about these appearances is the consistency of style for each character regardless of genre or era of the characters. Nintendo has outdone itself on graphics on this one, even when they are "dumbing" down the graphics for cross-game effect. The sound effects are true to this as well, with as many retro SFXs as cool new ones.
Options for play include Solo vs. PC, Multiplayer play vs. 3 friends or on-line options. Other options include the Classic game (you beat `em you advance) or a storyplay campaign which is surprisingly worthwhile. The variety of Brawl locations and is amazingly broad as are the detailing of each location gimmicks. From Yoshi's Island to a stadium to the exterior of a StarFox ship sailing the stratosphere, this alone will extend the life of BRAWL's replay longevity. Characters move satisfyingly fluid, and their variety per character is exciting.
The Mini-games are fun and nice samplings of other titles, both new and old. If fact, many of these made me ready to seek out some games I hadn't looked at before. If anything BRAWL is a great sampler title.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl is going to be top of the "4 player fighting" genre for some time to come, I think. Well worth the release push-back.
87 of 104 people found the following review helpful
During the past year, Nintendo really showed what it takes with the success of the Wii. Dominant games like The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the definitive Super Mario Galaxy, really proved the Wii with its ultimate gameplay. But, that success has also been as a dominant question with Super Smash Brothers Brawl. While its prequel, Smash Brothers Melee was the biggest-selling title from Nintendo's last home console, the Gamecube, many still had wondered if Nintendo was going to be able to top that outrageous game of madness and excitement. Well, Nintendo has done it, and taken the brawl to a whole new level of fierceness. Its time to brawl!!
Super Smash Brothers Brawl for the Nintendo Wii, is one of the most anticipated games to be released this year, and it absolutely dominates the competition. The gameplay is very addictive as you play with all your favorite classics characters like Mario, the adorable Yoshi, Link, the fierce Bowser and many others. There are also a lot of new characters here to unlock too like Sonic The Hedgehog, Wario, King Dedede from Kirby's Dream Land, Diddy Kong and Olimar from the overlooked Pikmin series. There are also secondary characters which have been added as well, that come and assist you to the depth of the gameplay like the Nintendogs, which block the screen so you can't see where your opponents are during the game, and Andross from the Star Fox series. The graphics look great, and appeal to each and every level you can challenge on from the abstractism of Warioware, to the madness of racing along the Mario Raceway from Mario Kart. Each level is packed with excitement for gamers of all ages.
The control is also new to some gamers, and traditional for veterans too, as you can manuver your favorite characters 4 different ways: the Wii Remote alone, the Wii and Nunchuck controller, the Wii's classic controller and even the Nintendo Gamecube controller. The Wii controller and nunchuck take awhile to get used to, but the classic and Gamecube controllers work very well, making it simple and addictive gameplay. On top of that, you also can now challenge against others not just in the living room, but you can now also play against other Brawlers online through Nintendo's Wi-Fi connection, which makes the gameplay even more addictive for anyone who wants to brawl farther than they've ever done before.
All in all, Super Smash Brothers Brawl is a must buy for anyone who owns the Nintendo Wii. It is just great from start to finish and brings in every depth of excitment and gameplay for a super smash for anyone who has the need to smash the competition. It is definitely a great game all around and a great addition to your Wii video game library.
Control: A for Gamecube and Classic Controller; B for Wii Remote & Nunchuck
Fun & Enjoyment: B+ for solo gamers; A for multiplayer action
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Following in the footsteps of a game as widely acclaimed as Super Smash Brothers Melee for the Gamecube (with 7 million copies sold) isn't easy, even more so when there's a huge amount of hype surrounding the game as well. With that in mind, does Super Smash Brother Brawl live up to the legacy that Melee represents, or to the level that pre-launch material indicated? Short answer for both: reasonably so.
Super Smash Brothers is a Nintendo crossover fighting game series featuring characters from almost every Nintendo franchise. Favorites like Mario, Link, Kirby and Samus duke it out in battles of up to four people on stages that are also taken from Nintendo series. Rather than direct combat, SSB focuses on the more cartoonish option of beating up an enemy and then launching them out of the stage with a powerful attack. Plenty of items and stage events keep the game an incredibly fun party experience.
