"Brawl" redirects here. For the game mode, see Versus Mode.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズＸ, Great Fray Smash Brothers X), often shortened to "SSBB" or "Brawl", is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series published by Nintendo. The game was designed by Masahiro Sakurai, who also created the two preceding Super Smash Bros. games, and was developed by an ad hoc development team consisting of Sora, Game Arts, and staff from other developers, beginning in October 2005. The game uses an engine called Havok provided by an Irish company of the same name.
While Brawl continues to include the tournament-like "Classic" and "All-Star" single-player modes, Melee’s Adventure Mode has been replaced with The Subspace Emissary; a more extensive side-scrolling beat-'em-up mode featuring both the playable characters and many enemies specifically created for the game. The resulting mode includes an involved plot, including numerous pre-rendered cutscenes, and some platform game elements during gameplay. Up to four players can play local multiplayer games using one of four sets of controllers.
Further following from the earlier games in the series, Brawl showcases a wide selection of characters from Nintendo and its second parties, setting them to fight in several different types of matches. Unlike its predecessors, however, Brawl also includes two third party characters in Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog. In total, the number of playable characters was increased from Melee’s 25 to 35.
Most of the game's musical score is made up of newly-arranged versions of pieces that originated in earlier video games starring the characters featured in Brawl; with the remainder taken directly from the original games. The new arrangements were composed in a collaboration between 38 renowned video game composers and has been critically acclaimed for its representation of different generations in gaming history.
The limited edition release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl came inside an extra cardboard sleeve depicting all of the characters available by default, and came with two postcards, providing a biopic on Zero Suit Samus and Zelda, giving a short summary of them, and showing images of their special moves.
Following the release of the game in Japan, a bug was discovered in the game. This bug causes the game to display an error message when it starts, however, players can close the error message and play the game as usual. There has since been a replacement program.
The game requires 128 free blocks of memory in the Wii System Memory. No data, except some vault data, can be copied to an SD Card or transferred onto another Wii. If the player does not create a save file when they start, he or she will not be able to play via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and vault data will not be saved. As of May 20, 2014, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection has been closed, so Brawl can no longer be played online.
The character-selection screen of Super Smash Bros. Brawl (all characters unlocked).
The cast of 35 playable characters (39 if Sheik and Zero Suit Samus are included and the three different Pokémon of the Pokémon Trainer are treated as individual characters) includes 20 (21 including Sheik) returning veterans from Melee and 15 newcomers (18 including transformations). Of these, 21 are starter characters and 14 need to be unlocked. Many of the returning characters have been updated or refined since their last appearance, either in terms of appearance, fighting capabilities, or both. For example, Link and Fox McCloud have taken on new designs from more recent titles, while Samus Aran has gained the ability to change into a new form, Zero Suit Samus, by using her Final Smash or by the player pressing a certain button after picking Samus and before picking a stage.
The number of Trophies, statuettes of Nintendo characters and objects which can be collected in-game, was almost doubled from Melee. A related feature was the introduction of stickers, small pieces of Nintendo artwork which can be picked up from offline and online matches, along with the Smash Service's "Spectator Mode." Stickers also make an appearance in the single-player and multiplayer modes, such as the Stadium mode. Stickers also act as a sort of enhancement to the characters' abilities when using attacks in Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary.. Through the Trophy Hoard and Sticker Album, players can place trophies and stickers onto virtual backgrounds and take snapshots, all of which is recorded into the Wii's internal hard drive or onto SD cards depending on the player's choosing. From this point, these virtual items can be sent to other players via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, "WiiConnect24".
The inclusion of a new Super Smash Bros. element, collectable CDs, which, when obtained, offer new music selections for playable stages. Although this can add more variety to the music played on a stage, the music selection will always be at random. However, the player can adjust how often a track can be played from the options menu. 
Brawl introduces "Masterpieces", time-limited Virtual Console game demonstrations, to the Super Smash Bros. series. The international release has twelve such games available, each of which features one or more of the playable characters from Brawl. Seven games are available for play to begin with, with five more unlockable by completing Challenges, which range from Mario's debut in Donkey Kong to the critically acclaimed late Nintendo 64 title The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The time-limits on each individual play last between 30 seconds (Donkey Kong), to five minutes (Ocarina of Time).
