Monday, March 10, 2008

Okay, I Get The Hype Now

Super Smash Brothers Brawl for the Wii. I approached this game as a complete outsider - I'd never played any of the previous Smash Brothers games, and I've never been into fighting games. Plus, I'm old. That being said, it turns out I really like this game, even though I'm not very good at it.

I started out this morning playing the adventure mode - called Subspace Emissary for some reason - for about an hour or so. It's a gorgeous platforming game which gives the player a chance to test out some of the characters and their moves. The story so far makes no sense whatsoever. Still, it seems like fun, and I noticed later that it's also able to be played as a two-player co-op, so maybe Monique and I will try that together at a later date.

I then tried and beat the classic mode with Kirby, who is so far my fighter of choice. It's a pretty straightforward tournament fighting game, with a few distractions like target practice thrown in.

Along the way in both the above modes I noticed I seemed to be picking up trophies, statues and little bits of paper. It turns out these are collectibles that can be viewed later. There's also a use for the coins you pick up, as ammunition in a weird shooting game where you get even more statues and things.

After a break and a nap I took the plunge and tried out the online multiplayer mode. It took several attempts to get into a brawl "with anyone", and I read later on the internet that Nintendo was having some server difficulties with it. Once I did, I had a lot of fun, noticed very little lag, and of course got my ass kicked.

I then went to the Digital Press message boards and added a bunch of them (mostly mature gamers like myself) to my friends list using Nintendo's really fun and not at all tedious in the slightest friend code system. If you're thinking that these friend codes are the same as the ones already on your Wii that you use to connect with other Wii owners, you're wrong. Those are 16 digits, the Brawl codes are 12. That's right, another huge set of numbers.

I then fought a few of the other members of the Digital Press forum and had a lot of fun, but mostly got my ass handed to me again. I can't seem to pull off the smash moves at all, and on some of the battlefields the characters get so small that it's really hard to tell what's happening. I'm gonna need a bigger screen (and I'm hoping to get one this summer for a wedding present).

If it was just one of the modes, like the classic mode, I'd feel ripped off by this game. Fortunately, Super Smash Brothers Brawl is a big package with a lot to do, and it's the totality of it all that makes it worth the money, even for a non-fan like me who sees fighting games as a short, casual diversion, and only plays online to offer himself up as fodder for the much more competent majority of players in the world.

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