Holy crap, I know no one reads my blog... but really... I have been gone for a loooooooong time, and I am back for good. Srsly. I am BACK... (I really never left). I have now "grown up" and moved on to bigger and better things in the life of a gamer. For instance, I am now a full-fledged 360 ADDICT, with little to no Wii influence at all besides my losing 2" off my waistline thanks to Wii Fit (I know, I was surprised too) and my friends and I playing Boom Blox and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
I am now 17 and am still living in Pennsylvania. I am an avid VGXpo attendee (the only video game conference in Philly) and have been to New York Comic-Con twice now. I have "grown up" in every sense of the term (Besides the little WWE fan inside of me, go Edge!!!). Anywho, my new favorite game is either Skate 2 or Guitar Hero: World Tour... for now. I now actually have G4, and watch it almost religiously. Attack of the Show and X-Play are new favorites on my list.
As you all may have heard, Super Smash Brothers Brawl was released at midnight this morning and many people went and bought it. I am one of them. I was the first person at my store to get my hands on a copy (along with a nice poster and guide), and was the first one to play it at my house. I played nonstop from 1:00am until about 4:00am, then slept from 4:00 until 10:00, and I have been playing it all day since then. At the time of this post, it is 7:30 EST and I just put the game away for the first time since I got my hands on it. Its addicting.
Anyways, to the full review of the game.
Warning: If you do not own the game, but you wish to buy it and not know any secrets about the unlockable items, characters, stages, etc., do NOT read this review.
To start off, I will talk about the Adventure mode, The Subspace Emissary. Many other gaming publication companies have given out negative comments about TSE, and sadly to say, I am one of them. The Subspace Emissary does feel like a fan-fiction that is way too drawn out. The adventure mode of Melee was more fun than this. Yes, TSE has a somewhat intriguing storyline, that the Melee adventure mode did not have. But that may be the only positive. I feel like TSE was just too much for the game. The monotonous levels (despite the change in scenery and music), the over-elongated length (over 9 hours), and the unnecessary sticker stat boost system all weigh down TSE. The one positive that I got out of completing it is that one can unlock almost all the characters (with the exception of Toon Link, Wolf, and Jigglypuff) on one full run of The Subspace Emissary. But anywho, onto the presentation of the game.
I own a 50' widescreen HDTV. Brawl looks beautiful on it, the picture is crisp and clear, and the character models look superb. The attention to detail graphics-wis e is great, which is evident in the backgrounds and foregrounds of the various stages of the game. Brawl is the second best looking game on the Wii, besides Super Mario Galaxy, but the smoothness in framerate (a STUNNING 60 fps) is beyond what I imagined for the game itself.
One large notch in the stick that is the presentation of Brawl is the "in-fight" music. I love video game music, I have a 300 song folder of some big names on my iPod, and I am still amazed by what they have on there. There are over 200 remixes and rerecordings of songs from famous video games, and the amount of them is still astounding. Some of my personal favorites include the Mushroomy Kingdom 1-1 theme (a jazzy/latin Super Mario Bros. 1-1 remix), and the Ridley Boss Battle music from Super Metroid. The soundtrack is one of the highest points in the game itself, for me.
Next up is the gameplay. The gameplay of Brawl definitely has a different feel than Melee or SSB64, but in this case it is a good thing. Gravity feels more existent in Brawl than in the other titles. Each control scheme actually does work. I have played with all four schemes (Classic controller, Wiimote and Nunchuk, Wiimote on side, and GCN Controller), and have indeed picked my favorites. The GCN controller brings back memories with easy to remember button placements and configuration, while the Wiimote on its side brings back memories of the NES days. I have officially decided to use the GCN remote from now on, though. I use it with my own personalized control configuration, which really helps in a game like Brawl.
Each character has a distinct moveset and final smash. But there are some exceptions. Fox, Wolf and Falco all have a Landmaster FS, and that does get annoying when you are playing with your friends who, in my case, love Star Fox. Luigi does control differently than Mario, which makes me happy, since Luigi is my favorite character. But that is getting beyond the point. The character movesets and final smashes are great and feel different than the way they were in Melee.
