Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Pros & Cons:
Pertaining to My short list below.

Full Pros & cons re-review coming soon...

For people who like fun, all out brawlers, this is perfect; with sharp, colorful graphics, simple but deep combat, tons of stuff to unlock and do, the single-player has a fun and lengthy story mode, and playing with friends is a blast. The only negative is if you plan to buy this for single-player, you may be a bit disappointed; while there's lots to do, it isn't the main draw, and without anyone to play with, you'll get bored fast.

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Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating and My age rating.

Content-wise: This is easily watchable by kids 6 under; the control scheme is pretty simple; and they could even play in versus mode—while they might not win, you could always let them ;)

Difficulty-wise: The base controls and gameplay are quite simple to master for kids 7+ (especially if they've played a fighting game before), and the single-player has multiple difficulty levels to choose from; this age group most likely won't have a problem in this area.

Fun for: This is a great game for kids and adults alike, and even though the basic gameplay is easy to pick up and play, there is hidden depth for more hard-core players. And while single-player isn't as long-lastingly fun as multi-player, there's loads to do, with you being able to make custom arenas and use them in online and single-player modes.

Full content re-review coming soon...

Gameplay sum up: This game has five modes to choose from the main menu: single-player Classic Mode, where you fight in multiple matches against A.I. players and compete in mini-games; Adventure Mode, where you play as the multiple characters who band together to stop the Subspace Emissary, and compete in a mix of arena battles, and side-scrolling action/platforming levels; Events Mode, where you fight in arenas to specific objectives; Stadium Mode, where you play a variety of mini-games; and Training Mode, where you train.

There are four options on how to control your character, with the choice to either play with the wiimote (held sideways), the wiimote and nunchuck (shaking the wiimote will result in a smash attack), the gamecube controller, or the classic controller—If you're playing multi-player, you can have a mix of all four. The buttons vary for each control setup, but the basic commands remain the same, and each character has the ability to jump, taunt, block, attack, special attack, grab, and use the smash ability. And depending on if you are holding left, right, up, or down on the analog stick or d-pad, the attack and special attacks will change accordingly.

The base objective in every fight is to knock your opponent out of the arena. To do this, you have to get their health up over 100% (which is bad in this case), and then use a smash move to knock them out of the arena. That's really all there is to it. There are of course, a few other elements that change this dynamic (like the many power-ups that drop from the sky which give your current character one of dozens abilities, etc.), but this is the basic idea.

Cartoon violence: As the name suggests, this game takes famous Nintendo mascots like Mario, Link (from The Legend of Zelda), Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Samus (from Metroid Prime), Kirby, and even Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series, and has them compete in an all out "Brawl," set in multiple arenas that are themed from these mascots' specific and individual iconic levels.

This is all about combat, and although it's very fast/frantic, the violence is over-the-top, very cartoony, silly and quite harmless. There's absolutely no blood, and the only effect produced when you hit enemies are the many cool looking firework-like particle effects that fly around the screen. Compared to fighting games like Dead or Alive, this is extremely mild, and far more comparable to Tom & Jerry violence-wise; I see no problem with any age watching and/or playing this game.

One last thing I should say regarding this category is one of the playable characters is Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series. Although it's fine for them to play him in this, it'll most likely make them want to play his series. This is bad, because as you may (or may not) know, the Metal Gear Solid series is for adults, not children. It's full of mature themes and isn't really appropriate for anyone under 17. So, if they ask you if they can get Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (which is for Gamecube and works on Wii) or any other game with the title Metal Gear in it, you should pretty much say no (to learn more about this series, check their reviews under the letter M).

Crude humor: During fights you can taunt your opponent with four moves specific to each character. A certain character, Wario, has a move that has him float in the air, face the camera and taunt the other character by shaking his large behind in the air. The second move consists of the same thing, however this time, he passes gas, and you do see a brief puff of yellow/green smoke come from his behind.

Mild suggestive themes: (This ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) One of the playable characters, Samus (from Metroid Prime series), is a woman encased in a full set of cool looking armor. But you can unlock an alternate version of Samus (pictured here) out of her armor, and in a skin-tight jumpsuit that shows her every curve.

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