The Ten Reasons: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Hello everyone, and welcome to The Ten Reasons, where I discuss ten reasons why I like or dislike a game. This month is a super-special column for two reasons!   First off, I'm writing about the wild

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Hello everyone, and welcome to The Ten Reasons, where I discuss ten reasons why I like or dislike a game. This month is a super-special column for two reasons!


First off, I’m writing about the wildly popular Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I was going to write about it a few months ago, but there were protests from other GameCola writers when they heard how much I hated the game.


Which brings me to the second reason why this month’s column is awesome. I decided to have a Super Smash Bros. fan help me write this column and give everyone the SSBB fan point-of view. Everyone, say hello to my friend Marianne!


Marianne: Hi everyone! I’m a total babe and modest too!


Michael: Nice.


Michael: So, Marianne, you want to get this column started?


Marianne: Sure, what was there you wanted to discuss?


Michael: As always, I’ll start with the reasons why I like the game!

Reasons Why I Like Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Marianne: Reason 1: Because it’s the perfect game.


Michael: Marianne, this is my column! No interrupting. 

 1. The Music


Marianne: Oh, all right, the music—no one can argue with the music. That got the most press, I think, as the game approached its release.

Marianne: I’m sure most others, like me, after tiring of battling for the moment, have spent an hour or two in the game’s music channel listening for their favorites from past games.


Michael: Hey, Marianne?


Marianne: Yeah?


Michael: You spent hours listening to the music in this game?


Michael: Looooser.


Marianne: …OK, you get that one. I admitted stopping playing the game as it was intended for a bit to listen to music. But this was back in May of this year; friends of mine had SSBB and were being generous with it, so a group of people and I did as many battles as we could take.


Marianne: But that’s all the better for the music in the game. It’s great stuff and it’s the same stuff you get to hear while battling! No repetitive fight music in this game. In fact, you can choose just the songs you like best to play during fights.


Michael: You can?


Michael: I heard the same songs over and over again.


Michael: It was an odd collection of songs, too. It sounded just like people snoring.


Michael: Oh wait, that wasn’t coming from the game! That was coming from me!


Marianne: …You snore so loudly that it overpowers the noise of a flashy Wii game?


Michael: …Yes.


Michael: I snore loudly.


Michael: Happy now?


Marianne: Oh, it’s all right, Michael—snorers are people too. They don’t have great taste in videogames…but they’re deserving of our respect.


Marianne: Er, don’t we have at least nine more reasons to discuss?


Michael: Yes, but first, I have to give my opinion on the music in this game.


Marianne: Yup, and what is that?


Michael: …The music in this game is pretty rocking.


Michael: I give it a thumbs up.


Marianne: YES! Heh, win for team SSBB! Well done, Michael. I knew you had it in you to be a true gamer.


Michael: MOVING ON!!!

2. The Graphics


Michael: Let me go first this time.


Michael: By graphics, I don’t mean the game’s graphics per se.


Michael: I’m talking about the numerous cutscenes in the single-player mode.


Marianne: Are these better or worse than the graphics when you’re doing a real battle?


Michael: They are better than the battle graphics.


Michael: The cutscenes don’t make a whole lot of sense, but…they are quite beautiful.


Marianne: Mmmhmm, just like in the previous SSB games, my impression of the battles was that after a while I wasn’t seeing anything new. And though the cutscenes were odd with the total lack of dialogue, I really liked the graphics—better than some CGI movies.


Michael: What was up with the lack of dialogue? Dude, they hired voice actors for all the characters! Why the hell didn’t they ever talk?


Michael: Stuuuuuupid!


Marianne: It meant there was no worry whatsoever about hiring a lot of new voice actors to deal with translating the game is what I said when I first saw one-player mode. Laaazy! And I didn’t know they hired voice actors—unless you mean whoever it is who makes the “Pika!” sound effects, etc.?


Michael: Well, yes.


Marianne: I dunno, though my interpretation would be that the characters represented (well, the Nintendo ones at least) have not been known to speak at length in their games. Mario’s still only got a bunch of “Ya-Wahoo!” noises again even in the latest, Super Mario Galaxy. It’s just not part of the characters for them to be real talkers.


Michael: Yes, but in Super Mario Sunshine, all the cutscenes had dialogue in them. It was AWESOME.