On May 22, 2007, Sakurai revealed a list of 38 composers providing the musical score for the game. In his accompanying statement, Sakurai said that he had asked the composers, who come from a variety of companies and have written music for first, second, and third-party games, "to listen to an elite selection of Nintendo music and arrange several of their favorite songs."
Each of the game stages have multiple musical tracks which players can listen to using the new "My Music" feature, including some songs that were taken directly from other games without any modification or special arrangement. This feature also allows the player to adjust the frequency of how often a music track is played on a given stage. Collecting CDs expands the range of music available.
Brawl features many stages that can be fought on. Most of them are new, but a few return from Melee. On some stages, such as Shadow Moses Island, Smash Taunts can be performed. Brawl also has an option to create custom stages with the Stage Builder.
At the pre-E3 2005 press conference, the president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, announced the next installment of Super Smash Bros. was not only already in development for their next gaming console, but would be a launch title with Wi-Fi compatibility for playing online. The announcement was unexpected to the creator of the Super Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai. Back in 2003, he had left HAL Laboratory, the company that was in charge with the franchises' development and was never informed of this announcement despite the fact shortly after resigning from the company, Iwata said if a new game was to be made, he would be in charge. It was not until after the conference Sakurai was called to Satoru Iwata's room on the top floor of a Los Angeles hotel where he was told by Iwata, "We'd like you to be involved in the production of the new Smash Bros., if possible near the level of director". Although originally announced to be a launch title, Sakurai stated "I decided to become director. And as of May, 2005, I was the only member of the new Smash Bros. development team". Development of the game never actually started until late 2005, and just for its production, Nintendo opened a new office in Tokyo at the beginning of October 2005. Nintendo also enlisted outside help from a company who, at that point in time, just finished development of a major title. Sakurai also stated that these people had spent excessive amounts of time playing Melee. The team had access to all the original material and tools from the development of Melee, courtesy of HAL Laboratory.
Brawl was absent from Nintendo's Wii showing at its 2006 Pre-E3 press conference. The next day, on May 10, 2006, its first official trailer was unveiled at E3 and at the After-Hours Press Conference, Nintendo officially revealed the game under the name of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In an interview with IGN, Sakurai said the Wii's motion sensing features might not be included because, "we found that trying to implement too much motion-sensory functionality can get in the way of the game." As far as Wi-Fi play is concerned, Sakurai stated his plan was to include Wi-Fi connection compatibility and online functionality, he goes on to say "one of the primary reasons Super Smash Bros. Brawl was created was that Nintendo, when taking Wii online, wanted to have Smash Bros. to do that". However, as stated on the Japanese version of the Smash Bros. website, "there would be many hurdles to cross," and an online ranking system is unlikely to be implemented. During a test play between Sakurai and Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series, Kojima stated that the game felt complete and that Nintendo "could put it out right now and it would sell millions of copies." Starting May 22, 2007, the site had updates every weekday until shortly after Brawl's release. Throughout October 18-22, 2007 at the first Entertainment for All Expo show in Los Angeles, California, Nintendo hosted a Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament.
At the Nintendo Media Conference at E3 2007, it was announced by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime that Brawl would be released on December 3, 2007 in the Americas. However, just two months before its anticipated December release, the development team asked for more time to work on the game. During the Nintendo Conference on October 10, 2007, Nintendo of Japan president Iwata announced the delay, saying:
In order to fine tune Smash Bros., with this unprecedented game depth, we have decided that we have to take a little more time to complete the game than we announced before. We are sorry for the fans that are already anxiously waiting for the launch, but we would like to launch this game on January 24th, 2008 in Japan. As for the North American launch, we will review that too, and our local subsidiaries will make their own announcements.
On October 11, 2007, George Harrison of Nintendo of America announced that Brawl would be released on February 10, 2008 in North America. Apparently, the American English game was delayed again to March 9th. 
