For months, Wii owners have been besieged with delays and waits for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. They've sat through leaks and a constant stream of information via the Smash Bros. Dojo site, but next Sunday, the game is finally released to a fanfare normally reserved for the Halos and Maddens of the gaming world. There will be tournaments and midnight release parties... but will the game itself be worth all the hoopla and wait?
I've had some extended sit-down time with the Japanese version of the game. Not enough to come out with a full review of the game and all its components, but enough to give you my thoughts on the game.
The short answer is yes; it is, worth the wait. Even without voice chat, leaderboards and a few familiar faces, Brawl is an all-around solid title and the first major Game of the Year contender to arrive in 2008.
You've seen how the game looks in motion by now, and I can tell you that it does indeed look wonderful. The graphics are polished and the background vibrant, but the key is the animations of the characters themselves. Nintendo and Masahiro Sakurai have gone to great lengths to make sure these animations looks as fluid and natural as possible for each character, and the end result is the best-looking game on the Wii to date.
The soundtrack contains some 300-plus songs, from original remixes to rips straight from the games they come from. The older stuff is nice, but the newer stuff is absolutely fantastic, thanks in no small part to the armada of famous video game music composers working on this game. It also serves to support every complaint we've had about Nintendo not orchestrating some games like Twilight Princess, because the difference in sound is huge. The ability to customize how frequently songs come up on stages is also pretty neat.