Zero Punctuation: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

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Garfgarog:

Note the mention of wavedashing at the end. I was long out of Melee before I even heard of it though. I don't like making 'tier' or 'play level' comparisons, but I'd be 'high casual/low tourney'. That said, I have no idea what you mean about DI or higher priority as terms, but I'd probably know what it meant in practice accidentally. I also know how to escape it as well, having needed to a few times. I play/main Marth and Ike, with the Star Fox characters tying after that due to my style preference hinging on counters, so a lot of time when I play, I'm the one forcing people to mix up their attacks, because if someone uses a strict pattern of attacks, they'll end up not being able to land a hit on me. It was the same way in Melee, and soon after the launch of Brawl, and my counter-tactics actually forced my brother to stop being a button masher. Now he can match me blow for blow with my own characters. :|

DI = directional influence: the ability to change the angle at which a character reacts to a hit by nudging a direction corresponding to the hit. Also the ability to float in different directions while falling.

Priority = if two moves hit each other at the apex of their respective hitboxes which one wins? Answer: Lucas. Break mortar with counter for marth/ike, reflector with space animals, down A or a bomb with Link (my main) etc etc.

That all said I am going to put on my Nintendo T-shirt and cat ears and stop posting here because now that I've educated you all a little more I'm going to plug www.smashboards.com and go there since this is a discussion about ZP and I've digressed into SSB advanced techniques. I'm sorry Yahtzee, please forgive me.

VERY good review, brilliantly funny and spot on on every point.

I find him more like a Ganondorf. He has the potential to be powerful and challenging but you really need to be precise and calculated. The one up he has on Ganon, is that he has projectiles.

100% true i swear nintendo just revamp there old games how many mario karts, mario,zelda games are there?

Only thing i didnt like was that game shop you kept mentioning anyways why do you even bother replying to review fan boy requests

Dectilon:
Although you can perfect your skills in any fighter to the point where you will always win against button-mashers the point is valid. Not that I'm awesome at it or anything, but in both Tekken and Soul Calibur I'll lose to button mashers sometimes simply because there are attacks that can take you out in 2-3 hits, and as your enemy won't be playing in an intelligent, but predictable, way you'll get swated once or twice out of like 20-30 matches.

Take a game like Guilty Gear on the other hand. No button-masher will beat me in that game. Not even once. I don't really like Smash Bros. as a fighter, but once you know what all the buttons do it's not a bad party game : )

Indeed. With the exception of the Dead or Alive games (because of the counters), it seems that button mashing is more easily accomplish in 3D fighting games for some reason (never could figure out why).

Whooo yeah! Gametraders! To all of those wondering YES he was being entirely objective with his praise for that beloved chain.

Btw, I wonder how long it will take before Uwe Boll tries to buy the filming rights to 'Brawl : D

Good review as always. As a long time Smash Bros player I can say that I was psyched for this game, and when it came out me and my friends played it solidly for two days (longest streak was 20 hours, 4 hours of sleep then back on it), and we unlocked the last few characters that way. There are around 5 of us who really enjoy the series and can play it ad infinitum, but we've other mates who just don't like it at all, so I can see where you're coming from.

Dear god is it hard to get good at, even now I sometimes have trouble keeping focus of my character, and the gameplay is slowed down a fair bit from Melee! But really, there's no way mashing buttons is going to get you anywhere in Brawl, unless you're all doing it. There's the C-stick if you use the Gamecube controller though :P

I unlocked all the players in about 7 1/2 hours of gameplay,

mspencer82:
Out of curiosity, how many of you are new members of this forum all because someone linked you to this review and you're here in a futile attempt to tell us all how "wrong" Yahtzee is?

I read the Escapist and lurked a while before this. I think most people aren't pointing fingers here, but man there are a lot of post january low posters here.

Turbowombat:
reflector with space animals,

I lol'd.

