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on March 22, 2008
I got my two kids (ages 10 and 13) each to come and try to figure out the Super Smash Bros. game with me this evening and the unanimous opinion is that this game seriously blows.

I absolutely cannot figure out what's going on and there's certainly no strategy beyond mashing every button separately and in combinations to see if anything seems to actually work. Once someone wins, I don't know why or how, other than maybe that player fell off the platforms the least. Maybe it's me, but I don't get it. That may be the worst game I've ever bought for my many different platforms.
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on February 28, 2010
My family and I are Super Smash Bros. Addicts. We played the N64 version almost daily, and when Melee appeared we happily switched to it. So needless to say, when Brawl came out, I snapped it up. I even bought a Wii for its sake.

I am so foolish for not renting it first.

Something struck me as odd about it from day one, but I still played it religiously, seeking to amass the entire roster and earn every trophy, sticker, and level. For a while, this manic pursuit hid many of its glaring flaws from me. But I finally realized when I earned Jigglypuff that this was not the game that I had fallen in love with in middle school.

First of all, don't play this with the Wiimote. You need to move precisely, and for that, you should get a Gamecube controller.

Story Mode outright stinks. It's a platformer, straight and simple--and what a sucky platformer it is! Not since 8-bit adventure games have I died more times because of surprising death traps hidden just off screen or character-killing abysses that magically appear at the worst moments. The story is all kinds of goofy and far too long. It's only fun if you play with a friend. As far as being introduced to all of the characters in the game--it's a good idea. But other than that, WHY would you want to play it?

Online Mode also stinks. You have to play with anonymous random players, and you can't play with friends unless you have their codes. Also, if you're playing in random online matches, you can't sit with your buddy in the same room and play in a random online match together. What?! Why?! You can do this when you're connected with a Friend, but it's just not the same thing.

There are now so many items that it is crowded and overly complicated. Some items are so small that you have no idea what you have grabbed until you chunk it at someone. These are problems I never would have foreseen. Smash Balls are irritating, merely a way to disrupt game play. The appearance of one starts everyone on a wild chase across the level, until one annoying sod grabs it and then starts nabbing cheap KOs.

It's hard for me not to compare the rest of this game to Melee, because Melee did it so right. My family have played Melee for seven years. All other games were beaten and set aside to gather dust; we played this one every day. So please excuse me as I contrast and compare.

Brawl is a great deal like Melee, but has some small differences that make a big impact on how the game is played. In Melee, every character played differently and had to be learned, and it was difficult to kill a good player by button mashing. But in Brawl, they all play the same way. You can button mash very successfully. I knew something was wrong when I could switch around from character to character and, regardless of who the character was, play them all equally well.

Also, for some reason it seems like the "heavy hitters" don't do a lot of damage like they should (like Bowser, King Dedede, Donkey Kong--all characters I prefer). Take Bowser. A well-placed headbutt in Melee, and I could kill somebody pretty quickly. Now, it takes two or three good headbutts to finally kill somebody. Whether this is because the levels are higher and wider or the moves are weaker, I'm not certain. They've also neutered some of the more powerful moves, like Jigglypuff's Rest and Rollout.

In fact, just the way they've knocked off Jigglypuff as a power player really irritates me. I used to play her all of the time to freak people out, because in Melee it was very difficult to control her and use her powerful moves. If you mastered the moves you could be terrifying. I can only imagine that the game's developers had friends who were good with Jigglypuff, because now she is basically useless. Rest is just a good way to have a Smash Attack centered on your fat fluffy head. Rollout is like being lightly tapped by an old woman. And Sing doesn't put anyone to sleep longer than two seconds. Why did they even bother to put her on the roster?

One of my pet peeves is the way you fall in Brawl: you float gently down to earth like a fairy angel. In Melee, every character had a certain weight/gravity and fell in different, "realistic" ways. This does affect how you fight--how quickly you can jump back into battle, and how easily others can aim for you. Jigglypuff's slow falls in Melee made her an excellent target for Link's arrows and Samus's rockets; Fox, who practically smashes into the ground in one second, is another story.

Now let's talk about the levels. You remember the Ice Climber level from Melee? You know that one you didn't play because you have to think about jumping up to the next level every five seconds? What made them think we needed MORE levels like that? In Brawl, several of the levels are just fricking annoying. You often have to concentrate more on dealing with the problems that the level gives you rather than fighting other characters. For example, in one level all of your directional buttons are switched around so that you have to play with "opposite buttons." I cannot stress enough how UNBELIEVABLY ANNOYING THIS IS. Several levels have so much going on at one time that it's mind-boggling. Not to say that environmental peril can't be fun--it is. And yes, some of the levels got the right balance of environmental peril and character play right--but very few. The Pirate Ship, Pictochat, and the Wario level are hilarious and awesome, for example. Nothing like chucking your enemy into a bomb on the Pirate Ship!

Long story short, Brawl is easier to pick up by new players, plays more like a fluffy arcade game, and seems to be geared for little kids who aren't used to disappointment. This can be good and it can be bad, and obviously, if you've never played the other games in the franchise, you may not give a care. But for an old Melee player, this feels like nothing short of a tragedy. I suppose it's all right, in the end; my family and I STILL go to Melee over Brawl.
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on March 15, 2008
Save your money and get the Cube version. This game does not use any of the Wii feature like Wii remote control motion and the pointer. The game-play is like the Cube version, you just have to press buttons on the Wii control. Waving Wii control or pointing it to the TV features are not used. Very limited use of the speaker on the Wii remote control. This might well have been a Cube game.
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on February 7, 2015
Absolutely awesome game. Just fun from the go, instant, wonderful dynamic. This game reminds you why Nintendo is still in business. Because it excels at exactly what Sony is terrible at.. simple fun. The control scheme for this fighting game is exceptionally simple, yet allows players of various skill levels near endless variety. Some of my favorite games ever are based on simplicity yet allow tremendous complexity .. and this is no exception. The game is LOADED with joyous fan service and you can tell the care that went into making it. Whether you are a veteran Nintendo player or you are just getting used to it this game will GROW on you. It has that special Nintendo charm that used to propel endless Mario Kart fun back in the day. You can't help but want to play another round. The stages are brilliant, loaded with amazing, interactive elements. The character list and move sets are extremely well thought out. You are almost guaranteed to find some favorite characters. My favorites are Ness, Fox, Falco, Peach and Zelda.
Late review because of life difficulties yet FINALLY got a chance to play it. RECOMMENDED. Ballistic breath of fresh air from the usual "zombie COD dark adolescent" world of Sony.
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on June 18, 2011
This game is overall very fun. It has many ways to play so it doesn't get old fast. The two top ways to play are multiplayer where you can get one to three other friends over and all have a showdown so it is a great multipayer game. The other way is the kind of thing I like, story mode. I've heard lots of people who don't like it, but I like it. You can play single player or with two people. If you get board of that there are other ways to play. About the rating, I along with others don't undertand why it is rated teen. I think the biggest reason is one character gets what looks like a bloody mark on it but no dripping blood at all.
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on May 30, 2014
My old Brawl disc broke, so I bought this as a replacement. No problems in the past few months!
(Side note: Get Project M to even further enhance your Brawl experience!)
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on December 28, 2017
Purchased this early in the season for a Christmas gift, but return window closed before my daughter was able to play the game. Needless to say, although I bought it new the product does not work.
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on January 20, 2017
It's a great game but I paid way too much for a game this old.
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on June 12, 2017
Grandson is enjoying thjs game very much.
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on June 26, 2017
The whole family loves to play
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