Marianne: Mario talked in that? OK, whoops. I missed that one as a gamer, aaah!


Michael: Here, have a look:



Michael: Skip to 3:38.


Marianne: …Whoa. How’d I miss this game? Right, I’m way used to Bowser communicating through grunts and subtitles even through Wii titles—it’s weird to hear him and Baby Bowser with voices when I never imagined them as speaking English and sounding like that.


Michael: They have a nice father-son moment at 7:11, too.


Michael: Good to see that even Bowser pulls his weight as a parent.


Marianne: Yup—still, that voice, I gotta say that’s just wrong for big bad Bowser.


Michael: What? How is it wrong?


Marianne: He sounds so silly, I’d feel embarrassed playing that game.


Michael: Yeah, but in Super Mario Galaxy, they didn’t give Bowser a voice. All they did was re-use old sound effects from Donkey Kong 64.


Marianne: More like it should be, because that’s the Bowser I’m used to. Oh, but we seriously digress….


Michael: Yes, we should never digress. We should always stay on task, and not mention things like the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie being delayed six months.


Marianne: WHAT?!


Michael: You didn’t hear?


Marianne: Oh, now I’m pissed!


Michael: I know!


Michael: What the HELL, Warner Bros.?!!!


Marianne: …-sniff- That movie was all I had to go on, all I had to look ahead to…ugh, give me a moment….


Michael: Take your time, Marianne.


Michael: In the meantime, I’ll move on to our next category of reasons.

 Reasons Why I Dislike Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Michael: Ho, boy, where to start?


MarianneReason 1: Because you’re just weird that way.


Marianne: Awh, I’m sorry Michael, that was uncalled for.


Marianne: But you gotta understand, I defend my Smash Bros.


MichaelReason 2: Because Marianne’s face is ugly.


Marianne: Only because…damn, that classic face insult is stooping low, but there’s no counter I can think of.

3. The Latin Theme Song


Michael: Marianne, you’re a music nerd. What do you think of the theme song?


Marianne: Well, I gotta admit I had no idea it was Latin or any other recognizable language until you told me—which, I think, is why I was able to like it so much. It had epic-sounding vocals, and I wasn’t worrying about any meaning behind them.


Michael: Well, it turns out that the theme song is Latin.


Marianne: Yeah, I’m only picking out the individual words in the song now that you’ve told me what I’m listening for. And as someone much smarter than me who’s not afraid of Latin, can you give us some idea of what the song’s actually saying?


Michael: Here is a rough translation:


Super Smash Brothers super cool!
This game fun!
Play much times!
Michael Gray is awesome.
Super Smash fun!
Now play as Kirby!


Marianne: Hahaha.


Marianne: Ooh, damn, they snuck subliminal messages into this theme song, too?


Michael: Sure did.


Marianne: …Yeah, I knew you had connections.


Michael: But seriously, I want to talk about the Latin translation.


Michael: The English version of the game, as you can see, has the Latin words with English subtitles.


Marianne: Oh yeah, I was surprised at that in the video you showed me—that the game ultimately ruins the song for you itself by revealing the weird literal meaning of it.


Michael: Don’t worry about that, Marianne. As it turns out, the English translation has almost nothing in common with the Latin.


Michael: In fact, it’s probably the worst translation I’ve ever seen.


Marianne: Ooh, burn, and Michael knows Latin translations.


Michael: I don’t understand it. They wrote the Latin! It should mean exactly what they want it to!


Marianne: Sooo…a vast majority of people, like me, using the game won’t pick up on a thing, because they didn’t know Latin when it blasted them over the head.


[Editor’s note: Michael’s hissy fit about Latin translation has been deleted due to excessive amounts of swearing.]


Michael: Anyway, I say good for them for trying to do something in Latin.


Michael: But horrible job on the translation.


Michael: And the Latin itself isn’t very good, either. If I sang that to the Romans, they’d laugh at me.


Marianne: (stopped paying attention long ago.)

4. Japanese Character Selections


 Marianne: This one you’ll have to explain to me.

 Michael: Remember when we were playing Smash Bros. together, and we had to continually ask each other who the hell the characters were? Neither of us knew who Lucas was, I didn’t know who Marth was, and so on?


Marianne: Actually, no. Yeah, I never played the games those characters were from, but I knew a few such as Marth from the GameCube SB, and the rest I’d just heard about from game development news.


