Review by xcamel24

"Will be treasured forever."

Super Smash Bros. Melee is, in video game terms, an old game. Released in late 2001, Super Smash Bros. Melee was a hit then and still remains on the top sellers on the Gamecube. You might ask, why is a game like this so popular? Isn't just a simple fighting game? At first, Super Smash Bros. Melee would seem like a simple fighting game, but once you dive into it you'll realize how complex it really is, and how much fun it can be solo, with 2, 3, 4, or even 64 players via tournament mode.

Game Play: 10/10

First, you have to compare this to its predecessor. Things have improved in every way. A forward + B move has been added to each characters roster of attacks, but thats just the beginning. You can now sidestep dodge and air dodge in addition to your regular set of abilities. In terms of playable characters, the number has doubled from the original game, giving you twice as many characters to play with. In terms of levels, that has almost tripled, so you have nearly an infinite amount of possibilities for multi player. Also, new game modes have been added. The One player mode of the original Smash Bros. had an arcade like format against the same opponents each time, with 5 difficulties. It also had training mode, and practice for the 2 mini games in Arcade mode. This one has that (save for the 2nd mini game) and a ton more. First you'll find the Adventure and All Star modes- Adventure takes you through a series of levels as opposed to classic VS matches. All Star forces you to fight everyone on the roster- with just one life. But there is so much more. Event mode has been added, 51 special events with special winning conditions that aren't in any main games. These can provide the players with great challenges, even the veteran players. Now for Multiplayer mode, you have your standard time and stock VS matches, but you also have BONUS and COIN modes, Bonus decides the winner based on points earned, and Coin mode is determined by simply collecting the most coins in a battle. There are also special melee battles, such as lighting mode, where everything runs at 1.5x normal, or Giant mode, where everyone is giant sized to start.

Replay: 10/10

Everything is present here, from various game modes to arcade mode with 25 characters, and all kinds of other things. But the game play is so fun that you'll be playing just the vs mode with your friends all the way until Super Smash Bros. Brawl is released. If you only have yourself to play with, you can still replay all the event battles, arcade, all-star, and adventure mode. You can also fight the computer in VS mode, up to 3 other computer players against you, and select your items and stages accordingly. Not to mention 25 playable characters, trying to master them all isn't easy. Add in friends and you begin a whole different ball game. There is also trophy collecting for bragging rights, as well as the trophy room to look at everything you've collected. There's also the special movie and vs records to keep your interest.

Sound/Music: 10/10

Everything in this game is virtually wonderfully re-mastered songs from classic games. The Legend of Zelda theme, Mario Theme, and Pokemon themes are all present here. There are also special tunes you can get by holding L or R before you select a certain stage that keep the battles new and refreshing. All the tunes are excellently orchestrated, and none sound bad or out of whack. Things like Mach Rider and Dr. Mario's theme were way out of left field and weren't expected, but once you hear them, you will be amazed. There are also some classic tracks that remain untouched, such as the Mushroom Kingdom theme, and Balloon Fighter. Not to mention tunes such as Big Blue, DK rap, Pokemon Battle, and Mother themes are all on here. In terms of uniqueness, however, this game doesn't really have much to its name. Almost everything is remixes, however there is the theme song to the game, which is quite good. They throw it all over the place too, the menu screen, the opening movie, and in one of the stages, all in different remixed forms. But who needs new music when you have nostalgia and an orchestra?

Story: 1/10

Yes, this is the games major flaw. There is no story, you got thrown into the game by a hand and you can kick his butt if you want, or you can kick everyone else's butt. The storyline is mostly non-existent, unlike a Guilty Gear or Street Fighter game, where there is a reason to all your fighting madness. This game has virtually no story at all, and don't come in trying to find one. You'll be better off without a story, just move right to the fighting. its actually probably more fun trying to make up a storyline to the game on your own, and keeping it that way. It all started when...

Graphics: 8/10

They still hold up well today, despite the age of the console. Lighting effects and battle animations are incredibly solid especially with the use of the 3D character models. Everyone's model is incredibly detailed and resembles each characters prime. Link resembles his similar self in Ocarina of Time, while Mario resembles his Super Mario 64 (at the time that was his prime) look. There are a few glitchy spots with the graphics however, and this does hurt the score a bit. While your character may sometimes appear in animation behind of your opponent, the game still has you in front of them, making you "hittable". Thus you may randomly get hit or grabbed from behind (usually after an air dodge or after getting pushed by landing in the same spot as your opponent.) This can become irritating, but can be avoided. Also there are some things like Marth's sword, where you might not touch the blade but still go flying into oblivion. This game is not perfect graphically, due to its glitches, but most of the areas look clean, and well done for the most part. I wouldn't come in hear expecting a Metroid Prime or Halo 2 of graphics, you won't get that. Instead, you'll get a solid engine that has some great effects for the most part. Now one thing the graphics lose and gain on at the same time is something called "wave dashing". While in technical terms, its an abuse of the game's physics engine, it has become part of core game play for the big league gamers. It'd be hard to explain exactly what it is here, but do some research if you're interested.

Difficulty/Controls: 9/10

There is nothing to be flawed here, the difficulty curve is great here. There are 5 different difficulties for Single Player mode, and 9 levels of difficulty for the enemy CPU characters in VS mode. You can easily get used to the easy levels, and then work your way up as you master new tactics. In terms of controls, they are great. A buttons for fighting moves, and you can utilize your strong attacks by "tapping" the joystick in a certain direction and pressing A simultaneously. You use the B button for special moves unique to the character, usually from one of their games. You use UP or X or Y to jump, and by lightly tapping them you can short hop. L or R can be used for shielding and rolling and dodging, and the Z button is for grabs. The C stick can be used in 1 player mode to zoom in and out, while in VS mode it is used for quick smash attacks. There are multiple skills to master, but this isn't a guide, so I'll let the reader learn those skills on their own. There is one problem some people may find with Super Smash Bros. Melee, and that is that everyone has the exact same button presses for moves. Doing moves is virtually the same for 99% of all moves and characters. There are a few who have some unique things, but for the most part everyone has exactly the same moves, which to extreme fighting game fans may prove disappointing.

Overall: 9/10

This game won't please everyone, but its as close as you get. Everyone's favorite Nintendo characters duking it out for no reason what so ever. People who can't master the advanced tactics can fall behind in the game however and not be able to compete with the advanced level players very quickly. Super Smash Bros. Melee makes a great family game, a great party game, or a great game really for any occasion, with its great variety and game play. It is for all age groups, which is a great appeal also. This game, sadly, because of the Gamecube's lack of curiosity with online, does not have any online play, which can hurt some of the hardcore players who want to challenge the big-league gamers. All in all, Super Smash Bros. Melee is a great game for just about anyone who likes Nintendo. If you don't like Nintendo for some reason, you should probably stray away from this title.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/16/07

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