Super Smash Bros. Brawl (known in Japan as Dairantou Smash Brothers X, translated to "Great Melee Smash Brothers X") is a 2.5D crossover platformer-fighting game developed by Sora and Game Arts and published by Nintendo for the Wii in Japan (on January 31, 2008), in North America (on March 9, 2008), and in Europe (on June 27, 2008).
The third installment of the Super Smash Bros. series (and the sequel to Super Smash Bros. Melee), Brawl continues refining the series' gameplay mechanics and revamping the roster (now including the addition of guest characters from series such as Konami's Metal Gear and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog) while adding a brand new story-based campaign with side-scrolling platformer elements (called "The Subspace Emissary"), a custom stage builder, online functionality with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service (including online multiplayer and uploads of replays, snapshots, and custom stages), new collectables (including "stickers" for an album), and time-limited demo versions of Virtual Console NES and SNES games (called "Masterpieces"). It is one of the few titles for the Wii that supports all available controller types (Wii Remote, Wii Remote with Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and GameCube controller).
The game's soundtrack features over 250 songs, most of them being new arrangements of other songs in Nintendo's history. It was arranged by 38 composers from numerous companies. Most music can be enabled as alternate stage themes for specific stages and are unlocked by collecting special hidden CD pickups that randomly appear.
The game's online functionality was later disabled on May 20, 2014.
The gameplay in Brawl remains mostly unchanged from the other games in the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Players select a character from a wide assortment of game series and duke it out with each other. Characters don't have a health bar typical to standard fighting games. Instead, Brawl uses a percentage system for dealing with damage. Basically, the more damage that is dealt, the higher their percentage meter goes up, and the higher that meter is, the easier it is to be knocked off the stage. Players will earn points for smashing people off of the levels, and lose points when they got knocked off by an opponent, so battles boil down to trying to hit opponents of while simultaneously trying to stay on the level. Alternatively a lot of players will opt to play stock matches where every player has a set number of lives and then players will try and reduce their opponents lives to zero and be the last man standing.
Players have both a regular attack button and a special attack button. The regular attack button is usually a fast attack button, but holding down the button and pressing the analog stick either left, right, down or up can unleash a "Smash Attack," which will send an opponent flying towards the edge of a stage, increasing the chance of defeating an opponent and gaining points. For a quick uncharged Smash Attack, the player can also quickly flick the right stick on the Classic Controller (the C-stick on the Gamecube controller) in the direction the player wants to attack.
Each character has their own unique special attacks that are mapped to a specific direction on the analog stick. Special attacks do more damage than regular attacks, but often don't have the Smash property to send an opponent flying. Special attacks are thus most often used to rapidly drive up an opponents percentage meter until a Smash Attack can launch them out of the arena. A character's upwards special attack is known as a recovery and is usually used to help a player make his way back to the stage after he has been knocked flying, for example Pit will start flying for a limited time and Marth shoots upwards in the air attacking with his sword. Special attacks vary from counters, ranged attacks, combination attacks, powerful attacks and more.
Staying on one of the game's 41 different stages, in between Smash Attacks, special attacks, and items, is not a simple task. Each of the levels, based off of other classic Nintendo levels, can do just as much damage to a player as an opponent. One of the levels, based off of the Game Boy Advance game Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!, will interrupt combat throughout the match and offer players an opportunity to play in a microgame (based off of the microgames from WarioWare). Completing the microgame correctly will earn your character a power up such as invincibility or a boost, while failing the microgame will punish players with things like taking damage to being stunned for a limited time. Many of the stages have different random effects that will activate throughout the battle.
One of the biggest changes from the previous games in the series is the introduction of Smash Balls. If they are turned on these items will appear randomly on the stage, and when broken by the player, allow the character to perform a Final Smash. When a character has a smash move stored the will be surrounded by a glow and you can hold it for as long as you want until you choose to use it by pressing the B button. If you are attacked while you have a Final Smash move stored the Smash Ball can be beaten out of you and another character can attack it to gain a Final Smash while you lose your own. Every single character has their own unique Final Smash (for example, Samus fires a powerful laser beam, called Zero Beam, while Link unleashes a flurry of sword strikes in the Final Smash Trifroce Slash) and while some characters may share similar ones (i.e. Fox, Falco, and Wolf all summon a Landmaster tank to the field), they are each given different properties to help differentiate from one another (Falco's tank has better jump jets allowing it to ascend much quicker but slowest when grounded, Wolf's has stronger attacks but doesn't last as long, and Fox's is the most balanced of the three).
