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Super Smash Bros. Brawl

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Super Smash Bros. Brawl
BrawlCoverArt.jpg

North American box art
Developer(s) Sora
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Masahiro Sakurai
Series Super Smash Bros.
Platform Nintendo Wii
Release Date 2008
Genre Fighting
Media Nintendo optical disc

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a crossover Nintendo fighting game released on Wii in March 2008, developed by Masahiro Sakurai, and is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series. An immensely anticipated title by any standard, Brawl features a plethora of playable characters hailing from all manner of famous Nintendo franchises, such as Mario, Pokémon, and The Legend of Zelda, as well as third-party franchise characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake from the Metal Gear series, and features a very out-of-the-ordinary fighting system that allows for the usage of items, stage hazards, and what not.

The game is major to the Golden Sun community because some Golden Sun-themed content has been included as cameo material, and this is the first instance of Golden Sun characters officially appearing in any form of media since the 2003 release of Golden Sun: The Lost Age (Golden Sun special effects have appeared beforehand in 2005's Mario Tennis: Power Tour, but not characters).

General[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a brawling, action-packed fighting-genre video game for the Wii that features a varied roster of famous characters from all sorts of video games primarily by (but not limited to) Nintendo for two-to-four-player simultaneous melees. This fighting game has competing characters in a variety of stage types attack each other with assaults both standard and unique to that character, and they have a go at each other with a wide amount of maneuverability available (each character can jump in midair multiple times). When you hit an opponent, his or her damage meter builds up, and attacks will send them flying away farther than if they have less damage. If they are sent off-screen with enough force that they reach any of the four bounds that lie off each side of screen, whether by being sent straight into it or unable to recover back onto the stage using double and triple jump moves, they lose a life or point. This is the basic gameplay system at the core of the game and all its various modes (of which there are a tremendous amount).

Brawl is a fighting game where Nintendo characters from many franchises smash each other hard enough that they can be sent out of the ring.
The game is compatible with four separate contoller types and setups: The Wii Remote held horizontally, the Wii Remote with the Nunchuk, the Wii Classic Controller, and the standard GameCube controller. The GameCube controller is the most recommended one for a traditional gameplay experience, complete with rumble. The ability to create personal name profiles return from Melee, and the controller setups players assign themselves can be saved to their name profiles so that they can easily load it up at a moment's notice.

All characters' attacks can be accessed with a button press and a direction, at maximum. Standard attacks are accessed with the A button and special attacks especially unique to each character are accessed with the B button. How hard you press in a certain direction while pressing/holding A dictates the power of your Smash attacks, and flurries of smaller attacks can be executed either by pressing A rapidly or merely holding down A. All characters can also jump a second time in midair after jumping off the ground, and generally each character's up-special move counts as a third jump. Each character has one unique super-strong special move named a Final Smash, provided by floating items named Smash Balls. When a character gains a Smash Ball, that character has a fiery aura and can unleash a single Final Smash at any time.

Many game modes exist in the game, both for single-player and multi-player action, and central to the game's single-player content is a story mode named Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary, which is described by Sakurai as a "robust side-scrolling action game". Of course, Super Smash Bros. games have long been famous for their multiplayer content, and Brawl is no different. Matches take place in "arenas" of all shapes, sizes, and configurations, such as the top of a mountain that breaks off and slides down into the ocean, or both the rooftop and the interior portion of a medieval castle under siege by catapult fire. A Stage Builder mode exists within the game as well.

A large yet optional aspect to the overall experience are items that can be picked up and used by characters during battle. Items have a wide variety of effects, such as being wieldable as weapons (ranged or close-up), healing damage, increasing mobility, and so on and so forth. Many of the items are thematically based on the video game franchises that contribute to the fighting game, and there are items that randomly summon a computer-controlled character from an available pool of game characters not major enough to make it as playable characters themselves to perform an attack or some other action that influences the gameplay of the match briefly. These items are the Poke Ball, the famous tool from the Pokemon media franchise that summons a Pokemon specie, and the Assist Trophy, which summons a minor character from any non-Pokemon franchise for exactly the same style of purpose.

Smash Bros. games are known for featuring huge amounts of unlockable content that players can take weeks to fully acquire. Brawl takes this concept several steps further by having several classes of collectible items, such as trophies of characters and items and stickers of them as well, and anything you collect is added to several categories of galleries and listings for you to view and scrutinize at any time. Needless to say, this is one piece of software that has a large influence on much of the video game industry.

