Review by KnightsoftheRound
"Withought a doubt one of the most creative and fun fighting game I have ever played"
Super Smash Bros. Melee is the Gamecube follow-up to Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. The Nintendo 64 version of the game had a total of 12 characters, 8 being regular characters and 4 being unlockable characters. All the characters in the game are Nintendo Characters. There are no characters that aren't related to nintendo in this game. Super Smash Bros. is definetly one of the most bizzare ideas I have ever seen for a fighting game, however Hal Laboratorys has done an excellent job at pulling off a unique 4 player experience once again.
Well to be honest there is not much of a story in the Super Smash Bros. series. You have a bunch of Nintendo Characters who are dueling in an all out battle for greatest champion. This game is gameplay focussed to the core. It stands out for its multiplayer more then its single-player component.
Wow, I don't even know where to begin with this. Before Super Smash Bros. a 4 player fighting game would have been thought as a weird idea, but Hal Laboratorys somehow mannaged to pull it off, and the result is one of the most amazing fighting games I have ever seen in my entire life. From the get go you will most likely want to start off in the Melee mode. Melee is the main part of the game that you will most likely be playing the most. You can have from 2-4 characters fighting on a wide variety of stages. Each character also has a wide variety of moves, the only disapointment about the characters is that alot of the new characters are "clones" of other characters. They share all the same moves, except one character is fast and weak, and the other is slow and strong, although not all the characters are like this and it doesn't really affect the game that much. Anyways you can choose between Stock, Time or Coin battles. Stock and Time will be the ones you will spend the most time with. But you will generally play 1 more over the other. I tend to play Stock more then I play Time. Stock is where you choose to have a set number of lives per character. Let's say you choose 10. That means that each character has 10 lives. Once you start you can't actually KO a character just by punching them alot, there is no "real" health meter. Instead of a health meter you have a percentage (%) meter. Everyone starts at 0%. Each move adds % to your total. Once you get over 100% you are starting to get into a dangerous position. The higher your % the further you can be knocked off the stage, and it becomes harder to stay on. The goal is to get your enemies % high enough for you to smash them off the stage. When a player falls off the stage they lose a life and respawn in the middle being invunerable for several seconds. Once you lose all your stock your out of the match. In time battle you never get eliminated from the battle. You are competing to get the highest amount of KO's. Everytime you KO someone you get 1 point. Everytime you fall off you lose 1 point. And if you Self-Destruct (fall off without anyone knocking you off)you lose a # of points that you can choose. If 2 people have the same score after the games over a death match occurs to decide the victor. Each player starts at 300% and the first one to fall off loses the battle and the other becomes the victor. Coin mode is where you compete to get the most coins during the battle, its not as interesting but it can provide an interesting change of pace.
The single player portion of the game has 3 modes. Of the 3 you start with only 2. There is Adventure, Classic and All-Star. You start with Adventure and Classic. In adventure you go through multiple stages defeating pre-determined enemies and completing certain tasks, like getting though a 2D level within a certain time limit while dodging enemies that are easily defeated. At the end you fight Bowser in a 1 vs 1 match. In Classic mode you fight through several random enemies to get to the ending Boss Master Hand. Master Hand is an interesting Boss however, he has HP instead of % and once you drain his HP he dies. However, when you play on higher difficulty levels you will have to fight the Right Hand AND the Left Hand which is alot harder. Once you complete certain tasks you are awarded with All-Star mode. In All-Star mode you have 1 life and you must battle through all of the games characters. At first you fight them 1 by 1, then you start fighting 1 vs 2 and then you fight 1 vs 3. At the end you have to defeat a large amount of Mr. Game & Watches. However in the middle of each battle you go to a "waiting room" in this forestish area there are sometimes trophys for you to collect and you can also restore your % with 3 hearts. Each heart replenishes 100% so use them wisely.
This game has quite possibly some of the best early Gamecube graphics I have seen, alot better then most games. However the level design can be kind of blan. The game does have some REALLY cool levels, such as fighting on F-Zero race cars on a track and if you fall on the road you die unless you jump back realy fast. Alot of the levels are really cool, but there are to many basic 3 platform levels that arn't overly interesting, however don't get me wrong the levels are generally really cool. Most of the levels have enviromental hazards that can kill you if you touch them. For example, there is lava that sends you flying upwards, cars that can hit you, a road you can fall on, Arwings that shoot at you, bullet bills that explode and kill you, and many other stage "death-traps" if you will. The character design is really well done, the characters looks pretty awesome and everything is really nice. This game definetly demonstrates the power of the Gamecube.
The sound track of the game is overall great. Classic Nintendo themes from the past along with newer themes are all gathered together into the game to create quite the musical experience. All of the characters also have their own unique sounds that they make with there attacks, and when they take damage. The items generally sound really cool to when they are being used. Alot of the levels also have more then 1 theme. Link the Hyrule Temple has the Hyrule Temple music and also has the theme from Fire Emblem which is a nice break from the original music. Another cool thing about the music is when you play on the 2 mario world levels from the really old mario games, on a time battle, it speeds up the music on the last 20 seconds of the battle like the old mario games did when your time was almost up. Really great nostalgia for older gamers. There is definitely no complaints with the sound hear whatsoever.
Replay Value: 10/10
The game is multiplayer focused at heart, but can be played by yourself against computer opponents. However, it's generally alot more interesting played with friends rather then computer opponents, but they can provide some interesting gameplay. The AI is generally pretty smart, but does have the odd glitch sometimes, just as mysteriously falling off of levels (Mewtwo) and Luigi whos AI doesn't use Up and B to get out of small cracks in levels. But other then the small few things the AI is generally pretty smart. The game is definitely the MUST HAVE game for Gamecube. Even if there arn't any other games your interested in for Gamecube you should own a Gamecube JUST so you can have this game. I can't stress it enough. If you have a Gamecube buy it. Even if you don't like it that much you should still buy this game, especially if you have the extra money. No Gamecube owner should not have this game, it will be played again, and again.
Overall this game is an amazing multiplayer action fighting game. The idea of a 4 player fighting game is indeed bizzare but Super Smash Bros. Melee shows that it can be done, and it can actually be an amazingly great game. I find it a shame that there is no online play because this game would simply be astounding online. However online or offline its simply an amazing game with alot of replay value and many things for you to collect such as trophys to keep you busy. And many more characters to unlock then the original.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/24/04
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