Sakurai stated that he did not want to emphasize Japan-only characters; in Brawl's cast, only Lucas had not appeared outside of Japan (although Marth had only previously only appeared internationally in Super Smash Bros. Melee, rather than his home franchise). Sakurai also stated there would be no more than three third-party characters; these characters were Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog. The inclusion of Konami-created character Solid Snake may seem to conflict with the Super Smash Bros. paradigm — to only include characters from games made by Nintendo and its second parties — but Sakurai said Hideo Kojima "practically begged" for Snake to be included in Melee, which did not happen because the game was too far in development. This in turn led to his appearance in the following game instead. Similarly, Lucas from Mother 3 was intended to be used in Melee, but was left out because Mother 3 was delayed.
Japanese fans were asked to submit their desired characters and musical themes via a forum on the game's official Japanese site, with some possibly appearing in the game. Likewise, fans from other countries were asked to submit ideas on Nintendo's official forums.
Suggestions were no longer being taken as of June 9, 2006. In August 2006, Sakurai and Miyamoto stated that Nintendo was negotiating rights to other third-party characters. The most requested third-party character, Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog, was announced to be in the game on October 10, 2007.
Several different trailers for Brawl were released before the game came out. The original trailer was shown at E3 2006 on May 11, 2006 and revealed Solid Snake as a playable character. A second trailer was shown at the Nintendo World 2006 convention in December, and revealed Fox's return as a playable character. A third trailer was shown at the October 10, 2007 Nintendo Press Conference, which revealed Sonic as a playable character. A final trailer showcasing Brawl's adventure mode, the Subspace Emissary, was released on Friday, December 21, 2007. This trailer revealed that Ike and the Ice Climbers would appear in this mode, among other things.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl received critically positive reviews and sold successfully. In the United States, the game sold 874,000 units on launch day and 1.4 million units in its first week to become the fastest-selling video game in Nintendo of America's history, according to Nintendo. The game has sold 10.79 million units worldwide as of March 2012 according to Nintendo, which makes it the best selling fighting game of all time. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the 8th best selling game for the Wii, and sold 12.14 million units worldwide, as of March 31, 2014. Brawl currently holds an aggregate review score of 92.84% on Gamerankings and a score of 93% on Metacritic. Despite this, British publication NGamer received criticism for awarding a 93% rating to Brawl, with readers deeming the score too low, especially in comparison to Official Nintendo Magazine's 95% rating. Brawl has reviews with ratings equal or slightly better than Melee. The game's multiplayer was received excellently, but single player, while noted as superior to Melee's, was still only average.
Generally, the game plays slower: every veteran has a slower falling speed and gravity, L-cancelling has been removed, dashing barely increases forward momentum in midair, and characters must wait a slight amount of time before being able to meteor cancel.
As a result, many veterans were generally heavily nerfed due to the decreased or removed abilities while a few, particularly the low and bottom tiers of Melee at the time of Brawl's release, generally benefited from the new physics and were buffed.
The air dodge no longer involves characters shifting in a direction; instead, characters continue on whatever path they were moving before the air dodge. This allows air dodging to not put characters into a helpless state, so any attack or another air dodge can be used afterwards, but it makes wavedashing impossible.
The amount of time a launched character is forced to stay in hitstun is significantly decreased, and can be air dodged or attacked out of after a certain amount of time; this makes true combos almost nonexistent.
Some characters now have unique meteor cancel windows: while it is 25 frames for most characters, those with tether recoveries only (such as Ivysaur) have a smaller delay in meteor canceling, while characters that use wings for multiple jumps (such as Meta Knight) must wait for longer. Additionally, attempting to meteor cancel with a jump before this window of time will result in a 40-frame penalty where the character cannot meteor cancel.
The window for dash-dancing is so small it loses almost all its usefulness.
It only takes 7 frames to shield drop, making the game more defensively-focused.
There is a landing lag glitch on not all but several characters, that causes the character when they land to be inflicted with the landing lag of a helplessness-inducing special move, if they grabbed the edge during the move, or after using the move before landing.
Characters can grab a ledge with their back facing it, and most recovery moves (though not all of them) also cancel for the character to grab the edge, making recovery easier and more flexible, as well as lowering the effectiveness of attacks that turn the opponent around, such as Mario's Cape.
Edge teching is no longer possible, as well as ledge canceling attacks. Characters can now air dodge while tumbling, so teching itself is harder to perform, and has become generally less useful due to the reduced hitstun and momentum canceling.
Character noises have been mostly overhauled:
"Pain yells" are reliant on how long a character is in stun, and each character only has one.
