The Brawl Blog

Right now I’m playing the heck out of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, so I felt compelled to write something about it. This really isn’t a review, per se, just a bunch of random opinions of mine about the game. OK, so maybe it is a review, I don’t know. And I guess I should say there will be spoilers in this blog, too.

If you don’t know what Super Smash Bros. Brawl is, it’s basically a cartoony fighting game with popular Nintendo characters. It’s quite fun, I like it a lot. Not as much as some folks, but I still really enjoy it. It’s basically a love letter to all things Nintendo. That’s probably why I like it so much, since Nintendo is my second favorite game company (if it were Namco Smash Bros., we’d all be in trouble!).

The level of improvement isn’t as great as it was from the first game to Melee, but the level of technology wasn’t as big a jump either. I like to think of it as similar to the level of improvement from the first three Mega Man games. Mega Man 2 was vastly better than the first game. There wasn’t as big of an improvement from Mega Man 2 to 3, but in 3, they took the improvements from 2 and refined them. That’s how I feel about Brawl. They took the improvements from Melee and polished them.

Of course, unlike Mega Man games, Nintendo hasn’t pooped out too many Smash Bros. games, even though they could have. Actually, I’m kind of glad that there hasn’t been a glut of Smash Bros. sequels. It’s been nearly 8 years since we last had a Smash Bros. game, and a lot of things have happened since then that they’ve put into Brawl. When Melee came out, there was no such thing as the DS, no Brain Training, no Wario Ware, and new Nintendo properties like Pikmin and Animal Crossing were just getting their starts. It may sound crazy for me to say this, but I hope it’ll be another 8 years before we see another Smash Bros. game. Unless they wanted to make one for the DS, that is. Games like Jump! Superstars have shown that a Smash Bros game would work well on the DS.

Kirby Love

One of the things I really like about Brawl is all the Kirby in it. I’m a big Kirby fan, and I enjoy the Kirby games probably more than the Mario series. I guess it makes sense that there’s a lot of Kirby stuff in Brawl, as it’s made by the same people who did the Kirby games.

We have three Kirby characters you can play as. Kirby (my favorite), Meta Knight (Jeff’s favorite), and King Dedede. And all are awesome. I like how the Kirby stage in this one isn’t cute and colorful like the last Smash Bros. stages were. It’s actually a dark and mechanical stage that has Meta Knight’s Halberd ship from Kirby Super Star in the background. And most of the Kirby music in Brawl isn’t happy and bouncy, it’s hard rock metal remixes of classic Kirby tunes. Great stuff.

And finally, one of my favorite new items you can pick up is from Kirby Air Ride, one of the most underrated GameCube games ever (I think I’m the only one that says it’s better than Double Dash). In Brawl, you can pick up three parts of a Air Ride machine called the Dragoon, and once you do, you can target someone and fly into them for an instant KO. I love it.

Wario Love

Another new character I’m glad is in here is Wario. But even better, it’s not just regular ol’ Wario, it’s the Wario from the WarioWare games! Aside from Animal Crossing, the WarioWare games are my favorite new property from Nintendo. I also like the WarioWare stage you fight on in Brawl. It keeps the spirit of WarioWare in the stage because every so often, a ‘mini-game’ will pop up and you must do whatever the instructions tell you to. And if you successfully dodge or taunt or whatever, you’ll get an automatic power up as an advantage, like being big or invincible. The only other thing I could ask for is more WarioWare characters to play as, like 9-Volt or Mona. At least Kat and Ana are an assist trophy.

Subspace Emissionary

I guess it’s kind of good that they made a more substantial one player game in Brawl, but in my opinion, I don’t think the Subspace Emissionary game was very good. It was really just a below average beat em up/platformer with Smash Bros. elements thrown in. One thing that I don’t like about it is that the way the characters control works for a fighting game, but not so good in a platformer with some of the characters. Also, it’s a shame that playing with one player is better than playing with two players in the Subspace game. It’s just too hectic with two.

One thing I learned while playing the Subspace game is that Meta Knight would make a good character for a single player Kirby spin off game. He’s very versatle and fun to control in the Smash game. But all in all, I like the “Adventure” mode from Melee better. At least there’s plenty of other single player challenges to keep you busy in Brawl for a long time.


Another one of my favorite things about Brawl is the music. There’s TONS of it, and you can unlock bunches of classic Nintendo songs by picking up CDs in the stages. I’ve found more than 250 songs so far! Most of the music is remixed and orchestrated, which is great. I’m kind of a closet music buff and I really enjoy live orchestra music (I secretly want to go see an opera just to see what one is like). I think orchestrated music works with just about any game. Even games you wouldn’t think would work with orchestrated music, like Kirby Air Ride and Super Mario Galaxy. Kind of makes me wish Twilight Princess had orchestrated music, it would’ve sounded so much better. Of course, the main reason why the music in Brawl is so good is because the music cast is like a who’s who list of game musicians.

