A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this title -- at its core -- is a fighting game, so those opposed to violence of any kind shouldn't buy this for their kids. This brawler is over-the-top and cartoonish; the fighters don't look real; and there's no blood, gore, or excessive violence. This game handles hand-to-hand combat in a non-realistic and less-graphic way than most fighting games. It's fun to play with up to four friends on the same Wii, or online. The "crude humor" warning likely refers to the character, Wario, who lets out gas from his buttocks!
What's it about?
Ever wanted to see who would win in a fight between Mario and Sonic? Now you can in SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL for the Nintendo Wii. Veteran Nintendo fans are familiar with the idea behind these cartoon fighting games: Duke it out with and against popular Nintendo mascots such as Mario, Link, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Bowser, and Wario -- each with their own unique abilities and power attacks. Now you also have access to new playable characters from other video games, including the Zero Suit Samus (from Metroid: Zero Mission), Meta Knight (from the Kirby games), Pit (from Kid Icarus), and even Solid Snake (from Konami's Metal Gear Solid), and Sonic (from Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series). The goal is to use your special way of fighting so effectively that you weaken your opponent and they fall off their platform.
Is it any good?
Having all of these familiar and beloved characters in one game is a treat, not to mention you need to unlock new characters by winning matches since not everyone is available right from the get-go. Up to four players can compete together on one Wii, which makes this a great game to play with friends. New to the series is online play, so you can brawl against friends on another Wii in another city, which works surprisingly well. There's also a new lengthy story-driven mode called The Subspace Emissary, which is essentially a side-scrolling game where one or two players fight against more difficult "boss" characters.
Another aspect of this game that makes it so good is the ability to customize the game. You can tweak everything from the character's special powers, weapons, and moves to the musical score and how the game is controlled (whether you prefer Wii Remote, Wii Remote and Nunchuk, Classic Controller, or the GameCube controller). You can even design your own levels to share online with friends. This eagerly anticipated title is great fun for those new to the franchise or longstanding followers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about types of violence in games. Do cartoon characters and some over-the-top combat moves make this brawl game feel less violent, even with the constant fighting? How do gore and realism in games change how you feel about the gameplay? Which type of game is more fun? Which would you prefer to play and why?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.