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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Now if only we could get Mega Man and those guys from Grand Theft Auto in on This.

At first the concept seemed kind of stupid: take all the major characters from popular Nintendo franchises and let them beat the crap out of each other in a slightly off kilter fighting game. The longer you think about it though, the cooler it sounds. Lets face it, everyone has a favorite game character who they think could kick anyone else’s ass (I’m talking to you Mario, you can jump pretty high for a pudgy guy but can you take a punch?) The idea has proven itself to be a good one because we’re now in the third installment of the franchise.

As a fighting game Smash Bros. works a little differently then Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Rather than pummel your opponent until they collapse from a combination of broken bones, internal hemorrhaging, and blood loss, in Smash Bros., the more beating they endure, the farther they fly when you hit them. In most stages you’re fighting on top of a platform; your goal is to knock you opponent off the platform. The more damage you do, the harder it is for your opponent to recover from a major hit.

This version of Smash Bros. has largest cast of characters, 37 to be exact. Most of the characters from the previous installments have returned but there are two new big-name characters: Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog. Solid Snake, star of Konomi’s Metal Gear Solid games was included in Smash Bros. after his creator, Hideo Kojima, begged Nintendo to include him. Sonic the Hedgehog has been slumming on Nintendo ever since the collapse of Sega as a producer of systems. Mario and Sonic have been arch enemies since the days of yore.

Other new characters include Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong’s young friend/cousin. That guy from Pikmin, a bunch of Pokemon, King Dedede, Kirby’s nemesis, Pit, the main character of Kid Icarus, and the unnamed main character from the Pokemon series who actually is just three Pokemon you can switch between. Lucas, the protagonist of “Earthbound 2” (the sequel to the cult hit Earthbound which has not been released in America yet despite massive outcry and petitions from fans) also makes an appearance. Returning characters have had their designs changed to match their recent appearances. Link’s been changed to look the way he did in “Twilight Princess” and Fox McCloud from “Star Fox” has been upgrade to look the way he will in “StarFox Command”. A second version of Link matching his cell-shaded appearance from “Windwaker” and “Phantom Hourglass” is an unlockable character, as is Samus from “Metroid Zero”.

The game’s story mode is relatively forgettable (really the only reason to play it is to earn trophies and unlock characters). The real reason to get “Brawl” is for the Brawl mode: up to four players simultaneously trying to beat the snot out of each other either in teams or in a free-for-all with everyone having an equal chance to kick some virtual you-know-what. Now this is a party game.