The arena has been set. The combatants have (mostly) been selected. Now, we just have to wait for Shigeru Miyamoto and crew to put on the finishing touches and finally release the very hotly anticipated Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Nintendo Wii. Assuming that they stick to schedule, it should easily be one of the most successful Wii titles to be launched this year and everyone can see why. If you’ve ever played Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, or better still, Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

The cartoon fighting game was never meant to be realistic, but it gives you an opportunity to pit some of the greatest video game legends against one another. Where else can you find a battle between Pikachu and Captain Falcon? Kirby and Bowser? That’s right… only in Smash Bros. (and maybe MUGEN). As we wait for the next installment to hit store shelves, I’ve randomly selected eight of the confirmed characters for Super Smash Bros. Brawl and placed them in a single-elimination tournament. You are about to witness the first round.


Donkey Kong vs. Zero Suit Samus
That overgrown gorilla is one of Nintendo’s oldest characters. In fact, Donkey Kong had a name even before Mario did, throwing those barrels like the giant simian that he is. Samus Aran, on the other hand, is a fantastic intergalactic warrior and very few people even knew that she was a woman all along. In this installment of the Super Smash Bros. franchise, Samus is available without her trademark spacesuit (she’s from Metroid, in case you didn’t know), and while this make her more mobile, the lack of armor may prove to be her greatest pitfall. Now, she is susceptible to the intense strength of DK and ultimately, I think Ms. Aran is going to be thrown right out of the arena with a big gorilla slap. Winner: Donkey Kong.


Link vs. Wario
Wario might be one of the biggest douchebags of all time, but he clearly packs quite a wallop. Link is the legendary hero from the Legend of Zelda series, most recently found in Twilight Princess for the Nintendo Wii. Sporting a Robin Hood-like tunic, Link is armed with a big sword, a bow and arrow, and a few bombs for good measure. He’s also got magic on his side. Unfortunately for Link, however, Wario is known to throw his weight around, cheat, and even let out a little gas to distract his opponents. I think Link will be so disgusted by Wario’s farts that he will be rendered unable to continue. Winner: Wario.

Meta Knight vs. Fox McCloud
Meta Knight is one of the new additions to the Super Smash Bros. family, being borrowed from the Kirby franchise. Unlike his cute, pink compatriot, Meta Knight is all about business with a full suit of armor and a fearsome-looking sword. Fox McCloud, from the Star Fox series, is probably a better combatant when he is in the air with his Arwing, but even on the ground, he’s got some kung fu fighting skills and a laser gun to back it all up. This is going to be a close fight, but based on what I’ve seen Kirby do in previous SSB games, I’m going to give the upper hand to Fox… but not by much. Winner: Fox McCloud.


Mario vs. Solid Snake
Everyone’s favorite Italian plumber dominated the 8-bit video game generation. He is Nintendo’s favorite creation and he has expanded his skill set well beyond jumping on koopa shells. He now knows how to play tennis, golf, soccer… he even learned to bust a move in Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix. He’s always billed as the perfect all-around player. Solid Snake from the Metal Gear series is clearly in unfamiliar territory. He’s not used to being surrounding by all these cartoon characters, feeling much more comfortable sneaking around life-like environments with real-life weapons. It’s hard to hide in a Smash Bros. arena, so he’s going to have to tackle his opponents head on. Ultimately, Snake is just too skilled, too methodical, too precise for the pudgy plumber. Winner: Solid Snake.


Will the elusiveness of Solid Snake overcome the laser beams of Fox McCloud? Who will emerge from the battle of the heavyweights: Wario or Donkey Kong? You’re going to have to wait until round two to find out…