There is no ending to: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Out of all my friends, I only know a couple of people who like Super Smash Bros. Brawl. They were big fans the the n64 or cube versions and are far better than I am at the game. They also play it a great deal more often. Everyone else I know (a vast majority) just can’t get into the game. I’m unsure why. But I have a hypothesis: screen tracking, randomness of environment, control intimidation. More simply put: they can’t keep track of what is going on the screen, the environment and items keep killing them and they don’t know why/can’t recognize why, and they perceive most of this is related to the fact that they think it can be controlled with the character. Comic, btw, is brought to you by the genius at VGCats.comScreen Tracking: Just looking at the screen you have 4 characters hopping around. A camera that is way zoomed out and lighting effects with constant explosions and tiny icons. The smallest red circle can actually be a destructive bomb that you do not want to be near. Or it could be a healing pack. The ‘good’ players are able to distinguish between helpful items, and the harmful ‘don’t get near it!’ items. The new players don’t even know what and Item is, or why they just died when something exploded. This is where, more than anything else, playing the previous games helped. In Smash64, there were far fewer items. After a couple dozen matches anyone could tell what a pokeball was, and even identify what the summoned creature would do. Everyone knew the hammer was the end-all weapon, or that the Fire Flower spit fire like a flame thrower. Now, in Brawl, there are thousands of items. Sure, most are variants of existing items, but still, that’s a lot of subtle differences to keep track of.
The solution: More Beer
Once everyone can’t quite tell what items do, or don’t really care, then it balances out as a random factor of fun. People pick up stuff and throw it, and hope that it does something cool. And that’s all they are in there for anyways.
Other solution: turn most of them off except for a handful to initially teach your friends with.
The Maps are far more deadly than any character. Much like an FPS, if you know where the safe(r) points on the map are, and where not to tread, you have a huge advantage. There are some maps that are far better for new players to learn on, but they are also ‘boring’ and people want to switch. Frustration sets in when they realize some of the other maps are ‘cheaply killing them’ because they didn’t know the whole world spins in this variant.
The Solution: Learn a character, or learn the map. Don’t try to do both at the same time, it just won’t work. Either you need to know what to expect when you press buttons, so you can attempt to deal with the fact that THIS map is constantly scrolling to the right, or you need to play on a map where you can afford to hit buttons and not be sure if your character will all of a sudden zoom off to the right and off the edge.
Controls: This is the biggest thing I’ve noticed with the Wii version, which lets you customize controls. Every new person I’ve played with is obsessed with customizing the controls. They want to know what every button does, how to grab, how to smash, how to do specials, etc. But just because these buttons exist doesn’t mean you need them. Sure, the pro players are going to grab you. That doesn’t mean you need to grab them in order to win.
The Solution: The most important thing you can know in Smash is Jump, Jump, Up+B (the triple jump). In fact, it is ALL you need to know besides the punch button. Since the entire goal of the game is to stay on the platform, and the environment/items will often kill you as often as a player’s punch, all you need to know is how to watch your character and to jump back on the platform when you get knocked off. If you get back on, then you just deprived them of a point. If you fall, then you were an easy kill.
When you land back on it, walk up and punch someone. If they turn and hit you off, or throw something into you then: Jump, Jump, Up+B back to the platform. Then pick up a pokeball/item and throw it into somebody. Concentrate on staying on the platform and you’ll start to see the screen easier as well.
The co-op campaign seems fun so far. The camera only tracks player 1, but it is a fairly involved setup/budget for a mode that traditionally isn’t in a fighting game (a platformer? really?). I’ll give more impressions on that later as I put in a few more hours. Also, online just seems broken still. Anyone else have any thoughts on the game? Or luck playing online?