Trophies and Stickers

One of my favorite new things from Melee is back…with a vengence! You can get TONS of trophies in Brawl. I think you can get nearly twice as many trophies in Brawl as you could in Melee. Lots of Kirby trophies, too. There’s even a trophy of my favorite Twilight Princess character (Agitha). New to Brawl are stickers you can collect, too. I’ve got more than 500 of them already! The stickers are actually useful, too, as you can ‘equip’ them in the Subspace one player game to increase stats. You can also stick your favorite stickers in an album and take a picture of them, but the game froze up on me the last time I did that (more on picture taking later).


If there is one bad thing about Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it’s that the online features are crap. Ever since I got the Xbox 360, I’ve realized how behind and outdated and cumbersome Nintendo’s Wii online stuff is. I can’t help but think how much better Super Smash Bros. Brawl would’ve been on the 360 (as impossible as that would be to happen). You CAN play online with anyone in Brawl, but good luck trying to get a good connection with minimal lag. They say it’s better when you play with friends online, but getting that to work is bass ackwards, too. You have to enter yet ANOTHER friend code. Right now I’ve only got one ‘official’ friend registered, and that’s a friend from work. And yet we still haven’t played online with each other because we never know when each other will be online. Now, if Brawl were an Xbox game, we could see when each other was online and one of us could send the other one an invite to play. It would just make everything so much easier. I know the Wii online stuff is free, so you get what you pay for, but I’d almost be willing to pay for a service if it were as good as the Xbox Live stuff. It would be worth the money to me. After seeing how crappy the online stuff is handled with Brawl, I’m a little more leary about the other possible online game on the Wii I’d be looking forward to: Animal Crossing.

Smile and say “Peach”

Another new little feature I like in Brawl is that you can take snapshots while you battle. You can make some funny poses. I’ve had fun taking pictures of Sonic outrunning F-Zero cars and such. Sometimes it’s almost like being a family portrait photographer. “OK, get in the center there, Kirby, a little closer to Zelda. Now Zelda, crouch down near Kirby. And smile. Come on, Zelda, SMILE (Zelda never smiles).”

The only problem with taking pictures is that if you want to send them to friends, they have to own the Brawl game AND be on your code list. It’s such a pain because in other Wii games where you can take pictures and send them to friends, it just saves the picture in the photo center, and then you could just attach the picture to a message on the Wii message board and send it that way. I think that would’ve been a better way to do it in Brawl.

Other improvements and quibbles

Aside from the online stuff, I really can’t think of anything major I would add to Brawl. They pretty much put all the characters I asked for in Brawl, like Meta Knight, King Dedede, Wario, and Toon Link. Some of the new characters I don’t like as much, like Pit or Olimar (I’ve never really been a big fan of Kid Icarus or Pikmin).

The two non-Nintendo characters, Sonic and Solid Snake, kind of feel out of place to me. But then again, I never was much of a Sonic or Metal Gear fan. I would’ve much rather had Pac-Man or Mega Man as guest Smash characters, myself.

Super Smash Imagination Time

As silly as it sounds for a man over thirty to use his imagination like I’m about to, I still think it’s important to have an imagination, even as an adult. So I started thinking about if I could put my Mii character or myself into a Smash Bros. game. What attacks would I have? Here’s what I came up with if I were a character in Smash Bros. Brawl:

Up and A: In the game I would wear a Pooka hat and inflate it like Dig Dug so I could float like Kirby.

Down and A: Taiko hit. I like the down and A move that Donkey Kong has where he slaps the ground, so I would do the same thing except with Taiko drum sticks. And if you hit the ground in time with the music, little Taiko icons would bounce out like they do in the Taiko game and hit anyone in the way.

Forward and A: I would throw a random game sprite at enemies for damage.

A and no direction: I would pull out a giant Pac-Pix DS stylus and swing it like a baseball bat. Good for up close damage and reflecting projectiles.

Throw move: I like the long distance throw moves like Link’s hookshot and Samus’ grapple beam, so mine would be similar, except I’d toss out a couple of corded Samba de Amigo maracas to trap the opponent.

Final Smash: “Namco Assist” You know how in Brawl you can pick up assist trophies that let a random minor Nintendo character help you out? Well if I got the Smash Ball, everyone would get trampled by a stampede of Namco characters. Everyone from Pac-Man, Mr. Driller, Valkyrie, Wonder Momo, Klonoa, Dig Dug, Reiko Nagase, The Prince, etc.

Taunts: Since everyone in Brawl has three taunts, I would either just sit down, fall asleep, or pull out a DS long enough so you can hear “Objection!” since that’s probably the game I would be playing.

