Forget Super Smash Bros... I want 8-Bit Brawl!

by Paul Morrison


For a few weeks now, my Twitter feed has been absolutely dominated by the new Super Smash Bros. game.  I feel that it's mostly an American thing, as they do love their Nintendo over there.  Personally, I have never been able to get on with the Super Smash Bros. games.  They tell me they're incredibly deep fighting games... I see them as platformers where you mash 'A' every now and then to smack a Nintendo legend.

Actually, I'm not sure why I don't like that now that I say it out loud...

Anyway, the fact remains that I'm not a fan.  Recently, though, while discussing that very issue, somebody said to me, "Maybe if we had one with Miner Willy and Monty Mole".  I just about flipped... that would be amazing!

            Who would win this fight?  Which one would you choose?

            Who would win this fight?  Which one would you choose?

Imagine, if you can, a Super Smash Bros. style game, but featuring all your favourite characters from the 8-bit computers, fighting each other on various levels taken from those games too.  I would love that!  I bet a lot of you would too.

The possibilities are almost limitless.  You could have Saboteur fighting the Barbarian on top of a moving Stop the Express train.  Imagine the thrill of battling your opponent with the wind rushing through your hair, the telegraph poles whistling past in the background and not forgetting to duck under or jump over the obstacles along the track.

Look at that roster of characters! But there are so many more that could be included...

Look at that roster of characters! But there are so many more that could be included...

What about, say, Clyde Radcliffe fighting Miner Willy on a rotating Nebulus tower?  There would be a fair bit of strategy involved as you ducked in and out of doors, avoiding eyes and bouncing balls as you tried to get the drop on your opponent.  It might have to be split-screen to work properly but it could certainly work.

Or how about Eric from Skool Daze fighting James Pond on Jet Set Willy's Banyan Tree?  Avoiding buzzsaws and devils with pitchforks whilst attempting to batter an 8-bit enemy would provide you with a lot of fun, as opposed to the pain that screen has only ever caused you in the past.

            Eric has the upper hand here, having the high ground and a weapon.

            Eric has the upper hand here, having the high ground and a weapon.

The possibilities are almost endless.  There are so many classic or even iconic game levels or screens that you could set the game on.  You could fight in one of Professor Atombender's Impossible Mission rooms... or better yet, you could chase your opponent over all 32, searching furniture for weapons while avoiding those deadly robots.  Perhaps it would be a laugh to scrap inside Thing On A Spring's toy factory.

Logistics would suggest that this could never happen.  Think of all the permissions you'd need to get!  But if you could... obviously it would have to be on a modern system, programmed to look like Commodore 64 and Spectrum games.  You'd also have to invent a few fighting moves... probably.  I suppose you could just make it all about timing, with a Willy jump being deadly if executed correctly.  But as some of the characters would have weapons you'd have to have some pickups lying around to balance the game.

I'm talking about this as though it's something that could happen.  Sadly, it's only the product of my fertile imagination.  I think it would be great, though.  I never really played Nintendo games to any degree, so I haven't got any great attachment to their characters.  These 8-bit characters, though, are right up my street.  I don't want Super Smash Bros., I want an 8-Bit Brawl!  Maybe, using our favourite characters, we could finally settle that question of whether the Spectrum or Commodore 64 was better!  Who's with me?