One of the great things about having free time again is that I have time to do thing I want to do, not things I have to do. So I spent the better part of this evening and early morning playing the new Super Smash Bros. for the Wii. After an annoying 2 hour wait in line with smelly gamers, I managed to score a shelf copy after one of the local gaming stores lost my reservation. I'm not bitter, I'm just glad I scored it.
So what do I think? The game is great. The control schema is simple and flexible, allowing you to use either the Wii controller and Nunchuck, the Sidways Wii Controller, the Classic Controller Add-on or the Gamecube controller. I must admit to being a little disappointed by the control schema using the wii controller, I was expecting some really cool motions and such for controls, but no such luck. The game instead uses the joystick part of the nunchuck and the various buttons for the incredibly simple punch, special moves, and block control schema. The simplistic scheme is what allows it to use any of the controller types, saving would be party hosts the expense of having to shell out 30 bucks for 4 Wii controllers.
So I had a group over and we spent the better part of 6 hours playing. The end result, we didn't jump over to Mario Party at all the whole night, staying engrossed in the combative competition, with my main character Donkey Kong taking the cake for the most wins, with my wifes character of Peach coming in second. The returning characters have all the same moves that they had in previous games, with DK returning with his Monkey Temper Tantrum ground slap, his "Donkey Punch", and the windmill spin. Mario has his ever annoying coin punch, spin, and stupid fireballs. Pikachu of course remains a pain with cheap lightning moves and such. Pretty much what you would expect in terms of a Smash Bros game.
The levels are a nice change. Unlike in Melee, Brawl has its own new levels, plus the addition of the levels in Melee. Noticeably absent, at least where we are at with only a few unlockables, are the original Smash Bros levels. Which brings up one of the only gripes I do have with the game. When I sit down with a party type game like Smash Bros or Mario Party, the last thing I really want is to have to unlock secret characters and levels. One of the big things we were looking forward to was Snake from Metal Gear, only to find out he was an unlockable. So, we will bare through it and try to unlock him. Also notably absent was the rumored original Smash Bros virtual console release. Although I am not disappointed by that, because this version has so much replay value.
So much to take in, and all we have done so far is play the multiplayer mode. I have yet to try and online gaming since I am selective as to who I will play with, and I have not tried solo play yet. The end result is the wait was worth it, and the game is incredibly addicting. I am sure there have been some nayser game reviews, part of the reason I quit reading game reviews by professional reviews is due to some ridiculous, quasi notion of "artistic quality" that they seem to judge games by, totally ignoring important aspects such as fun and entertainment, so to hell with those reviews. This game was worth putting up with smelly gamers and lame Star Trek jokes for two hours.
Update: I missed one important thing, you can create your own stages.... nuff said