Suiseiseki:
I have no idea if anyones pointed this out but since when do you do SSE twice? Personally, I enjoyed the SSE it was like kirby had some kind of twisted mutant baby with streets of rage. I loved the game but have basically stopped playing it now except with the odd mate occasionally and find if you play something other than a 4 player free for all you get less of a cluster fuck, it's definitely a game for people who aren't social pariahs... Or social pariahs who put a facade of likableness online and play wifi.

Also 'Wii' is a ridiculous name and they should have stuck with dolphin. As gay as that title sounds it still wouldn't have resulted in a plethora of 'hilarious' jokes about penises and pissing.

Not enough ~desu, desu.

Dectilon:
Btw, I wonder how long it will take before Uwe Boll tries to buy the filming rights to 'Brawl : D

I nearly died laughing when I heard he was shot down by Blizzard after wanting to make a WoW movie.

Garfgarog:

Dectilon:
Btw, I wonder how long it will take before Uwe Boll tries to buy the filming rights to 'Brawl : D

I nearly died laughing when I heard he was shot down by Blizzard after wanting to make a WoW movie.

Thank God for that!

entropy3ko:

Garfgarog:

Dectilon:
Btw, I wonder how long it will take before Uwe Boll tries to buy the filming rights to 'Brawl : D

I nearly died laughing when I heard he was shot down by Blizzard after wanting to make a WoW movie.

Thank God for that!

Unless I misunderstood the article I read on it, they literally told him that 'No, we don't want a movie made, especially not by you.'

I may not really like Blizzard, or play WoW, but that's awesome. and now I can't help but respect them.

I love SSBB, but this review was still awesome.

Garfgarog:

entropy3ko:

Garfgarog:

Dectilon:
Btw, I wonder how long it will take before Uwe Boll tries to buy the filming rights to 'Brawl : D

I nearly died laughing when I heard he was shot down by Blizzard after wanting to make a WoW movie.

Thank God for that!

Unless I misunderstood the article I read on it, they literally told him that 'No, we don't want a movie made, especially not by you.'

I may not really like Blizzard, or play WoW, but that's awesome. and now I can't help but respect them.

Isn't that what Hideo Kojima said about Boll making a MGS movie ?

I think my main reason for disliking the Super Smash Bros series is the game's lack of depth. I know someone will (again) accuse me of being obsessed with fighting games and tournaments, so let me just say I own maybe 5 fighting games, 0 of which are on a current generation system, and I've never played in a tournament in my life. I lack the skill for tournaments, which makes my point all the more valid. You can learn the controls, special moves, and fighting system in under a half hour, the fighters don't have enough difference between them to warrant ever using more than one, and the difficulty curve is non-existent for anyone old enough to hold the controller.

Super Smash Bros Melee was so easy that someone could play the game three weeks after having a stroke, with their right hand about 75% paralyzed, and still beat the story mode on the highest difficulty with no trouble.

If you think I'm exaggerating, *points to self* - case in point.

Spencer: Seriously... This game has a lot of depth. Just like if someone were to walk-on to a Street Fighter tourney, they'd be massacred before the lights were turned on.

If anything, SSB has more depth than most 2D fighters, mainly due to the changing environment.

Kinokiro:
Spencer: Seriously... This game has a lot of depth. Just like if someone were to walk-on to a Street Fighter tourney, they'd be massacred before the lights were turned on.

If anything, SSB has more depth than most 2D fighters, mainly due to the changing environment.

If anything the changing environments add what little depth Smash Bros has.

Gotta say I can't stand SSSB either but then again the majority of fighting games don't appeal to me so maybe the game was lost on me before it started.

Well, that was a bit more... scathing then expected, but really freaking funny, so who cares! I think a VG Cats comic puts his ideas perfectly into perspective, though (It's the one where Snake slits Mario's throat, and I don't feel like finding it right now).

I also like the part where he rants about the button mashing, though, if youve seen the people at tournaments (the people who win, not the bottom rung), you'd see that button mashing only goes so far (not that what I do is much better then that, but still).