So what kind of attacks would YOU have if you were in Brawl?

Other favorites

So what are YOUR favorite Brawl characters? Mine are Kirby, Zelda, Meta Knight, Wario, and King Dedede.

What are your favorite Brawl stages? Mine are the Animal Crossing stage, WarioWare stage, Halberd, and Electroplankton stage.

Oh yeah, and here’s my friend code. Maybe we can trade pictures or go online sometime. Maybe.

My Wii number: 0949-9733-6233-5579

Brawl: 2363 5303 4060

And in my opinion, just to answer any questions from all you wonderfully concerned parents out there, I think Super Smash Bros. Brawl is perfectly safe for any kid, despite the T for Teen rating.  –Cary

Zelda Brawl

No Responses to “The Brawl Blog”

  1. Cary – thanks for that informative overview! We are fairly new to this, the ‘Cube was our first Nintendo console and therefore Melee our first SSB game. So I was wondering a bit about all of the buzz – because it feels like a somewhat updated version of Melee. So I was glad that you filled in the blanks. Also talking to my son last night helped – we only played a couple of hours before I had to come back to Corning, but they all played more yesterday (their school was off for a teacher development day, giving the kids a 4.5 day weekend!). He started earning loads of stuff and playing the solo game and so on. Both kids are completely enamored with the game.

    As for the online stuff, that is a bit of a quandry … because while the XBOX system is nice, it comes with some serious baggage – the user community. That automatically makes the game a ‘parental interaction/intervention/guidance required’ thing, because sadly there are too many jerks out there just looking for others to beat on.

    It seems that Nintendo could do something a bit more, though – especially in terms of opening things up between ‘friends’.

    I have no idea what our codes are … maybe after the rest of the crew lands in NY we’ll get it all sorted …

  2. While Brawl isn’t what I expected I still think its the best game of the year… until Mario Kart for the Wii comes out or Spore. I would have loved to have Mega Man, Travis Touchdown(long shot at best), Waluigi, in the next installment on Super Smash Brothers. I am upset that they left out Dr. Mario.
    My Favorite Characters are Pit, Pokemon Trainer, Toon Link, and Falco.

  3. I’ve had it since launch but not played much – I just haven’t had time. Sam and I played for a bit last night though, and then I played by myself for a while longer, and while it does feel familiar to Melee, for me that’s a great thing – I never actually bought Melee, just rented it once. See, at the time Sam wasn’t really into gaming, so I would have been soloing it, and that’s just not as fun.

  4. Shae: At least Waluigi is an assist trophy. Dr. Mario was just a palette swap of Mario. They do that a little bit too much in these games. –Cary

  5. I don’t find it fun to play, but my kids certainly do. From what I’ve seen, it looks like the on-line play amounts to having some opponents available that are more challenging (or at least varying) since they’re being driven by humans instead of an AI engine.

    One time I was watching them play and didn’t recognize one of the characters. When I asked who it was, I heard “Mennonite”, and so I commented that it must be one of the ones that has no issues with using technology. They didn’t get it.

  6. “Mennonite?” I think they meant to say “Meta Knight.” –Cary

  7. True Dr. Mario was just a copy but I hate using Mario.

  8. Cary wrote: [i]“Mennonite?” I think they meant to say “Meta Knight.”[/i]

    Not to belabor my mild attempt at humor above, but I’m sure that they *did* say Meta Knight, but that’s just not what I heard. Most likely because I’d never run across that character before and my brain came up with a different but close-sounding noun. Maybe my communication problem with my kids above also extends to folks here. 😉

  9. Shae: Well if you’re going to palette swap Mario, Dr. Mario’s the way to do it. I’m looking forward to Wii Ware so I can download the Wii Dr. Mario game. –Cary

  10. Any opinions on the control scheme? Old-school gamecube controllers preferred or are the Wiimotes good enough/better?

  11. GameCube controllers, definitely. –Cary

  12. Definitely agree on the ‘Cube controllers – I felt compelled to try the WiiMotes, my kids warned me (since when did parents listen?) and they were right.

  13. Kirby is cool. It’s especially fun to suck someone up then take a snapshot with kirby on the head of that person. We have some shots of that here.

    You should check out . It has over 1300 snapshots from Smash Bros Brawl, and they are all catagorized, tagged, and the best ones are posted on the front page every day.

  14. oh yeh this games is awsume!!!!!!!!!! zeldas soo freekin hot omg!!! and peach is a freekin babe!!!! jezzus did u see zero suit samus!!! she is 1 hot blonde!!!!

  15. My lil bro is stuck on level sixteen of ” the subspace emissionary” I tried to help him bit I got stuck too LOL!!
    It’s the part with the doors that go in circles…
    Any suggestions???
    I’m completely lost..

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!