Review by wizard1
"I had fun, fun, fun 'til daddy took the TV away!"
Super Smash Brothers Melee a fighting game that could easily be argued as the best fighting game that has ever been created. It is a two dimensional battlefield, but the characters, attacks, weapons, and everything else is three dimensional, and powered by the Gamecube. Super Smash Brothers Melee is the much anticipated follow up to Super Smash Brothers. Melee is a term that means fight, confrontation, clash, encounter, skirmish, combat, scuffle, and conflict. Melee is definitely the appropriate term for this game. This game is not very challenging at first, but as soon as you start trying out the higher difficulty levels, you will soon see just how challenging this game can get. Super Smash Brothers Melee I feel is currently the pinnacle of fighting games, due to the incredibly game play that immerses you deeply into the game.
The graphics in Super Smash Brothers Melee are definitely innovative. You fight on a two dimensional plane, but everything else is three dimensional. Each character is highly depicted, as well as the weapons, and other parts of the level that try and obstruct you from moving freely about like a butterfly. The developers apparently took a really long time playing around with everything to get it all just right, right a top that pinnacle of greatness, teetering their as other fighting games try and blow it off. No other fighting game that I know of has this unique two dimensional, three dimensional lay out. The characters do not seem to be out of place on the two dimensional back drop, but they too look two dimensional like the back drop when you look at them from afar, but as soon as you zoom in on them you quickly notice that they are indeed still three dimensional.
The sound in Super Smash Brothers Melee could have definitely been worked out better. The music is uplifting, the sound effects great, but after playing the game for a long time it begins to wear on your nerves. There is a unique song for each level that plays while you are fighting in that level. Some songs also appear in the single player modes on the stages that relate to the multiplayer stages. The songs try and get you into the action and not let you out, sometimes it succeeds, but sometimes it doesn't. The game music is taken out of the worlds of the many different characters in the game and are placed on the stages that relate to that character. The sounds are great, but the music definitely needs working out.
The main part of Super Smash Brothers Melee is spent going through the huge single player part of the game. There is Classic Mode and Adventure Mode unlocked from the very beginning, you can unlock other modes the more that you play the game. In Classic Mode you fight a series of various different kinds of battles and do other fun things relating to how well you can control the character and in the end fight a boss, the Master Hand. On higher difficulty levels the Crazy Hand will assist him. In Adventure Mode you have to navigate different worlds and complete different challenges in order to get to the end in this long but fun mode of the game. At the end you will meet a certain boss by the name of Bowser. Throughout both modes you will be fighting various opponents that are tough and sometimes grueling battles. You can even lose lives for not completing a challenge within the time limit sometimes. A great part of the Single Player Modes is that you are able to pick how many lives that you have (up to five) and the difficulty setting that you want to play in (Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard. You can adjust these to get just the type of challenge that you want. You might eventually find yourself playing on Very Hard with only one life, a true challenge indeed. Throughout the game you will unlock certain trophies by completing certain tasks. Sometimes you will randomly find trophies scattered around the battlefield, which you can pick up and add to you collection. Throughout all modes of the game you will also earn coins that you can use to get new trophies out of the trophy machine. As you collect more trophies out of the machine, then chances of getting a new one will go down. You can increase your odds by putting more coins into the trophy machine. You are able to put up to twenty inside of it. Trophies have no real point to the game other than making you go through the game again to get more coins, or trying to find the hidden objectives that give you the spiffy coins. There is also the practice mode in which you can set up any kind of melee that you want and practice your skills inside. You can try out different weapons, add in various opponents at what ever skill level your want, turn on or off certain weapons, drop certain weapons in at specific times for you to use, or you could just have fun by getting a second player inside and chucking pokeballs at each other.
Super Smash Brothers Melee has a great multiplayer experience. You can do a tournament, compete against three different friends, go against other bots, watch bots duke it out in awesome battles, and go through special challenges. In Verse Mode you can fight against your friends, do a team battle with your friends, get bots to help you defeat your friends, or you could just pit bots up against themselves and watch the damage fly. Anyway you go it is exciting. In Tournament Mode you can set up a bracket tournament for up to sixty four people. This was designed for the people who just had a lot of people over to their house. You can also have bots get in on the action with you if you don't have sixty four people at your house, or you just want to play it yourself, or even if you don't even have any friends. In the Special Melee Mode you can pick from a number of challenges that include Slow Melee, Lightning Melee, Invisible Melee, Giant Melee, Tiny Melee, and various others. Statistics from these melees however are not recorded onto the permanent record of how well you and different characters have been doing. Everything that you do in the Verse Mode of the game is permanently recorded onto a record. It records deaths, knock outs, self destructs, and how many times you've killed certain characters. All of this is placed onto a list that shows just which character has been played the most and which character has killed the most people. The is also a list under the system statistics that will tell you who the Smash King, and the Smash Sap are as well as various other rewards (some good, some not) from the verse mode.
There isn't a huge selection of characters in Super Smash Brothers Melee but each character has unique traits. The starting characters are Mario, Bowser, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Captain Falcon, Ness, Pikachu, Kirby, The Ice Climbers, Link, Zelda, Star Fox, and Samus Aran. Each character has unique attacks, while all of them share the melee attacks, and the dodge attacks. There are many more characters that you can unlock throughout the game. The characters look exactly like they should, except they are now on the improved graphics of the Gamecube.
As with most fighting games they are fun to play over and over again. This is true in Super Smash Brothers Melee, but the developers have added a new twist to try and keep it new longer. The twist is the trophies. Many you can find easily or get by luck out of the trophy machine, but many more will have to be unlocked by completing hidden events in the game. A lot of the replay value of the game is in the multiplayer mode because it is just generally fun to beat your friends around without actually hurting them in real life. You can also earn coins in multiplayer so the trophy system is also linked in with the multiplayer system.
Super Smash Brothers Melee is a revolutionary fighting game like no other. Its unique blend of two dimensional and three dimensional artwork sets it apart from the other fighting games. Melee has more different modes of game play than any other fighting game that I have seen. It is a fighting game that is truly worthy of being on the Gamecube, and of course being worthy of being one of the launch titles on top of that. No matter what you do in Super Smash Brothers Melee you are almost always guaranteed to be having fun, and if it does get to be too hard, just adjust the difficulty settings some and start the fun all over again. Overall this is a fighting game that any Nintendo fan should have.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/10/04
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