Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Val talks of the battle heard 'round the E for All Expo.
Preview by Valerie Hilgenfeldt (Email)
November 9th 2007
"When I say 'Sonic', you say 'Hedgehog!' Sonic!" "Hedgehog!" "Sonic!" "Hedgehog!"
Shouted out by one of Nintendo's booth babes and supported by bleachers full of Smash fans, it loudly highlighted what so many people had come forth to see. It wasn't surprising that the heavily anticipated addition to Brawl's roster was the most popular newcomer at the show. After all, Nintendo's presence dwarfed everyone else's; whether you were playing Guitar Hero III or waiting in line for Metal Gear Solid 4, the calls for Sonic, Ike, and Pit were heard everywhere.
Inside the makeshift Brawl arena, players eagerly waited for a chance to play the preview build of the 3D fighter, and they could only do so with one weapon: the Wii Remote. Once it's released, Brawl will support various controller options and configurations. It's a wise and necessary decision, considering how cumbersome the default scheme can be to a seasoned player.
Though definitely usable, a number of issues prevent the Wii Remote from being a brawler's choice. Sure, there's a lack of buttons, but that's not all. As explained by Masahiro Sakurai on October 17th, via the official Smash Bros. Dojo blog: "This is in a kind of hard-to-press area, but the button for your shield is near your left index finger." That's right, folks. While holding the Wii Remote sideways, you're supposed to nudge the trigger with one of your fingers if you want to bring that shiny shield up.
Going back to the general lack of buttons, one has to think that maybe it couldn't be helped. The blocking function had to be represented somewhere, and the average at-home Brawl player isn't going to use it anyway. Everyone who's in for a real competition will surely connect a GameCube controller (or a Virtual Console one if they're short those), which makes it a relative non-issue. The graphics are better than Melee's, but still relatively sparse. Who cares, though?