Monday, April 07, 2008

Hey look, an opinion! About a videogame! It's long and stupid!

It's been nearly a month since Smash Bros. Brawl was released. This will probably be the last thing I'll write about it ever again (with the exception of probably contributing to this.) The game is out, we know everything about it, the reviews are in, and generally if you wanted to buy it you probably have.

Here's my opinion: I don't think they should make anymore Smash Bros. games.

You might be thinking "The game's only been out for month! You still have time to absorb what Brawl gives you! Why would you be thinking about the future now?" The reason I am is because others are, and I'm constantly surrounded by a fan base who started looking towards the future in February. So basically, I don't think for myself.

Apparently Nintendo has been sending out a survey asking whether or not you would like another Smash Bros. This makes sense, but on the other hand doesn't. Durrrr, I don't know; do you think the millions of people who bought this game would want you to make another one? Well, I guess I'm the exception to the rule. I wouldn't want them to make another one.

Errrr, okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. Would I buy another Smash Bros.? Of course I would, I'm a slave of the series. But I just don't think they should make another, which is about the fifth time I've said that, and I haven't even provided any reasons yet!

Why don't I want another one if I'm such a big fan? Pretty simple, really. I think Brawl is the peak, the farthest they can go with this idea. Any more games in the series would just be spinning the wheels.

I mean, just look at all the things in Brawl. Online, fully-realized adventure mode, stage editor, hundreds of songs, pretty much every major Nintendo franchise well-represented...what could they possibly add in a future game that would be new or exciting? Oh, and don't say 'a better online mode!', because that's not adding, that's just refining. And while the Brawl online isn't perfect, it feels fine for me.

Aw, the representation statement, better go into that. I can barely think of any other Nintendo series that NEED to be Smash Bros. (I think Punch-Out!! and Advance Wars are about the only two 'major' ones left, and they were both represented by non-playable things). And keep in mind, while I love obscure gems like Drill Dozer and Elite Beat Agents, I can completely understand while they weren't chosen to be playable, and why they probably never will. I look at all the character choices in Brawl, and pretty much every one represents something integral to Nintendo. It's probably harder to convince some kid why ROB or the Ice Climbers fit this bill, but they do. In a recent Dojo update, Sakurai mentioned how there seemed to be a large time gap between series represented in Brawl, and how Nintendo hasn't had that many titles in recent times that more or less work in Smash Bros. I laughed at the nerds taking this a sign that Nintendo is losing creativity or something along those lines, as those very same people almost always ignore the games I mentioned above. But I can see Sakurai's statement on two sides: good that Nintendo is branching out into new things, but I guess not so good if you love the character-based games of old. I guess that could go into another argument about how another reason there shouldn't be another SB is because they are moving away from making the types of games that support the series, but I won't.

So yeah, aside from the lack of possible new gameplay additions, I don't think they have many (or maybe any) characters they just HAVE to add into a future game. After Melee, there still were many characters that were just essential. Pit, Wario, Diddy, Meta Knight, Dedede...And guess what? They ALL got into Brawl. Hell, even SONIC, a character we all wanted but never expected, got in. After this...there just isn't anyone else who feels missing. And the side characters that keep getting mentioned by fans? Not essential at all. Also, I don't really accept the idea that more third parties lining up would solve this, as (1)they are entirely opportunist and thus don't have much chance of getting included and (2)having too many third party characters kind of dilutes the point of the game. As cool as finally getting Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, Pac Man, and what have you in the same game would be, it doesn't feel like it's a must for me.

On a slightly separate tangent, I can't help but feel partially responsible for spawning the terrible character cults and leading many online idiots to be disappointed in Brawl's final roster. As you may or may not have known, I was the one to tally up the number of character references in the very early Brawl 'give me suggestions and maybe I'll print'em!' deal. My numbers were referenced for long periods afterwards, and with each new character revealed (all belonging to the upper echelons of my list, and all of which were pretty obvious inclusions in any case), it gave several fans the idea that their favorite character was obvious. And then, after spending months talking about how awesome Ridley, Krystal, or Geno would find out that they were relegated to non-playable roles, or in the case of Geno, not included at all. So to all you whiny freaks: I guess I'm kinda sorry.

So, lots of words to get two main points across: I don't want them to make anymore Smash Bros. games because there isn't any more essential features or characters they could add. I could have just posted this, but that would have saved you and me time.

"How about a DS Smash Bros.?" you may ask. Well, I'm not entirely for that either. No matter how they go about that, wouldn't it just end up being Brawl with less stuff? What would be the point, then? I know, the idea of portable Smash Bros. probably trumps any counterpoints, but I still don't support the idea. Maybe if they got the Jump Superstars guys to make a SB similar to their game, I could see more worth in it.

Speaking of new ideas, that's another thing I would be fine with them doing. Retire the Smash Bros. series and use the concept of bringing your favorite characters together in a different type of game. A puzzle game, a strategy long as it's a genre I enjoy, seems good to me.

But as mentioned before, it's only been about a month. Maybe in another 5 years I'll change my tune. And then maybe I'll waste your time with another long winded essay about why I was wrong the first time. I'm weird that way.

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At 9:43 a.m., Anonymous Judy! said...

Not quite yet, Dr. Ryuta Kawashima of Brain Age is not a playable character. There we go, a new feature for Smash Bros. Rumble.


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