Review by AYoon

"A definate must-have!!!"

The Nintendo 64 was a great party machine. Unfortunately, it lacked a great fighting game. Who doesn't love to bash their friends senseless in a multiplayer mayhem? Thankfully, HAL Labs (creators of the Kirby series) came along and gave us Super Smash Bros. The concept was great: Nintendo mascots duking it out. It was a fresh twist to the repetitive fighting genre. Although it was a great party game, it was seriously lacking in its single player experience... Fast forward to the Gamecube-- HAL is back at it again with a sequel and it is so much more than what anyone could ask for.

aka Does it look good?
The graphics are very colorful and the character models are superb. It runs at 60fps constantly, even with a gazillion things on screen, which is so very important in a fighting game. However, while Mario and the crew have never looked better, the backgrounds definately need some work. They get the job done, but are quite lackluster compared to the high-poly characters. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The game becomes utterly chaotic at some points and a distracting environment isn't the best thing to have. Also, the ''retro'' feeling in certain levels (such as Mushroom Kingdom) are perfectly intact. You'll see small details in the background, like a Lakitu fishing in the back or some Shy Guys flying in the Yoshi's Island level. Overall, everything comes together quite nicely.

aka Does it sound good?
Nintendo makes the best video game music. Period. (Square does a good job too) The classic tunes that you've come to know and love are everywhere in this game. It's hard to resist humming along during certain levels. The retro tunes, such as the original Mario Bros. theme is recreated perfectly in MIDI, while other scores are beautifully orchestrated. The sounds are faithful to the series, and some of them are delightfully cheesy. If Nintendo wants to score some big bucks, they better come out with the soundtrack on CD.

CONTROL (8/10)
aka Is it easy to use?
The controls are very user-friendly. If you want to, you can play through the game just by pressing A. There is a lot more depth to Melee than the original, though. You can now dodge attacks, or even reflect it. It may be different, but it doesn't get too hard to master. The combo system is very effective and each character controls uniquely and differently than other characters. However, there is one big gripe I have with the controls: its sensitivity. At some points, you seem to be going much too far and at other times, you wish that there was an easier way to run (you must double-tap the control stick). Sometimes the controls just don't do what you want to do. But overall, it features great controls that anyone can pick up.

DEPTH (10/10)
aka How long is it?
The multiplayer aspect of the game is enough to warrant a purchase, as you will probably play hours and hours with your friends. But the single player is HUMONGOUS!!! With twenty-five (known) characters, it'll take you a while just to complete the Classic mode (which is a copy of the random-battle thing in the original) and even longer to complete Adventure mode, the coolest addition to the Smash Bros. universe. Adventure mode makes you go through platforming levels while fighting. You will squeal in delight when you stomp on a goomba or hack a ReDead. There are tons of other modes as well: a home-run derby, multi-man melee and challenging events, where you have to perform a certain task (such as protecting Peach from Bowser, or fighting Dark Link as Link or destroying 128 Marios). There are also trophies, which are a wonderful addition. Trophies give a nicely rendered 3D (or 2D, depending on the character) model of a classic Nintendo icon, with a brief history. With over 200, getting them all will be a challenge. And don't forget the never-old multiplayer.

FINAL SCORE BUY or RENT? Hours of fun? Recommended Age:
8.8 - Excellent
(not an average) Buy 25+ 6+ (it doesn't deserve a Teen rating)

OTHER INFO: Memory Card: Requires 11 blocks to save game. (More if you want to take snapshots)

Super Smash Bros. Melee is an amazing game! With twenty-five characters and an endless amount of features, you really owe it to yourself to get this game. Even if you suck at fighting games, you will not be disappointed at all by this game!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/16/01, Updated 12/16/01

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