Anyway, I think you have to have a form of ADD/ADHD to enjoy this game in the higher levels/muliplayer, because it gets so hectic. I have ADHD, and I had fun... of course, "had" is past tense. Now it's only good if I can bully my friends into playing, so I can beat them into the ground (I'm "that guy," but I don't search for people who are beter. I instead play training games with my friends to make them better).

First: Jesus, that's a lot of posts in a couple of hours.

Second: The random plug for the game trading store was golden. This is the first review in a while that I actually had to re-watch because I laughed so hard that I missed specific points. I saw a post do this earlier, but I want to reiterate their comments in the hopes of emphasizing them even more: congratulations, even after so many videos, the quality remains fairly high. By internet standards, ZP has been around for a long, long time now and its definitely something to be proud of at this point.

Third: I feel a bit guilty now. While I've always been above e-mailing the man personally, taking in good faith that he reads comments/his own forum, I do feel a bit guilty for publicizing that he has the game and has played it. Australiangamer.com publicized this as well in one article and one podcast.

So it was probably more than the usual 1,000 e-mails saying, "Review this game!" It was also that many fans KNEW he had, KNEW he had played, and couldn't see why he wouldn't review it.

Fourth: I was not surprised. From what I've been reading, this game was not received well by non-fan boys. I strongly suspected, when I saw the first videos of game play, that Brawl was going to be to Melee what Melee was to the original--I posted that view exactly a while ago. Namely, they stripped more of the clarity out in favor of screen shaking, particle effects, super big levels with huge zoom-outs, and adding even more complexity to controls.

Overall, the "Melee effect" on the original put it further from the hands of casual gamers, and it seems that the Brawl effect will continue this tradition.

I happen to be the N64 versions biggest fan, and my friends and I (edit: I definitely DID NOT play that much on my own... oh no.) logged something like 10,000 total KOs over the last summer (before some dick-hole friends deleted my versus record). Countless hours -- usually at least three or four hour streaks at a time.

I first hand saw that if you put the controller in the hands of someone who had literally never played before, told them what they needed to do, then in 5-6 matches they could be competing on a fairly level playing field. Not amazingly, and they would rarely finish first, but they could do some things. Someone mentioned this earlier--the learning curve is a little steep, but once you have the basics the rest comes pretty easy.

Fifth: It isn't a button mashing game -- even less so than many more traditional fighting games. Any game where 4 people who don't know what the hell they're doing play together is a button mashing game. Could you imagine 4 people who have never played playing Team Fortress 2? I'm sure it'd look like a joke.

On that note, these videos show, I think, that a button masher stands no chance against someone who has been playing for a while:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMUM6KIB8_c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtNQA8U2GDA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY5393IBnDU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyk1R69fGkw&feature=related <-- MARY, MOTHER OF GOD!*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVbXWcsD0Hs&feature=related

*25 seconds in is crazy.
*1:05 is even crazier.

There are definitely different levels of skill associated. To call it button smashing is silly. I feel like Yahtzee is criticizing fighting games in general, that he may consider them all button mashing. And that's silly. That's like me saying that half-life is just like any other PC shooter, where you just mindlessly point and click at things on a screen.

Then again, you kind of cover your bases if you divide everyone into "Button Mashers," or "That Kid" I suppose.

Y'know, as much as you guys probably thought the review would attract angry fanboys, it's attracted five times as many irrational trolling haters of the game.

Oh, and I should add, none of the Games are single player in the least. If you tried them, and played alone then you wasted your time -- even I wouldn't play the single player for more than a few minutes.

Never have I seen some much ignorance in a board before. I find it funny that Yahtzee complains about fanboys and yet he has so many of them. Brawl is a fun game and thats a fact really. I'm sorry for you guys that it didnt involved shooting each other or for having 4 people fighting each that it is considered a bad game. Really, I came to the Escapist expecting the brightest of people who can enjoy many good games as forms of art. Boy was I wrong...