Michael: Well, it turns out the reason we haven’t played the games those characters are from is because those games were never released outside of Japan.


Marianne: Really?! No, I thought there were at least some games for all the characters’ series released in the US—wasn’t Fire Emblem the name of the game that had Marth and Roy in it?


Michael: Yes, there are Fire Emblem games that were released in the US.


Michael: No, Marth and Roy are not in those games.


Michael: Ike is the star of the US Fire Emblem games.


Marianne: Confusing. OK, definite win for Team Michael on this one, for the characters I only know through the Smash Bros. series.


Michael: Yes! I win!


Michael: Can I still complain a little bit, though?


Marianne: I guess so. That’s why you write the column.


Michael: OK, my complaint is that they have no characters in the game who don’t come from Japan.


Marianne: But some are just as famous in the US as in Japan—Mario, Sonic, Link….


Michael: Yes, but I’d still like to see some non-Japanese characters in the game.


Marianne: Who would those be? I think you just gotta give in to the fact that we happen to share most of the world’s best known games with Japan.


Michael: Characters like Carmen Sandiego or the Prince of Persia.


Marianne: Carmen Sandiego? What would her move be, disappearing off the map?


Michael: You’re just jealous because Carmen Sandiego is cooler than you.


Marianne: How would we know? As I remember she never showed up in person on her show.


Marianne: The Prince of Persia, maybe.


Michael: The Prince of Persia, MAYBE? More like, The Prince of Persia, YOU BET YOUR ASS.


Marianne: Man, using the Sands of Time would be the most unfair tactic ever….


Michael: That would be an awesome move, however.


Michael: Anyway, I’m just saying, Nintendo? Open your horizons a little bit.


Michael: The rest of the world can make decent videogame characters if you give them a chance.


Marianne: Hello, Sonic already made it into the game?


Michael: Hello, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games?


Michael: Nintendo’s already done Mario/Sonic crossovers before!


Marianne: Well, Snake. You know Snake is awesome.


Michael: Yes. Funny story about that. Snake is in the game because his Japanese creator begged his Japanese buddy to let Snake in the game


Marianne: I wouldn’t say Carmen Sandiego counts. Wasn’t she just in educational kids’ games? What else has the US even made for itself, Reader Rabbit?


Michael: Lemme think…The Oregon Trail?


MarianneOregon Trail: Mario dies of cholera.


Michael: Mario tries to ford the river, and loses two Yoshis.


Marianne: Mario has been bitten by a snake!


Michael: Does Snake bite other players in this game?


Marianne: Er, he’s not that kinky. But I dunno, shove him at Zelda sometime.


Michael: I understand Link tried to kiss Zelda in this game.


Marianne: Yes?


Michael: She turned into Sheik.


Michael: …Not cool.


Marianne: Ugh, yeah, no one wants that.


Michael: Anyway, in conclusion:


Michael: Oregon Trail is fun.


Michael: Nintendo favors Japanese gamers.

 5. The Controls


Marianne: …Yeah. So I told you how everyone I know who’s played this game always prefers to use the GameCube controller. I was that way, too; I sucked so much more whenever I got stuck with the Wiimote. Using it for a fighting game just doesn’t come intuitively for me.


Michael: Oh, so I don’t need to talk about how the controls in this game are so bad that it took me two hours to figure out how to use them? You’ll just agree with me, and we can move on?


Marianne: Two hours?


Michael: Two to three.


Marianne: Well, you didn’t have the manual, right?


Michael: I did have the manual. There are some moves they say you can do, but I’m convinced they put them in the manual as a joke, just to mess with the players.

Marianne: They’re all easier to do with a nice, normal GameCube controller. Unfortunately, where do I fit in, having skipped straight from the N64 to Wii? I don’t just have GameCube accessories around.

Marianne: Well, no, there’s that “Classic” controller made for the Wii…which I don’t have. I like to think the controllers I bought for my console will work right with the games I looked forward to playing.


Michael: That’s right…didn’t you actually download some games from the Virtual Console? Super Mario Bros. 3, if I’m not mistaken?


Marianne: The original Mario Kart, actually—er, it wasn’t me who picked that one out; we have it on an N64 cartridge already.


Marianne: Yeah, so a GameCube controller was bought for that purpose. Nifty. But it’s just the one.


Michael: Oh.