The Subspace Emissary
A new game-type in Brawl is the single player story mode, The Subspace Emissary. Subspace Emissary is a side-scrolling action game that expands on Melee's adventure mode by including a plot told to the player through cutscenes. The game mode, sporting over 30 stages, takes the player through many different parts on the Nintendo universe such as on the Halberd, all the while the well-known heroes fight to save their world from being sucked into Subspace. As the player progresses, more and more characters will be added to their party which will unlock the character for play in the game's other modes. This mode is one of the best way to gain trophies with many that are exclusive to The Subspace Emissary and by using the brand new trophy capture feature by turning enemies and bosses you encounter into trophies.
This game mode features several unique aspects not seen in other Smash Bros. game modes. Two of the most notable enhancements are stickers and the team system. Stickers, which are gained during play, allow the player to improve the stats for a character of their choice. These improvements are only usable in Subspace Emissary and do not carry over to the other game types. The team system allows the player to select up to four characters to use during a particular level. Although the selection is limited to a few characters at first, the player is always able to choose the order in which the characters are used.
Cooperative play is also supported. When played in this way, the secondary player is able to assist the main player along the way but the camera always remains focused on that main player. Lives are shared, so players must work together to make sure they don't lose all of them. If player two drifts too far away from the main player he can hold down a button to quickly teleport over to the main player (much like the cooperative play in most Kirby titles) for staying off-screen will slowly deal damage to the player.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl sports a roster of 35 playable characters (39 if the alternate forms of Zelda, Samus, and Pokémon Trainer are counted), 14 of which must be unlocked.
Most characters from Super Smash Bros. Melee have returned (the only exceptions being Dr. Mario, Pichu, Young Link, Mewtwo, and Roy), with some new franchises represented (including Wario, Kid Icarus, and Pikmin). It is also the first game to include guest characters from third-party franchises (including Sonic from the Sonic the Hedgehog series and Snake from the Metal Gear series).
Each of the game's hidden characters can be unlocked in one of three criteria: by either playing through the game's Adventure Mode, by completing a certain amount of Vs. Mode battles (with the last character unlocked at 450 matches), or through a certain alternate criterion (often revolving around completing Classic Mode). All unlockable characters must also be defeated in a special one-on-one one-stock match in order to be unlocked.
- Wario (Wario) - Based on his appearance in the WarioWare series, with his appearance in the Mario series as alternate costumes.
- Olimar (Pikmin) - Known as Pikmin & Olimar in the Japanese version.
- Lucario (Pokémon) - Unlocked after either 100 Vs. Mode battles, by completing all levels of Target Smash!! Mode with a single character, or by completing "Glacial Peak" in The Subspace Emissary.
- Snake (guest character, Metal Gear) - Unlocked after either 130 Vs. Mode battles, by playing 15 Vs. Mode battles on the Shadow Moses Island stage, or by completing "Battleship Halberd Interior" in The Subspace Emissary.
- R.O.B. (R.O.B.) - Known as Robot in the Japanese version. Unlocked after either 160 Vs. Mode battles, by collecting 250 different trophies, or by completing "Subspace Bomb Factory (Part II)" in The Subspace Emissary.
- Sonic (guest character, Sonic the Hedgehog) - Unlocked after either 300 Vs. Mode battles, by completing Classic Mode with ten separate characters, by having a combined playtime (human players only) of 10 hours in Vs. Mode, or by completing The Subspace Emissary.
- Toon Link (The Legend of Zelda) - Plays similarly to Link. Unlocked after either 400 Vs. Mode battles, by completing Classic Mode after completing The Subspace Emissary, or by defeating him in a secret room in "The Forest" after completing The Subspace Emissary.
- Wolf (Star Fox) - Plays similarly to Fox. Unlocked after either 450 Vs. Mode battles, by clearing Boss Battles Mode with Fox or Falco, or by defeating him in a secret room in "The Ruins" after completing The Subspace Emissary.
