Review by LegendaryFrog

""One more round... One more round...""

The most anticipated Gamecube game of 2001 was, without a doubt Smash Bros Melee. The orginal was hailed as one of the best multi played games for the N64... the ultimate party game right next to Golden Eye. The original was also a homage to Nintedo, featuring 12 classic Nintendo characters from Mario to Link, Kirby to Pikachu, even Captain Falcon and Ness. It had classic music themes and everything. But while the multi player was fun, the one player mode was...lacking. Melee improves everything from the original.

Graphics 9/10

The original had low polygon character models... very low. Characters like DK and Yoshi looked pathetic. Melee however looks friggin awesome. Zoom in on any character and see the level of detail... fighters even blink, open their mouths and move each finger if you pay attention.

While the models are awesome, some of the backgrounds (like Venom, Cornaria, and Peach’s Castle) are rather plain. Others like Kirad and Jungle Japes, however, look very nice.

Gameplay and Design 8/10

Melee is a fighter, but at the same time it’s not. A traditional fighter has you learning button combos, fighting face to face, and rarely jumping. Smash Bros is more like a platformer mixed with fighting. Players jump on platforms, perform double jumps, and have the free run of the 2d area.

It also different in the respect that the moves are insanely east to pull off. Pressing A and a direction does a attack in that direction, and holding the button does a powerful Smash Attack. Special movies are even easier.... press B and any direction. This way you can use any character and not need to worry about silly button combos. The play deepen when you add dodges, triple jumps, throws, rolls, shields, and wall jumps into the mix. Easy to learn but difficult to master.

The one player mode is improved but is still lacking. The Classic mode is now random, and is fun. The biggest draw was the Adventure Mode, which has you going to various Nintendo stages and fighting characters. Fun, yes, but it NEVER CHANGES and gets old after the first few times. Event Mode is the greatest addition which pits you in various situations. They start easy but get much much harder. To get one secret character and stage you must perform these Events.

Multiplayer is still where it’s at, and it even better. The basic 4 player mode remains but they have some more rules like Coin mode and Bonus Mode. There are even special Meeles like Stamina (where you have Hit Points and no %) and Tiny Meele (Where everything is amplified do to your size.) These are good for a change, but ultimately just a distraction... although some of them are pretty fun!

The cast of characters grows from 12 to 25. All the old cast is back with a B-Forward move and several new characters like Bowser and Zelda are welcome. Each one plays differently and you need a style for each. There are also several “clone” characters. Is Fox to fast? Try Flaco. Is Captain Falcon just not powerful enough? Use Ganondorf. Does Mario not have a little metal thingie? Use Dr. Mario. These copycats play very differently and after some play time you’ll realize the entire uproar when they were first announced was silly.

Also, the attitude they gave reach character is wonderful. They way Shiek and Falco... Heck, all the characters... is exactly like I envisioned them.

Sound and Music 10/10

Dear god a 10! Needs to be a 10! Melee wind hands down for best music track EVER just because it remixes so many awesome Nintendo tunes. You realize Nintendo has a bunch of great music. And most of them are ORCHISTATED! I can die happy now that I heard the Great Temple Theme from Zelda II like the way Melee presents it

But however great it is, it’s hard to kick ass to Yoshi’s Story Theme...sorry.

Replay Value 10/10

Given the fact that 90% of my play time is with one player games and I’m still playing it like mad.... I’d say replay is pretty good. Grab your Gamecube by it’s cute little handle and take this to your next party. Then have fun.


Even with 25 characters, I WANT MORE! Adventure mode is tedious. The computer knows how to use the mid air dodge and roll much better than me. They left out the Donkey Kong Country 1 intro theme! It should have been a hidden track on DK Waterfall! * sigh *


Melee is just plain FUN. That’s all that matters. It’s a killer app for the Gamecube... it just appeals to so many people. Some might say “Soul Caliber is much better!” but half to fun of Melee is the fact it has Nintendo characters. It may not have depth like say, Halo for X-Box, but you just can’t put it down. And that’s the point of games like this... to have fun with your friends and laugh at them when you kick their butt with Jigglypuff; that’s Super Smash Bros Melee.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/05/02, Updated 11/09/02

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