Marianne: Wait, and by original, I don’t mean that. I know there was a Super Nintendo version nobody knows about anymore.


Michael: Well, anyway, the Virtual Console is lame by forcing gamers to buy a new controller.


Marianne: Yeah. So how dare the Wii require more than just the one kind of controller.


Michael: Especially when the Wiimote doesn’t work so well.


Michael: I was playing WarioWare this weekend and, boy!


Marianne: You have WarioWare now? That game is fun!


Michael: That game is pretty tough to play because the Wii’s remote sensor controls SUCK.


Marianne: It depends, I’d say. It seemed fine when a friend took his copy of the game to play at my house.


Marianne: Maybe it’s just your Wii.


Michael: Meh, the game isn’t that fun.


Michael: It’s mainly doing the same things over and over again.


Michael: Tilt the Wiimote to the left.


Michael: Tilt it to the right.


Michael: Tilt it forward!


Michael: It’s basically just 200 variations on the same theme.


Marianne: We are so bad with the tangents…. Yup, it’s a game that’s fun when you’re with a bunch of people who can laugh at you doing the stupid things the game makes you do.


Michael: Yeah, we should get back on track soon….


Michael: Well, there was no one to play the game with me, so it wasn’t very fun.


Marianne: So play it with me.

 6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Got Delayed Eight Months

Even Hitler is pissed about it.

Michael: Personally, this is the main reason why I hate SSBB so much.


Marianne: Of course! It got delayed because all the big media companies, which are all really fronts for the same big conglomerate, made enough profit for the ’08 season with their videogame hit!


Michael: I will forever hate this game because of that.


Michael: I will even hate it next July, when I see the Half-Blood Prince movie and realize how crappy it is.


Marianne: Awh. That’s a shame, really, that there has to be so much anger preventing your enjoyment of the game. It’s not the game’s fault it was so popular.


Michael: Yes it is! The game overloaded itself with Nintendo mascots, and Nintendo fanboys will buy ANYTHING starring Mario, no matter how bad the game is!

Michael: Why do you think there are fifty Mario Party games? 

Michael: Mario Golf?

Michael: GOLF?

Michael: Give me a break! Golf is the most boring game in the world, yet that game sold like a million copies just because Mario was in it.

Marianne: Oh yeah, I remember that on the N64. Well, I don’t understand why golf games exist at all. Golf is so slow and boring.


Michael: That’s my point.


Marianne: And if the golf game doesn’t have Mario on the cover, it’s Tiger Woods. How else could golf possibly sell?


Michael: Um…with hot babes in bikinis?


Marianne: That’d be just a little far-fetched—but, yes, successful.


Marianne: But what the hell, is this golfing on a San Diego beach then?


Michael: Oh, burn!


Michael: We’re going to get angry letters from members of the San Diego community.


Marianne: Why are the girls around the golf course in their bikinis?


Michael: Because guys are perverts and buy anything that stars hot girls in bikinis?


Marianne: Unless they’d rather buy games featuring hot men in Speedos, you mean.


Michael: Hmmm…I think you’d have to ask Vangie Rich about that.


Michael: Back to movies, however, did you hear that they’re going to make a Sims videogame?


Marianne: Don’t you a mean  Sims movie? I already know a bunch of the Sims games that are out now.


Michael: I meant movie. Shut up.


Marianne: Yeah, I heard about it. I wonder how that’s possibly going to be done. Do the people in the movie discover they’re being controlled by a wrathful, all-powerful force?


Michael: No idea, but it seems to have the clichéd moral of “be careful what you wish for.”


Marianne: I thought that moral was reserved for original Disney Channel movies. Seriously, that plot overview I’m reading on your link sounds like something that should stick to a made-for-TV movie.


Michael: More like UNoriginal Disney Channel movies!


Marianne: I know, I can’t believe I ever watched any.


Michael: Hey, some of those movies are good.


Marianne: Like…?


Michael: The Thirteenth Year wasn’t too bad.


Michael: Oh, and the one where the Mummy dances to “All By Myself”?


Marianne: Oh yeah, that was one of the early ones. But I remember the bizarre Halloween Town movie with its too many sequels.


Marianne: Smart House was OK—that was one of the very first original movies they made.


Michael: Life-Size was OK, too, even if I don’t like Lindsey Lohan or Tyra Banks.


