Super Smash Bros. Brawl Guide Vol 1: Beginner
So the game we've all been waiting seemingly forever for is finally here, and with the Online mode finally operating on a relatively stable level, we have an entire legion of players wondering how they're going to get an edge over the other guy. Before we get to that though, it's important that we lay a solid foundation for your game by getting a firm grip on the basics. In this introductory section, I will be covering the core basics such as character selection and the proper use of items. So without further ado, I present to you the first phase of this guide.
As many of you are aware, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the first game for the Nintendo Wii to support four different control styles. Usually I would just skip over the section or simply leave a small note saying that it's all a matter of preference, but given how bad one of the options is, I can't say that with a clear conscience. So which one is the bad apple? Well, that particular honor goes to the Wii Remote without the Nunchuk attachment. In short, there's just no way that I've found of making this work on a comparable level to the other control styles. After that though, there are still three very solid options. The two that I've found to be most popular are the Wii Remote with the Nunchuk attachment and the Gamecube controller, though if you don't have a Gamecube controller lying around, the Classic controller is still a very acceptable substitute. I'd also like to note for those of you who are unaware, that the Wavebird works just as well with the Wii as it did with the Gamecube.
So now that you've figured out how you're going to control your character, now it's time to decide which character you're going to be playing as most of the time. For those of you who are particularly new to the Super Smash Bros. series , I strongly recommend that you only work with one character for the first few matches you play. It doesn't really matter who you select, though I'd say characters like Mario, Link, and Lucas are all good choices, if only because they aren't particularly lacking in any one category. Once you've figured out who you intend on learning the basics of the game with, that's when you should probably start with a basic Brawl against computers. Keep their CPU Level fairly low to ensure that you have a fighting chance and will have enough time to get your bearings. If you're not sure how to set up a brawl against low-level CPUs, just try playing some Classic mode on Easy and skip Subspace Emissary, which will force you to switch between characters constantly. Once you get going, this is where you start becoming accustomed to properly executing your character's special attacks, jumping and moving about the stage, and discovering the various uses of the items that drop onto the battlefield. That last part leads us into our next section of the guide.
Items play a very big part in your average Brawl, and knowing how to use them to your advantage is an important part of taking your game to the next level. I can't tell you how many times something as simple as a Poke Ball has bailed me out of what would usually be a losing situation, and even sometimes, helped me beat someone that was probably better than me in terms of raw skill. To the new player, what each item does can be somewhat frustrating because of how many there are and how much their unique powers and abilities vary. My solution to this is, of course, practice and experimentation. Don't know what that weird cannon looking thing does? Go pick it up and give it a shot or two, and then try and use it to your advantage in a match. I've found that the best way to become comfortable and truly understand all of the items, is to simply leave them all on as you're getting adjusted to the controls and operating your starting character.
There is, however, one item I will tell you to pay special attention to when brawling, and that is the Smash Ball. Smash Balls are glowing, circular plates that occasionally float onto the screen. The difference between Smash Balls and your average item is that instead of picking them up like say a capsule, or a beam sword, you must instead break them open by attacking them. Depending on the power of the strikes you're using, it usually takes anywhere from three to five successful hits to break a Smash Ball.
When a Smash Ball is broken by a player, their character will begin glowing and can use their "Final Smash" ability, which will almost certainly either do devastating damage to the opponent, or cause them to fly off the screen altogether. To use this ability, simply press the button you would normally use (often "B") to perform your character's special attack, but be warned: The aura that you have gained from breaking the smash ball can be knocked out of you, and if it is, the Smash Ball will reappear and be up for grabs once again, so once you get it, do your best to use it as soon as possible.
Now that you've become accustomed to the controls, selected a character, and understand how to use items to your advantage, the next thing you need to know is how to deliver a good knock-out punch. Different characters have different moves that can be used to deliver a crushing blow, but there is one universal way to do so: Smash attacks. Smash attacks are used when you flick the control stick in any of four directions while performing a standard melee strike. It may seem somewhat difficult to get down at first, but with practice and continuous use, you should be able to do it at will without too many problems.
For those of you who are having a lot of trouble getting this down, there is an easier way, but keep in mind that using this method is frowned upon in some hardcore circles of the Super Smash Bros. community. To do this if you're using either the Classic controller or the Gamecube controller, simply flick the right control stick, or the c-stick in the Gamecube controller's case, in any of the four basic directions to perform one of four separate smash attacks. Now while that method may be a lot easier, I still strongly suggest you refrain from using it unless you're having a lot of trouble performing the attacks the normal way. We'll be covering smash attacks more in-depth over the course of this series, so if you're wondering what else is there is to this or why I haven't mentioned a certain thing, don't worry, we'll get to it.