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August 4, 2014

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Final Lists)

This is the final part of this gigantic Super Smash Brothers Brawl review! If you've missed the rest, you can read the five preceding parts here, here, here, here and here. Don't miss them, they contain a hilarious riff on the Subspace Emissary mode!

Told you I'd do that, well here it is! A full list of things I like about Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and a second list of things I don't like. With small explanations in most cases, but sometimes the qualities or defects are known well enough that I won't always have to explain myself.

Let's not waste any time, these lists are going to be long! So, here goes the first list... The Positive things I have to say! Also, the list is not in order from best to lesser best or anything, the numbers mean nothing. It's just things I like about the game, not classified.

1. For starters, just the fact that there's a technical total of 39 Brawlers (playable characters), counting Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, and replacing Pokémon Trainer by his three Pokémon. Add it up, it does make 39! 35+2-1+3=39!
2. The inclusion of Sonic and Snake. Third-Party Characters FTW!
3. Favorite new fighters: Pit, Zero Suit Samus, Pokémon Trainer, King Dedede, Toon Link, Sonic.
Gotta love squigglevision.
4. Many of the Taunts are just GREAT. You have to try them all. I just can't name the many that I love to see. Same goes for some idle animations and others, such as the tripping animation and the ducking animation. Some are very fun to see.
5. Favorite new Stages: Mushroomy Kingdom (duh!), Bridge of Eldin, Frigate Orpheon, Halberd, Pokémon Stadium 2, WarioWare, Inc., Smashville, PictoChat, Shadow Moses Island, Luigi's Mansion.
6. Favorite Assist Trophy characters: Andross, Dr. Wright, Hammer Bro, Kat & Ana, Mr. Resetti, Waluigi.
7. Most of the Final Smash attacks are freaking awesome. I say most because naming all the ones I like would be too long. To make up for that, I have a list of those I don't like in the second part of this post.
8. The music really kicks ass. I mean, I searched for about 35, maybe 40 songs from this game on Youtube and downloaded them! I especially like the rock/metal versions of already good songs, like Gourmet Race. Other songs have great musical arrangements that make them sound nice.
9. Favorite new Ball Pokémon: Celebi, Torchic, Metagross, Jirachi, Deoxys, Bonsly, Weavile.
10. You can walk with projectile-throwing items, which is a realistic improvement from Melee.
11. Banana peels and peel-induced tripping are fun; non-banana-peel-induced random tripping, on the other hand...
12. It's always fun to read the trophy descriptions. Think about it: They wrote descriptions for 544 trophies! Wow!
Gotta admit that those Nagagog are awesome
creatures. Also, they'd make cool Pokémon.
13. Collectible CDs, Trophies and Stickers! Hurray!
14. Favorite new items: Cracker Launcher, Bumper, Dragoon, Golden Hammer, Hothead, Pitfall, Smart Bomb, Soccer Ball, Unira.
15. Favorite Subspace Emissary enemies: Bytan, Floow, Gamyga (it's staring at YOU...), Glire/Glice/Glunder, Mite, Nagagog, Roturret, Shellpod, Towtow.
16. Favorite Subspace Emissary bosses: Petey Piranha, Galleom, Tabuu.
17. That all fighters in All-Star Mode are ranked by chronology in order of appearance of each franchise. From Game&Watch all the way to Pikmin. Neat.
18. All unlockable brawlers can be unlocked in three different ways: Playing an X number of matches, meeting the character in the Subspace Emissary, or completing another challenge in the game.
19. The possibility to design your own stages brings endless ways to have more fun.
20. It's great that you can save and re-watch matches of two minutes or less in length.
21. The Masterpieces section. If you set aside the, ahem, “loading times”, they give you a chance to try a game you've never played before. Plus, all those games are available on the Virtual Console!
Will you resist the urge of using a Hammer?
After I erased my game entirely to play Brawl for this review, I completed
most of the challenges... I still haven't used a single hammer.
Yay me!
22. The small number of hammers that can be used in the Challenges section to skip the worse challenges; some would consider it a flaw, I consider it a test for everyone. A test in self-restraint. Will you restrain yourself from smashing blocks of challenges that you could actually accomplish if you were to put some effort into it?
23. The trophies all contain great detail and are a lot of fun to watch in every way. Look, there's Snake under his box!
24. Many stickers are used by all characters, but some are restricted to characters from certain series, or characters with certain abilities or elements related to them. Good idea, I wouldn't have thought of that second one.