Michael: And the Even Stevens movie.


Michael: Those’d be the ones I’d recommend seeing.


Marianne: And then there was the one where a young Shia LeBeouf thought he  had the acting chops to portray a mentally retarded individual. Awkward. I’m sure he’d rather studios that know him from his Indiana Jones success weren’t reminded of that.


Michael: Wait, you mean Shia WASN’T playing a mentally retarded individual in Indiana Jones?


Marianne: Ahah, his experience in Tru Confessions must have been his inspiration for the character.


Michael: Don’t forget the one where they made Frankie Muniz play a crippled kid! Disney likes to pull on the disabilities-sympathy factor.


Marianne: Ugh, yeah, I remember that one now. Even watching that as a preteen I wondered why it had to be dumb old Frankie Muniz who represented the real kid with disabilities.


Michael: I agree. I saw that for like three seconds before turning it off.


Michael: They also like to pull on the racism-sympathy factor with that one movie they always pull out on Martin Luther King Day.


Marianne: Yeah, I don’t remember the name of that one. Again, that one was awkward.


Michael: Oh, wait, remember Seventeen Again? With the nearly all-black cast?


Michael: That movie was good.


Marianne: Wasn’t there an all-black Cinderella too?


Michael: Didn’t see that…I think that was for ABC, not Disney Channel.


Marianne: Probably right.


Michael: You know, speaking of Disney Channel movies, my sister and I thought about writing one.


Michael: A bowling movie.


Michael: And the main character would be a girl whose older brother won the Bowling League Championship, and her father is never around to see any of her games….


Michael: And there’d be a super-mean, really intense bowler that she has to go up against in the finals.


Michael: And just when she almost loses, her dad shows up to see her bowl, and that gives her the heart to bowl on, and win the game!


Marianne: Wow! Such emotional depth! Her dad helped her do it!


Michael: And she has two friends, and one of them is black, because it’s the Disney Channel rule that a minority has to be one of the main character’s friends.


Marianne: Very true, but the main character him/herself can never be a minority.


Marianne: Of course, these movies have to have believable conflict.


Michael: Oh, there’s believable conflict. We worked out the bad guy character quite a bit.


Michael: We were thinking of having an 80-year-old lady who won the Bowling competition for like 50 years in a row.


Michael: And the main character’s grandma would tell a horror story of 50 years ago, when she went up against the Bowling Champion…and lost.


Michael: So, you know, Grandma would show up at the Bowling Competition as well, to help spur the main character on to victory.


Marianne: Yeah, but the rules of Disney Channel production say no unsightly elderly people can be on camera for longer than it takes to do a quick grandma gag.


Michael: Oh, crap, you’re right.


Michael: Hmmm….


Michael: Why don’t we switch the bad guy from a Grandma to a mean girl who wants to go out with the guy our heroine has a crush on?


Marianne: Oh, yes, something the audience will relate to!


Michael: The hot guy/crush is the son of the bowling alley manager, so he’s at the bowling alley at the time.


[Editor’s note: This reason never got finished because Michael and Marianne got bored and went to bed.]

 7. Toon Link

Marianne: We don’t like Toon Link?


Michael: Oh no. Oh no. Oh no no no no NO!


Michael: Toon Link represents the demise of the Zelda franchise.


Marianne: But you actually played the DS game he originates from; I never saw that at all. Hell, I always thought cartoonishness was an idiotic look for Link.


Michael: What?


Michael: (shakes head) Marianne, Marianne….


Marianne: What? OOT perfected the franchise; we can agree on that!


Michael: Yes, Ocarina of Time was great.


Michael: Majora’s Mask was great as well.


Michael: …Then came Toon Link.


Marianne: Ugh, yeah, that just made me mad to hear about—and not only because I didn’t have a DS to play the silly game on.


Marianne: But there’s no way he actually goes by Toon Link in the Wind Waker game, right? Maybe the Smash Bros. character wouldn’t be so bad by a different name I could take more seriously.


Michael: Readers familiar with this column will remember my discussion of Wind Waker last year.


Michael: I am happy for the opportunity to bash that game some more.


Marianne: Sure, tell me just why I’m not missing anything in that game.


Michael: Remember how Ocarina of Time had a thing called “plot”? It didn’t just rely on graphics to carry the game?


Marianne: Yup, that’s what a game limited to the N64 had to do.


