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SSBB: Nitpicking
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Grammar Police
Grammar Police

Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 1068
Location: Sydney, Land of Censorship

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:11 am    Post subject: SSBB: Nitpicking Reply with quote

Don't get me wrong, Super Smash Bros Brawl is a great game, three month wait for it and all. However as with any game, it's possible to find something to criticise, so here are my problems with it:
    1. Overall the control is great, but I'm not sure whether it's the classic controller or the game but it seems to think I'm moving the left stick up a lot when I'm trying to move it to the side. Fortunately the completely customisable controls lets me stop that from making me jump, but it still interferes with my special moves.
    2. Having a story mode is great, but the last 1-2 hours feels really tacked on. I mean really.
    3. Again with the story, the final boss fight seems cheap. Really cheap. It may have been that I suck (I will admit that I'm not the world's greatest gamer), or it could have been that among his attacks is one which you can't block (your shield will barely protect you) and the boss is completely invunerable while performing it, and 80% of the time results in a quick death for you. Either way, it took me a few tries.
    4. Despite Sonic and Snake being listed prominently on the back of the box, you don't unlock Sonic till the last mission in the story, which is probably going to take you 8-9 hours your first time through. Snake comes in a bit earlier, but thats still 3-5 hours in.
    5. Or you could brawl constantly for at least 5 hours to earn Sonic, your choice.
    6. I won't entirely blame the game for this, but for me, online was a laggy mess. WLAN reception is never great in my house, but the game itself becomes so laggy I couldn't even quit the match, I had to reset my Wii manually (and that I can blame the game for).
    7. Yes there is a level editor. Yes it is awesome. But you can't do anywhere near as much as the levels built in the game do (Blast Works anyone?).
    8. While I'm at it, you may get a popular level made by someone else every day, but you can't save it and at the end of the day it's gone. You can download levels from websites and save them onto an SD card, but you have to find them first.
    9. Back to the story, I forgot this earlier and I'm too lazy to renumber the list. Cutscenes don't have any voice acting, or even text, so it's left up to you to figure out the story (admittedly its easy and nowhere near complicated, even by Nintendo standards, but even SMB told us Peach had ****** off to another castle).
    10. I noticed compression issues in some of the story cutscenes. Never enough to get in the way, but if I'm putting together a list of problems, why not?
    11. Speaking of unlocking characters, during one playthrough of the story I unlocked all but two. It's possible to get the other two in the story mode, but you have to go back to levels you otherwise wouldn't have any reason to (I only knew it could be done because I read it on the glorious junkheap of information that is the internet).
    12. Donkey Kong can be beaten by Diddy. How the **** does that happen?
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Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi

Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a few points to add. This is game is absolutely insane in both very bad and very good ways. It can only be explained as the product of a radioactive lunatic factory.

The bad stuff:
  • Awful UI all the way through. When you first start it, it asks if it can create a data file on your Wii. Once you say okay, it comes back and tells you sternly that you won't be able to save replays over 3 minutes in length. Is it saying there's not enough space on the Wii? Is it a problem? No, it's entirely normal and there's no good reason for it to scare the player with this information at a time that it has absolutely no meaning for him or her.
  • If you try to play the story mode before playing classic mode, it gives you a menu where you can only choose "Continue without choosing a name". When you choose this, it asks if you're sure you don't want to have a name. It doesn't give you the opportunity to enter a name or tell you how to do so.
  • It turns out that to enter a name, you have to enter "classic mode", and on the character select screen you can "click" on the bit that says "PLAYER 1" and get the option to enter a name, which you can then select in story mode.
  • When I said "click", did you think I meant like pointing the wiimote at the screen? Fool! We're not going to use the wiimote. Instead you must move a cursor around the screen with the analog stick. IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH ON THE GAMECUBE IT'S GOOD ENOUGH ON THE WII.
  • As to actually entering your name, you might have expected to use the Wii's on-screen keyboard, but as I said, you don't get to use the wiimote for menus. Can you guess what the name entry system is? Yes, that's right, a mobile-phone keypad. Obviously.
  • Are we still talking about the menu UI? Yes! Because you haven't managed to find your way through it to actually play the game yet! But I shall spare you any more. Suffice to say that the interface is awful, prehistoric, and feels completely alien to the Wii.
  • Okay, back to the game. It plays pretty well. It's good for fighting...
  • Unfortunately, if you play the story mode, you'll spend lots of time doing stuff the game isn't good at, like jumping between lots of moving platforms, and frustrating fixed-rate scrolling sections. Unlike even the worst old-school fixed-rate scrolling sections, you can die not only by falling off the trailing edge of the screen, but also going off the leading edge. Sometimes the game will show you an arrow telling you to jump off a cliff, but when you do you die, because you went too early, and should have waited for the screen to start scrolling down. Other times you'll stand on a thing that launches you forward, only to die because you go too far forward - you should have waited for the screen to scroll more.
  • Two player play is supported really badly in story mode. The screen always centers on player one, and it seems to be pot-luck whether player two will die or get teleported back to player one if they go too far off the screen. Both players share a common pool of lives. This isn't like Sonic 2, where it can be awkward to play as Tails, but at least you normally don't make things worse for Sonic. Furthermore, as soon as player one dies, it's game over, even if player two is alive. This results in the ridiculous situation where if there's only one life left, and both players die at once, it's 50-50 whether A) player one will respawn first, and player two will not respawn, or B) player two will respawn first, take the life, and result in game-over when player one tries to respawn seconds later.
  • The loading times are a bit aggravating. I wouldn't have minded if it looked a bit less beautiful if it didn't stop to load stuff all the time.

Phew, I'd better stop now. Seriously, I do not understand what processes are involved that allow a flagship game, a long time in the making, to be released with such obvious gameplay and UI flaws, and to feel completely alien to the Wii.

Oh, right, I forgot the good stuff:
  • The story is completely insane. A friend described it as the sort of story a five-year-old would tell with their action figures. And then the goombas try to steal Donkey Kong's bananas, but Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong stop them, but then Wario shows up and zaps Donkey Kong, and meanwhile Starfox gets shot down, so he crash lands next to them and they team up...
  • The core game is itself good. It's just good at being a crazy fight where anything can happen, and not all that good at being a platformer.
  • It looks beautiful pretty much all the time.
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