Brawl adds to the formula perfected in Melee by adding new characters, new items, and new stages, as well as some new features. There are a total of 26 characters; new additions to the cast include Pit from NES classic Kid Icarus, a Pokemon Trainer and three of his Pokemon, Pikmin's Captain Olimar, and the Mario series' villain/evil twin, Wario. Furthermore, two non-Nintendo characters are available, in a series first: Snake of Metal Gear fame and Sonic the Hedgehog both join the cast. In total, the cast additions include some pleasant surprises, but also some disappointing removals (characters like Roy and Mewtwo have been nixed, although they have been replaced with similar characters from newer installments of their respective series').
There are a bevy of new items in the game. Foremost among these is the Smash Ball; when attacked enough, it grants the attacking character a "Final Smash" - a devastating attack that varies between different characters. For example, Mario shoots a screen-wide barrage of fireballs, Link catches one opponent in a Triforce symbol and slashes away at them, and Kirby cooks all his enemies in a giant pot. Unfortunately, some Final Smashes are copied or reused; for example, one hidden Zelda character copies Link's Final Smash exactly, and every character from Star Fox (three in all) use the Landmaster Tank as their Final Smash. However, some are definitely really neat and welcome changes to the gameplay - a sort of temporary bonus minigame for whoever manages to get the Smash Ball.
Another new item is the Assist Trophy, which is similar to the Poke'ball item in that it summons an invincible helper to fight the enemies of whoever summoned them. For example, Samurai Goroh (from F-Zero) attacks enemies with a katana, as does Lyn from Fire Emblem (in a single swift cut). Kirby's friend Knuckle Joe delivers a barrage of blows and a mighty uppercut that KOs almost anything in its path. Little Mac from Punch-Out!! uses his speed and strength to deliver a startlingly fast jab. Jeff from Earthbound launches rockets at his enemies. Andross (in his Star Fox for the SNES incarnation) lurks in the background and shoots damaging 3d panels. Not all of them have good effects, though; The Nintendog covers the screen, making seeing the battle almost impossible. Mr. Resetti from Animal Crossing goes on one of his famous rants, the text of which blocks the upper half of the battle completely. All of them contribute greatly to the chaos and hilarity of Smash Bros fighting.
There are some new stages as well. The famous Bridge of Eldin from the Legend of Zelda serves as a long, flat stage occasionally broken by a bomb planted by a rampaging Moblin rider. The Frigate Orpheon from Metroid Prime occasionally flips upside down, causing the playing field to shift. Smashville is an Animal Crossing-themed level, and like its source will change depending on what time the level is played. Pictochat has the enemies fighting among the doodles and illustrations of the DS' built in chat program. Most of the new stages are good, but some of them (particularly Delfino Plaza from Super Mario Sunshine and Lylat Cruise from Star Fox Assault) are simply platforms on a moving background, and lack any real extra themes or effects. It's also possible to build your own stages with a variety of parts and backgrounds, which is a fairly intuitive process that can produce some insanely fun results.
Besides multiplayer, the game has a new single player mode as well: "Subspace Emissary", a story told through cutscenes and action stages. The former are well directed but unvoiced / unworded, relying heavily on body language to get their message across. The story involves an evil plot to destroy the world of Smash Brothers perpetuated by the game's villanous characters (Bowser, Wario, and so on). The Smash Bros cast must team up - splintered at first, but then united - to combat this menace. The interactions between characters have some real gems - for example, Lucas from Mother 3 using the Pokemon Trainer as a sort of big brother role model, or Diddy Kong dragging Fox and Falco off to help him rescue Donkey Kong. The story is difficult to make out, however (though it's explained in detail on the Smash Bros. site), and the final boss is nothing short of eye-roll material (hint: he's a new original character, not an established Nintendo character). The story is mostly enjoyable for the little tidbits, and those are good and plentiful, so they make it worth it.