25. Again on the stickers, just that there are 700 of them. Good God, holy freaking wow.
26. I still find it freaking awesome that you can "play Pokémon" with the enemies and bosses in the Subspace Emissary.
27. Also awesome that when you defeat some enemies, they can release stickers or trophies. And if you've used stickers that have these effects, enemies will release stickers or trophies more often!
28. Getting 100% completion on the Subspace Emissary requires that you find every hidden treasure. By the end, only a few are very well-hidden. It's not a horrible number.
29. Even if you try not to play the Subspace Emissary to get everything, you can still complete a large number of challenges. Not all, but many.
30. You can also get a TON of random trophies and stickers thanks to the Coin Launcher. Increase your amount of money to 9999 and you can spend hours playing there, trying to get everything.
31. On the subject of the Coin Launcher, the added bonuses in it: When you kill all enemies of a group, you get more coins! If you kill enemies in about ten groups, you have a boost in your coin-launching speed!
32. You can play around with your trophies and stickers, and even though it's limited, it's still fun.
33. The Rotation Mode, while I never actually had enough people at my house to try it accurately, is an innovative idea, a good thing to use whenever there's a party at home with lots of gamers.
34. I like that they have that force field around in the ten seconds of the Home-Run Contest. No more being afraid of accidentally sending it away!
35. In the Sound Test, not only do you have access to all the songs (well, the ones available from the start and the ones you unlock through challenges and matches), but also to every single sound and voice made by the heroes. When you have all the characters, you even unlock Kirby's different voices and sounds whenever he has taken on the ability of another brawler! It sounds adorable.
36. In the Subspace Emissary, I noticed the team-ups between characters was... odd. In a good way. All the team-ups feature characters that you would have never expected to get together to face a common foe, for whatever reason. And it's really fun to see the results.
37. Some characters have attacks that change depending on some factors. We knew about Kirby's Down+B, Peach's vegetables, and Mr. Game&Watch's Magnitude attack, which were already fun. Now we have Olimar who sprouts Pikmin of random colors, with a different effect for each color, and King Dedede who shoots Waddle Dees, Doos, or Gordos. Nice.
38. In the Subspace Emissary mode, along with the yellow treasure boxes, there's also lots and lots of green boxes giving you hearts, stickers or extra lives. Always good to see that when your percentage is high.
39. Some of the levels contain gimmicks, like that level that is played in two versions, and you have to switch from one version to the other in order to progress. Nothing entirely new there, but still something that comes off as a surprise in a Smash game.
40. The Great Maze. What's better for a final level than all the levels combined into one? Maybe that it's not a straightforward level but a MAZE, and you have to visit pretty much all of it in order to access the final boss.
41. This said, Tabuu may not be my #1 favorite Subspace Emissary boss, but it's really a kick-ass villain. The chess master behind the whole thing, he doesn't appear until very late into the Adventure Mode, and even then he remains shrouded in mystery.
42. Being able to view all the Subspace Emissary cutscenes, and then the promotional videos for Brawl? In the game itself? Cool!
43. Looking at the Records section is great, especially to see how far you are into completing some of the achievements.
44. You can (technically) play the game in four different ways. Say what you want, but for me, that's really incredible, even if I stick to one.
45. Also, being able to change the button configuration for every controller.
46. Even though they're very hard to defeat, the fact that you can unlock three characters by finding them in the Subspace Emissary mode and defeating them in battle.
Also, that they made sure to include a few enemies from
known games.
47. In Boss Battles Mode, as you go up the difficulty setting, the bosses become faster. It's a little detail that enrages those trying to beat it on Intense, but it's a smart idea regardless.
48. Being able to go in 2-Player mode in most Solo modes. It's fun, even though playing any Solo mode in 2-Player will not help towards completing challenge objectives.
49. The Fighting Alloys are based on four brawlers (Mario, Capt. Falcon, Kirby and Zelda, I think). That's nice.
50. The Chronicle. Looking for games to play now, and you've tried all the Masterpieces? Well, here's a list of all the games referenced in Brawl! Lots of ideas for future games to play.
And I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but how can you blame me? There's so much in this game!