- Fighting Alloy Team (original) - Opponents of most Multi-Man Brawl Modes. Based on Captain Falcon (Red Alloy), Zelda (Blue Alloy), Mario (Yellow Alloy), and Kirby (Green Alloy) and have no special moves. Unplayable.
- Galleom (original) - Sub-boss of The Subspace Emissary. Unplayable.
- Ridley (Metroid) - Sub-boss of The Subspace Emissary. Unplayable.
- Duon (original) - Sub-boss of The Subspace Emissary. Unplayable.
- Tabuu (original) - Final boss of The Subspace Emissary. Unplayable.
- Samus (Metroid) - Can now transform into a new armorless "Zero Suit Samus" form either by using her Final Smash, through continuous taunts, or by holding a certain button on character selection. Can transform back using her alternate Final Smash.
- Bowser (Mario) - Known as Koopa in the Japanese version.
- Ice Climbers (Ice Climber) - Known as Ice Climber in the Japanese version. Players control one character (Popo) with a second character (Nana) tagging along for attacks. Alternatively, players can play as Nana (with Popo tagging along) as alternate costumes.
- Ness (Earthbound) - Unlocked after either 5 Vs. Mode battles, by reflecting ten projectiles in any mode, or by completing "Subspace (Part I)" in The Subspace Emissary.
- Marth (Fire Emblem) - Unlocked after either 10 Vs. Mode battles, by completing Classic Mode, or by completing "Battlefield Fortress" in The Subspace Emissary.
- Luigi (Mario) - Unlocked after either 22 Vs. Mode battles, by completing Classic Mode using no continues, or by completing "Subspace (Part I)" in The Subspace Emissary.
- Falco (Star Fox) - Plays similarly to Fox. Unlocked after either 50 Vs. Mode battles, completing 100-Man Brawl Mode, or by completing "The Swamp" in The Subspace Emissary.
- Captain Falcon (F-Zero) - Unlocked after either 70 Vs. Mode battles, by completing Classic Mode in under 12 minutes on either the Normal, Hard, Very Hard, or Intense difficulties, or by completing "Outside the Ancient Ruins" in The Subspace Emissary.
- Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda) - Plays similarly to Captain Falcon. Unlocked after either 200 Vs. Mode battles, by completing Classic Mode using Link or Zelda on either the Hard, Very Hard, or Intense difficulties, or by completing "Subspace (Part II)" in The Subspace Emissary.
- Mr. Game & Watch (Game & Watch) - Unlocked after either 300 Vs. Mode battles, by completing Target Smash!! Mode with 30 separate characters, or by completing "Battleship Halberd Bridge" in The Subspace Emissary.
- Jigglypuff (Pokémon) - Known as Purin in the Japanese version. Unlocked after either 350 Vs. Mode battles, by clearing 20 separate Event Matches after completing The Subspace Emissary, or by defeating it in a secret room in "The Swamp" after completing The Subspace Emissary.
- Master Hand (original) - Final boss of Classic Mode. Like the previous games, it cannot be knocked out and requires players to deplete its vitality using attacks. Unplayable.
- Crazy Hand (original) - Secret final boss of Classic Modes. Teams up with Master Hand and has bonus team-based attacks. Like the previous games, it cannot be knocked out and requires players to deplete its vitality using attacks. Unplayable.
There are a total of 41 stages in Brawl, with 31 all new stages (with remakes of Battlefield, Final Destination, Pokemon Stadium etc.) and 10 returning favorites from Super Smash Bros. Melee. There is also a stage creator that lets players create, play, download and share unlimited amounts of stages. The game starts with 29 stages unlocked, but requires the player to complete certain tasks to unlock the remaining 12.
