Aw crap, another Sunday edition! If you want to blame anyone, blame Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. Why write a Dojo Day article when you've got a bunch of people downstairs watching Die Hard With a Vengeance, right? Well, I wrote quite a bit this week, so I hope you enjoy. Welcome to Dojo Day.
Zelda: Final Smash: Zelda (and Sheik, since they share the same Final Smash) pulls out a massive bow and fits a light arrow to the string. As is to be expected of an arrow, it shoots straight forward, though this one has a long trai of light that damages anyone in the way. It's a rather thin point, however, and looks quite easy to dodge in a one-on-one situation.
Manaphy: This cute(?) little Pokemon will "Heart Swap" between you and an enemy, temporarily switching control so that you control your enemy and they control you. Both players retain their damage meters and if they self-destruct while possessing the other, it still counts against the player controlling the self-destruct, not the original owner of the body.
Iwata Asks: Satoru Iwata, famed president of Nintendo, has been holding "Iwata Asks" interviews since the launch of the Wii, in which he interviews Nintendo employees and developers about the games they create. This time, though he has interviewed Masahiro Sakurai, director of all the Smash Bros. games, including of course, Brawl. The multi-part interview is a really fun insight into not just the development that goes on behind the scenes at HAL and Nintendo, but also the longtime professional relationship between Sakurai and Iwata. Give it a read.
Mushroomy Kingdom: A side-scrolling stage that looks nearly identical to Stage 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. However, it now has a dusty, desert motif, since apparently everyone's favorite fungal feudal realm has been worn down to ruins over the ages, until it is nothing more than a Mushroomy Kingdom. Sometimes, the stage will take place in the underground Stage 1-2. This is really a very cool idea, and this is the first time that what is essentially a full game level has been included in Smash Bros. Oh crap, I think all of us have played Stages 1-1 and 1-2 so many times that we've got the whole place committed to memory! No more Nintendo! No more SMB!!!
Super Mario Bros.: Ground Theme: Okay, I'll concede, I can handle a bit more Mario, especially if Koji Kondo is still composing rad beats for Nintendo's overweight mascot. This neat little arrangement, created especially for the game by famed game composer Koji Kondo, is a remixed Mario Bros. theme with a very bouncy piano part in the foreground.
Test Battle: Tokyo vs. Kyoto: In order to assuage fears of laggy online battles, Nintendo conducted a test Brawl between Nintendo's Kyoto HQ and HAL's development center in Tokyo. (It's like the distance between Los Angeles and Las Vegas) The first battle between these former Japanese caiptals in centuries resulted in a stunning victory for...Mario? Also, Sakurai is a clever little boy, because the "lag" he was about to show us is actually NOT THERE AT ALL!
Masterpieces: Oh yeah, baby! In what is quite possibly one of the coolest announcements in recent weeks, Sakurai mentions a feature very reminiscent of Animal Crossing, called Masterpieces. Every Brawl disc comes with set of retro games that correlate with the characters in the game, such as Super Mario Bros. for Mario, Super Metroid for Samus, Kid Icarus for Pit, and Starfox 64 for Fox. These are only timed demos, though, and you can play them as many times as you want. (After, say, 5 minutes, you'll have to start over) If you like it, you can download the game on Virtual Console. Hopefully, there will be Virtual Console integration with Brawl in the future, so that you can play your demo, and buy the full version directly without returning to the Wii menu.
What's not to love about this Retro-filled week for those of us who "remember the NES"? Not only did we get a remixed Mario stage (and remixed music to go with it), but Sakurai also revealed the super-cool option of playing the original games that Smash Bros. is based on! For people like me, who love old games, but missed out on a ton of them due to late entry into video games, this preview option is perfect.
On a bittersweet note, I think that the "TBD" MSRP on Brawl just might turn into a $60 pretty soon. The game is so packed with features that it just might rival The Orange Box's title last year as the "Best Deal of the Year." Aren't you glad that the devs have time to finish it? See you next week, and remember to send in those emails![via Smash Bros. Dojo]