So, it's the third game in one of Nintendo's most popular series. Super Smash Brothers Brawl was probably the most hyped Nintendo game of 2008. The question is, did it live up to it? To me, it lived up... Most of the way. Some major issues that were left open were the clones. Plus, certain things could have been better. Altogether though, this was a great game.
For the Wii, which isn't exactly known for it's amazing graphics, Brawl is high on the list for good visual appeal. The characters themselves are very detailed, and you can see the major differences, especially when comparing Brawl to Melee. The graphics aren't perfect, as they never are with the Wii, and a lot of the stages could have been better. I was kinda hoping at first that the returning Melee stages would be remastered with Brawl graphics, but I was somewhat disappointed. Still, not enough to dock any points. 8/10 for me.
The music was very impressive. Half the songs when you listen to them just give you the feeling of "YES! That is a song to fight to!" Or something of that nature. There are exceptions, like Ai No Uta and Environmental noises (how that song made it into Brawl I will never know), but for the most part, the music is very well organized and sounds very good. The sound effects are quite the same. None of it sounds out of place, it is a major upgrade from Melee.9/10
The gameplay... Now here is where Brawl will receive docked points from me. Upon getting the game, I was amazingly excited to see the next Smash BRothers game. After playing it for a while, though, I noticed some big differences from previous installment. First, the fighting was slower. It wasn't as fast paced as melee, and it allowed for the spammers and campers to rise through the ranks of the game because it's so much harder to get to them. Certain characters (like Pit and Ike) ruined the online mode because so many people did nothing but spam, or camp then go for the KO when others had a high enough damage level. Combos are no longer in this game quite as much, and unlike Melee, there isn't as much depth to the fighting. In other words... You can only get so good before you peak. The next point could be good or bad, but the gameplay is also so much easier to master. It's nice for beginners, but for veterans, who make up the majority of those playing the game, will get bored because it's not all that hard to master the techniques, and then get frustrated when everybody else rises to their level so quickly. Just a thought. The Multiplayer was still good, like all Smash Bros. Games, but not as good.
Single player was fun, with more to do than in Melee. The Subspace Emissary was great, although it would have been nice to see them fighting in their own worlds (like Mushroom Kingdom or Hyrule) and against their own enemies. Other than that, though, it was great. The Boss Battles Mode is also a great addition the single player and it was honestly the most entertaining feature of the single player modes. Multi Man Brawl is now harder, which I like. However, it would have been nicer if each character had a different target test rather than just those five, but that's not a major issue. Calssic and All-Star are the same as always. So, as a whole, I'd give the gameplay a 7/10, only docking for the decreased fun factor of the multiplayer mode, and the slight disapointment with the SSE.
This factor surprised me about the game. I thought I'd be playing Brawl for a year straight like I had with Melee. However, I wasn't. It's so easy to unlock all of the characters in Brawl just beating the subspace emissary. The single player modes are fun, but won't keep most people entertained for that long of a time. The challenges to beat do help keep people going, but after a while, many start to ask "What's the point?" and give up.
Now the multiplayer should be the saving grace for the game right? Eh... Kinda. While it's still fun, I honestly found myself going back and playing Melee again because I thought the multiplayer was so much more fun Brawl does have a better item selection, though, and it makes for some chaotic special battles if you like playing it that way. So, all in all, it was only a so-so for me on the lastability. 7/10
There are a few other things I'd like to point out that really couldn't go anywhere else.
First off are the clones. Why keep them? Not only did they keep the clones from the old games and not give them their own movesets, but they added MORE. The replaced Young Link with Toon Link, which was almost exactly the same. Ganondorf is still a clone of CF, and Falco of Fox. They then added Lucas, very similar to Ness, and Ike, very similar to Marth, and Wolf, ismilar to Fox. All it shows is the lack of originality from the designers to put these characters in, knowing that they're going to be practically the same as another character.
Second, and this isn't a big issue, but I'd like to point out that Sakurai seems to not like the competetive aspect of the game. It seems to me that he tried to even things out too much. He sent some of the best characters (Fox, Sheik... Ganondorf and Captain Falcon especially) down to the worse characters on the list, while giving others, Kirby, Game and Watch, Pikachu, major upgrades. Brawl takes away from the competetive aspect of the game which I miss from Melee, because the characters were made too balanced out. And then come to find out that in most tourneys, Meta Knight and Snake are practically ubbeatable... So he weakened the former strong ones, and then made two characters the ultimate top characters.
However, that aside, Brawl was still a very good game. There are issues that I have with it, as stated already, but it is still a game that I'd recommend you to buy, especially if you're a first timer to the series.
Final Score: 80%