Basic Brawl was a mode used in Wi-Fi connection of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. After choosing the "Basic Brawl" mode, the player went to the character selection screen where they would have 45 seconds to choose a character; after that they would have 20 seconds to cast a vote for which stage they would like to play by paying one coin. However, choosing a random stage was free. Stage and item settings were chosen by lottery from among those voted on by the players. The match type was always a two-minute time match; this limitation was presumably to stop players from enforcing matches of inordinate length on others through long time limits or by stalling in stock mode. After the character and stage were chosen, the player had to wait in the practice stage. When the room had less than four human players, the empty spaces in a match could be filled by CPU's, or the battle could play out with less than four players instead. Unlike With Friends mode, names would not be shown among players and it was not possible to send short taunt messages. If the player lost the connection to the opponent(s) in the middle of the match, the entire match would end and they would have to search again for new opponents. However, a player's character would automatically be replaced by a CPU if that player happened to disconnect in the middle of a match.
While Basic Brawl received positive attention when first announced, as well as significant interest and hype, it later became one of the most criticized modes of Brawl; criticism was especially harsh because of the mode's inferiority to both local multiplayer and other popular games at the time (such as Mario Kart Wii).
Because of the limitations in Basic Brawl, players could never play the more popular stock matches, play coin matches, or time matches that lasted longer or shorter than two minutes. Players additionally had no control over who could enter matches, which prevented players from choosing to do one-on-one or three-way matches, whether with human players or CPUs.
Conversely, criticism also came from how few restrictions there could be in the mode. Due to a lack of ability to select specific matches with specific rules, players were barred from playing how they wanted every time if rules lottery did not decide in their favor, and the lack of stage control allowed for less-altruistic players to force matches on stages less accommodating to competitive gameplay. Temple, in particular, gained infamy in Brawl for being an overly common stage on Basic Brawl for this reason.
The complete and mandatory anonymity of Basic Brawl was also criticised, as it prevented players from being able to try contact others to play on Basic Brawl and add them to their friend rosters to play them again; similarly, it prevented the player from avoiding future matches with them. The latter points especially came to light with the increase in taunt matches and griefing, which made it near impossible for players to find serious matches, or, at least, matches where the player could have fun.
Like other online modes in the game, Basic Brawl also came under criticism for lag problems in games, which sometimes led to unbearable slowdowns; some griefers were also known to force lag to become more and more significant, such as by constantly using moves such as Pokémon Change.
Sakurai himself acknowledged many of Basic Brawl's flaws in the Super Smash Bros. Direct, explaining that there were limitations to what could be done at the time using the Nintendo Wi-fi Connection. The desire to improve the online experience was one of the factors behind the distinction between the For Fun and For Glory online modes in Super Smash Bros. 4. In addition, such modes will no longer be anonymous, and it is now be possible to report players for griefing, which can result in the griefers getting banned from playing on wi-fi.
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