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July 25, 2014

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Part 3)

If you haven't read Part 1 and Part 2 of this review, you missed a lot. Go read them if you want to understand the Subspace Emissary re-telling in the second half of this post!

More stuff than a normal game should contain.
Hello again! It's time for more Brawl! Yep, I'm still talking about this game! Can't help it. There's too much to say. It did take Masahiro Sakurai more than a year to reveal everything on the Smash Dojo website (which was a very entertaining read; sadly the site has been shut down). Today, I'm looking at the Vault, this wonderful place in Super Smash Bros. Brawl that has nothing to do with fighting! Or maybe it does. Maybe parts of it do. Either way, this is yet another huge section, so I shouldn't waste any time!

If you can name all of the visible trophies, names, you win!
...My most sincere congratulations.
I'm too poor to offer an actual reward.
First, the Trophies and Stickers section. There are exactly 544 Trophies in SSBB, and exactly 700 stickers. You can view your Trophies here, or see them all placed on the same table in a Hoard. Also, whenever you view a Trophy, you can change the background, move the camera up and down, zoom in or zoom out on the character (That's how we found that creepy third eye inside Daisy in Melee; no, really). You get Trophies by beating Challenges, which I'm going to cover a little later, and by completing modes. Beating Classic Mode with a character gives you that character's Trophy; in some cases, you need to deal the finishing blow on Master Hand with a form (for brawlers like Zelda or Sheik, Samus or her Zero Suit form, and Pokémon Trainer's three Pokémon). When you beat All Star Mode with a brawler, you get that brawler's Final Smash attack as a trophy. Those are really impressive. I can go on and on about how to get trophies, but there's just so many ways that, basically, you have to try almost everything in the game. Last but not least, many Trophies related to the game's Adventure Mode can only be obtained by finding a Trophy Stand and tossing it at the enemy you want to catch after it's been weakened (like a platformer version of Pokémon- OHMYGOD THIS IS A BRILLIANT IDEA SOMEONE MUST DO THAT).

8looks at the list of enemies caught already*
Damn! I have all the enemies in here! Curse you,
trophy stand, for not appearing somewhere else!

Nice collection.
It's missing a few dozen pages, though.
No, wait, it's almost complete.
Same for the Stickers. These are special items that can be picked up during brawls and added to a collection. All stickers represent characters or moments from Nintendo games, and have effects. Yes, effects. Their main purpose is to be used in the Subspace Emissary, the Adventure Mode, to power up the characters you use in it. The stickers are put under each character's trophy stand, meaning there's quite limited space for them, and can have all sorts of effects: Increase the power of arm or leg attacks, of special attacks, of Smashes, increase the resistance to launch (to make it harder to knock you out of the screen)... There's even some stickers that increase the amount of stickers, trophy and Trophy Stands you can find in the levels by defeating enemies! Sadly, the effects cannot be stacked. Also, the bigger a sticker, the stronger its effect, so choose wisely when you're placing stickers as you will need to make sure there's enough space for everything you want to use! Last but not least, every sticker removed from a Trophy Stand cannot be reused, so it's like it's gone. Oh, you still “have” it in your collection, but only as proof that you once had it. Yeah, makes little sense. Aside from that, you can also view all your Stickers in an album and play with them within the game by placing them around.

Your biggest enemies here: Holes, invincible balls and rockets.
Trust me on that one.
But Nicolas!” You ask me without much interest. “How will I get lots of trophies and stickers easily? Most of them are collected at random!” And you're right on that last statement. Well, let's move on to another feature in the Vault, the Coin Launcher. This is a little mini-game within Brawl in which... you launch your coins. Or rather, enemies and traps appear on a surface and you have to destroy all the enemies; this will give you a sticker. Sometimes trophies will also appear on the surface. Those take a few hits before disappearing, but once they're caught, you can never lose them, unlike the stickers. You can't even sell some trophies to get coins to use in the Coin Launcher! However, you get coins when you beat 1P modes, so I hope you're ready to play for a while before embarking into this mini-game. After all, you cannot play Coin launcher without coins to launch!

And before you ask, NO, I didn't make stages shaped like dirty
imagery. I'm beyond that.
Which brings me without any kind of transition to another “mini-game” mode, the Stage Builder. This is a place in which you can, as the title indicates, build a stage all for yourself. And what fun is it? Uh... It's alright. You select a size, then a background (only three different), then a music, and on you go to design your own stage! As you might notice the first time, there isn't a lot of pieces. Just the basic stuff, then some decorative sections, and then some “special” things like ladders and moving platforms. Though you sure can build a little something fun with that, it's lacking... a few things. It offers enough to be fun, but I dunno, it's like something's missing. As you complete challenges, you find out what: You can unlock extra parts! Yes, you can unlock more parts, like conveyor belts and spinning wheels, for more diversity! (Even though you unlock only three extra parts.) Even at the end, I can't guarantee that your Stage will be amazing, but it sure can be fun. The smarter players even found how to make a nearly no-kill zone in it (by trapping the characters in a large square) and a CD Factory! All things considered, the extra parts aren't THAT hard to get, though it would be better to get them faster. Also important to note, the Stages take blocks on your Wii's memory space, so restrain your hyper-creativity a little.