I loved this review but I'm still getting SSBB, sorry. I liked the last game and from what I've heard SSBB is pritty much more of the same. What can I say? I love the idea of DK beating the living shit out of pickachu. If that makes me a nintendo fanboy then fuck it.

And seriously, yahtzee, we have every right to tell you what to review you gimp loving gamer. Think what you do for a moment. You review games. Your job is to play games. Your living every geeks dream. To put it bluntly, don't complain, you do fuck all and earn money doing it.

Sorry for the rant, still love your reviews

mspencer82:

Kinokiro:
Spencer: Seriously... This game has a lot of depth. Just like if someone were to walk-on to a Street Fighter tourney, they'd be massacred before the lights were turned on.

If anything, SSB has more depth than most 2D fighters, mainly due to the changing environment.

If anything the changing environments add what little depth Smash Bros has.

You claim to lack the skill for tournament level play, but you complain about the lack of depth in Brawl.

Now why does that sound suspicious?

[yes, I registered to comment on this specifically]

As a diehard Nintendo fanboy (not the rabid kind, just seriously stuck-in-my ways), I will concede that Nintendo games tend to be things that I _grudgingly_ like. There are a few things I absolutely hate about Brawl (mostly to do with online, which I'm surprised Yahtzee didn't rip apart, actually), and yes, having to unlock the stuff that was so hyped up is a pain (especially since some of the unlockable stages are awesome). The fact that some of the additional rules (especially the random stage switch) need to be unlocked is a pain, too. The fact that you can't download a savefile for the game (because Brawl SPECIFICALLY prevents you from copying its savefile off the Wii) feels like a kick in the balls from Nintendo. I'm lucky enough to be able to play with a lot of people who are roughly as good as me, so being "that guy" isn't much of a problem. And the Great Maze can go fuck itself, seriously.

And yes, the inclusion of MOTHER 3 stuff feels like an even bigger kick in the balls.

All this said, once you:

-Unlock all characters and stages
-Unlock the Random Stage Switch, and disable New Pork City, Temple, 75m, Mario Bros, Hanenbow, and any other stages you hate
-Get a general grasp of the controls (which are roughly the same for every character)
-Find a group of people to play against, who also are vaguely familiar with the game
-MAYBE learn one or two characters in detail...

...the game will become an epic clusterfuck of awesome and win.

Another fact is that one player being better than another is going to happen in any game, and attempting to "balance" things is a no-win situation. Either the game will become a coin-flipping contest (which happens in Brawl with a button masher faces someone who doesn't know how to counter (which isn't difficult once you figure it out), or offer such stupid handicaps that it becomes a disadvantage to be winning at any point (Mario Kart). The only way around is to somehow make losing a game less of a disappointment, but that's somewhat dependant on the player and their attitude.

Most of all, though, I think it's a mistake to play Brawl with the intent of criticizing it. The replay value in Brawl has fully nothing to do with unlocking stuff and everything to do with playing multiplayer again and again and again because of how damn FUN it is.

(afterthought: I dream about how awesome Brawl would be if it kept it's Nintendo content but had the backend (unlockables, online, interface) developed, published and marketed by Microsoft or Sony.)

(Now I'm depressed.)

mspencer82:
the fighters don't have enough difference between them to warrant ever using more than one, and the difficulty curve is non-existent for anyone old enough to hold the controller.

Super Smash Bros Melee was so easy that someone could play the game three weeks after having a stroke, with their right hand about 75% paralyzed, and still beat the story mode on the highest difficulty with no trouble.

If you think I'm exaggerating, *points to self* - case in point.

