SmashRadar: Brawl Grand Championship

We sought out the two pro gamers who made it to the finals and asked what they thought of the strategy. Both pro gamers had chosen to play the Ice Climbers and only one of them even made it to round two. David Campondonico of New Jersey clued us in on something we couldn’t tell from watching the fights: “There’s about a half a second of lag because we’re playing on Hi-Def screens.” He shook his head and shrugged. “With the new system like it is [grabs aren’t as powerful and random chance of falling down during an attack], if you’re not training online, you’re just not used to the delay.”

David’s strategy with the Ice Climbers to make up for this problem was to grab Ike and execute a down-throw repeatedly while moving towards the edge of the stage. The tactic almost worked- except for Ike’s up B recovery which unleashes a sword-slash when it makes contact with anybody standing on the edge. David would try to back the Ice Climbers up by jumping- but if Ike caught one of them in the air with the sword, it was damned hard to recover.

David also put his finger on something else that’s been bugging us ever since we started Brawl: “In Melee, you could have 300% damage and KO somebody. That guy [could then] respawn at 0% - but it’s still not his game. Anything could happen.” And in Brawl, it just isn’t like that. Most of the fights we saw were pretty much over when somebody got beyond 160% damage.

But don’t feel too bad for David and the other pro gamer- though they normally participate in tournaments (Halo, Gears of War, etc.) as sponsored players, they were both playing in the Brawl Championship “just for fun.”

The Grand Championships ended with a bang after one of the Ikes took out Link in round three and went on to face- you guessed it- another Ike, played by Lee Martin himself.

Before the brawl began, Lee told us: “It’s not how good you train, it’s how good the people you train with are.”

And boy, he must’ve been training with the best because Lee took out the competition and won the grand prize of Vizio 37” LCD-TV, an whole Nintendo Wii Software Library, a Wii (with some accessories), $5,000 in cash and the fugliest statue you’ve ever seen.

Above: We hope he didn’t have to take that on the plane with him...

It was a hell of a show and GamesRadar was glad to be there. Check back next week for more SmashRadar goodness and head over to theForumsand tell us what your winning Brawl strategy would be.

Apr 18, 2008