Review by Fossil
"If there was ever a new genre of game created, SSBM would be it."
Where to start with SSBM. This game started back on the Nintendo 64 with SSB. It was hugely popular but just lacked those few and very special things SSBM now has. Given, it was still a great game, SSBM was just the successor of it. And not very many games have great sequels... or is that just movies?
If you're looking for the same great fighting action with Nintendo's most popular characters with a plethora of kick ass moves, items and weapons on a huge number of stages with quirks and twists to make it harder and go against you, then you've come to the right game! SSBM evolves on SSB ten fold in content and fun. Nintendo has added tons more characters to this kick ass arsenal, but! You get to unlock most of them, haha. They are well worth it of course and so are the stages. Don't even bother warming up to this game, just jump right into a match and start whooping some ass. You'll be addicted in no time. Invite some friends over and it's twice the amount of fun.
Gameplay - 10/10
SSBM is loaded with more then just fighting, this game has everything you could want in a fighting game. There is so much variety with options and what not, you can come up with infinite possibilities. The stages all hold some sort of secrets that will affect the way the match is played. And the items, oh boy, this is where the real fun starts. We are talking items ranging from the legendary star in Mario games that grants you invulnerability, a super scope gun from the old Nintendo days, hearts to reduce your damage percentage and things like capsules to toss at your opponent and hope for a random bomb to blow them off the stage.
The characters are very well done and all sport their own unique abilities and attacks. It's one thing SSBM excels in and most fighting games do not. You'll probably recognize a lot of the attacks from that character's game series. Which is a good thing! I mean, who doesn't want to shoot someone in the face with a fire arrow with Link? Or maybe electrocute someone with Pikachu? Turn the items on and you're talkin an all out brawl! Have fun unlocking the characters, there's a lot more than you think and everything you do in single player or just playing in general adds up to unlocking SOMETHING.
The stages, if you haven't noticed are all character related in some way. You'll recognize most right off the bat and if you don't, the music should help you figure it out. They all are VERY well done and have there own little tricks to make beating your opponents ass harder or easier depending on how you use them. And when I say use them, I mean USE them to your advantage.
Single player ALONE is a good enough reason to buy this game. You've got Adventure, Classic and All-star mode. Classic and All-Star mostly involve you kicking baddies asses through numerous matches to beat the mode with a character of your choice. You can choose difficulty too, but beware, the AI in SSBM is VERY difficult for newcomers. I'd stick with easy or normal to get used to it. Adventure sports its own unique levels. Not just matches, but obstacle courses you have to make your way through and complete in order to advance. You might notice little trophies dropping or appearing at random sometimes. These are collectibles with their own little menu out of single player. Collect them, check them out, read up on some history, that's what they are there for!
In other modes, you got Home Run Contest(HRC), Break the Targets(BtT) and multiple Melee matches(MMM). In HRC, you have to beat sandbag up as much as you can, then blast him across the field to see how far you can get. This is a VERY popular mini-game in SSBM. If you get frustrated with it, I recommend stopping. I've broken many-a-controllers playing this.
BtT is a fun little mini-game that is unique with each character. To put it simply, you have to use the characters you select to break 10 targets as fast as you can. Good to test your reflexes with.
MMM has 5 different modes in it. 10 Man Melee, 100 Man Melee, 3 Minute Melee, Endless Melee, 15 Minute Melee and cruel Melee. In 10 man you kill 10 "wiremen" as fast as you can. Same in 100 man melee. 3 minute and 15 minute melee are survival tests. See if you can last that long. In Endless Melee, you go forever. See how many you can kill. Cruel Melee is literally suicide. You need LOTS of quick reflexes and skill to even kill one wiremen. I'm talking Superman vs. human. They well MESS you up.
Another single player add-on is what we call "events". There's a total of... well, you can figure that out. The more you beat, the more that you unlock. :) They all have unique objectives. Complete them and advance!
Now on too 2 player modes. Technically though, you can play single player in vs matches, which is one VERY good thing about this game. Without it, I think trying to get your friends to play this hours with you would be tedious. Alas, you can go at it with 3 different opponents, CPU or player. You can pick any stage you want, any character you want(provided you unlocked them) and change the options around to make it interesting. You can turn items off, put it to randomly select a stage, bump your handicap up, jack up the enemy difficulty, etc. It just goes on forever. There are also pre-set modes outside of vs. matches such as Invisible mode, slow-mo and lightning mode.
There's lots of other options in the game such as the ability to take snapshots in game and save them on the card for later viewing. You never know when you might have a Kodak moment! There's also the Trophies like I mentioned before. Just check them out, the graphics are amazing.
You got all the data saved too. SSBM keeps track of everything you do. Even how many times you power on the game, how long you've played a certain mode and how many times you've suicided or KO'd an opponent. If you're a big RPG player, statistics and all that number crunching might get you addicted. It sure did for me, I love looking at those kinds of numbers. It can just be... satisfying sometimes. >:) SSBM keeps track of individual records too. Character and player. You can see how well they are in general if you play lots of computers or brag to your friends with PROOF of how much better you are.
Controls - 9/10
Playing this game is a breeze. Some games just have bogus setups and what not, but SSBM is just perfect. You got A and B for the basic, smash, tilt and special attacks. X and Y to jump. L & R for shielding/dodge and use the joystick or thumbpad to run/move around. Very easy to get used too. The game is VERY sensitive to timing and distance when you attack and avoid attacks. The physics are absolutely amazing. A split-second late on tapping the L or R button and that thrown capsule may blow up in your face
Graphics - 10/10
Not very many games achieve such flawless visuals like SSBM does. Not very many people realize just how well done this game is. If you really want to appreciate hard work done by the artists, go check out some of the trophies you find and your jaw will dorp in awe. Pause in-game while you play vs. mode or in single player modes and check out the density of the fire or see if you can find hidden words on items! SSBM sports some of the best graphics even to this day. They may not be "realistic" graphics, but it sure tops the cake when it comes to beautiful work.
Sound - 10/10
Every character sound, item sound and musical piece is unique. I mean, we are talking the history of Nintendo here! You'll LOVE listening to those old Mario game themes or maybe a piece from the Zelda series. There's just so much going on in a match when you throw in the characters, the stage, the attacks, items, the background and the sounds. It's like self induced Schizophrenia! If any of this does not cause instant nostalgia, you are not a Nintendo fan and I pity you.
Replay Value - 9/10
You can literally play this game forever. If you have tons of friends that love this game, even better! There is so much to do in single player and multiplayer mode. You can beat adventure, classic and all-star with every character! Same with HRC, BtT and all the MMM modes. That's a HUGE accomplishment to undertake. Oh and did I mention SSBM to this day is still one of the most popular games around? There's lots of dedicated websites to get you on your way if you're a competitive SSBM player. Gamefaqs' own SSBM board is one of the best around.
Not to mention you may not have unlocked all the special messages! Or even the trophies! What are you waiting for?! Get playing!
Overall - 10/10
Not very many games get a 10 in my book. But then again, this is all personal opinion, right? WRONG. I don't think I've met a single person that disliked or hated SSBM. This game just flat out owns. It isn't flawed in anything, except that Nintendo didn't take it online! But this is what we all wait for now. The release of SSB Brawl on the Wii. It'll revolutionize Nintendo single handedly. Super Smash Brothers Melee is just a superior sequel that puts the history of Nintendo at your very fingertips along with their infamous characters.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 07/07/06, Updated 08/26/08
Game Release: Super Smash Bros. Melee (US, 12/02/01)
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