List of Items
In this game there were only six items from Melee that did not make a return. These items were the Barrel Cannon, Egg, Cloaking Device, Flipper, Red Shell and Parasol.
|Assist Trophy||This item, once collected will unleash one random Assist Trophy Character that can either help or hurt players in battle. Your assist character will not damage you.|
|Banana Peel||When a character walks over it, they trip.|
|Beam Sword||A neon sword that extends when swung.|
|Blast Box||When hit with a fire based or strong attack, it explodes, damaging characters in close proximity.|
|Bumper||Sends characters who touch it in the opposite direction in which they hit it.|
|Bunny Hood||Provides increased speed and jumping abilities to a character.|
|Container||This item contains various usable weapons or power-ups.|
|Deku Nut||Unleashes a flash that stuns foes for a short period of time.|
|Dragoon Parts||3 separate parts, once combined, allows a character to home in on opponents. If it lands, character(s) hit are likely to be knocked out.|
|Fan||An item that provides quick attacks.|
|Food||This replenishes damage when eaten.|
|Franklin Badge||This small pickup item, while equipped provides full protection against projectiles and sends them back the way they came.|
|Freezie||Freezes foes that get hit with it when thrown.|
|Golden Hammer||Causes extreme damage, and is rarer than a Hammer.|
|Golden Squeaky Hammer||Looks like the Golden Hammer, but does no damage when struck. Also squeaks.|
|Green Shell||Slides across the stage when thrown.|
|Hammer||Can cause serious damage, although leaves you vulnerable if its head falls off.|
|Heart Container||Recovers 100% damage when grabbed.|
|Home-Run Bat||Can provide a knockout when you use a Smash attack, while having a unique animation for each character that uses it.|
|Hothead||Circles a platform causing damage to opponents.|
|Lightning||Makes everyone but the user small.|
|Lip's Stick||Puts a flower on a character's head that it hits, dealing them damage over time.|
|Maxim Tomato||Recovers 50% damage when eaten.|
|Metal Box||Makes a character heavy and improves their defense while covering them in a metal coat.|
|Mr. Saturn||A weak, projectile weapon.|
|Pitfall||Traps foes in the ground that walk over it.|
|Poison Mushroom||Decreases the size of a character for a short time, making them easier to knock out.|
|Poke Ball||Like an Assist Trophy, but can be thrown. It brings out a random Pokémon that provides a random effect.|
|Sandbag||Can be used as a projectile against others and produces trophies, CD's and stickers when attacked.|
|Screw Attack||Turns a character's standard jump into the Screw Attack.|
|Smart Bomb||Causes an explosion which expands over a very short period of time.|
|Smash Ball||This item, once hit a few times by a character, allows that character to perform a Final Smash attack.|
|Smoke Ball||Obscures the view in a limited range, and it can stick to characters.|
|Soccer Ball||Launches enemies with a flaming impact when hit.|
|Spring||Shoots characters skyward when jumped on.|
|Star Rod||Shoots out stars when used with a Smash attack.|
|Starman||Provides invincibility to a character for a short amount of time.|
|Super Mushroom||Increases the size of a character for a short time, increasing their attack and defence.|
|Superspicy Curry||Flames shoot out of your characters' mouth for a while making it hard to get to you while providing quick damage to opponents.|
|Team Healer||Replenishes a teammate's health when used correctly. Otherwise it can heal an opponent.|
|Timer||Makes other characters slower for a short period of time.|
|Unira||Launches enemies with its' spike defence.|
|Warp Star||Launches a character on the star skyward then back to deliver a large attack on enemies. It is somewhat maneuverable.|
Poké Balls are items that have been in all three Super Smash Bros. games so far. When thrown, a random Pokémon will be summoned into battle.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl there are 31 Pokémon in total that can be summoned from Poké Balls, 16 of which have been in previous Super Smash Bros. games and 15 which are new to Brawl. This is the largest number of Pokémon to date.
