Review by discoinferno84

"It's been over a year since I got this game..."

Introduction:

...And I'm still playing it. SSB:M was my introduction to the Gamecube, and it remains my favorite game to this day. I can't stop playing it, even with newer games out. Is that good or bad? I'm not sure. But I do know that this game is outstanding. So why is this game so good? What makes it stand above the rest, even two years after its release? Let's have a look.

Story: NA/10

This is Nintendo's premiere fighting game...But it has no real story. Basically, it's the result of Nintendo fans debating over which character could beat whom in a fight. Who wouldn't want to see Mario stomp on Link, or see Pikachu get clobbered by Fox's Arwing? This game is based off its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. The goal of the the match is to damage your opponent and to send them flying from the ring. Sounds straightfoward, right? There are so many ways to deal out damage to your adversaries, various items from previous Nintendo games, or just using good ol' hand to hand combat. The more damage you dish out, the further your opponent will fly. Eventually, your opponent should fall off the stage and into oblivion, thus winning you the match. Straightfoward concept, but the detail of this game provide for deep, enjoyable gameplay.

Graphics: 9.5/10
The graphics are incredible. Simply incredible. Where do I begin? Just have a look at the game intro. I'd have to say that the scene with Sheik looking into the night sky was of the finest graphics I've ever seen. How about during actual gameplay? Near-perfect animations and excellent framerate, with highly detailed characters and and stages. You can zoom in and see the denim overalls that Mario wears, or the way Marth's cape flows with the wind supposedly flowing through the stage. Or how about the flowing water in the Fountain of Dreams stage? Or that awesome big screen in the background of Pokemon Stadium? Link's sword? The lighting effects on Brinstar? The flame effects from Roy's sword? There is so much detail in this game that there is no possibly way to describe it all here. It's good stuff.

Gameplay: 10/10
I've been playing this game for over a year. That either signifies that I'm obsessed with this game, or that the gameplay is outstanding. I'm thinking a little of both. This game took a huge jump from its predecessor on the N64. New fighting modes, mini games, characters, button layout, everything here has been improved to provide a more enjoyable and complex playing experience. It's quite addictive, actually. The sheer number of trophies to collect and characters and stages to unlock draws you toward playing more. This is the game to have when friends come over. There is nothing better than doing a victory pose after annihilating your best friend in a hard-fought stock match. There are few games with a multiplayer that has the potential for so many variations. Stock, Coin, and Time matches are just the beginning. What makes this game so successful is that the same thing never happens twice. Each match is unique in its character variations and item drops that there is literally no match that is exactly alike. That being said, you can use the Item Switch screen, which controls what items appear, if any at all. If you get tired of a particular match, create a different kind of match and see how you like it. The gameplay is far more technical than its predecessor. You can hold down buttons to build up strength for your attacks, dodge attacks midair as well as on the ground, etc. The controls provide for amazing gameplay. If you don't like its excellent graphics, you will likely appreciate its outstanding gameplay instead.

Characters: 10/10
Have a look at the roster of playable characters. Every popular Nintendo character from their respective franchises appear in this game. It's kind of a given that this game would include all the characters from the previous game, but the old characters have been vastly improved with new moves and effects. When choosing your character, you somewhat take on the role of the character you're playing. After all those Mario games over the years, who wouldn't want to see Luigi do a flying headbutt? Or get the chance to play as the great Ganondorf or Mewtwo? Unlike some fighting games which people don't seem to get, it is actually fun to play as these characters. These are characters that you've seen on many an occasion, some of which have never been playable until this game. Some of which haven't been seen outside of Japan. These characters define Nintendo as a lasting franchise over the years. The only thing I don't like about some of the extra characters is that they are essentially clones. However, these clones provide enough variation in them to provide for unique gameplay with respect to the characters they're modeled after. Who cares if Roy is essentially Marth with flame effects? There is enough difference between the two for gamers to recognize it. Look, you have 25 of Nintendo's finest at your fingertips. Even if some of them are almost the same, it's not going to stop you from having fun.

Extras: 10/10
There is not a game to my knowledge that has this many unlockables, playing modes, and collectibles. There's so much to this game at its default settings, you don't even realize that there is so much more to be discovered. There are almost thirty stages total some of which take some effort to unlock. The extra characters are also challenging to obtain, but definitely worth it. You can listen to the song tracks for the game, switch items, unlock new events to be beaten. And of course, let's not forget the trophies. 293 trophies are to be obtained in this game through various methods. Whoever was in charge of creating the trophies for this game, I would like to shake their hand. There is a trophy for almost every Nintendo character in existence. Not only that, but each trophy is highly detailed and has its own little description with an explanation of the characters' history. Excellent stuff.

Replayablity: 10/10

This game was one of the first to be released after the Gamecube launched back in 2001. Yet it remains arguably the most popular game for the console. Why? I think a lot of it is due to this games' replayability. You have 25 characters with different moves, abilities, and variations. There are almost thirty unique and challenging levels. There are five difficulty settings which provide a challenge to even some of the most wary gamers. There are several mini-games, including Home Run Contest, Break the Targets, and Multi-Man Melee. A gamer could spend months trying to break their own records, or playing competitively with their friends. Multiplayer allows for dozens, if not hundreds, of variations to create new and unique matches. There are literally hundreds of things to find and unlock in this game; finding them all will keep a gamer busy for quite a while.

Sound/Music: 10/10
If you've ever played a Nintendo game from one of their popular franchises, chances are you'll recognize a remix from a game in SSB:M. These remixes are astounding. Hearing the theme from Legend of Zelda is such detail is amazing. Let's not forget the superb Pokemon remix with a choir backing up the powerful orchestra theme. Not to mention all the little extra songs, like Saria's theme from Legend of Zelda or Balloon Fighter. The character voices are excellent as well. I like the detail that was placed on the individual voices. Marth and Roy speak fluent Japanese in their poses. Jigglypuff's high pitched battle-cries are unmistakable. The only thing really off about the character voices was that of the Star Fox team. They're not quite the same as the character voices from Starfox 64, but who really cares? The fact that they add to this game is fine with me. As far as sound/music goes, I can assure you that you will enjoy the Sound Test option once you unlock it.

Overall: 10/10
This was my first game on the Gamecube. It's still the one I play the most. This game blew my mind in terms of gameplay and detail. This game is a must-have for any Nintendo fan, as well as anyone who owns a Nintendo Gamecube. No collection would be complete without this game. This game defines fun, addictive gameplay. not that that's a bad thing. Super Smash Bros. Melee is an outstanding piece of work that displays Nintendo's finest.

Pros:
Highly detailed graphics
Outstanding gameplay

Cons:
This game invokes obsession.

To Buy or Not To Buy:

You're kidding, right? As a Nintendo's Player's Choice Game, this game has already been marked down to thirty bucks, if not twenty by now. This game is still worth 49.99, if not more, IMO. Go and play it. If you don't like it, just return it. Nothing too hard about that.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/25/04


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