Michael: Well, Wind Waker decided that plots are overrated.


Michael: So instead of a big plot with lots of characters, they went for the standard “save the girl who was kidnapped” scheme.


Michael: Which is TOTALLY Mario’s territory, by the way.


Marianne: Ah, I know. And the women’s equality movement takes a hit. Zelda should so be able to kick Gannon’s ass on her own.


Michael: The “save the princess” plot was repeated for Toon Link’s other appearances, such as Minish Cap and Phantom Hourglass.


Marianne: Damn, Zelda’s idolizing that bimbo Peach now? I thought she was better than that! She could fight well enough that she was one of the better Smash Bros. characters! (In Melee, at least; I don’t know how she ranks in Brawl.)


Michael: Personally, I think Toon Zelda wants to get kidnapped.


Michael: Think about it: If you had a choice between hanging out with Toon Link, and getting as far away from him as possible, which one would you take?


Marianne: Er, the latter. Well put.


Marianne: People have already widely theorized about what Peach gets up to with Bowser all the time she’s spent kidnapped—damn, can we blame them trying to ditch their loser boyfriends for some excitement?


Michael: With Peach, I think it’s more the case that Bowser is a desperate stalker than that Peach wants to avoid Mario.


Michael: I mean, as we already showed in this column, Bowser kidnapped Peach to act as a surrogate mother to Bowser Junior.


Michael: And in Super Paper Mario, Bowser actually marries her.


Michael: Face it: The dude’s a stalker.


Marianne: Oh yeah, Bowser’s got some issues to work through. Oh, and I remember that now! Wow. But what does Peach see in Mario? Well, other than the incredible commitment to keep rescuing her ass time and again.


Michael: I don’t think Peach is romantically interested in Mario.


Michael: All she does is bake him a cake to say thank you.


Marianne: What a rip-off.


Michael: Well, think about it a little more.


Michael: Where is Peach in Super Mario 64?


Michael: The most awesome level of the game: Peach’s Secret Slide.


Michael: She probably didn’t want to be “rescued” from that!


Marianne: Heh, can’t you just imagine Peach in her frilly dress sliding down that?


Michael: Hey, I smell a fanart challenge!


8Michael’s attempt at the fanart challenge. Send in your own artwork! The best one will win a prize! 

Michael: But getting back to Toon Link….


Michael: The games he’s in have bad plots, forgettable characters and way too much pointless running



Michael: And besides, he’s ugly-looking.


Michael: I give him a thumbs down.


Marianne: And it’s just awkward having Link face an alternative version of himself in Brawl. Yeah…young Link was better.


MichaelI read a fanfic where Link calls Toon Link “Mini Me.”


Marianne: There are fanfics of this? Yeah, I know rule # (I forgot), but it’s still odd.


Michael: I miss Young Link. I want to know if he ended up with Saria, Ruto, Malon or Zelda.


Marianne: Maybe he didn’t end up with any of them. Maybe he died of a cruel and fast-progressing disease after he’d been of use to saving Hyrule. We’ll just never know.


Michael: I suspect that he ran into Saria after his adventures in Termina. At the end of Majora’s Mask, the Scarecrow Kid smells Link and says he smells just like this person he met out in the woods.


Michael: Then, at the VERY END of the game, the first six notes of Saria’s Song plays.


Michael: Total cliffhanger.


Michael: And I hate Wind Waker for not continuing the story.


Marianne: You’ll just have to finish the story in the world of fanfic; that’s what it’s for.


Marianne: But…awkward. She’ll always be a kid, after all.


Michael: Link was still a kid at the end of Majora’s Mask, though, so it still would work to have him meet Saria.


Michael: Link and Saria will be friends forever!


Michael: Just like you and me, Marianne.

8. Zero Suit Samus


Marianne: …Yeah. A plus if you’re a guy, so I hear, but it doesn’t do anything for me. I don’t care for Zero Suit Samus; I’d rather that wasn’t in a game I play with my boyfriend.


Marianne: Especially if it’s a kid-oriented game. Are nine-year-old boys into that? …Well, I guess they might be; I wouldn’t know.


Michael: Marianne, do you know anything about Samus in the Metroid games?


Marianne: Er, she’s awesome and fights this thing called Ridley?


Michael: Yes, that’s it. Basically….