The action stages are 2d side-scrolling classic platforming, with characters fighting against the mysterious and somewhat generic enemies unique to the game. The mechanics are similar to regular gameplay, but directed at a multitude of enemies rather than a small number of skilled opponents. Stages range from generic and boring to generic and frustrating - from "random jungle" to "random ruins" to "random flying space-lab". Other than the playable characters and some enemies from the Mario games, there's nothing "Nintendo" about the game mode - you feel like a Nintendo character playing in some other non-Smash Brothers game. So, in that way, this mode feels like it could've been done a lot better.
Other bonus parts of the game include the return of trophies from Melee, new unlockable tracks for stages, and a variety of new event matches and sub-games. Furthermore - perhaps most importantly - the Wii allows SSBB to be played online, either with friends (added by inputting their unique code) or with strangers. This mode is pretty well coordinated, and there are no real complaints about it. The option also exists to spectate matches and bet on the winner, adding to the stylish, crowd-pleasing dynamic that the game entails.
The gameplay as a whole is great, but it feels less sharp than Melee; some moves feel too slow, unresponsive, or just "wrong". The sense of controlled chaos that Melee evoked has been replaced by rampant and uncontrolled chaos, and a lot of the "art" of playing has gone out of it. The graphics are in general improved, with some good details on characters and stages, but for the most part everything's moving too fast to notice it. The sound is mostly improved - any poor changes in, say, the announcer's voice, or quality in general are offset by the sheer number of music tracks in the game.
As a whole SSBB is a solid, fun, enjoyable game, with some minor bugs and annoyances. There's a lot added, but the jump from Super Smash Bros. to Melee feels stronger than the jump from Melee to Brawl. However, by itself it is a good game with a wide variety of characters and stages from every part of Nintendo's history.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2008
I have been anxiously awaiting this game, ever since E3 2005 when it was announced. I personally wasn't a huge fan of Smash Bros Melee, as I never owned a Gamecube. I bought a copy when I got my wii, but really haven't played it much. The wii version, however, I couldn't wait for. I know for a fact that many people bought a wii specifically for this title. I waited in line last night to pick up my copy and subsequently play in a tournament at my local Game Stop. I had seen lots of info online and in the SSB Dojo, but was still anxious to see this game in action... and let me tell you: I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. This game has proven to be SO AWESOME that I wish that I had given other Wii game reviews that I did in the past fewer stars... since now a 5-star rating takes on new meaning with this title! Finally, a Wii game that got it right... all of it right! No doubt this game will get plenty of 5-star reviews, so I won't bore you telling you how awesome it is. Instead, here are some reasons I love it, and why you should buy it:
1 - FREE ONLINE MULTIPLAYER: This takes the game to a whole new arena. The online multiplayer is done wonderfully. Also, there are several game modes available. I was able to connect and begin playing right away. Also, you can choose to play with people locally, nationally, internationally, or in your friend list. Nicely done! Also, one really cool feature for the online system on this game that differs from the other wii online titles is that more than 2 people can play online from your console at a time, rather than only allowing a single player to play online per console (unlike MX vs ATV or Call of Duty).
2 - Multiple control options: I LOVE that the wii games are starting to incorporate this. Having to purchase 4 wiimotes and 4 nunchucks to play 4-player games would cost a hefty sum.... But if you are like me and own 2 wiimotes, 1 classic controller, 1 nunchuck, and several gamecube controllers, you are in the game! You can use ANY combo of controllers you would like. I personally opt for the wiimote+nunchuck, as I don't like the gamecube controllers. However, my friends can come over and play with my GC controllers, no problem. Also, when you create a profile, your control schema choice is saved, so you don't have to set it up each time.
3 - Special Brawl: This feature seems really cool, though I haven't had much time to play around with it. Basically you can customize your character and game type. Lot's of potential here. Not to mention there is also a STAGE BUILDER! I think this there is a lot of potential here. Again, since I am writing this early in the morning on the first day I picked my copy up, I haven't had much time to experiment. That being said, it also seems like you can save your stage, and SEND IT TO A FRIEND to play on his console! As if that isn't enough, the rumor is that Nintendo will also be allowing you to submit your stage to them via wiiconnect24, and will, in turn, send certain stages out to subscribers via updates so you will end up with loads of stages to play on! Better upgrade that SD card, eh?
