Review by Dub26
"One of the Best Fighting Games on the Shelf"
Super Smash Bros. Melee is the sequel to a very unique fighting game that was for the N64. However, the game lacked in extras, such as new characters and levels. A few years later, the sequel for GameCube comes out as a launch title, and it's an instant hit. The game is jam packed with extras, such as challenges in which you must defeat an enemy with certain circumstances. Also many new characters have been added and the game has been made much more fun. Is it legendary? Well, practically eight out of ten people who own a GameCube have this game. Does that mean its perfect? Let's find out.
In case you did not already know, Super Smash Bros. is not a 1 on 1 direct type of fighting game. Instead, you are placed on a level that has a platform you must hang onto to stay alive, and you are stuck with pretty much unlimited life. How do you die? Well, you also have what you call damage percent. This percent increases the more times you are hit. As the percent gets higher, you get, in a since, lighter, which means you are more applicable to being knocked out of the ring or just knocked into outer obis, which is actually very entertaining. To help you out, items will occasionally fall, and they can include pokeballs, Metroid spinners, mushrooms, hammers, home run bats, and of course tons more. Some are very addictive to use on the enemy you hate the most, muhahah!!!
There are several different modes to the game. The main mode is adventure mode. In this mode, you travel through a series of fights and extras. However, you must successfully complete adventure mode with all characters, even the ones you unlock, to technically beat the game. Extras include a Zelda themed dungeon in which you must find the master sword, a timed Metroid level in which you must climb to the space ship before the planet explodes, and a dash in which your character must run across a section of an F-Zero track and not be smashed by some of the racers. In the last battle, you face the ever popular Bowser in a showdown. It's pretty easy at first, but as you increase in difficulty, it gets much harder.
Also, there is the ever popular classic mode, which is the mode most people remember from the original. In this series of challenges, each character will have different enemies to face. Sometimes, you might have to kill a whole lot of enemies, but they usually fly out of the ring in one or two hits. There is also a fight where you are teamed with two other computers and you must fight a giant enemy, usually they are the bigger characters, like Donkey Kong or Bowser, which makes it hard, to an extent. The extras this time around include the target contest, which of course is different for each character because of their special abilities, where you must hit all of the targets before time is up or you fall out of the ring. At the end you are to fight the legendary master hand, and his moves as tricky as ever.
The mode many people love is the Event Mode. In this mode, you are most of the time assigned a character to fight with, and you must defeat a certain enemy(s) under specific conditions. Don't be fooled, these battles are rough a tough, and are designed to really make you try. Battles can consist of young Link battling adult Link, or you fighting Pokemon legends my using, well, Pokemon legends from the pokeballs.
And then there's the ever popular Melee mode. This mode is ALL your rules. You can play a stock match, a time match, whatever rules and whatever characters. This mode can be played single or multiplayer, and is loads of fun, since you make the rules.
Once you have finally unlocked all of the characters, a new mode called All-Star mode is unlocked. This mode is very hard. You must successfuly beat every character in the game on one life. To help you, you will get a recovery heart (as seen in Zelda) every so often. One of the trophies requires you to beat this type of game with every character. It is very frustrating.
While these are the five are the main part of the game, there are also extras that can be addicting. First of all there are trophies. These trophies can be obtained by doing certain things in the game, or can be won in the lottery. The lottery is like a gumball machine, and works as a lottery. The more coins you put in, the better chance you have of getting a new trophy. These coins are obtained throughout the game, and the longer you play a level, the more coin credit you get. Then there's my favorite extra: The home run game. In this game you pick a character and try to whack a sandbag as far as possible. There are also a few little polygon games, where you can select any character and you try to beat as many polygons as possible. This can be played in a variety of difficulties. There are still plenty of others, but these alone are loads of fun.
I'd have to say that our friends at Hal Laboratory did a great job of making a graphics engine that could make Mario, Link, Pikachu, Fox, and the rest of the gang all look quite outstanding. The 2D levels are made to look as 3D as possible, even though you still have to knock the snot out of your opponent from only two different perspectives. If you press start and rotate the camera around the character, you will see the fine detail that seems absent but is really there. Saying this, I still stand up to my opinion that Super Smash Bros. would be pretty fun 3D despite how fun it is 2D. Anyway, the graphics up close are fantastic, and I give them two thumbs up.
The music consists of a variety of tracks, each matching a certain character or group of characters in the game. They all have the intense orchestra vibe, which can either be good or bad, depending on your taste. The characters each make their own individual sounds, which is fun to listen to because what they say always matches with something they have said I their game(s). It gets my thumbs up as well, but there's nothing too special about it, for a fighting game.
The amount of fun packed into this game is unbelievable. The fighting system has been made to show a little cartoon intensity (not a bad thing). The fact that you can whack your enemies to go speeds that break the sound barrier is easily addicting. The controls are good. Most of your character's unique attacks are on the A and B buttons, such as your jump attack and possibly side attack. X and Y are just used to jump, even though most people would rather push up to jump. You also have you temporary shields that many people forget to use. They could be better, in that your characters could respond more tightly to commands, just so some rounds do not seem like a button mashing match.
There are plenty of interesting levels to play around with, and unlike many other fighting games, the level does matter. Some levels are huge, some are small. Some have little things that pop out and try to hurt you, some have things that help you. What makes them even better is the theme, because as you can guess, they are from games. Levels include Hyrule temple, Peach's castle, Great Fox, and more.
The one flaw I have seen many times in the gameplay that keeps me from giving it a 10 is that it's very hard to find a single character to be your favorite. All of the characters have a disadvantage to them, and to some people this disadvantage keeps them from settling with that character. Eventually, after enough playing the game, people do find characters to stick with. The process is still very hard, and why this is a flaw, it really isn't too bad.
Other than that, I would say the game is easily a load of fun. The game is sure to last a while, because some characters require long amounts of patience to achieve. Some event matches will knock your socks off, being so hard or long, and managing to keep them on to win is in itself quite a challenge.
Super Smash Bros. Melee is kind of like a really long arcade game. Arcade games are meant to be pure fun. Some home console games are meant to be fun, as well as long. This game combines both of them to make a really great game. It might not be the perfect game, because it is easy to find a few little flaws, but many people can see that it is a legendary game, and I am sure Nintendo will continue to produce this game as long as people love it the way they do now.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/21/05
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