|Name||Description of the effect|
|Bellossom||Bellossom creates a cloud of powder around itself. If a player comes into contact with this cloud their character will be put to sleep.|
|Bonsly||Bonsly walks around the stage and can be picked up by a player. This player can then use it as a weapon to attack other players. It can cause players to be knocked from the stage with as little as 50% damage.|
|Celebi||Trophies are dropped by Celebi.|
|Chikorita||Leaves shoot out from Chikorita's head. These leaves travel in a straight line, and will damage anyone they hit.|
|Deoxys||Deoxys will fly up, and send a Hyper Beam downwards. Anyone who touches this will be sent flying.|
|Electrode||Will glow red, and turn darker and darker until it explodes, damaging anyone in the explosion area. Occasionally it will not explode, and can be picked up by players and be thrown. On even rarer occasions, it will appear not to explode, but then explode a few seconds later.|
|Entei||Shoots our fire, doing approximately 70% damage to anyone who gets hit by it.|
|Gardevoir||Walks around the stage creating a circular barrier. Projectiles will not penetrate this barrier, but players can freely walk in and out of the barrier.|
|Goldeen||Goldeen will flip flop around the stage. It is completely harmless.|
|Groudon||Groudon is extremely large, and will damage anyone who touches him, although he does not move.|
|Gulpin||The player will be swallowed by Gulpin if they go near it, causing damage. They will be spit out a few seconds later.|
|Ho-oh||Flies into the sky to the back of the stage, and shoots fire at the players.|
|Jirachi||Drops some stickers and flies away.|
|Kyogre||Will shoot water, which causes no damage, while flying around the screen, but causes damage by touching players.|
|Latias & Latios||They Disappear off the side of the screen, then zooms backwards and forwards, causing damage to anyone in the way.|
|Lugia||Fly's to the background before releasing a very powerful AeroBlast that can kill even low damage characters.|
|Manaphy||Swaps the players characters.|
|Meowth||Throws coins at the players.|
|Metagross||Slams onto the ground causing a shockwave that will damage anyone on the ground.|
|Moltres||Flies around the screen causing lots of damage to anyone it touches.|
|Munchlax||Walks around the stage, eating any items apart from Pokéballs.|
|Piplup||Surfs around the stage. If a player gets hit by the wave they will be washed away.|
|Snorlax||Jumps up and off the screen, before increasing in size and falling down, damaging anyone in his way.|
|Staryu||Flies around searching for a player. When it finds a player it will fire projectiles at them, doing damage.|
|Suicune||Shoots an Ice Beam at players causing damage.|
|Togepi||Will randomly do one of five effects:|
- Plants a flower in the head of a nearby character which will gradually cause damage.
- Fires an ice blast that freezes players, and causes some damage.
- Shakes the ground causing damage, and characters near the Togepi will become lodged in the ground.
- Puts characters to sleep using a powder.
- Creates a black smoke, impairing players vision, however this does not affect computer characters.
|Torchic||Jumps up and down doing a fire attack.|
|Weavile||Attacks players, causing only a small amount of damage, but stuns anyone hit.|
|Wobbuffet||Moves back and forth when a player or item hits him. While moving, will cause damage if he comes into contact with someone.|
Assist Trophies are items that can be used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Similar to Poke Balls, Assist Trophies when picked up and activated will summon a random character into battle. Unlike Poke Balls, the summoned character is not a Pokemon and instead is a character from other Nintendo franchises, like Little Mac from Punch-Out, or a Hammer Bros. from Super Mario Bros.
|Name||Description of the Effect|
|Andross||The Andross appears in the back ground of the arena and shoots deadly one hit kill polygons at the players.|
|Barbara||Barbara strums on her guitar creating sound waves. This assist trophy can only be unlocked after you obtain 25 Songs.|
|Devil||The whole stage is moved by Devil in different directions.|
|Dr. Wright||Doctor Wright summons a building to rise up out of the ground which can carry opponents out of the arena.|
|Excitebikes||Rides around the stage hitting players.|
|Metroid||Metroid latches onto players and attacks them thus gives them damage.|
|Mr. Resetti||Resetti appears and starts scolding the player, if attacked, he causes an explosion.|
|Nintendog||A massive dog blocks the screen and the players sight.|