Michael: She was a hotel detective in the future.


Marianne: Wait, she WAS in the FUTURE? Your verb tense confusion is hurting my head.


Michael: Did you forget that I’m not really Michael Gray? I’m an alien clone of him from twelve-thousand years in the future.


Marianne: Ah. Whew, that’s really good to hear, so humans won’t have killed themselves off by twelve-thousand years from now.


Michael: Humanity is actually destroyed in a freak accident involving horrible music on October 11th of this year.


Marianne: That soon, huh? Oh boy.


Marianne: And isn’t that when High School Musical 3 comes out?


Michael: Coincidence.


Marianne: Ah. I’m on to you, alien.


[Disclaimer: Marianne and Michael do not really know when High School Musical 3 comes out. Their pretending to do so was solely for entertainment purposes.]


Marianne: Whew. My secret love for the HSM franchise is safe.


Michael: Great.


Michael: So, seeing as I’m an alien from the future, I know a lot about Samus. I’ve met her a few times, actually.


Marianne: And what does she have to say about the whole Zero Suit thing?


Michael: Let me tell you this: She would never, NEVER run around spaceships in her underwear.


Marianne: Yeah, that’s not the place to be in your underwear reallly… unless you’ve just come from having hot space sex.


Michael: Actually, the only time you see Samus in her Zero Suit in the Metroid games is after you beat the game.


Michael: How long you see her in her underwear depends on how fast you beat the game and how many items you collected.


Michael: You know, as a reward for doing well in the game.


Marianne: Wow. Nice motivation, that.


Michael: Yeah. Sexism at its finest.


Michael: So that’s a reason why I dislike Super Smash Bros. Brawl—because they put Zero Suit Samus in it.


Marianne: OK, I don’t dislike the whole game for it, but I don’t care for Zero Suit Samus either. Moving on?


Michael: There’s one more reason to dislike Zero Suit Samus.


Michael: If you watch the video, she runs around the spaceship and kills Wall-E.


Michael: Not cool.


Marianne: Nooo, not ROB! (Not Wall-E. I’d be even more ticked then.)


Marianne: But they killed a bunch of the ROB units anyway, so you can’t say it’s anything Zero Suit Samus did.


Michael: Who the hell is ROB?


Michael: Is this one of those Japan-only characters? We already talked about that!


Michael: Samus would never kill Wall-E, or his Japanese counterpart, and she would surely never strip down to her underwear in order to do it.


Marianne: ROB, so I hear, isn’t even from a game. It was a wacky controller released for the NES so kids would actually buy videogames during the mid-80s.


Michael: Yeah, because kids didn’t buy any videogames in the mid-80s.


Michael: Doesn’t Super Mario Bros. 3 still hold the record for best-selling game of all time?


Marianne: I’m not too sure about that. Show me a link that proves it.


Michael: Wikipedia will help me, I’m sure!


Michael: Just a sec.


MichaelHere it is.


Michael: It’s under “history,” the first sentence of the third paragraph.


Marianne: OK, you were right.


Michael: Of course I was.

 9. Training Mode


This was the picture that appeared when I searched for “training smash brothers.”

Marianne: What about it?


Michael: It SUCKS.


Marianne: Yeah, it’s boring. At least you can now have two players using it together; I remember all the way to when training mode set you against a single computer-controlled character.


Michael: Remember how we talked about this game’s hard-to-understand control scheme? Training modes are supposed to teach you what the game’s controls are, but SSBB’s training mode doesn’t do that.


Michael: It’s not a training mode. It’s more properly termed a “free play mode”.


Marianne: It’s there to give you a place to test out moves and items when you’re new to the game; that’s how I understand it. But it’s really not something the game needs.


Marianne: Not really a free play mode, you get tired of it quickly.


Michael: I know, and that’s why I don’t like it.


Marianne: I only liked it back when I was playing the original. Of course, I was a kid then, and set off countless pokeballs to try to find myself a crappy two-dimensional Mew graphic.

 10. Camera Angle


Michael: This was a big problem for me when I was doing single-player mode, actually.


Marianne: You’re aware it’s a certain item that messes with the camera angle during multiplayer fights? Now that was annoying—but otherwise the camera angle seemed no better or worse than the previous games in the series. Well, single-player mode might be a different story.


Marianne: You could do a whole reason on single-player mode.


