2008, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Top Ten

My Top 10 Games of ’08 – #9

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is prime example of expectations versus results. I have to admit that for a whole year I was completely engrossed in its hype, followed the games’ officical blog religiously. I reveled in message boards that would trickle out information (whether it was true or not). I fantasized about what characters I would like to see. So high was my anticipation that the two delays that befell the game were painful. The game had me completely engrossed.

With expectations of the completely-perfect-in-every-way game that I had imagined, the final product could only dissapoint. The character roster was nowhere near as large as I had imagined, the game was sprinkled with flaws that seems outright mean (tripping), and the online service that I had been looking forward to was treated like an afterthought. Nothing suprised me because before I had the game in my hands, I knew everything about it.

While I am saying that the game could not live up to its hype, this is not indicitive of it being bad. The reason that it failed to meet up to hype was because the bar for it was set unrealisticly high, and when those expectations were not met, the game was met with negative senitment.
The flaws that I first pointed out were only there because of the gap between what I wanted the game to be and what it really was (with the exception of the online and tripping). The roster was fantastic, the fighting system was better than in melee, (though I’m sure people would disagree with me), the game was more fan service than any game could ever hope to be, it was feature-rich, and the overall fun (gasp!) that could be had with the game was far above anything else released at the time. In short, it was an amazing experience despite my expectations.

Looking back on it now, the game did have its flaws, but they were not as game-breaking as I had first imagined them. The game is not fun for me on tournament level fighter, something that I thought was a shortcoming of the game; it was fun for me as party game, a great way to have fun with friends. Seeing it through that light raised my opinion of the game from “okay” to “great”, and if you have a Wii, you most definitely need to pick this up. This is one of the best games of this year.

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