|Ray MK III||The Ray MK III flies around the stage shooting missiles and green energy bullets. This assist trophy can only unlocked after playing 100 Brawls.|
|Samurai Goroh||Goroh slashes his swords thus giving damage to the players while chasing opponents.|
|Saki Amamiya||Slashes and fires with his Cannon Sword.|
|Shadow the Hedgehog||Shadow slows down time with Chaos Control. The summoner continues to move at normal speed. This assist trophy can only be Unlocked by unlocking Sonic.|
|Stafy||Stafy spins around the arena hurting players.|
|Waluigi||Waluigi repeatedly stomps players into the ground using either his stomp attack or his tennis racket.|
|Gray Fox||Gray fox runs around slashing opponents. Also reflects stray projectiles. This assist trophy can only be Unlocked by unlocking Snake.|
|Infantry & Tanks||Tanks and soldiers roam across the stage shooting at players. This assist trophy can only Unlocked by playing 300 Brawl.|
|Isaac||He pushes opponents off the stage by using a skill called Move. This assist trophy can only unlocked by playing 200 Brawls.|
|Hammer Bro||The Hammer Brother throws hammers hurting any players who get hit.|
|Helirin||Helirin floats around the arena and acts like a wall allowing players to smash players onto her.|
|Jill||She attacks opponents with her power drill.|
|Kat & Ana||Kat and Ana fly in different directions slashing at anybody in front of them.|
|Knuckle Joe||Knuckle Joe delivers a series of jabs to his opponents and finishes with either an uppercut attack or a power punch.|
|Lakitu & Spinys||Lakitu drops Spinys onto the field where he walks around hurting whoever he touches.|
|Little Mac||Little Mac runs around madly punching players.|
|Lyn||She delivers a single, powerful strike usually focused on one player.|
|Jeff||Jeff shoots homing rockets at his opponents.|
Brawl's soundtrack consists of over 300 songs. The separates each song into categories of their respective series:
A - Mario franchise
B - Donkey Kong franchise
C - The Legend of Zelda franchise
D - Metroid franchise
E - Yoshi franchise
F - Kirby franchise
G - Star Fox franchise
H - Pokémon franchise
I - F-Zero franchise
J - Fire Emblem franchise
K - Mother / Earthbound franchise
|K05||Humoresque of a Little Dog|
|K07||Porky's Theme||Mother 3|
|K08||Mother 3 Love Theme||Mother 3|
|K09||Unfounded Revenge / Smashing Song of Praise||Mother 3|
|K10||New Pork City||Mother 3|
L - Pikmin franchise
|L01||World Map [Original]||Pikmin 2|
|L02||Forest of Hope [Original]||Pikmin|
|L03||Environmental Noises [Original]||Pikmin|
|L04||Ai no Uta||Pikmin|
|L05||Tane no Uta||Pikmin 2|
|L06||Main Theme [Original]||Pikmin|
|L07||Stage Clear / Title [Original]||Pikmin|
|L08||Ai no Uta (French version)||Pikmin|
M - WarioWare franchise
N - Animal Crossing franchise
P - Kid Icarus franchise
Q - NES Classics
R - Nintendo DS, Wii & Various other Games
S - Metal Gear
T - Super Smash Bros. and Victory Themes
U - Sonic the Hedgehog
W - Super Smash Bros. Melee
X - Super Smash Bros. Brawl General Themes
Some songs were intended to be in Brawl but were removed for copyright issues and other unknown reasons. They are not included in the game, but an intended list has been salvaged through means of going through the game's on-disc files.
Trophies also appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. They are essentially unaltered from Melee, though there are many more, 544 to be more accurate. When players get enough trophies, they unlock something.
To obtain character trophies, players must finish Classic mode with that character. To obtain characters' Final Smash trophies, players must finish All-Star mode with that character.
In addition, some new ways of receiving trophies have been added. Some trophies, such as the Subspace Army characters' trophies, are not available at the Coin Launcher. Players will have to enter Adventure Mode, fight an enemy, and throw a trophy stand ("smash plate" in Japan) at it when its hit points is critical in order to capture it as a trophy. Additionally, in the Subspace Emissary, the storyline states that fighters who fall in this world in battle are forcibly reverted back to Trophies. Also, if you manage to get a Celebi from a poke-ball, it will drop some trophies. However, there is only a 1 in 493 chance of it happening. It is also interesting to note that the trophies of the smashers in the Subspace Emissary are a lot shinier than those gained by beating Classic Mode.
Like its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl has been a popular game for tournaments. Super Smash Bros. tournaments have both 1 vs. 1 brackets and 2 vs. 2 brackets. Free-for-all mode is rarely or near to never used in tournament play. Tournaments generally take place in double-elimination brackets.