Golden Sun-related content[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the first appearance of anything Golden Sun-themed in any "official" appearance since the 2003 release of Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Golden Sun is not a major game franchise like the famous game series whose characters are playable fighters like Mario, Zelda, and Kirby, and this is reflected in the appearance of Golden Sun in non-playable roles that are less major than other series in the game. There are exactly three instances of Golden Sun properties in the game.

Isaac as an Assist Trophy[edit]

Isaac implementing his "Move" technique as an assist trophy.

Isaac is one of the dozens of computer-controlled "helper characters" that will randomly appear if the player, as a playable fighting character, uses the summoning item called the Assist Trophy. In his first 3D appearance in a console game, Isaac appears and casts the Move Psynergy three times, each time conjuring a giant hand that pushes any opponents of the summoner off the stage. He will automatically turn around to face the direction of valid targets in between his castings based on whether there are more opponents to his left or his right.[1]

In order to unlock the Isaac Assist Trophy, you must play 200 Brawls (Vs. Matches).

Isaac as a collectible trophy[edit]

Isaac in a stance atop his trophy stand in Brawl.

All characters and items that have to do with gameplay in Brawl are featured as inanimate 3D models on collectibles called trophies, which you can amass through many methods, and each trophy comes with a general description of what it depicts. This provides historical context to every Nintendo character and property that appears in Brawl. Isaac is no different since he is already an Assist Trophy character, so he appears as a collectible figurine as well, which is obtained only as one of the hundreds of trophies that can be found "normally" such as during single-player modes and the Coin Launcher minigame. Its text reads:

"A strong-willed Psynergy adept of the bloodline of an ancient race thought to have been lost with the downfall of civilization. He can manipulate earth-based forces and is also a highly skilled swordsman. He sets out to protect a lighthouse that can release the sealed powers of alchemy. In Smash Bros., he uses "Move" Psynergy, which creates an energy field that pushes foes away."

When the Isaac trophy is collected, the titles of Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age will be added to the Game Boy Advance section of Brawl's "Chronicles" feature, which is a listing of every Nintendo video game appearing in Brawl that was released prior to Brawl, along with each title's original release date.

Battle music[edit]

"Battle Scene/ Final Boss (Golden Sun)" is an unlockable song in the game. It is a heavy progressive rock remix and medley of battle music from Golden Sun: The Lost Age, using all of Felix's normal battle theme as the song's introductory portion, and then cycling through the full Doom Dragon final boss theme infinitely afterward. This music, like most tracks, is obtainable by picking up a CD item during a Vs. Match or the Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary.

CDs appear only randomly and rarely during matches, and when they appear they will immediately flash to indicate that they will disappear in a moment if not picked up by a player in time. Whenever a CD is picked up, one of the songs the player has yet to unlock becomes unlocked, and which song it is is decided completely randomly. Since there are several dozen such collectible CDs, unlocking a specific song like the Golden Sun track can just as easily take very long as it can be one of the earliest CDs the player can collect.

Smash fans have very quickly come up with a method of exploiting in-game rules to amass large amounts of CDs in very short amounts of time, in using the Stage Builder feature to create a type of custom stage nicknamed a "CD Factory". The important elements to making a "CD Factory" are that the appearance rate of the item called "Sandbag" appears at a high rate of frequency but absolutely none of the many other items appear at all. When Sandbags are attacked by fighters repeatedly under these item settings, they commonly generate collectible stickers and once in a while generate a CD. Creating a stage made of conveyors and walls arranged in such a way that a fighter can repeatedly attack multiple Sandbags moving toward him while not having to moving around after them can allow a player to amass dozens of collectible songs in a manner of hours.

The Golden Sun battle theme, once unlocked, becomes one of the songs available for the Metroid-themed stage, "Norfair". The rate at which the game will choose this song to play over the others whenever a match is played on this stage can be changed in the "My Music" feature of the Options section of the game's many menu screens. It can play 100% of the time, be as equally likely to play as all of the normal Metroid songs, or not play at all, depending on what the player prefers.

Reception[edit]

Upon its release, Brawl received numerous high scores and sales. Japanese publication Famitsu awarded the game a perfect 40/40, while many other publications awarded it very high scores as well.

Many Golden Sun fans were disappointed that Isaac was not a playable character despite him having been included in the game as what might be described as "the next best thing", a summonable Assist Trophy character.

External Links[edit]

Main Series Games Golden SunGolden Sun: The Lost AgeGolden Sun: Dark Dawn
Cameos: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Other Media: 4-Koma Gag BattleDark Dawn V-Jump manga
Other Information: Game data directoryGBA plot summaryDark Dawn plot summary
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