I waited in line for an hour and a half on Saturday night to get "Super Smash Bros. Brawl," and the first thing I did when I got home was boot up new adventure mode - the Subspace Emissary (SSE).
Five hours later on Sunday morning I was only slightly more than halfway through the biggest crossover story that Nintendo has ever told, and I was loving every second of it, even with all of its faults.
I finished it later in the day on Sunday and realized that it was over, and, it did what any game should do, it left me wanting more.
The question is: how long will I have to wait for the Subspace Emissary to get its own sequel?
The Subspace Emissary story tells the story of a mysterious invasion that takes place in the world of "Smash Bros.," where all the characters involved must band together to combat the invading forces in order to avoid the imminent (but unknown) danger. Yes, it has a fairly generic plot, but the gameplay holds up. It's a 2D side scrolling adventure the feels like it came from the days of old. It starts most of the characters in "Brawl." Link and Mario team up like never before. Samus and Pikachu fight one of Samus' biggest enemies. In the end, you all fight the omnipotent evil together.
It's a really great premise, but, by the end a few things hold it back from really reaching the pedestal worthy of its star power. The SSE mode is a really great addition to "Brawl," and an impressive evolution of the adventure mode from "Melee," but some glaring problems stand out.
Nevertheless, I want a sequel. I'll explain why.
WARNING: SPOILERS ABOUND...
The biggest problems I had with the SSE was how the characters were treated. First of all, none of them spoke a word. The whole story was told through cut scenes in which the characters gesture or grunt. While it's a bit much to expect Donkey Kong and Lucas to have an intellectual conversation about the future of the world, it still would have been nice to hear Mario says "Attas nice" -- just once -- in all his stereotypical glory.
I had some serious problems with the way Peach was treated. While she may have a predisposition to getting kidnapped, she seemed like a total twit in this game. One day she's supposed to become Queen of the Mushroom Kingdom, so give the girl some credit.
And finally, there's Sonic. Where in the world did he come from? While the SSE may be loosely held together by the series of events that the characters go through, Sonic just randomly shows up right before the last boss fight, like he's been there the whole time. It seems like he was just slapped on at the end.
Speaking of the last boss fight, just who is Tabuu? He shows up, out of nowhere, and destroys the idea that the "Smash" universe is being controlled by Master Hand. It's insanity, I tell you.
Aside from the characters, the other major problem with the SSE -- and this is not unique to this game -- is that you have to play through the whole game a second (and perhaps a third) time to complete it. It doesn't suffer from the lazy stage design I've seen in other games, but after a stellar first half of the game, I wasn't planning on playing it all over again.
Those complaints aside, I'm fairly certain that if Nintendo had released this mode as a standalone game I would have bought it the day it was released, just like I did with "Brawl."
It makes sense for this mode to be included with "Brawl," especially since you can unlock almost every character playing through it, but it also could have held its own as a standalone game. In a post-"Orange Box" world, it is really easy to release a disk that houses more than one game of similar nature on it, and have it be successful.
However, Nintendo, a company that has a tendency to milk every penny out if it's fanboys, (How many different color DSs do you own?) doesn't operate that way, so the SSE on "Brawl" is quite a pleasant surprise.
In the future I want to see Nintendo release something along the lines of a sequel for the Subspace Emissary as its own game, and not part of the next iteration of "Smash Bros." Nintendo would make millions releasing the "Subspace Emissary II" for the Wii sometime in the next couple of years, giving the game all the polish and development it needs to be a full fledged title. Even if they release a sequel, or a spin-off it for the DS it would be a smash hit.
The "Smash Bros." series should be just the first step in the direction towards a collaborative Nintendo universe full of crossovers that fall outsides the lines of the continuities of the source material, much like the Marvel or DC comic universes. That's what the fans want, and Nintendo should give it to us.
Tell us what you think: Would you have bought the Subspace Emissary if it were its own game? Is it a worthy addition to "Brawl"? Do you have any clue who Tabuu is?