Now, the negative points. The list is shorter, but all these points can be irksome to many players. If I didn't like it, I might not be the only one. Some of it might be just nitpicking, but then again... I understand that the large team behind Brawl couldn't solve all of these. After all, it's impossible to please everyone, and many of my points are very subjective (The least favorite fighters/stages/Assist Trophy characters/Final Smashes/Ball Pokémon/items/enemies/bosses sections; those change for everyone). But other of these points are problems with the game that I must not be the only one to dislike. Without further ado, here's the list.
1. (I actually felt the need to put it above everything else.) The awful tripping mechanic. SAKURAAAAIIIIIIIIII! I don't mind with the banana peel, but the random tripping... Urgh. With my luck, it always happens at the worst moments. Such as when I'm trying to avoid a boss character's attack in Intense Mode of Boss Battles, or when I have to run quick to avoid a trap.
Picture from Brawl in the Family.
Sums up my thoughts perfectly.
Maybe with a different amount of As and Is.
2. Least favorite new fighters: Snake, Olimar, Meta Knight, Wario (when he's a CPU, anyway), Lucario.
3. Least favorite new Stages: Norfair, Port Town Aero Drive, Distant Planet, Spear Pillar, Mario Bros..
4. Least favorite Assist Trophy characters: Tingle, Nintendog (nothing against the pup, but he has a tendency to appear at the worst moments), Helirin, Devil.
Just meh.
5. Least favorite Final Smashes: Cook Kirby, the Landmaster and its variants, Rocketbarrel Barrage, Galaxia Darkness, End of Day, Diffusion Beam, Octopus.
6. While on the subject of Final Smashes, the fact that most AI characters seem to forget everything and chase after the Smash Ball when it appears.
7. Ditto for the Dragoon parts. It's not as bad, but it's there a bit.
8. Most of the music is good, but there's maybe ten or twenty that I dislike above the others. Mostly the ones that are too calm for a fighting game in my opinion.
9. Meta Knight's broken-ness. Overpowered? Him? He's banned everywhere, that tells you how overpowered he is! And yes, I still dislike using him.
10. Least favorite new Ball Pokémon: Gulpin, Kyogre, Munchlax, Manaphy.
11. Least favorite new items: Rolling Crate, Deku Nut, Gooey Bomb, Spring, Timer.
"I'm a frog, you're a frog, kiss me..."
Try that and I'll kick your ass into
12. Least favorite Subspace Emissary enemies: Autolance, Armank, Bucculus (Yuck), Buckot, Cymul, Greap, the enemy R.O.B.s, Spaak.
13. Least favorite Subspace Emissary bosses: Porky, Ridley, Duon.
14. The loading times. Yeah, you knew that was coming.
15. Boss Battles on Intense Mode is impossible for me. Or nearly impossible, but my f***ing bad luck gets in the way.
16. The Stage Builder is fun, but it's really lacking when it comes to special pieces to be used.
17. Also in the Stage Builder, that the Structures take so much place AND have such large gaps all around them.
18. The pictures take way too much memory space, which is odd.
19. The unbreakable challenge boxes. Raaaaurgh! Thank God they're rare.
20. I can't blame it on the game but on Nintendo, but the fact that Wi-Fi connection has been terminated makes it impossible now to play against other people around the world... yet the big button is still there on the main screen like it was still working. It's still working technically, but let's say the options behind it aren't exactly as useful as before. It's like Pokémon White still asking me to connect myself to Internet every time the game starts. Now that the Wi-Fi connection has been removed, it's just annoying.
21. You lose a sticker when you remove it from a character's trophy stand. I understand, but it's very unnerving the first time when it's not clear. This is a video game, we've been used to think anything could be recovered.
22. Also about the stickers, apparently their effects cannot be stacked. Might have to see if it isn't a problem with my game... Or maybe my information is wrong, that happens too. I say "apparently" because it somehow works for me regardless of the information...
