I bought Brawl last night and since then have played the game for just over 10 hours. I’ve mostly played the Subspace Emissary as well as one run through classic mode with Snake and 20 of the single player events. I also played a quick online game with Gmoney and another one with a random person.
I guess overall Brawl is really just Melee, but greatly expanded upon in all areas. There are better graphics, more characters, and more stages. There are lots of new items and tons of trophies, songs, and stickers to collect, as well as a huge increase in the amount things to do while playing solo.
The Subspace Emissary stands out to me as the newest real addition to the series. It’s basically a story mode, where you’ll see character story lines told through tons of different CG scenes as you progress. The levels are side scrolling and played out through a bunch of different locations. Each level you play through with a certain group of characters depending on whose storyline is being focused on for that level. You’ll be fighting against the Subspace Army who are just up to no good whatsoever.
I’ve really enjoyed Subspace Emissary so far. It’s a lot longer then I expected it to be…I’m only about 55% of the way through after playing it for this long. I mean, it’s not 40 hours or anything, but for a fighting game I think it’s pretty good. There are tons of secrets throughout the levels, and it’s really fun seeing the odd pairings of characters (Pikachu and Samus, for example). There are boss battles along the way as well which are a nice change of pace from the side scrolling levels.
Online play was…OK. The one random match I got into had a bit of lag, so it was really difficult pulling off what you were trying to do. I honestly wasn’t expecting a ton from the online portion of the game, so I can’t say I’m disappointed. I would love to see Nintendo setup their online similar to Microsoft (minus the 12 year olds yelling at me), but I just don’t see that happening anytime soon, so I’ll be happy with what I’ve got, a super simplistic match making system. At least I can play with friends, that’s all that really matters.
Overall I think Super Smash Bros. Brawl is pretty radical. There is just so much to do besides normal vs. matches to keep you occupied for a very long time. I wasted a lot of time just looking through all the trophies I had received. If you liked Melee, you’ll love Brawl. It’s everything it’s predecessor was, but better in every way possible.