Super Smash Bros is one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises with six games on nearly every major Nintendo console since the Nintendo 64. With all of that in consideration it’s inevitable there will be a dud or two, and Brawl definitely is a dud. From the art style, the singleplayer modes, and even the overall gameplay Brawl is truely a Smash game with a question mark at the end.

Art Style

Super Smash Bros. Brawl has a much more realistic art style than other games in the series, and it just doesn’t work. While it works fine for Samus, Snake, and others for the vast majority of it cast it looks off. Nintendo characters are known for their bright colors and to see them extremely muted and realistic in this game is very off-putting. When I think of Mario I don’t think of denim. And characters that are largely one color, such as Pikachu, Kirby, Yoshi, and others just look like they were dragged through the dirt.

While this isn’t completely related to art style this is the best place to put it under. The character renders are extremely uninspired and bland looking, Characters are hardly in dynamic poses and many are just standing there, doing nothing. Combine this with the terrible art style it just looks bad.

Gameplay

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the worst game in the series gameplay wise. That’s not something I’ve seen disputed often. The gameplay was definitely designed with the main market of the Wii in mind, casuals. The gameplay was slowed down tremendously from Super Smash Bros. Melee on the GameCube, which I do think is fine but they took it too far. Characters are super floaty and slow. Combine that with random tripping and Meta Knight, one of the most broken characters in Smash history, and you have a recipe for disaster.

I think slowing the gameplay down from Melee was perfectly fine but there was no reason to do it to this extent. Later games like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate found a much better balance between the two extremes brought by Melee and Brawl. In Brawl winning no longer required skill or practice as much as it did taking advantage of broken characters and abusing the poorly made mechanics of the game.

Singleplayer Content

Let’s talk about the one thing people say Brawl has over all other Smash games, the Subspace Emissary. It’s not good. The adventure mode is way too long and extremely overwritten. The platforming sections are extremely long and tedious. There aren’t many recognizable Nintendo locations here either, most of the adventure takes place in generic forests, battlefields, or places in space. The only good thing about it is the cutscenes. At least it is better than Ultimate’s World of Light, which admittedly is a low bar to clear.

The rest of the singleplayer content is your standard Smash affair. Classic Mode, The Vault, Trophies, Target Blast, etc. New to this game is Online Play, which was horrible. While it isn’t the direct fault of Brawl that Nintendo had an incompetent online system it definitely faltered the worst. Constant lag spikes and connections were the norms. Even when it worked it’s best it really didn’t work.

Conclusion

While I’ve been super negative on Brawl during this article I don’t think it’s a horrible game. All of the Smash games are quality so saying one is the worst doesn’t mean much. It introduced tons of new and unique characters such as Pokemon Trainer and R.O.B. My Music is a great feature that I’m glad became a staple, and of course Final Smashes that are tons of fun to use. However, all of these good things cannot make up for the obvious falts this game has.

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