I have now had enough experience in Brawl to formulate a good opinion and a review about the game. Brawl is the next in line of Nintendo's all-star shash 'em series. If you have played previous Super Smash Bros. games, you will fit right into Brawl. Brawl features 33 characters from the Nintendo universe and two other party characters (controversial, I will get into it). Brawl also features some 40+ stages for you to battle on, including a new feature that allows you to make your own stages. With new items and some new rules/setups, Brawl will continue to be the party game to play on the Wii.
I have played casual and experienced Brawl players a lot, and one thing is true in all cases- this game gets competitive- and with hardcore players it can get downright nasty, but awesome. I have already participated in one tournament at the campus and I played with friends a couple of times in the MPR (multi-purpose room) after class. If I had to rate my fighting skill, I would rate it at about the CPU's 7 level, maybe in between level 7 and 8.
Brawl features a new single player feature called the subspace emissary- where you play an adventure campaign to unlock characters, stickers, trophies and other features of the game. It will take about 8 hours to complete on average, 6 or 7 if you are good. The subspace was alright, but it felt very repetitive and some elements of the subspace (near the end where I had to go defeat each character's metal form was tedious) just weren't needed.
Among a plethora of goodies and information, Brawl contains a function for multiplayer online play, and this aspect is what lets the game down. The servers to "brawl anyone" are always busy and it can be very difficult to get in. I usually get in after about 5 or 6 tries, but then about a third of the time the game is so laggy that I can't fight properly. This is a gamebreaker for those who bought the game for online multiplayer play. You can also play with friends. Since you don't need to connect to Nintendo's server, play with friends online is painless and typically works.
Brawl is a great party game and a great game to own overall for those who are Nintendo fans. If you are looking for online play and competition, head elsewhere because Brawl does not contain leader boards or anything- you can't even talk with people. If you want the online experience, I recommend checking out games for the Xbox360 or Playstation 3.
I can't say much, other than Brawl will play like predecessors with a bit more bang for the buck. If you are going to unlock everything, you are in for a game. Looking at Brawl's stengths and weaknesses, it is a strong and fun game that we will enjoy until Nintendo tries to top it. I would give brawl a 4.6 out of 5.