Before we award Brawl the high score it deserves, we have to climb on our high horse for a moment and spout some related complaints. This is a mountainous achievement, the likes of which Wii will probably never see again. Brawl brilliantly shines as a beacon of hope for Wii development, a rallying point all other programmers should gather around. Future developers - take a page from Sakurai and spend some time honing your game to its best. No more shoddy ports and please, no more tacked-on motion controls.
And that last bit - motion controls - leads us to the second aside. This stands a good chance of being the Wii's highest selling, most beloved game, just as Melee was on GameCube. And it has nothing to do anything Wii was paraded around for. The waggle control option is horrendous, forcing us to play with either a Classic Controller or GameCube standby. We'll repeat that last part: the safest way to play Wii's best game is with Nintendo's seven-year-old GameCube controller. Doesn't that bother anyone? It's got nothing to do with the quality of SSBB, but we have to wonder aloud how many "gamer games" are being restrained so Nintendo can crank out cheap family game after cheap family game.
The final word on Brawl is nothing but love. From the digital-crack gameplay to the ocean-deep customization to the enjoyable Subspace Emissary, it's completely jam-packed with Nintendo love. The sights, the sounds, everything is an unfiltered pat on the back and incessant in-joke for longtime fans. For everyone else, it's a dependably solid fighter that destroys its predecessor in every way, opening up the door to even more new players. All in all, it's the Wii's perfect party game and Nintendo's most extensive work.
So for all this, we have to go with a 10. It's Wii's equivalent of Halo 3, a sequel that didn't change much at the core, but piled so much extra content on top that you'd be a damn fool to pass it up. It'll outlast Twilight Princess, it'll outsell Mario Galaxy and it'll most likely stay tucked inside your Wii for untold months to come (at least until Mario Kart comes out). Brawl is not perfect, but we don't award half points - we go 9 or 10, and the former is simply too low.
Mar 6, 2008