Super Smash Bros. Brawl

More characters confirmed, but what about the controls?

Our prediction of a playable version of Smash Bros Brawl at the recent Nintendo World events in Japan didn't exactly reinforce our reputation as the Nostradamus of the videogames world, but at least there was a new trailer and a handful of details for us to prognosticate over.

Other than the unveiling of Fox McCloud as the tenth confirmed playable character, the most unusual revelation was an apparently new technique that involves crawling along the floor.

We thought it was just for the benefit of stealth merchant Solid Snake, but on closer inspection it seems that other characters including Pikachu and Samus also do it. Wario does it backwards, brandishing his flatulent buttocks as a weapon.


Familiar faces
On the subject of third-party fighter Solid Snake, developer Masahiro Sakurai has hinted that we can expect one or two other non-Nintendo characters to appear in the game. We'll be bitterly disappointed if Sonic doesn't show his face at some point, but despite being by far the most requested character among Japanese Smash fans, it's entirely down to the chequebooks and suits. The previous Smash Bros was a bestseller on GameCube, so it's pretty unlikely that anybody will be renting their superstars to Nintendo on the cheap.

Brawl is shaping up to be even more of a looker than Melee was, with Pit from Kid Icarus presiding over a gobsmackingly gorgeous stage filled with Ancient Greek architecture. As the fight progresses on and around a Doric temple, the tonework starts crumbling until there's hardly any solid structure left above the void. Then, presumably, everyone suffers a fiery and dramatic demise in Hades.

There's actually a scene in one of the videos showing an indoor temple level, which looks to us very much like confirmation that the fighting gameplay will again be complemented by an Adventure mode. It was one of the highlights of Melee, and is likely to be accompanied by a bunch of other minigames optimised for the Wii remote.

Precisely fought
However, use of the remote in the main game is still unconfirmed. When Brawl was first announced, Sakurai said that to avoid motion controls that might not fit with the fast, precise fighting style of Smash Bros, it could actually use the GameCube controller.

There's nothing in the gameplay footage revealed so far that suggests any kind of pointer-related smashage, so unless there's a big surprise in store between now and the game's tentative 2007 release date, Brawl could prove to be the most traditional of all Wii games.