#10 — You collect stickers, and there’s more to them than you think
At first, we didn’t think much of this feature. Sure, stickers of Nintendo characters are cool, but we didn’t feel like scrap booking for hours on end. That is, until Nintendo announced they level up your character. Each sticker holds some sort of power that, when applied to a trophy’s base, grants your brawler an ability. This adds some much needed depth to the button mashing combat, though on the downside, they only work in The Subspace Emissary. You can’t bolster your character’s attributes for multiplayer combat.
#9 — Lots of trophies to snag
Pack rats will enjoy collecting all of the game’s trophies, which feature characters and items from various franchises, including Fire Emblem, Kid Icarus, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda and perhaps even Sonic the Hedgehog. Not only does each come with a short biography, but you can also arrange and set them against different backgrounds.
#8 — Smile, you’re on candid Smash
Pausing the game and taking photos (and saving them to SD cards) lets you capture your greatest triumphs, or perhaps you want snapshots of characters in funny poses. With the ability to send and receive pictures from people you register as friends, there are lots of possibilities.
#7 — Customization sensation
Don’t just play the game as is. Mess around with the options and create your own custom matches. Special Brawl mode lets you add bunny ears and flowers to characters’ heads, as well as mess with the camera. Outside of that, you can also toggle rumble on and off, switch up the music and change the controls. You could spend hours toying with all these different modes and stipulations.
#6 — A feast for the ears
Brawl features an exquisite soundtrack comprised of various Nintendo themes, remixed for your listening pleasure. As you pound your opponents into oblivion, you’ll hum along to tunes from Yoshi’s Story, Star Fox, Metroid and Super Mario Bros. For a sample, visit Super Smash Bros. Brawl’s music page.
#5 — Visit lots of exciting places
Unlike most fighting games, Smash Bros. stages feature lots of interactivity. Kart racers run you over on the Mario Circuit, waves of lava consume you on Norfair and a dangerous Metal Gear attempts to crush you on Shadow Moses Island. Just don’t forget to take the thrilling Lylat Cruise, or miss out on a performance by K.K. Slider at Smashville.
#4 — Four control schemes
Don’t worry about trying to play the game with the remote and nunchuk, because Nintendo gives you three more control schemes to choose from. You can play with just the remote (turned horizontally), the Wii’s Classic Controller, and if you prefer to kick it old school, the GameCube controller.
#3 — You can build your own stages
That’s right. You can create your own Smash Bros. stages and share them with friends, but that’s only the half of it. In addition, you can send them to Nintendo, and if the company likes your designs, it’ll share them with gamers the world over. In fact, the company plans to send a new created stage to your Wii every day.
#2 — Characters galore
Nintendo went all out with the game’s roster, pulling characters from its franchises as well as incorporating third party brawlers, including Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake. This allows for numerous dream matches, such as Sonic Vs. Mario, Snake Vs. Kirby and even Pit (from Kid Icarus) against Captain Olimar (from Pikmin). Then you have all those assist trophies (Little Mac, Waluigi, Gray Fox) to consider, as well as tons of Pokemon.
#1 — Online Play
Smash Bros. is chock full of options and special features, but the ability to battle fools online is without question its biggest selling point. Sure, nothing beats crowding around an HDTV and trash talking your friends, but being able to challenge players from across the globe gives this game unlimited replay value. Let’s hope Nintendo’s WiFi Connection service is ready for the thousands, dare we say millions, of hungry gamers itching for some cross-country multiplayer.