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James Carmack
February 3rd, 2008, 07:33 PM
"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voice suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced."

That about catches the spirit of the fan reaction when they announced the delay of Smash Brothers Brawl's North American release to 09 Mar. There was a delay in the Land of the Rising Sun, too, but not quite as long. As you fans out there probably know, the game was released in Japan last Thursday. When I staggered downstairs Saturday morning at 0230, what should I find sticking in my mailbox but my very own copy.

No, I'm not making this thread to brag. I figured I might answer any questions you guys have about the game. I've put in about 20 hours so far. I don't claim to be an excellent player or anything, but I've unlocked a fair bit so far. If I'm capable of answering it, I will.

(Man, it's a real drag having to come to work. Interfering with my Smash time. >_> )

February 4th, 2008, 10:58 AM
I suppose my two questions would be:

1. I don't have a great many gaming friends, so I'm wondering what the single-player may be like...is it worth it, or is it a hollow AI shell of its multiplayer glory?

2. How is the wi-fi "play others from around the world" support?

James Carmack
February 4th, 2008, 07:42 PM
For the first, there's a wealth of things to do in the single player mode. A lot of it returns from Melee. You have your Classic Mode, Event Mode, and Challenges (Break the Target, Homerun Contest, Multiman Melee).

The Sub-Spece Emissary is similar to Melee's Adventure Mode, only greatly expanded. It alone can take a good eight hours to get through. (Took me closer to ten.) There's a new Challenge that opens up when you beat SSE called Boss Battle, where you fight the bosses (surpise, surprise).

Unlike Melee, where you had that gashapon-style machine that pumped out trophies at a rate relative to the coins you put in, Brawl has a mini-game called Coin Shooter, which plays a lot like Galaga with each shot costing one coin. Take out a whole group of enemies and you usually get a sticker. When a trophy comes onscreen, you have to shoot it several times to get it, the number of shots required apparently relative to its value. While the normal enemies don't attack, there are missiles that fly in and damage the shooter.

Going back to the Challenges, there are a few changes worth noting. You may have seen the shield around the platform in the Homerun Contest. Some people have complained about this taking away the greater part of the challenge, but be warned. The shield is actually fairly weak and can't take more than a few hits from Sandbag-kun before shattering. Break the Target has changed, too. Rather than an individual stage for each character, there are five standard levels of increasing difficulty. You only start out with Level 1 and have to unlock the higher difficulty levels by playing Classic Mode. You have Levels 1 and 2 on Easy, Levels 2 and 3 on Normal, Levels 3 and 4 on Hard, and Levels 4 and 5 on Very Hard.

Also, there's a host of unlockables (or "achievements", if you will) in the Clear Getter (Japanese name) to be had by meeting various conditions. There are 128 items in total, ranging from trophies to new levels, music tracks, etc. You have to play through all modes of the game to unlock 'em all (and they only reveal the squares adjacent to the items you've unlocked, only giving you the full condition if there are two unlocked items adjacent to the locked item). Some are painfully easy and some require a great deal of effort (or at least time, as the one that demands 100 hours of Versus Mode play).

Now, I haven't played any WiFi matches yet, just watched 'em. As we don't have players from all over the world yet, I can only comment on domestic players. It all seems to work just fine, but I'll try a few matches this evening and get back to you.