4 - Finally! Co-Op Mode: Well done, period. Haven't had a chance to get much accomplished here, but it is simple and straight forward enough. For some reason, past Mario titles have been unable to fathom co-op. Even Galaxy has a weak co-op option at best, if it can even be called co-op. Smash Bros finally got it right.
5 - Rotation Mode: Basically, this looks like it was built for controller hogs (like me). You enter the number of controllers that are connected (4 in most cases) vs the total # of players in the room.... And then WAMMY! Instant tournament in my living room! We played this for HOURS already, and it is pretty cool.
Anyway, this game was obviously well done. It is simple enough to attract novice gamers and "button mashers", and content-rich enough to attract fans and more hardcore gamers. They have taken an already great game and made it even better. I plan to log COUNTLESS hours on this one. PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR: Buy it.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2008
We can play for hours doing different things different ways. My kids are 7,7,8,16,16,20 and we never get bored of playing this game. There are plenty of options for playing teams, opposition, or single player. The configurations and characters are almost endless. The review title says it all. I wish they could just figure out how to make it a motion sensitive game; When you jump it jumps; when you swing, it swings.
60 of 74 people found the following review helpful
The highly anticipated Super Smash Bros. Brawl is here, and it lives up to every single ounce of the hype that has been surrounding it. Make no mistake, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is one of the best games ever made for the Wii at this time, and the absolute best multiplayer game available for the system as well. Starting off with a massive roster of fighters (some of whom have to be unlocked) including stalwarts like Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Samus, Kirby, Pikachu, and Star Fox's Fox McCloud; to new characters to the series like Kid Icarus' Pit, Meta-Knight, Zero-Suit Samus, Fire Emblem's Ike, and to top it all off, Sega mascot Sonic the Hedgehog (!) and even Metal Gear Solid icon Solid Snake (double !). Even with such an unorthodox roster of fighters, Super Smash Bros. Brawl manages to have a wonderfully balanced roster, no matter how ridiculous the game can get. Graphically, the game has some flaws in terms of the details of the characters and environments, but these aren't all that noticeable thanks to the fact that the game is so insanely fun. No matter if you play Super Smash Bros. Brawl online or offline, this is one of the most fun video games you will play on the Wii, or possibly any other system to boot. Four-player mode is where the game really shines, as things just get even crazier. Not to mention that you can also share game replays, screenshots, and even customized levels with others, which is a great little bonus feature in itself. The only real other flaws here are that the game's Subspace Emissary stages, while fun, could have been better, and there are some long loading times to be found too. Small flaws aside though, you simply can't go wrong with Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There is a reason you got in a Wii in the first place, and it's because of nearly flawless, first party games like this. If you own a Wii, you need to own Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it's just that simple.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2008
This is my first review. I've made replies to comments related to this game but I never did review it. Here's to working backwards!
First off - This game has an excellent assortment of fighters. All these characters shine brilliantly. Each fighter has a plethora of detail and contain numerous tactics. This fighter's also display the game from whence they came and brought along all their characteristics. I'm extremely pleased with the design. My only gripe is that - some characters have more costumes then others - most notably, Wario. Wario, for some unknown reason, has more costumes to choose from then anyone else in this game.
The mechanics for this game have been very thought out as well. There are numerous tiny little details that can change the tide of the battle. For example: Snakes Nikita missile can be shot and guided...but also can be canceled by pressing L or R. What you might've not known is that, when the missile is canceled falls, it will fall straight down from wherever it is...and it will detonate. This opens up for long distance edge guarding tactics. There are numerous other little snippets with just him alone. Expand this to the gigantic roster .... and there is a near endless amount of tactics involved with each character.
The music is excellent. Lots of remixes and even the Mike Tyson Punch-Out theme makes its appearance! The collective hums and oooo's can be heard loud and clear from the beautifully orchestrated music. With over +100 songs to choose from...this selection of music far exceeds any other fighting game soundtrack to date.
