Tech News on G4
Wii ready to host a massive Brawl
February 12, 2008
By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada
The brawl to end them all? A video game tagline may never be so fitting.
G4 Tech TV Canada had a chance to sit down and play a near-final build of Nintendo's 'Super Smash Bros. Brawl', the latest in the series of uber-popular fighters, and it's shaping up to be an insanely fun, mind-bogglingly huge title.
Previous fans of the series will be glad to know that the heart and soul of the game is the same and the whole package is unmistakeably 'Smash Bros.' through and through. When you get two or more players playing in an arena, it's all-out mayhem, but Smash Bros. experts know that there are countless hidden tricks that each player has, to make this one of the deepest fighters you could possibly find.
For the uninitiated, the Smash Bros. series is a set of fighting games that pit up to four Nintendo (and other third party) characters against each other in open arenas. Each player has a power meter that goes up by percentage. In other words, if you're at 5%, you're in great shape, but if you're at 150%, even the slightest attack could send you flying. The games are fast and furious, the characters are as unique and varied as they come, and the stages play a huge part in how battles play out.
And oh man, the stages in Brawl are something else. Our group of gamers continually set the option to 'random' when it came to choosing an arena, and I kept waiting for a dud, but the exact opposite happened. Each arena was more memorable and spectacular than the last. Though there are several direct remakes from Super Smash Bros. Melee, which appeared on GameCube, there are just as many brand new stages as well. I thought the DS Pictochat stage was amazing, until I saw the beauty that was 'Lost World', from the Pikmin games. There were audible reactions from several journalists when a giant Bulborb walked onscreen and gazed confusedly at the players.
That was just the beginning though. Any fan of Zelda will be in awe when they first see the Bridge of Eldin stage from Twilight Princess. Once again, there more yells of delight as this time, King Bulblin and Lord Bullbo rode across the screen, hitting everything and everyone in their way. Yet another stage that was simply hilarious to play on was the Wario Ware stage. Anyone who has played the Wario Ware games knows how hectic they are, and playing in this stage in Brawl was no different. At one point as a four-player battle was raging, the Wario Ware announcer ordered everyone to freeze, and I was dumbfounded when I saw that everyone - including myself - most certainly did stop bashing buttons and waited for the timer to end. This gives a whole new meaning to the term 'interactive levels'.
We were also given a glimpse at the single player campaign for Brawl, called 'Subspace Emissary'. Gamers are promised a truly engrossing campaign, complete with boss battles and fantastic looking cutscenes (though, very Nintendo-like, little voice-acting). It plays out like a side scrolling adventure, with some role-playing game elements thrown in. For instance, you can pick up stickers that are strewn about the levels and written on them will be level-up stats for certain characters. You can then apply those stickers to the characters and they will be more powerful when used in the campaign. You can't just go willy-nilly choosing any character you want in Subspace Emissary though. The characters you can choose from are dependant on the story, but you will get a chance to use several different characters through the course of the campaign.
There are other awesome features with Brawl, including a video replay save option and picture-taking option. Gamers can store a video of up to three minutes and save it on an SD card to show friends, and they can also be sent over Nintendo WiFi Connection. Same goes for pictures - as you watch a saved game, it's possible to pause it and take a picture, adjusting it in all kinds of ways, from how zoomed in or zoomed out it is, to what angle it's taken it. A level editor looks to even further increase the games replayability. I'm not much for making levels, but I love playing user-generated ones, and Nintendo has people like me covered as well. Owners of Brawl will be able to sign up for a free service that allows Nintendo to send everyone on the list one user-generated level per day.
It was impossible for us to go through everything this game had to offer in a little over an hour's worth of time, but we saw enough to be thoroughly awestruck by how much stuff was crammed onto one little disc. You heard it for Mario Galaxy a few months ago, and I guarantee you'll be hearing it a lot more for Brawl: this is the reason you bought a Wii.
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