Review by Zylo the wolf
"The new generations Street Fighter 2."
Let's start with what the whole Super Smash Bros series is all about. Nintendo realized that they were losing more and more fans to the more popular game systems from Sony. To make sure that the people would still buy Nintendo's systems they decided to release quite a few great multiplayer games on the Nintendo 64. Golden Eye and Perfect Dark made the Nintendo 64 a great choice for FPS fans, Mario Kart 64 turned out to be a great racing game.
But the Playstation had many great fighting games such as Tekken 3, Soul Blade and the Street Fighter series, while Sega's Dreamcast had the Virtual Fighter series. Since Nintendo didn't have any good 3rd party companies working for them that could make great fighting games, and since the Nintendo 64 controller was totally useless to do the common special moves in fighting games Nintendo decided to instead make something new, and just to avoid failure they included their most popular characters in it.
As I said before this series is very different from most of the other fighting games that are on the market today. While most character have different moves, every character does their moves in the same way. For example if you press down + B with Super Mario, he will do his famous spin move from Super Mario World, but if you press Down + B with Link, he will pick up a bomb that he can throw at the enemies. In other words once you have learned to do all moves with one character you have learned how to do with every character in the game, but some characters takes longer time to fully master than others.
The rules in the fights is simple, you are allowed to do almost anything to get your opponents off the screen. You can either hit them as much as you like, or throw them out, or make them fall out of the screen. It's also possible to pick up items during the fight. How does a pokeball sound, a beam sword or a green shell sound like? No matter what you do, the important thing is to somehow get your opponent of the screen. Every stage and item are also taken from different Nintendo games.
A few things have been added in this game is that every character now has one more special move. While the regular B move, the DOWN + B move and the UP + B move (which is usually used as a third jump) is still here you can also push RIGHT/LEFT + B to make a new move. Another new thing is the smash moves, you use them by pushing any direction and then you push and hold the A button. It's also possible to now avoid attacks while you are in air by pressing the R or L button. However you won't be able to do anything else until you have hit the ground after doing this. But just as in the original Super Smash Bros, the most important thing is to choose the character that suits you best.
Mario is an all round character which really doesn't have many weaknesses, but his not that great in anything at all. One of his best moves is his smash move, which is both fast and deadly. Another of his best moves is his cape from Super Mario World, which he can use when he wants to turn his enemies around or reflect enemies shooting attacks.
Donkey Kong on the other hand is strong as a gorilla, with many great moves that can crush the opponents, and he's UP + B move make shim really touch to knock out. While he isn't slow, he could get some trouble with the really fast characters, he doesn't have any single long range attack.
Link can use a few items that he gathered during his many adventures in Hyrule, and he is also an excellent swordsman. But truth be told he isn't much faster than Donkey Kong and is only a popular choice for those who haven't play much of Super Smash Bros Melee
Samus Aran, the popular bounty hunter from Metroid is also in the cast. Samus has a good selection of great long ranged shooting weapons, and she's also an okay melee fighter. However every of her great missiles or power shots can be reflected by most of the other characters.
Just like in the original Super Smash Bros, Yoshi is a playable character. He is the only character in the game who hasn't a third jump move, but on the other hand his second jump is the highest in the game. Yoshi is at his best when he bangs his head in the opponents. He can also eat the opponents (of course) and throw eggs at them.
It's the HAL team who have made this game, so of course everyones favourites pink puff ball Kirby is in this game as well. Kirby has the unique ability to swallow one of his opponents and then gain one of the opponents special moves. That makes Kirby into one of the biggest wild cards to pick, since you have to learn how to master many more moves if you use him instead of another character. he is also one of the weakest in this game when it comes to take damage, so usually he doesn't get much done until he's dead.
Fox McCloud is one of the fastest in this game, and he is really easy to learn how to use. He can either use his handgun to hit the opponents from far away or he can use his martial arts techniques on them in melee combat. He's also one of the best characters while he's in the air, and he can reflect missiles and such things. However can't take to much damage until he dies.
Pikachu, the star of Pokemon is of course also in this game. He's really fast, and can use his electric powers to both hit the enemies from far away and to hit them really hard in melee combat. His third jump is also one of the longest ones, but it's really hard to control his third jump. Just like you would expect from such a small character, he dies really fast.
Captain Falcon from F-Zero was one of the hidden characters in the original Super Smash Bros, but this time he's playable from the start. Just like in the previous game, he's a combo of both being really fast and really strong. He's the character who can do the famous Falcon Punch, where he stands still for about 2 seconds then punches the enemy far away. But just like Donkey Kong, this guy doesn't have any good long range moves.
Ness, the hero of Earthbound, was another of the hidden characters in the original game that are playable from the start. Just like a true RPG hero, Ness can shoot fire balls, heal himself, and fight good with his melee weapons. Many of his attacks are however hard to use, and just like many other of the smaller characters, Ness can't take that much damage.
One of the completely new characters is the big green reptile, Bowser. He's even slower than Donkey Kong, but on the other hand his moves are by far the strongest ones in the whole game. For example Nintendo haven't forgotten his fire breath from the very first Super Mario Bros. and since he's so big, he's very touch to knock out, but as I said before, he's really slow.
Just like Bowser, Peach is another character from the Mario universe who are playable at the start of the game. Her moves are all taken from the different games she has been in, like Mario tennis or Mario golf and even Super Mario Bros 2 (Finally a character in a fighting game who can throw vegetables). She's the only character in this game that can fly, and her smash moves are really strong.
The two ice climbers from the old nes game Ice Climber are also one of the new characters. These two are actually one character, you control Popo while Nana is controlled by an AI. Their deadly hammers makes them one of the most deadliest choices,but when one of them has to fight alone, he or she usually doesn't have a chance against any other character.
Zelda is also playable in this game. She's one of the most interesting character, since she can transform into Shiek at any time during the fight. As Zelda, she is good to keep the distance from the opponents with different smash moves and long ranged moves, but as Shiek she's a fast and deadly ninja, with no fear to go melee against an opponent.
There are many more hidden characters in this game, but sadly the makers didn't bother much about them. Almost everyone is either a directly clone from another character or it's a character who has taken his moves from other characters. While I can understand why Dr Mario's moves are the same as Super Mario, I don't understand why Ganondorf has the same moves as Captain Falcon. It would have been better if all character had their own moves.
There are many modes to choose if you want to play alone, however it's clear that Nintendo didn't care much to make the single player modes to much different from each other. Classic is a regular fight a few opponents and then get to the final boss and Adventure is similar to Classic except that there are on special Mario and one special Zelda stage where you have to reach a goal instead of killing your opponents. Neither of these modes has any kind of story and after beating both modes with a few characters it will get boring.
The big reason why Super Smash Bros Melee is the most popular game on the Gamecube is because it's very fun to play with friends. Since you can play up to four players in one fight, it's possible to play in teams. Another cool feature is that this game has a tournament mode, where up to 64 players can be in. It's also possible to choose if you want the matches to have a time limit or if every player has a number of lives.
Super Smash Bros Melee is a must own for everyone who has a Gamecube, even if it's not the best game on the system. There haven't been so many that loved a game where you can kick your friends butt since Street Fighter 2. Every player has their favourite character he or she can defeat many opponenets with.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/02/07
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