Subspace Emissary is bit quick for my taste. I did enjoy the cutscenes but - as with other reviewers - I did feel the whole thing just came and went; which to me in this case, is absolutely fine with me. This mode in itself has gotten me very familiar with a majority of the characters. There was no need even for this kind of mode but they included it anyways. I have also played co-op. Now, co-op is a little cheap. I will admit that. The camera's primary focus is on 1st player...so if 2nd player lags behind, they will die AND you lose a life! While this forces the team to work together, I believe there was a better work around for this. Nonetheless, it is purely extra. Still pretty enjoyable.
Classic mode is the same as it always has been. No complaints there!
The extra modes are pretty awesome as well. I particularly enjoy the home run contest now; they included a glass wall for the 10 seconds now. It is very possible to achieve an extremely high damage now. Also, this mode offers co-op as well. Pretty terrific since even a mode like this offers something for the person just watching you.
Wi-fi is where this game fails. The Wi-Fi mode is absolutely abysmal at best. I have repeatedly (and I truely mean that) tried to connect to other players and have FAILED almost all the time. I would be lying if I didn't say I was disappointed by this. I am here to tell you the truth; While I have had a few connected matches go smoothly, the majority went to the crapper. I have received the "85010" error more times then I can count. I have even received it in the middle of matches. Nintendo has severly underestimated this department and there is where my 1 star goes....even though i think this might average out to half a star? not sure. Back at the issue at hand.
Nintendo needs to fix this. It is horrible. I have though, connected to certain friends pretty successfully with no troubles. Severe inconsistencies run rampant. I will wait by patiently and at least reserve a little hope that Nintendo will resolve this issue (given that, people like me bitch and moan enough, it will get done.)
4 Player Brawls are excellent. No lag, no slowdowns. Absolutely constant framerate from start to end. Excellent Excellent. Cannot stress that enough. I am a competitive player so I have shut all items off..including smash ball. From time to time, I do put on items - and when they are on.....its pretty wild. I mainly turn them on with players that don't play as competitively as me.
The customization on controls is by far, my favorite feature. I only play on the Gamecube Controller and the first thing I was able to do was to disable the "up" jump. Can't tell you how many times I have jumped in melee while performing Link's spin attack. Now I can hit Up+B with no fear of jumping. Jumping is solely designated to buttons and I'm extremely EXTREMELY satisfied with that.
So despite Wi-Fi's lackluster performance (extremely lackluster), this game is bursting at the seams with content. If you are looking to purchase this game for Wi-fi, please, think again. Otherwise, this game will attract casual and hardcore alike. If your a fighting game fanatic like myself, and enjoy dancing on the line of competitive and casual, this is must have for your Wii library.
Mechanic note: Spamming is not encouraged in this game. The more you perform the same move, the less damage is begins to do. Just incase someone out there didn't know.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2008
*MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS, SORRY
Super Smash Bros. Brawl is probably the most anticipated Nintendo game coming out this year and it delivers. Just like its predecessors on the Game Cube and Nintendo 64, it takes many of the Nintendo favorites and throws them into a solid fighting game, which each character having his/her/its own special moves. This time, the roster features 35 characters total with 21 starting and 14 unlockable. The basic idea hasn't changed from Melee, beat up your opponents until they have a high enough damage percentage and then knock them off the stage. However, what has changed is the different ways that you could achieve that goal. Of the 35 characters, almost everyone is unique. The three Star Fox characters do feel just slightly alike, and C. Falcon/Ganondorf, Link/Toon Link, Ness/Lucus have similar moves, but even those characters are different enough to offer their own strategy and have different advantages and weaknesses. Furthermore, none of the characters feel like an exact copy with different running/jumping stats like they did in Melee (Falco/Fox, Marth/Roy). All in all, all the fighters in Brawl are unique and you will sure find a style that suits your style. Each fighter is deadly if they are used correctly and none of them is overpowered (Meta Knight maybe.)
