If you read my review of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, you'll know that I and many others believe it is among the greatest Wii games of all time, and I mean that as it's highly unlikely that it will be topped what with the Wii U coming along to replace the console soon. Project M is essentially a free expansion of the title, adding new stages and alterations to the character roster to balance things out. However, the main goal of the project is to bend Brawl more in the direction of Melee, adjusting the gameplay to make it much more fast-paced, skill-based and ultimately similar to the GameCube iteration of Smash Bros. As the project's official website (found right here) clearly states, however, Project M doesn't intend to be a full 1:1 Melee clone, and instead a brand-new version of the brawling experience we know and love; One with rich, free-flowing fighting mechanics, L-canceling and all. Excited? So am I. The second demo of the mod has been released, but unfortunately it's NTSC only - In other words, currently inaccessible to those playing on a Europe-based Wii, yours truly included. Americans, eh? Those lot get everything before us. Except Xenoblade. Ha.
|Even the menus have been modified to mutate Brawl's shell into that of Melee. Looks fancy, no?|
For the purpose of keeping this post short but sweet, let's take a look at just one character, namely Lucario. One major alteration made to this previously tame fighter is what the developers are calling the Super Meter, their own awesome take on the Aura system of the original version of Brawl. After the fighter has taken 50% damage, and a following 50%, the deadly Pokemon's gauge fills up to two times respectively. Added with the intention of encouraging a more aggressive play style, filling up the Super Meter allows Lucario to perform several new super-powered attacks - The Spirit Bomb, a massive, instantly charged version of the fighter's Aura Sphere, and the Force Blast, a powerful potential finishing move. And yes, the names of both of these techniques are clearly based on Dragonball and Star Wars respectively. Anyway, In activating the Power Meter Lucario also sees an increase in several other attributes, such as speed and overall strength. In short, he powers up to godly levels before you can say 'Super Saiyan', but brilliantly in a still balanced manner. It's stuff like this that can only be found in Project M, and it's only one change among the many that have been made thus far.
|Lucario's Super Meter is but one of the new gameplay elements added to Brawl's roster with Project M. Take a look at the Characters page on the website if you're interested in looking into alterations to other fighters.|