Review by rombus_legend

"'Show me your moves'"

This game never ceases to amaze me. That a game where all you do is bash another person has created so much fun for years and years just makes it perfect. Almost.

Super Smash Bros. Melee is simple. You and any other friends playing pick a character; if you have no friends then you can play computer-controlled opponents that you can set from level 1-9. You then select a stage and go and duke it out! The idea is to punch and use special moves to knock your opponents flying of the edge of maps. Each time you hit your opponent they take damage and when they are on very high damage it is easy to kill them because they are weak. But wait. That is not all. This is just the multiplayer and I have barely even scraped the surface. First of all there are 26 characters to choose from when all unlocked, with 15 already unlocked when you start. This is where the main flaw of this game comes in and why I have not given it a 10 out of 10. Seven of the characters (Pichu, Dr. Mario, Young Link, Roy, Luigi, Ganondorf, Falco to be precise) are just clones (i.e. pretty much the exact same as another character except they look different and their attacks may do a little more or less but are still all the same). Ganondorf, Luigi and Falco aren't too bad but the others are terribly cloned. The amount of times I have unlocked a new character and been excited and then found out they are nearly the exact same as another character is very disappointing. Despite all this though the show must go on. To unlock characters you either have to do something in single player (which I will get too later) or play a certain amount of ‘vs. matches'. Vs. matches are normal multiplayer battles but do not think it will be easy. Some characters may need 800, 900 even 1000 vs. matches to be played! And then you have to beat them in a battle to unlock them! It can be pretty frustrating but don't be daunted; it will be easy enough when you realize how fun it is and how many options there are to change so that you wont get bored.

Now onto the multiplayer features. First off there are 29 stages to choose from (although some have to be unlocked). The stages can range from being huge ones like ‘hyrule temple' from the Legend of Zelda universe to small ones like ‘battlefield' which is nonstop action. There is also an item switch where you can choose to turn on or off many items like ray guns, which shoot lasers or poke balls, which once thrown a pokemon appears and helps you by damaging and killing your opponents for an amount of time. You can play a tournament, which is a knockout style where one player vs. another and the winners proceed up against another opponent until there is a champion. There is also a special melee option which are battles except there is something different about them like you the battles can involve all the players to be huge or players to be really fast. A favourite of mine is playing giant melee, at a small stage with big characters (like D.K, Bowser and Ganondorf) and super mushrooms (which is an item which makes players grow big or even bigger in this case) turned on but no other items.

The single player is pretty cool as well. First off you can play Classic and Adventure modes (later All Star mode by unlocking all the characters). Classic has you pitted in lots of multiplayer battles against CPUs while Adventure, like its name is more adventurous with there being huge maps not available in multiplayer matches that you must navigate and reach the finish. There are various bosses in single player as well, like giant D.K, metal Mario and the famous Master Hand. All Star is a simple mode where you choose a character and play battles against every other character. But there is a catch. You only have 1 life with a few healing items to spare. Expect some hard battles here! Another single player option is Stadium Mode. These are mini games. The ones that you can play are Home-run contest, in which you must smash a sandbag with a home-run bat as far as you can, Target Test, which you must destroy 10 targets (shaped like archery targets) on a map (every characters is different) and Multi-Man Melee. In Multi-Man Melee you can play battles like 100-man battle or 15 minute melee. In the entire series of Multi-Man Melee battles you are only allowed 1 life. The final single player mode is training, where you can do whatever you want to do with any character at any stage. You can also get as many items as you want and have CPUs that have set damage and options like they can run, fight or just stand still.

A cool little extra in this game is trophies. You either get them by winning coins in games and using them on the lottery machine or obtain them in single player mode. You can view your entire collection on a table or each trophy individually, which has information about the trophy. Super Smash Bros. Melee also has an option called Data, which has various melee and single player records like total amount of games played and deaths. It also keeps dates about when you unlocked important things like characters and stages.

The sound of SSBM is awesome. The sounds and music matches the stages like if it is a pokemon stage it will have pokemon music. The fighting sounds are excellent as well. Another cool thing characters can do is taunt. After you kill someone or whenever you feel like it players can make their character taunt. The characters usually say something or do a gesture. The graphics are really good as well for an early 2000s game. The characters and stages all have great designs.

Super Smash Bros. Melee is one of the greatest games of Gamecube, which I definitely recommend you getting it if you have one. Final verdict: 9.1 out of 10, Gamefaqs score: 9 out of 10.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/11/08

Game Release: Super Smash Bros. Melee (Player's Choice) (AU, 04/30/03)

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