Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

AL11- GrAnger!

Envy does the last thing possible to set himself as the most hated creature in Greed’s existence. Don’t worry, Puppyman, having an inter-dimensional gateway for a torso is so much keener than having a screw top head! And he’s small and puntable! If you had legs...

All Slapeggs are hereby required to give major, major congrats to my good friend, Petro, who is getting married! Good I couldn’t be there for it, but best of happiness to you Autumn and Mark!

Not Even Remotely Quick Review: Smash Brothers Brawl- Brawl is a lot like Nintendo’s version of Halo 3: a massive ad campaign and so much hype that unless it cured cancer, it was going to be a let down, and in the end it’s nothing more than the previous version with some tweaks. Really nothing is improved upon and no changes have been made to Melee’s problems, so it’s really only a Melee with a few new fighters. The new characters and stages are both pretty meh. The newcomers are either really slow, offer nothing special when compared to the previous roster, or are just uninteresting. Sure it’s all opinion, but Lucas, Diddy, Wario, Snake, Lucario, Rob, and Zero Suit Samus just don’t do anything for me and outside of mixing things up, they’re aren’t worth learning. Most of the stages follow the “main platform plus three or four mini platforms” layout and just have a gimmick added. Some gimmicks are fun, like the Wario Ware stage, but others, like Pit’s, are basically just Final Destination with a new coat of paint. The main features are essentially the same with some minor changes. You can do almost infinite combos by just holding the A button (get someone up against a wall with a character like Falcon and you can do 150% to them easily), shielding/dodging have basically become the “make me invincible” button (enemies will perform perfect guards with frustrating frequency even when set to level 2 or 3), and the gameplay just feels “heavy”. Most characters feel like they move slower or have long delays before they attack so the game feels less frantic and fun. The additions like the Assist Trophies and Final Smashes are for the most part so overpowered that I prefer to play without them. Depending on the board, some characters’ special moves are guaranteed instant death while others do almost nothing. In a battle set with Items on medium, four Final Smashes appeared in one round, so not only do they sap the fun out of a match, they do so with alarming regularity.
I had volumes ready to write about the problems with the new Adventure Mode, but it basically just falls into “little was done right”. The fighting mechanics don’t lend themselves well to the heavy emphasis on platforming and side scrolling, the enemies are poorly designed, uninteresting, swarm on you, have too much energy, and fight cheap, the levels are generic and boring, and the story borders on cheesy to inane to downright confusing. Instead of using Nintendo’s massive history or characters and levels and franchises, the levels are all “new” and have nothing to do with the game’s characters so you can really have just stuck any character in there and had the same result. Instead of generic jungle board 1, why wasn’t it a level from Donkey Kong Country? Instead of generic cave 72, make it any of the 6 million caves that have appeared in Nintendo games over the years. The story teases you with bits of potential of having the Nintendo heroes fighting against the Nintendo villains that have joined forces, but whenever you’re almost there, they throw these random nobodies at you. The final boss is introduced one level before you fight him, he has no backstory, the player is given no idea what his motivation or plans are, and aside from a name, all you know about him is that he glows blue and has one-hit KO moves that take up the entire screen. It’s not spoiling anything, but the game just pretty much throws Sonic at you. You’re watching the bad guy beat everybody up, Sonic appears from nowhere and saves everyone, and then you fight the final battle. Instead of weaving everything together, that’s how the whole game goes. One minute Bowser is working to literally destroy the entire planet and the next, he wants nothing more than to take Donkey Kong’s bananas. Falcon shows up to brutally slaughter a whole group of Pikmin, because... that’s what he does in-between races? Who stole Samus’s power suit? Why is Pikachu in a tube? Why is the Princess going for a casual stroll on the top of an interdimensional space ship in the middle of an all-out laser battle? Where the hell did that tea come from?! I’m not asking for much as far as story goes, I mean it’s a fighting game, but the whole experience shouldn’t amount to “what the hell just happened?”.
Online is fun but be warned that it’s extremely laggy, you can’t play on user created stages , it requires a code separate from the Friend Code you already have, and the room creation system needed a lot of work.
All in all, you’re getting little more than Melee with a spit shine and they forgot to take the spit off in many areas. You have the fun as usual events, classic mode, and vs matches and the rest of the package with bogged down with dozens of half-baked extras instead of a few fully-realized and well implemented features. So... why did this game get delayed for a year and a half if this is all we get?