Characters no longer have a single noise for being KO'd horizontally or falling; each character now has two (this is most notable with Pit and Ivysaur). Additionally, most characters have multiple noises for their aerial attacks and tilts (all of them are shared; Donkey Kong, for example, can make the same noises when executing his down tilt as when executing his up aerial).
Characters only make one sound when doing smash attacks (Mario's "Yeeha!" heard when he does his up smash is among the easiest to notice).
Visually, most characters appear much less saturated and have more realistic, detailed textures, even if it doesn't match with their appearances in other games. This is easily noticeable in Mario, Luigi, Kirby and the Ice Climbers.
Aside from the inclusion of the new characters, stages and items, there are various other changes, including:
Buffering implemented: characters can now perform actions by inputting them at least 10 frames before they can actually be executed.
Spikes are no longer existent, as the trajectory range for what the game recognizes as a meteor smash has been increased, and all attacks that have a downwards angle now fall into this range.
The footstool jump allows characters to bounce off of other characters' heads while sending the opponent downward; it acts like a meteor smash, though the footstool jump is not a true meteor smash.
Smash attacks are easier to angle, as the player can now just hold up or down during the forward smash to angle it.
Characters now conserve forward momentum when dash grabbing opponents.
Pummels now deal variable damage from 1% to 3% depending on the character, rather than all dealing 3%, and have variable speeds depending on their strength: while characters like Mario pummel as slow as in the previous game whiling dealing more damage per pummel, others like Kirby can pummel very quickly, dealing less damage per pummel.
Some characters can crawl, while others can glide or wall cling, and every character can swim in water instead of falling through it.
CPUs, while still having exploitable flaws, have gained an AI increase in general, choosing more alternatives with attacks and having quick dodging techniques of 1 frame reaction, among other improved behaviors.
Grabbing a character does not restore their midair jump(s).
Short hopping is easier as characters are a bit slower at jumping.
Smash Taunts do not end if the user flinches; they have to be KO'd to end it early.
Up smashes can be performed while running, known as a slide smash.
All of the four modes above can also be played in co-op, and players can also play online in various modes.
Special Brawls' effects can now be combined rather than all appearing in different modes. Other special effects have also been added.
Collectible stickers have been added, which can be collected on matches to then be used in the Subspace Emissary. The Lottery for trophies has also been replaced with the Coin Launcher. Players can now take snapshots of both trophies and stickers.
In one-player game modes, the C-stick acts the same as in multiplayer modes: instead of zooming, it is used as how the player has configured it, the default function being smash attacks.
The Brawl menu was designed to be very similar to the menu in Kirby Air Ride, including the Challenges Checklist. Interestingly, Air Ride's menu used a deeper versions of the confirm and toggle sound effects from Melee's menu.
Unlike most other Wii games, the game disc for this game has two layers instead of one, as a result of the large amount of data used for the game.
The release of Brawl, however, caused some older Wii consoles to be unable to read the disc. The various Nintendo branches around the world offer a free cleaning program for affected Wii consoles.
Brawl is the only game in the entire series not to include a new Mario character, not counting Wario and Diddy Kong, who despite technically being a part of the Mario universe and appearing in several of the same games, are considered to be from the Wario and Donkey Kong series, respectively.
Brawl is the first game in which the Donkey Kong, Metroid, Kirby, and EarthBound universes (which had one character in previous installments) have multiple characters.
Brawl is the only game in the series where certain unlockable characters can be unlocked without a challenger approaching battle.
This is the only Super Smash Bros. game whose single-player mode features an actual storyline. This was removed for the fourth installment, although some enemies and boss characters from the Subspace Emissary, such as Roturret and Ridley, make appearances in other ways as opponents, following similar patterns as their appearances in Brawl.
This is the only game in the series not to have any appearance from Peach's Castle in any way or form.
↑Rushan S. (2006-08-17). Sakurai and Miyamoto Comment on Sonic's Popularity. Nintendo Wii News. QJ.NET. Retrieved on 2007-08-04. “Nintendo hopes that Snake's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl will encourage other publishers to allow their characters to join the Smash Bros. line-up, and is already actively negotiating for the rights to include at least one other non-Nintendo character.”