I'd gladly show you my own snapshots, but I had to erase
everything to play the game for this review. Also, my SD card
was incompatible. But I can tell you, there was some hilarious
stuff on there.
What's that? You saw a very funny scene happen during a brawl and you want to keep it as a souvenir? Well, complain no more, the Album feature is there! When you pause the game, in most cases, you can press a button to snap a picture. It will then be found in this section. Saw something that looked funny, weird or just dirty? You realized Mario's eyes are looking at Peach's waist? You saw a character sleeping and his/her pose was funny? Heck, you saw a Taunt and the pose was funny? Snap it! Be careful, however, as each picture takes a bit of space on the Wii memory, and thus a few pictures take up a whole block. Use the camera with moderation!

That's what the grid looks like when you have unlocked
everything. Not pictured: The hours spent unlocking
everything. But how do you picture THAT?
On to the Challenges. This is where you go to know what to do. Or rather, what there is to do. Each time you do something relevant, a Challenge is completed, a square breaks and you get a reward. There's a total of 128 Challenges in this game, some are simple (like just beating Classic Mode on Easy) while others are mother-fricking nigh impossible (like beating Boss Battles on Intense, beating 100-Man Brawl with all characters, or getting all the stickers). The rewards are mostly trophies, but there's also Stickers, Stages and Extra Parts for the Stage Builder. Also, when you complete a Challenge, you may gain a Golden Hammer. Those things can let you break most blocks in the Challenges section, but there's a limited number of those (in fact, it's too limited to break the glass to all the challenges that you would want to skip, and trust me, there are a LOT that you will want to skip). So, in a way, you'll often be forced to complete ultra-hard challenges because you wasted your Hammers. That, and some of the glass cases cannot be broken. Ahem. Especially the “Complete Boss Battles on Intense” Challenge. Again, imagine Masahiro Sakurai blowing a raspberry at the gamers.

I think I'll cover the rest in the next Part. I'll then close the large review with a fifth part, and then a sixth one made of my positive and negative comments about Brawl. Now, on to...

The Subspace Emissary Episode Three: Revenge of the Subspace

While traveling through ruins filled with traps, Pokémon Trainer and Lucas find Ivysaur's trophy. The Trainers reclaims him into a Pokéball. Let's just hope he didn't mix it up with Charizard's old Pokéball, or it might be hot in there for the little Grass-type! Anyway, more dangerous zones in this level, and the two also find and battle Charizard. Once defeated, the Fire-type is reclaimed by Pokémon Trainer. Awesome! He even makes a victorious pose next to a joyful Lucas. Because, you know, Pokémon Trainers are always expressing victory this way.

Marth, Ike and Meta Knight see a weird machine speeding through the desert and decide to chase after it, for no apparent reason other than it looks odd. If they did that for every odd-looking machine from Nintendo series, they'd be wasting years! Still, they reach the mecha and, before their eyes, it transforms into a monster known as Galleom! How can I describe this monster... I know! It's Bladebeak's long-lost super-powerful cousin!

I definitely see some resemblance.

"Lets see if I have a spare Pokéball..."
"That's not a Pokémon!"
"It looks like a Steel-type!"
"It's not a Pokémon!"
"It looks like a chicken transformed into an axe creature!"
"I'll look for a Trophy Stand then!"
Anyway, after Marth, Ike and Meta Knight defeat Galleom, it crushes the floor right in front of the ruins and falls deep within. Wow, for a machine, its intelligence sure is low! ...Like Bladebeak. To push the resemblance further, it should have been voiced by Jaleel White. In a comedic voice. Galleom crashes in the room of the ruins where Lucas and Pokémon are, and reveals itself still able to fight. Wow, so soon? ...Anyway, the two battle it, and Galleom is defeated... a second time. Wow, for such a large beast, he sure is lame! STILL not quite dead, though, the robot grabs Lucas and the Trainer, reveals a Subspace Bomb within itself and blasts up... to infinity and beyond! Lucas uses a PK Thunder to break Galleom's arm and frees himself and the Pokémon Trainer. The bomb still goes boom, but high in the air... The two nearly hit the ground but are saved by Meta Knight. Awesome! Now it's clear, he's a good guy! The subspace matter engulfs the ruins, but at least everyone is safe. ...Except Wario's trophy.

Oof, they must be heavy. I mean, Meta Knight isn't even half
the Pokémon Trainer's height, it must be difficult to hold him!