Now onto all the features in the game, first of all is the single player. The single player adventure, dubbed Subspace Emissary, is a much larger version of the adventure mode in Melee and it will take about 6 - 10 hours to finish, depending on the difficulty and the percent completion. The adventure doesn't take itself too seriously and the cut scenes are beautifully rendered. Don't try too hard to understand them and just sit back and enjoy its complete randomness. There were many times when I almost collapsed laughing at the silliness of the cut scenes and one left me with a gaping mouth because it was awesome. Although it could sometimes be tedious, the Subspace Emissary gives the player the ability to unlock all the characters, with Wolf, Jiggly and Toon Link requiring a little more work, without playing through hundreds of versus matches, but then again, it's not that hard to do. Although not the best single player game ever made, the Subspace Emissary keep the player occupied for a few hours, even just to see the next cut scene or battle the next boss. In addition, the game also features co-op play to alleviate the sometimes tedious or just plan out meanness, parts of the game.
All the goodness of even matches also makes their return. In addition, some of the events are now co-op, the last one being a co-op All-Star match with no recovery items. The event matches now also have their own difficulties settings, further increasing the replay value. Other stadium options include the return of the homerun contest and multi-man brawl, which can also be played co-op.
The part that is going to keep the player coming back for more is no doubt the multiplayer part. This was the reason why melee was so popular. Many reviews complain about how Brawl is the "more of the same," and "without any innovation." I did not find that to be the case. It is true that everything that made Melee great has returned, such as special attacks and chargeable smash attacks, but with the new characters and modifications to returning fighters, any old strategy must be at least modified to keep them effective. New features such as the footstool jump (using other people's head as a spring to jump higher), gliding (for certain winged characters), and wall clinging (grabbing to the wall) adds subtle new strategies and furthers the playing of mind games for the pros. Perhaps the most interesting addition is the Smash Ball, which breaks after repeated attack and gives the player the ability to unleash a Final Smash, a devastating attack that usually result in KOing an opponent. Once the Smash Ball appears, all actions seize and the focus shifts to obtaining the Ball. One of the major changes that Melee players will notice is the slower pace of Brawl but it is very easy to adjust after a few games.
The stages are awesome very unique and offer their own style of play. Unlike other fighting games where the stage plays no part in the fighting, almost all of the Brawl stages fight back with many different hazards. Just like Melee, the players need to keep track of the stages and try to avoid their hazards. In addition, some classic Melee stages make a glorious return, stages such as the Temple and Rainbow Cruise. There are a total of 41 stages, 31 new and 10 Melee stages. Plus the option to build your own stages, the option is almost limitless.
Although I haven't tried the online play yet, from the response of my friends and online reviews, it seems that it's nearly flawless with a stable connection.
The graphics of Brawl is one of the best on the Wii and it runs at a constant 60 fps. Although the graphic can't really be compared to those of 360 and PS3, given the capabilities of the Wii, the Brawl graphics is much better than that of Melee with more explosions, more action and more chaos in general.
The sound track of Brawl is probably one of the best in the history of video game. It includes original sound track as well as remakes of many of the classics. With over 150 different songs, all beautifully orchestrated, you will never be bored when you're fighting. The songs alone might be able justify for half of the cost of the game.
Now, there are a few aspects of the game that could be improved. First of them is the individual target smashes. Instead, there are five of the same levels for every character. The Melee target smash was unique which required different approach, but the Brawl target smash is all the same for everyone. It would be interesting to see different target smash stages for all 35 characters.
Another minor complaint is the loading time, but considering the large amount of content crammed into the game, it's a very small criticism.
Some people are experiencing a disc reading error due to dirty Wii lens and Nintendo is offering to repair the systems for free regardless of the warranty. It might delay your enjoyment of Brawl, but at least Nintendo is nice about it.
With new co-op play, new characters, new adventure, new items, assist trophies, new pokemons, new stages, Final Smash and all the extra contents, Brawl is everything that Melee was and much, much more. For the friendless, the game might not be that much fun, but with an almost perfect 4 player fighting game and solid online play, it can keep you and 3 of your best friends occupied for many months, if not years to come. I politely disagree with all the people who say that Brawl is just a Melee upgrade. The creator of Brawl, Masahiro Sakurai, clearly put a lot of thoughts into the game and improved on every aspect of Melee and made it into a unique game. All in all, Brawl lives up to every bit of the hype and it is the best entry in the series so far. With so much stuff crammed into a single disc, the game is worth every penny of its price and it will outlast many 360 and PS3 games.