Review by StephenYap3

Reviewed: 04/29/11

Not perfect, but merits as the best in the series

It is truly amazing, yet unexpected when Super Smash Bros quickly became a popular series, leading to having its very own sequel for the Game Cube in two years. Melee expands significantly over its father (Smash 64) and even its son (Brawl), making it the best in the series. There are so many things that Melee has gotten right in the series, but even with that the game still has flaws. Will those flaws render this game unplayable?

Luckily, there was no such thing as “unplayable” in Melee’s case since it is fast-paced and more fun than even Smash 64. You want more characters? How about more stages? More features? More multiplayer modes? More replay value? Melee has it all, if you’re still stuck to Smash 64. I don’t have it with me as of this minute, but I did play enough of it and I hereby write this review.

-Game play-
If you played Smash 64, then I will assure you that you’ll have little to no trouble on understanding Melee’s game play. Melee adds one additional Special Move for each character, which is done by pressing B while holding the Control Stick left or right. Plus, other moves like dodging have been added, making Melee both offensive and defensive at the same time. Dodging in mid air will act as a boost in air, but prevents you from doing anything until you hit the ground. This makes the game fair, if not balanced.

There are much more items than Smash 64 and they make matches far more fun. You will find a spinning thing that harms anything it touches, a barrel that is thrown to catch and launch opponents anywhere, a live and walking thing that can be pelted to opponents and act as a shield. There are zany more items than you might ever imagine.

Many criticized the roster for having clones, and I would admit it. At the same time, the roster is balanced. I can use just about anybody I want, even though I always used Mario. Other than those reasons there’s not much to say.

The stages are fun and by far the most creative in my opinion. Most of my favorite stages in the series are here and hopefully stages like this will be made again after Brawl.

Throughout this game, you’ll find Trophies to collect and not only do they show a figure of someone or something, since it also holds info for it. There are enough of them to last you for a very long while, though some of the info for some trophies seems to be incorrect in my opinion. I really cannot point them out since this is a review I am writing. Other than that, the trophies feature is quite intriguing.

--Here are the game modes--

-Classic Mode-
It is the same as Smash 64’s One Player Mode, though Melee expands it greatly to beyond addiction. The characters you face off are entirely random and especially the new mini game “Snag the Trophies” further boosts the fun. Snag the Trophies, sadly its only appearance being in Melee, has you kicking falling trophies into the basket in the middle of the platform to collect them. It is fun since Melee is so random of many things, especially the further upgraded Race to the Finish from Smash 64, where there are multiple exits and the further you are, the more points you earn. There are so many things you’ll find in Melee’s single player modes that will keep you coming and coming back for more!

-Adventure Mode-
Pick any fighter and prepare to go on an adventure like no other. You are given 12 stages and they’re all short enough to make Adventure Mode more like a story mode in some other fighting games. You will go through beautiful grassland, find tons of other secrets, and fight fighters along the way. Let me just tell you that Melee’s Adventure mode is simply amazing and how I wish Brawl’s Adventure mode was like this. Many people would call Brawl’s one over Melee’s one, but everybody has an opinion of their own.

-All Star Mode-
Similar to Classic Mode, with a few differences: You only have one life and all the fights you face off are one, two or three against you. This makes things very challenging, yet fun. Who will you face at the end? Who knows? Find out!

-Events Mode-
This mode is very fun as it gives you certain objectives to follow, from taking out 100 fighters to collecting enough coins. Events mode ceases to stop being fun and even though you’ve beaten them all, you can go back to them for more addicting fun!

-Target Test-
Still the same Target test from Smash 64, so apart from this being far better in the series, there really isn’t much to mention here.

-Homerun Contest-
It is a new mode, where any fighter has to beat the sandbag as hard as they can and use the homerun bat to smack them as far as possible, all without it ever leaving the platform. Although it is pretty addicting, there is perhaps a problem with a few fighters, and that problem would be that they can smack the sandbag straight up in the air and do not get any distance afterwards. Apart from that, Homerun Contest is far from being flawed.

-Multiman Melee-
There are six separate modes in this mode, each of them requiring you to beat them all, survive under a time limit or as long as you can. You have clones of two Male and Female Wireframes, each with different and versatile skills. In my opinion, this is how Brawl’s Multiman Brawl mode should have been, unless if its flaws did show a reason for being in there. Overall, it’s not the best thing in the whole world, but it is quite an addiction there.

-Vs Mode-
Not only do you still have the usual VS mode, since you also have two new modes, Coin and Bonus. You beat down your opponents to get coins from them and the winner is the one with the most coins. As for Bonus, whoever achieves the most bonuses through certain objectives in match will be declared victory. That mode should have also been in Brawl.

I haven’t really used this as much, but I will say it’s pretty neat. It’s a pity that you cannot have four fighters in one match without four players playing.

-Special Melee-
Now this is where Melee also excels on. You have a variety of modes to choose from that range from changing the players’ Damage Percentages to Hit Points to speeding up matches. I found myself using these modes more than the normal modes since they are very fun to play and you can make tons of different matches to suit fun. This takes fun to a whole new level.

- - Sadly, this is all I have in this review to a good game - -
- - I had to write a review since I had nothing to do - -

--Final Words--
Yet another lazily-written review, but I’ll just cut to the chase: Smash 64 was just the beginning while Brawl took it all downhill, but nonetheless Melee is still the best in the series though not a perfect game. I don’t have it nor 64 with me now and the only thing I have with me in the series is Brawl, which disappointed me. Just in a recent interview with the creator Sakurai himself, he commented that the later titles will stay glued to Brawl’s game play. Unfortunately, Brawl never got things right and therefore, we won’t see Melee’s true sequel ever again. However, that doesn’t mean we’ll at least wish for Super Smash Bros 4 to be far better than Brawl, right?

Score: 9.4 out of 10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Super Smash Bros. Melee (US, 12/03/01)

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