“Super Smash Bros. Brawl” is great, near-perfect even… but it’s not. There are still a few things missing from it that keep it from being among my favorite games of all time.
In fact, there are 10 things missing.
I have played the game all the way through. I have unlocked all the modes, characters and almost 150 trophies. I’ve seen the best and the worst the game has to offer.
Here’s what’s missing, the 10 things that must be in the sequel. Hopefully someone will take note.
1. Worldwide Simultaneous Release
This one is key. Once the game hit store shelves a month ago in Japan, “Smash Bros.” fans like myself found it almost impossible to avoid being exposed to any of the the game’s secrets. I can just imagine what it’s like for fans in Europe who have to wait even longer. Leveling the playing field for all fans and keeping all the secrets secret until the game is actually released would be a dream come true next time around.
2. Increase the Multiplayer Number
“Resistance 2” will have 60 players online at once playing the same game, and “Smash Bros.” only has four. Even off-line, “Smash Bros.” still only has four. While it may break from the “Smash Bros.” mold, upping the overall players per game would just add to the fun. Think about playing with eight of your friends all at once on one screen. It would be crazy, hectic, and awesome.
3. Downloadable Content
Some of these things are mainstays on the Wii’s competitors, but seem foreign to Nintendo products. Downloadable content stands out at the top of that list. “Brawl” is perfectly suited for additional content via Nintendo’s Wii Shopping Channel. Fans of the game are rabid, and many of them would most likely purchase every piece of content just to have the complete “Smash Bros.” experience. Characters would be best for this, but I would settle for more events, trophies, or challenges.
4. More Characters
I don’t think this is asking a lot. The Nintendo universe is ripe with additional characters that could be included in “Smash Bros.” So are the Konami, Capcom, Sega, Namco and Square Enix universes. The current list tops out at a total of 35 characters (37 if you count Samus and Zelda as two each) which is meager when compared to another personal favorite, “Marvel vs. Capcom 2“’s 56. “Mortal Kombat Armageddon” had over 60 characters. In all honesty, all they really need to do is add in Toad and I’ll be happy.
5. Voice Chat
Another way that the Wii is lagging behind its competitors is the lack of voice chat. Trash-talking aside, if you have tried to set up an on-line match against one of your friends you have seen just how much “Brawl” would have benefited from having voice chat. We know Nintendo wants to keep their console family-friendly, but it’s gotten a bit ridiculous. Maybe next time around we can at least chat with people with whom we’ve exchanged friend codes.
6. Unlockable Incentive Content Included On Other Games
Imagine if, come April 27, you run out and buy “Mario Kart Wii” and, upon throwing it in, it recognizes that you have a “SSBB” save file and you receive a message that “Baby Mario has joined the Brawl.” Or the Rainbow Road stage is now playable. I’m well aware this is a long shot, but it’s still well worth considering.
7. DS Connectivity
This may be a bit of a pipe dream but the DS/Wii connectivity is an underused feature that could really be used well. For example, imagine if you were able to play a mini-game to collect stickers and trophies and then beam them back to your “Smash Bros.” save file and add them to your collection. It’s just another missed opportunity.
8. Capcom-Inspired 2D Fighting
I’m not saying that “Smash Bros.” needs another game mode. By the time you’re done unlocking everything there is more than enough. But what if there was another way to brawl? “Smash Bros.” owes a bit of inspiration from the “Street Fighter” series, primarily from later titles in Capcom’s series, with their aerial attacks and full screen super moves. But what if it harkened back to the days that made “Street Fighter” famous? Imagine a two-player mode that was in the vein of “Street Fighter II” — 2D fighting on a single plane, finite life bars, and no getting eliminated for falling off the stage. I know it’s not classic “Smash,” but it would be a whole new way of playing the game.
9. Online Stats and Rankings
“Smash Bros. Brawl” starts tracking stats from the second that the console is turned on, so why can’t it provide some kind of online stats tracking and rankings? There are millions of people playing this thing online, and we just want to know where we stand. This is another simple yet vital feature that PS3 and Xbox 360 games have over the Wii.
I hoped that player-created characters could somehow be included in this version of “Smash Bros.” but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. My Mii has been left to fight elsewhere. Next time around, the Miis should be an integral part of the game, and you should be allowed to use them as customizable characters that you can brawl with, both online and off. Most of the other major fighting franchises have done it, not necessarily well (”Soul Calibur” I’m looking at you). But at least they’ve done it. Why can’t “Smash?”