Review by TheRedneck14
"A Massive Improvement"
Super Smash Bros. Melee is the much improved Sequel to the surprisingly good N64 hit Super Smash Bros that we got from Masahiro Sakurai from HAL Labs, and the creator of the Kirby games. Now, if there is any way to describe this game, it is Super Smash Bros: on crack, and that is because everything is at a much faster pace in my mind, and this game is just filled with nostalgic Nintendo goodness that puts the first game to shame. So, with all of that said lets light this candle.
As I said for the previous game, there is no real apparent story, but I doubt that you will be paying attention to that. Judging from the opening cinematic [which I feel is the only thing close to a story in this game], the story is just the Master Hand bringing Trophy's to life in a stadium, and having them fight. But, there is also an adventure mode, there isn't any real story here either besides going through some levels to fight Bowser.
As I said above, this game IS fast, you will be fighting at a really fast pace throughout the battlefields you are given in this game. And as I said about the past game, Melee is just a vastly simplified fighting game that doesn't require you to memorize massive commands just to pull off one attack, you are just doing simple quick movements that just require moving the stick in some direction, and hitting the A or B button.
Now, as for the main game, it has gone from a short single player mode that just had you going through some of the stages and beating down the characters on the road to Master Hand [which in Melee, although it is more random], into a Adventure mode which has some special fights, and some courses you need to navigate, 51 "events" that you need to beat by doing some task, a Multiplayer mode with features like "stamina mode", "coin battle", "metal battle", "time battle", "team battle", and many others.
You also have more characters [going from 12, to 25] from some of Nintendo's biggest games, this game may even be responsible for bringing the Fire Emblem games to America by including Roy and Marth as playable characters, more unique stages, more items, and some collectible trophy's just to add more replay value.
As for the fighting itself, as I have been saying, it is much faster paced, and you will be fighting much faster. Even though it is just the same "keep hitting them until the percentage is high enough, then knock them off the stage" style of combat. Some attacks have been made stronger, or weaker, and the grapple attacks have been weakened [well... they were abusable in the first game]. One of the things that I noticed was how many different strategies have been made for the characters by the pros, there are so many that I can't even describe them all here. Just check out some of the great FAQs on this site for proof.
As I have played this game, it just seems like even more work went into it than the previous game to make the combat mechanics even better.
The AI is not too tough [unless you go into the tougher difficulty levels on the single player modes, although in multiplayer the AI is still weak on Level 9], and the game is simple enough for most people to beat. But the challenge comes from the tedious requirements to unlock everything in the game. The biggest challenge is fighting good players in the Multiplayer mode, nothing else in this game will make you work that hard.
As I have said, the controls are simple to learn, and only the advanced techniques and attack chains are tough to pull off. The only real problem I have is that sometimes the game moves too fast, and the controls are hyper responsive, but after some practice that should not bother you.
You can really see the advancements over the last game when you play this one, all of the characters and stages look great and there is almost no lag in most of the levels [except for Big Blue and Poke Floats on my copy of the game].
In my mind, the Smash Bros games are like a Museum of Nintendo History, and some of the levels have an amazing attention to detail that show off so many things from these classic games that avid players should recognize. Such as the frame-by-frame movement of Mr. Game and Watch, and one of Captain Falcon's alternate costumes being Blood Falcon [the evil clone of Captain Falcon], one of Peach's costumes is Daisy; Mario can wear Wario's overalls. And the levels can have little things from the games, such as Cranky Kong walking around in one of Donkey Kong's stages. You can also see that the pixelation of some things is much less noticeable, whereas in the first game a lot of objects were pixelated, in Melee it is mostly just the attack effects.
Simply put, everything is beautifully designed, and you can see a lot of little details [like the Denim on Mario's overalls], the levels resemble what they were in the games they originated from, and the game itself just looks great.
I have the same opinion on the sound as I do with the graphics, many people who play this game should recognize the music from the games they were taken from, and the sound effects are very accurate. The only problem I had was that the "audience" in the game did not sound very excited [unlike the first game where they were really pumped up], and Captain Falcon does not sound manly enough.
What this game intended to do was bring together a bunch of Nintendo Characters, and just let them duke it out, and that is exactly what it does. It makes you feel some of the history of Nintendo with its levels, and the trophies that give information on some great characters and games. And this is all it really needs to do to immerse me.
As I said before, Melee is just filled with Multiplayer modes, as well as character and stages to develop your own strategies for. And the Multiplayer mode is the best part of this game because Smash Bros games are just built for a party. The multiplayer is actually so good that there are tournaments for this game, with well-known professional players [there are some on this website]. Just take my word for it, get 3 friends, and start playing.
The reason to play this game IS the multiplayer, but unlocking everything and getting the trophies will keep you busy.
Incredible graphics, larger character and stage roster, great completive play, filled with nostalgia, FALCON PAUNCH!.
Too easy, short single player modes, some characters are frustrating to unlock, sedated audience.
Should you get it:
Yes, this is the best selling GameCube game that is currently out, and that is for a good reason.
Super Smash Bros. Melee is filled with Nintendo History, and I have spent just as much time admiring all of that as I have spent owning people in the Multiplayer mode with Captain Falcon and Samus. And I got a little notice to everyone who has been living under a rock on this website, Super Smash Bros. Brawl should be released on March 9th, and it has just received a perfect 40 from the Japanese Gaming Magazine Famitsu [the 7th game to get one], if you like Melee you should get that game for the Wii.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/16/08, Updated 06/23/08
Game Release: Super Smash Bros. Melee (US, 12/02/01)
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.