Super Smash Brothers Brawl
Super Smash Brothers Brawl: it has arrived. After multiple delays, countless stunning revelations, and years of speculation, the third edition of Nintendo's bizarre tribute to itself has hit store shelves. Brawl is the game that will finally settle the ultra-geeky meta-question some of us have been wondering since 1991: "Who would win? Mario or Sonic?" That's right. Sonic the Hedgehog is in, as well as Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series, more Pokemon than you can scrape off you with a forklift, and the pint-sized Olimar, commander of Pikmin. It's going to be weird, folks. Weird but wonderful.
Super Smash Brothers Brawl, of course, is a fighting game featuring a smorgasbord of characters from all over the Nintendo intellectual property universe, beating each other senseless in colorful and chaotic battles of all shapes and sizes. If you've ever played Smash Brothers Melee, or the original Smash Brothers on Nintendo 64, you know it's one of the daffiest, entertaining-est romps that anyone was ever crazy enough to put on a home video game system. You get to electrocute Link with Pikachu. You get to throw Yoshi off a cliff with Donkey Kong. You get laser swords and baseball bats and fireballs and all kinds of wonderful things, woo.
Brawl is only available for the Nintendo Wii, and we wouldn't normally feature a console game on this site. It's $50 US that could be spent on your college fund, after all. But many of you have been requesting a blurb on this game, for months now, and it has one very important feature that no other Smash Brothers title has had so far: Wi-Fi battles. Yes, this time you can fight anybody on your friend list, and early reports say that it's virtually lag-free. Just like having your internet friends in your own home, except you don't have to bring them snacks.
So this isn't a review so much as a place for JIGsters who have Brawl to exchange friend codes and hook up for online battles. If you enter somebody's friend code, and they enter yours, you can start a brawl with them any time you are both online. Nintendo's ultra-paranoid method of exchanging friend codes is lovely for one reason: you don't have to be afraid to post your code here. Nobody can hassle you unless you add them to your friend list, and you can always remove them.
If enough people here like this idea, maybe we can even have regular JIG brawls. Hope to see you all on the battlefield.
Update: David Pekar has developed a Facebook application called SmashNet, which has been getting rave reviews. It allows you to search for Smash Brothers match-ups by location and skill level. If you have a Facebook account, and you are looking for lag-free brawls and an active Brawl community, check it out here.