Common Tournament Rule sets
At the time of the game's launch, there were many discussions concerning which rule set to employ in tournaments. Due to Super Smash Bros. Brawl's inherent similarity to Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Melee rule set was often used during the earliest tournaments. This rule set consisted of:
- Items turned to "None"
- 3 Stock
- 8 Minutes
- The "Sudden Death" mode which occurs after the time expires and both combatants have the same stock is not taken into account in tournament tie-breaking. Instead, the damage percentage each character sustained at the point when time ran out is compared and the character with the lower percentage is the winner.
However, tournament organizers and players quickly noticed that the pacing of Brawl was considerably slower than that of Melee. In Melee, characters, particularly Falco Lombardi, Marth and Fox McCloud, could trap opponents in combos and then "spike" (the term used for a technique that hits the enemy sharply downwards) them off the stage, leading to quick deaths if either player made the mistake of entering these combos. In Brawl, these combos were not present at this stage in the metagame, and because of this matches took longer. For this reason Brawl tournament organizers generally choose to lower the stock and time to 3 stock, 8 minutes. There has been discussions of lowering that even further, due to the length of matches using some characters.
Other parts of the Melee rule set have stayed the same for Brawl.
Many of the game's more "inventive" stages are deemed unsuitable for tournament play, due to excessively random elements, odd layouts, glitches that can be exploited in the stage, and character-specific benefits belonging to the stage. These stages are separated into "counterpicks" and "banned stages." Counterpicks can be picked by the loser of the previous match (which was played on a neutral stage), while banned stages can only be played if both players agree to it. An example of a neutral stage is "Smashville," an example of a counterpick, "Frigate Orpheon," and of a banned stage, "Rumble Falls."
Certain stages are invalidated due to ways they can be exploited by the player. Hyrule Temple, for example, is banned because a Sonic player could hit the opponent once, and then run away until time runs out. It is impossible for any character to catch him if the Sonic player does not make a mistake. A problem that eliminates a lot of stages to the "banned" category is that stages with walls, such as "Shadow Moses Island," are completely invalidated by King Dedede's chainthrow, which turns infinite when he can do it over and over again against a wall until the opponent's damage reaches 999%. For this reason, Shadow Moses and many other stages are banned.
The aforementioned Dedede chain throw is not banned in tournament play, due to the fact that King Dedede himself would have to be banned in that case. It is also not unique: there are several chain throws in the game, however none of them are banned for the same reason. There are currently ten known infinite grabs:
- King Dedede can perform infinite grabs on Luigi, Mario, Donkey Kong, Bowser and Samus.
- Marth can perform an infinite grab on Ness and Lucas.
- Pokémon Trainer can perform an infinite grab on Ness and Lucas.
- Lucas can perform an infinite grab on Ness.
The planned 2008 Evolution fighting game tournament has sparked a remarkable amount of controversy over its choice of rules, particularly between Evo's own forums, Shoryuken, and Smash World Forums, a forum frequented by many big-name players in the Smash community, such as Gimpyfish, Forward and ChillinDude. This was caused by Evo's tournament organizer and owner, "MrWizard," deciding that instead of following the guidelines of the Smash World Forums community for tournament rules, he would try something new. This mainly involved items being turned onto the "medium" setting, and the inclusion of Smash Balls. Items have become a "taboo" in the smash community due to their random nature (items are relegated to certain spawn points but follow no pattern in which point they spawn at). Items are disliked in professional circles because the mindset required for tournament play does not have the skill required to deal with the random nature of items. For this reason many professional Brawl players were outraged that such a large and prestigious tournament would change the rules so strongly.
Brawl on a tournament level has been criticized since release by tournament players and casual players alike, for several reasons. One of the principal issues for tournament players is the inclusion of "tripping," a mechanic which causes the player to have a small chance of their character tripping and falling down whenever the analog stick is held completely in one direction. Another problem competitive players have with the game is the lack of combos compared to Melee, as well as the elimination of glitches that took advantage of the physics engine such as "wave dashing". The lack of combos is generally attributed to the lack of hit stun (i.e. the amount of time before a character can perform a move after they have been hit by their opponent).
Casual players have a much different complaint with the tournament game and its players, in that some consider people who use such things as King Dedede's chain grab and other exploits in order to win are "not having fun." Gimpyfish and Hugs would later argue against this on the 1UP Show, saying that tournaments were a lot of fun for them as long as they win.