Does Smash Bros. Brawl merit a Teen rating?

We've all had a week to "FALCON PUNCH!" our way through the Wii's latest mega-anticipated title, scrambling for an innumerable amount of Smash Balls and mastering our technique with the subtly complex Jigglypuff, but in our excitement, we can't forget that group who is unable to join the Super Smash Bros. Brawl parade -- we speak, of course, of the twelve-and-under crowd, who are excluded from the party due to the game's Teen rating from the ESRB.

A blogger for San Jose's Mercury News recently called the mildly restrictive rating into question, claiming that the "crude humor" and "cartoon violence" present in the game is comparable to any number of children's TV shows. While we're usually not ones to disagree with North America's most esteemed game graders, we can't help but see where he's coming from.

What do you think about the rating -- is it completely unmerited, or does the game really run the risk of inspiring youngsters to attack one another with trophies and hammers?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.