Oh god... the sound of millions of voices crying out in anguish and then suddenly silenced. I feel a great disturbance in the smash. Do you realize that the standard method of getting from point A to point B in tournament melee consisted of semicircle control stick while hitting jump and side dodge in quick succession in under 1/8 of a second rinse repeat (wavedashing). In order to go anywhere in tournaments a person needed to know the exact number of frames involved in every action and attack of their character and all the characters they face including the damage curve and priority based on which frame the attack connected and modified by frequency of use.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdUeaC7M3oo

Just because you don't know how to do anything that wasn't mentioned in the user manual doesn't mean you have any ground to say the game has no depth. In fact the depth would be determined by how far beyond the user manual or casual player the games eccentricities extend.

renard:
lucas sucks and so do marth and jigglypuff)
it's full of clones (yes, I'm looking at the starfox trio)
lucario (mewtwo 2.0.), king dedede (slow and has the worst recovery attack ever), wolf (the faulty clone of fox)...

None of those things are true.

You could learn more at GAME TRADERS ROBINA.

Anyway, it's funny as usual, but it kinda got disrupted by two very... "odd" pieces of logic, right after the other. The first was when he pulled out the old "rehashed characters" complaint, then acts like obscure characters aren't good because... he doesn't know who they are? That's a bit contradictory, isn't it?

Oh, and that leads right into the second thing: "I guarantee more people would play [Mother 3] than Mario Kart."

...Uh, Yahtzee. I'm not sure if you know this. I'm horribly sorry to break your idealistic, optimistic bubble. But Mother is not a very popular series. One of Nintendo's poorest-performing franchises, relatively speaking. They've all had rather lukewarm sales at best. Earthbound (Mother 2) was a massive flop in America. Mother 3 *did* sell relatively well in Japan, around 550,000 copies in its whole lifetime. Japanese gamers were excited about a long-awaited new entry in a dead franchise, and the GBA was very popular. The highest-selling game in the whole series.

But Yahtzee. Mario Kart is an extremely popular franchise. Mario Kart Wii, in 3 days in Japan, sold 590,000 copies. More than any Mother game has ever sold in its entire life. In the UK, it's already sold more than any N64 or GameCube game ever sold there. Take every Wii game with the word "Mario" in the title (that includes Galaxy). Mario Kart Wii has sold more than those combined.

Mother 3, if released against a Mario Kart game, would be slaughtered, eviscerated, disemboweled, quartered, and its bloody head stuck upon a pike for all the world to see and fear.

Hahaha, best review so far.

I pretty much lost interest in playing to "that guy" in SSB. SSBM was the same game, and therefore I won't even bother with SSBB.

Unless Drunk.
Very drunk.

And playing with wimminz.

Garfgarog:
You claim to lack the skill for tournament level play, but you complain about the lack of depth in Brawl.

Now why does that sound suspicious?

Damn, you caught me. I'm actually -insert name of some world champion of some random fighting game here-, my identity has been compromised!

The point is, if I consider SSB a shallow "fighting game" with my lack of skill, it must be pretty damn shallow.

I really like Brawl, so I was prepared to get a little insulted, but I actually agree with most of Yahtzee's criticisms. I've been a fan of all 3 smash bros, but I was always annoyed by the single-player and the need to unlock things. Especially the need to unlock all stages in order to be able to customize random - because the stages are so dynamic, you're bound to have some that you down-right hate to play on, and it's nice to be able to turn them off the random seed.

Generally, single-players on fighting games are designed to make you "that guy". They're sort of a training run. It is REALLY annoying, though, that SSBB's is so damn long.

I would argue that none of the smash bros games are button-mashers, though. That's a really fast way to die, even against a computer.

You know, the reason we're not getting Mother 3 is because fans of Mother 2 are either really late or all talk. Mother 2 sold really badly back in the day, like Nintendo was afraid of, even with tons of marketing and even including the official Player's Guide for free.

Turbowombat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdUeaC7M3oo

Just because you don't know how to do anything that wasn't mentioned in the user manual doesn't mean you have any ground to say the game has no depth. In fact the depth would be determined by how far beyond the user manual or casual player the games eccentricities extend.

... win.

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