When you look at the multiplayer fighting games on each of the consoles, only one will offer 4-player, simultaneous combat. And only one gives you combatants seen in other titles. Sora Ltd, led by Masahiro Sakurai, the series creator, is doing a follow-up game to one of the most enamored Nintendo games ever to hit America’s shores: Super Smash Brothers Melee (SSBM). This one is called “Brawl”.
SSBM was the delight of delights when it released in 2001. The game offered the usual Nintendo goodness: great art style, refined controls, superior gameplay, and overall depth; it’s much more refined than the original on N64, which we won’t get into. But what set it apart from other Nintendo titles? Ah, there in those words is the key: other titles. The biggest benefactor to SSB’s success was the ingenious idea to use Nintendo’s most prominent lead characters and pit them against each other in a fighting game.
The appeal for such a game was immense. Players could choose their favorite Nintendo franchise character and do battle with up to 3 other players. Thankfully, none of that has changed, except for the addition of other new characters, as well as a healthy face-lift. The overall gameplay, however, isn’t new and fans will be able to jump right into a fresh and rewarding Smash Brothers game.
The new characters invited to Super Smash Bros: Brawl has created quite a stir, especially one in particular: Solid Snake. Yup, Hideo Kojima’s brain child snuck his way into the ultimate multiplayer fighting game. This was a very interesting addition, considering most all Metal Gear Solid games released on the Playstation brand systems, the only exception being Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes developed by Silicon Knights for the Gamecube. I can only speculate that some sort of agreement must have been made wherein Snake may appear in another game also slated for the Wii. Again, that’s only speculation, but it would make sense: This for That. Whether this proves true or not is cause for future concern, but not for the immediate. I say again: Solid Snake is a playable character in the new Super Smash Brother’s game! That’s huge. Fans of both franchises are doing the happy dance as we speak, myself included. The only downside (if you want to call it that) is that Snake will only be using “explosives” rather than guns as well as his stellar hand-to-hand combat skills. Oh, and Snake brought his trusty cardboard box…you didn’t think he would show up without it, did you?
As huge as that is, there’s also other characters not seen before smashing into the new game. The list of new characters in not all that long, but they’re still a great addition to an already impressive roster. However, there were hidden characters in the previous titles, expect this game to be no different. From the little we do know it seems most all of the characters from Melee are returning. Good.
So, let’s talk about the other announced new characters. Each description and screenshot can be viewed at the Official Super Smash Brothers Website.
First up is Meta Knight: “Kirby's rival. A master swordsman gifted with chivalry, a rare trait in Dream Land. In Smash Bros. his mach-speed sword slices make him a rather cool character. But his most eye-catching asset is the gallant shape of his battleship, Halberd! Incredible!”
The next new character is Pit, the hero of the NES game Kid Icarus: “He is the head of the royal bodyguards for the goddess Palutena, a denizen of Angel Land. At will, Pit is able to separate and unite the blades of the Sacred Bow of Palutena, which was given to him by the goddess. This allows him to adapt to the circumstances of any battle as he fights. Just as Link's design has evolved over the life of the Legend of Zelda series, Pit, who was born in the same time period, has taken a giant leap forward in his evolution.”
Lastly is Wario: “This time, the Wario you know from the ‘WarioWare’ series makes an appearance. In trying to embody the flavor of the original game, we've aimed to give him some rather...excessive movements. What does that mean, you ask? You'll just have to wait and see. The flatulence you saw in the movie (trailer) is a fantastic move we're tentatively calling the Wario Waft. The more time passes the more Wario's gas builds up...”
New characters mean new styles and moves, right? It wouldn’t be fair if these new characters stole all the glory now would it? There are no specifics, but from viewing trailers and screenies, we’re able to discern that everyone shall be getting a new Special Move, or at least a special power or two. It may be item enhanced (also from screenshots), and/or it may be inherent. Each new move is definitely character specific from their respective background or style. Remember the description of Meta Knight’s airship, the Halberd? Expect to see it as a special move within the game.
Not only that, but most of the characters will be getting a makeover. Link, like his appearance in the new Twilight Princess, will be looking much older – and much more detailed.
All the characters in the game look a lot more detailed this time around, some, like Link, look more mature. Also, Samus Aran received a totally new look. Many fans would also recognize the name, if not the suit: Zero Suit Samus.
The controls, like overall gameplay, appear the same. Makes sense as it would seem the Wii-mote’s sensor functions wouldn’t be the best use in this game. So, expect to use your old Gamecube remote or use the new SNES-like remote offered at launch of the system.
Music in this game has been stepped up a notch as well. Also from the Official Website is this: “The main theme was created for us by none other than famed Final Fantasy composer, Nobuo Uematsu! Additionally, opera singer Ken Nishikiori has also participated in this project on vocals. ...And as a special service to readers of this site, I can say that the game's music will be performed by a full orchestra. It will be a deluxe chorus complete with lyrics in Latin. It's of a slightly different disposition than previous Smash Bros. games, wouldn't you say? I also want to change the atmosphere of the game itself a little, too. But you'll just have to look forward to how I'll be doing that.” That sounds very impressive, to say the least.
It looks like we have a lot to look forward to. And, looking forward is definitely what we’ll be doing as the game doesn’t release until sometime in 2007. Even with the little that we know, the game appears to be more than on the right path. If all things come together, we can expect a very awesome game indeed. As the new information hits the world, expect VGCore to keep you posted.