I’m not a long time Nintendo gamer, so I just didn’t get all the excitement about Super Smash Brothers Brawl. But I bought it mainly because my son wanted it after playing the N64 version last summer. [And I bought it no thanks to Gamestop who only sold it to people with pre-orders.]
My son, daughter and I have put in 3-8 fights almost every night since we got it. My son is 8 1/2 and my daughter is nearly 6. And we’re having a lot of fun. We played cutthroat until we read the manual and saw how to create teams, so the kids often team up against just me or me and the CPU. We’ve played some of the single player game as well as the events. But we’re still far from exploring everything in the game, which almost seems overwhelming. I even played the coin shooting minigame to collect more stickers or trophies [not that any of us are really interested in that part of the game].
In short, I’m appreciating the excitement people had for the game, although I still think it’s a bit much. Here are the good and bad things that have struck me about the game:
- The player profiles are very useful, allowing us to have our own control settings. [I like the waggle for the smash attack.]
- The level editor is a great feature, but it has two problems: very limited backgrounds and structures, and a clunky interface. Building levels take time and patience. However, I think this is a great feature that gives the gaming community something to contribute to the game. [In fact, I had parked a domain and created a beta version of a website to allow players to trade levels, but IGN's site is already quite popular.]
- The default controls are simple yet very effective, providing more variations that I expected.
- Some of the game levels are just too large because the characters are so small even on my 50-inch tv that it’s hard to time attacks. I prefer the small, more up-close levels.
- The online features are still very rough with many players getting error messages when they try to play. I tried several times and never got past seeking for players to join. However, last night, I managed to find a group. The online team brawl worked very well with no noticeable lag. The key was sticking with a group of players once you found some. Hopefully, Nintendo will improve this part of their games.
I see SSBB as a casual game for the simple reason that it’s easy to start playing and each match can be very short. This is ideal for us when we have maybe 15 minutes as a family to play a game. I don’t see it as a better game than Super Mario Galaxy, but it is a very excellent game, which I had a lot of doubts about.