Michael: See, you die if your character goes off-screen. The problem? The camera doesn’t follow your character all that well.


Michael: So what happens is I run to the right because that’s where I’m supposed to go next, but the camera doesn’t follow me fast enough, and I end up dying.


Michael: Unfair.


Marianne: Are you talking about when you were doing it with me as player 2? Yeah, the game is not very nice to the second player; the camera only follows the first.


Michael: It did the same thing to me when I was playing by myself.


Michael: On the side-scrolling levels, that is.


Marianne: Yeah, the camera does move too slowly at the parts where you’re supposed to get through with limited time.


Michael: So you agree that the camera angle has its problems.


Marianne: But I only say that for single-player mode. I actually thought it was clever to have an item that messes with the camera angle. Heh, items like that had people laughing when I played Brawl with a group of friends.


Michael: I never saw any items like that. All I got were dumb items like “thing with a long nose that you throw at people.”


Marianne: True, the cool items don’t come up all that frequently. I remember waiting a long while to see the Nintendog that appeared in the commercial.


Michael: Yeah…mean game.


Marianne: Oh, by the way, do you remember that item that made colorful gas? What the heck was the point of that? The gas doesn’t hurt anyone and you can easily still see characters through it. It’s a waste of an item.


Michael: I saw it once. Yeah, it seems pointless, just like most of the other items in the game.


Michael: Hey, what’s that final smash thing you mentioned earlier? The manual mentions it, too.


Michael: It’s apparently a super-cool move that I could never activate?


Marianne: Oh, final smash = not necessarily final. Some characters definitely got better moves for it than others. Like, DK’s—I’ve never seen that cause anyone damage.


Marianne: And then there’s the fact that all the Star Fox characters share a final smash…how uncreative. And it’s a final smash it’s possible to evade.


Michael: What IS it, though? A super-power move that does a lot of damage?


Marianne: Yep, exactly that. With some characters, if you attack another player just right, it’s a one-hit KO.


Marianne: Didn’t you see the final smash balls floating around the screen?


Michael: What final smash balls?


Marianne: The shiny ones. I don’t think you did enough multiplayer battles. You’d know them if you saw them.


Michael: I played single mode all the way, like you told me to! It took over eighteen hours!


Michael: If that’s not enough time for the game to show me a final smash ball, then screw this game!


Marianne: …Oh. I’m sorry to hear that.


Marianne: These do NOT appear in the single-player mode; that’d make things too easy.


Michael: Oh. That’d explain why I never saw one, then.




Marianne: So that’s why you don’t like the game. I understand now. Super Smash Bros. is not about playing on your own; more like you fight the Master Hand when all your friends have abandoned you and you’re at home, incredibly bored. It’s sad though that single-played mode would have to be included in this latest game…maybe Nintendo knows its audience, and they tend not to have the group of friends that make the game the most fun.


Michael: You don’t fight Master Hand in single-player mode. You fight some sort of evil butterfly.


Michael: But thank you for pointing out that I have no life and no friends—I appreciate that.


Marianne: Yup, that’s how I’d interpret the thing, too. But I know you can fight Master Hand in Brawl too; it’s under a different thing as a single player. I preferred going through fighting Master Hand because it was something I could do in fifteen minutes.


Marianne: Butterflies ARE evil.


Marianne: They’re pretty nasty-looking insects when you look at them up close, concealing their true selves from us humans with their distracting, pretty wings.


Michael: They’re better-looking than moths, though.


Michael: Well, on that very odd note, I think it’s time to end this month’s incredibly long discussion of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.


Marianne: Yay, we made it!


Michael: Is there anything you’d like to say to everyone before you go, Marianne?


Marianne: Sure, if there were one thing I’d say before leaving it’s that the game really is a lot of fun, especially when played with a group of friends. It’d come with my recommendations in that instance.


Michael: And what would you recommend for friendless losers like me?


Marianne: You’re beyond my help, sorry.


Michael: I’m sorry, too, Marianne.


Michael: Well, thanks for helping me out this month!


Marianne: Or you might try Xbox Live; your kind is populous there. Heh, no problem. It’s been fun.

Well, that’s it for this month! See you next month, everyone! 

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About the Contributor

From 2007 to 2016

Michael Gray is a staff writer for GameCola, who focuses on adventure games, videos and writing videogame walkthroughs.

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