23. When the CDs appear on a stage, they disappear way too quickly. That's not even counting the instances where the field is tilted, resulting in CDs falling down and away from the player.
24. You cannot zoom in or out too much on the trophy characters. I understand this was done to avoid another “Daisy's Third Eye” case, but come on Nintendo, we geeks live for those programming errors! We love that!
Just one of about three hundred fifty-two traps in the second
Subspace Bomb Factory level.
25. Some levels in the Subspace Emissary are very difficult, not just because of the enemies (some are not just unnerving but also way too hard to kill on the harder difficulties). Some levels have dangerous traps that are too difficult to avoid, while others have a camera that pans too fast and, as a result, you cannot keep up, especially if you've been ambushed by enemies and they're not letting you pass. Keep in mind: If you pass beyond the boundaries of the screen, you're close to death!
26. In the Coin Launcher, the goddamn invincible spheres and the holes, whenever they prevent you from hitting a trophy you need. Also, to an extent, the missiles, when they're in a huge number and you cannot let them reduce your number of coins.
27. The Cruel Brawls are way too hard. I can't knock out three of those ultra-hard opponents and you want me to knock out TEN in a single fight?
28. Trying to survive the 15-minute brawl? Tough luck. It's not the hardest thing on the list, but by the end you're just trying to avoid being hit, and you are also trying to avoid hitting opponents, as they keep getting stronger and KOing them is not the solution if you want to live.
29. Most of the time, when I hate a stage, it's not because of the layout, but rather because of the special things that happen on it, random events and the like. After all, you can get used to an odd layout and you can learn to avoid the traps set in the same locations, but you cannot prepare yourself for the random things that may happen on some stages. As an example, I hate the Spear Pillar stage because the legendary Pokémon that appear in the back always felt to me more of an annoyance than an improvement. Especially if, say, the Pokémon is Cresselia and it launches its moon-shaped beams when I'm at the end of the All-Star Mode and I must not lose a life and her moon beams are f***ing head-seeking and they're always f***ing aiming at me and not at my f***ing enemies, godf***ingdammit! .. ... ...Sorry. Needless to say, I hate Cresselia in Brawl, and for the sake of my politeness, let's keep it at that.
30. The difficulty of the Subspace Emissary mode rises to nigh-impossible levels as you go up the difficulties. Especially on Intense. Keep in mind that in this mode, you are often assaulted by a half-dozen enemies at once, and on Intense mode? They never give you a break, and, in some cases, you don't even have time to strike back. You basically have to play the game with someone else helping you!
31. The Kirby-centrism of the Adventure Mode. I already mentioned how I strongly hate when a game with many characters seems to put more emphasis on one character... In the Subspace Emissary, I actually find it both awesome and kind of annoying that the Kirby characters have such importance. Especially Dedede, as the “both awesome and annoying” case also applies to him.
And once again, I'm sure I'm forgetting some, though I think I'm not forgetting much.

Well, that's all I had to say about Brawl. I hope you enjoyed this six-part review. It was long for me to write, it was long for you to read, but I hope it was enjoyable for both of us. I hope you enjoy the reviews on Planned All Along in the next year, as I will work just as much on them as I did in the past year. Even more, now that I've started adding videos to my reviews. Goodbye, take care, and tune in this Friday!

As for what I've learned while reading the negative list again, my luck is my biggest problem when it comes to video games....