When one thinks of fighting game, what do most people think of? They think of the Multiplayer modes. And this is where Brawl really shines. Events, TSE, stadium competitions, even training can include at least one more player. But the Super Smash series was born for free for all 4-on-4 matches. And Brawl makes that work like no other fighting game before it. The amount of characters (35), the amount of stages (40 someodd), the amount of items (around 30?), and even the amount of Special Brawl categories (about 10) expands an already expansive multiplayer mode new heights. The number of characters in the game is perfect for this game. Not too many, but not too few.
Meanwhile, everyone has their own quibbles about the character inclusion in Brawl, and I have mine. No Megaman? Bummer. No Geno? Shucks. It all doesn't matter because we at least have a GREAT game.
And that is what Brawl is. Brawl is a FANTASTIC game. When I left for the store yesterday to get Brawl, I was expecting an okay game with enough modes to keed me tided over until Mario Kart Wii. What I got was entirely something else. Brawl is not only one of the 3 best Wii games on the market, but it happens to be one of the best multiplayer experiences of our generation. With the exception of Rock Band, no other game has gotten this close to perfection in multiplayer modes.
Brawl is great. Brawl is awesome. I can't even think of enough adjectives to describe it. If Brawl is not a contender for any Game of the Year prizes come December, I have have no idea what else will. Brawl will blow your minds away.
[size=18]FINAL VERDICT: MUST BUY
FINAL SCORE: 39/40[/size]
(deducted 1 point for lack of single player fun in TSE.)
By the way, I will be away from Wednesday the 12th through Sunday the 16th.
Well, the nominees for the best game of the month of February were...
Sins of a Solar Empire (PC)
Devil May Cry 4 (PS3)
Lost Odyssey (360)
Harvest Moon (Wii (VC))
It was a very hard set of games to choose the best from, and even harder to choose a winner. But the winner deserved it in EVERY respect.
And the winner is....
Simply put, Patapon ran away with it towards the end. I was torn between Patapon and Lost Odyssey for the 360, but Lost Odyssey missed out because 1) I do not own the game, and 2) I am not the biggest fan of JRPGs (or RPGs in general).
Patapon is depth. I have been playing the game since I got it the day it came out, and I am still playing it. I have already beaten it twice, and am trying to get a better score for #3. The rhythms will get in your head and mess with you, and you will enjoy it.
Anywho, if you own a PSP, GET PATAPON. PERIOD.
The game of the month for March will be a close call, btw.
What is hype? Hype is the promotional publicity of an extravagant kind. Brawl is hype. Nintendo has hyped up Brawl to the maximum, and I believe that it will pay off. Brawl has been atop the Japanese charts for 4 weeks (only just recently being bumped down by Dynasty Warriors Gundam), and I have NO REASON to believe that it will be atop the US Charts for a long time.
Back to the hype standpoint. There are more pros than cons regarding the hype of Brawl. One of the big methods of hype was the DOJO. The DOJO was a great resource to check everyday and surely brought up the hype of the game.
Other than the DOJO, a lot of the hype was brought up by all the fan boards out there on the interwebs. A lot of that is negative, but some is positive.
I really can't say if the hype will help the release or not, but once the game comes out at 12:01 on the 9th, we will all know.
Here is a Boss Battle Mode movie from YouTube. (Just in case you cared.)
According to a Moroccan news source, Mike Newell's Prince of Persia film based on the popular video game series most recently in the hands of Ubisoft will be shooting in location in Morocco. Morocco is most famous for its largest city, Casablanca, the setting for a film of the same name that is doubtlessly 2,000 times than this one could ever hope to be.
I really hope that a good thing comes out of this movie. Usually, video game movies suck (Far Cry to be included), but I have high hopes for a PoP movie.
A possible casting idea for the title role is any mexican actor. Hell, even Antonio Banderas could work.
When I first heard of this channel for the Wii menu, I was really hoping for a US release date to be named right away. But, that isn't the case here. Recently, the TV Guide Channel was released for Wii Consoles in Japan, and looking at this video makes me wonder how cool it would be to have this in the states. It is only a matter of time until a date of release is announced (just like Everybody's Nintendo Channel). This video is brought to you by WiiFolder.
There you go. From what I can tell, it looks identical to the actual TV Guide channel that is on some TVs here in the states.