Your sadness looks phonier than a robot mimicking
human expressions.
Oh, the Ancient Minister seems to feel remorse for all that destruction. Gee, if you were to regret it, why did you start that in the first place, you pathetic being? Mario's team of five arrive and chase after him. (Okay, there's no “leader” in the team, so I just say Mario is in it... to make it short... but now I realize that with this parenthesis, it's in fact much, much longer than if I had just written the names of the five brawlers... Whatever.) They catch up with the Minister, but they get assaulted by more R.O.B.s who open another bomb! What the Hell is their problem? They're part of the Nintendo world, a R.O.B. is even a playable character in Brawl! ...Now that I think of it, I haven't seen that one yet. The heroes escape the subspace sphere in the nick of time.

No worries, guys! The Mario Five have arrived!
Isn't it Pit and his Angels?
No, it's Yoshi's Fantastic Armada!
Or Link's Powerforce?
Or Kirby's Awesome Dream Team?
Screw it, I'm going home.

What is Falco's species? A gunningbird.
Meanwhile, Fox and Diddy continue on their way, when Diddy is hit by a blast of a Dark Cannon used by Bowser. The Shadow Bugs cover his trophy and then turn into a shadow Diddy. Bowser is about to do the same to Fox, but Falco McAwesome arrives in his own Arwing and blasts Bowser! Hell yeah! The bird jumps out of his arwing, KICKS Bowser's cannon out of his hands, and then shoots at it to destroy it. Dude, you're now my personal favorite badass in this story. Hell. Freaking. Yeah.

Bowser flees, but the Shadow Diddy turn giant! Fox revives Diddy and the three fight against King Diddy Kong. Er.. Diddyking Kong. Er... King Kong Diddy. Kingdi Kongddy. Um... Diddyng Kong. Yeah, sounds about right. The giant is nasty, but luckily there's no pretty woman nor skyscraper in sight. The two pilots and the Nintendo fanmonkey defeat the evil animal.

"Hey, why the angry face? You'll see, Diddy is fun.
His jokes hardly ever drag on. Dang, got me doing it."
Once it's defeated, the StarFox character leaves, but Diddy grabs him and tries to explain the situation. The Awing pilot leaves again... So Diddy grabs him again and DRAGS HIM ALONG. ...I love when the game does the comedy for me. ...Wow, I just had a weird case of Déjà Vu. Soon they see a chained Donkey Kong trophy on a platform heading to that floating island. But it speeds away from them, so Falco calls the giant ship from one of the stages. Sorry, I forgot the name.

StarFox in all its awesomeness.
I really should review one of the games someday...

"I take the left one, you take the right one!"
"Oh right, you're an animal, you can't tell left from right."
Next we're back with Zero Suit Samus in the research facility. Not like that will facilitate the exploration in any way. Anyway, she finds her power suit, but on her way there she is stopped by two evil clones of herself! Oh, snap. Where were they during the “Brawl of the Clones” part??? She thus battles them with Pikachu. Personally, I love to use Pikachu on that level, because story-wise, it's like he's helping her after she's saved him from being a battery Pikacell. After the clones are beaten, Samus puts her suit on and blasts a mini-army of R.O.B.s. Wow, things keep getting more and more badass today!

I'm gonna dress her up with pretty clothes and put her some
makeup and make her a dollhouse and call her George...

Pikachu has abilities so awesome, it's shocking.
Wow, I keep making puns today.
However, things cannot always go well. After an excruciatingly annoying level, Samus and Pikachu reach an open space... where Ridley appears, grabs Samus and causes a great deal of damage to her, including by ramming her into the walls. Hey, watch out! Don't you have more important things to do, Ridley? Like, I dunno... finishing your robot double? It's been around for a while now, maybe you should finish it already! But Pikachu uses Thunder and blasts Ridley, saving Samus! I KNEW the cutscenes contained a moment in which Pikachu saves Samus! Because it's awesome! Anyway, once Samus and her Pokémon (I like to think of this as such) defeat Ridley, they get out, only to see two R.O.B.s coming out of a place with a new Subspace Bomb...

Wow, I knew Olimar was small, but dang...
Not so far away, lots of Pikmin are assaulting a giant R.O.B., but the robot spins in place and defeats most of them. Poor little Olimar looks really pitiful now. Not that he didn't look pitiful usually, I mean, the guy is smaller than bite-sized. Literally in his series, metaphorically here. But in storms Captain Falcon, who jumps on the R.O.B. and punches it (so cool!)... and then accidentally kills all the remaining Pikmin (totally NOT cool).

"Boo yah!"
You killed over twenty Pikmin, you moron!
Now that I think of it, Olimar could never summon that many
at once in this game...

"My name is Diddygo Kongtoya. You trophized my uncle.
After they team up through a level, they see the floating platform... and the Arwing, crammed full of brawlers (well, three, that's already a lot in such a small ship). Diddy jumps out, flies with his rocketbarrel pack, blasts the Primid on the platform, lands and revives Donkey Kong. Holy wow, Diddy just got 72% more awesome. DK frees himself from his chains, and Captain Falcon jumps on the platform (with a scared Olimar). The four get assaulted by Primids, so they battle. After all the enemies are beaten, the platform enters the research facility...

They all look awesome, except the tiny one.
But he has great moments, too. Just, not now.

See you next Monday for Part 4!

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