Review by Lagunathemoron

"And Princess Peach grabs her umbrella and defeats Bowser once and for all. Meanwhile Captain Falcon is beating up Pikachu!"

After suffering a long wait, Europe finally managed to grab their Gamecubes at the start of May in 2002. It was a brilliant lineup; you cannot complain with games like Star Wars, Super Monkey Ball, Luigi's Mansion or Wave Race. However, one game myself and others anticipated was Super Smash Bros. Melee, the sequel to the best fighting game on the Nintendo 64. Just drooling at the pictures one year before its release made me realize how much I wanted the game, one clue was the drops of salvier on my magazine page. Finally the day came, and as soon as I put the game in my Gamecube, I knew I was in for a treat.

As soon as the introduction starts up, we are introduced to the magic of the game when a trophy of Mario posing emerges from a great light, then we are shown clips of his friends Yoshi, Captain Falcon, Link and many more, music changing quietly to fit each character, causing a dramatic musical note when Sheik is playing her (Or his) harp. The narrator who has a very deep voice shouts ''Super Smash Brothers Melee!''. With this introduction alone, we are shown what the game can do, amazing graphics and animations, the thousand Yoshi's and many Pokémon proves this alone and the music... brilliant.

So how does the game fare? What is it about? What can you do? Who can you be? So many questions, so many answers to each of them! The game is massive, larger than Lord of the Rings(!), with so many options. The single player feature comes in several forms. The first of which is a Classic mode which players must battle their way through eight levels and three bonus mini levels which involve target breaking, trophy collecting and a marathon run, taking on teams, giant creations, multiple characters and even Master Hand and his brother, Crazy Hand. Then there is Adventure mode, a long and entertaining mode which is basically... an adventure. Taking the role of any character, you find yourself in the Mushroom Kingdom on a Super Mario Brothers style level... in scrolling 3D! Here you battle Goombas, koopa troopers, an army of Yoshi's and Mario and Peach themselves. Then we pay Donkey Kong a visit in his jungle then have a adventure in a Zelda dungeon, hunting down the tri-force whilst battling monsters from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I wouldn't like to spoil anymore fun but there are many locations in Adventure mode, and those listed are only the first three. Then we have All-Star, a setting which we must kill all the other characters, both secret and not in a fight to the death, with only one life. Event mode follows with over fifty ''missions'' which involve Falcon and Samus fighting over who gets to kill Bowser, Yoshi protecting his egg and Luigi fighting evil doctors. It is that mad and entertaining. One of my favorite ones is fighting Pikachu with Pokéballs only. Another feature, Stadium which makes us kill a set number of wire frame warriors, a baseball style Hit-The-Sandbag and the infamous Break the targets, this time all twenty five characters have their own target level. Oh and there is a practice mode. This game will last you a long time even if you have only one controller.

That just about covers the single player mode, which will last you a long time by the way. Next up is multi-player mode, which is much better than the Nintendo 64 pulled off. Fighting has never been such fun. Fondest memories of Donkey Kong fighting against Pikachu will leave laughs, screams and cursing behind as you fight normally, with or without items, super size, tiny, in slow motion, fast motion, in a team and many more. There is a camera mode where up to three people can battle whilst the other controls the camera and can take photographs or angles. There is a 64 character tournament for multi-player fanatics, make sure you have at least sixty three friends. This game is brilliant in multi-player, the control and camera is so fixed up right, there is never slow down regardless how many are playing.

So what about new features? Well we have coins which you can gain trophies and continues with. There are almost three hundred trophies to collect which take on the form of past and present Nintendo nostalgia, trophies based on Mario, Luigi, Pikachu, Samus, Wispy Woods, Super Scope, Squirtle, Sheriff, Diddy Kong, Captain Olimar, a barrel, hat, yeti, Balloon Fighter and several hundred more, getting most of these require luck and skill, the Captain Olimar one for instance, involves you having a Pikmin save on your memory card. There are many new items such as beam swords (Think of the purple lightsabre), Pokéballs, fruit, Metroid ball, self-destruct traps and many more. The features are great and make both single player and multi-player modes more fun. Of course you could turn them off for clean fights.

New and old characters a present. Each characters have their own moves, some borrowed from others but in their own right are moves. You can be the older characters such as Mario, Samus, Kirby, Pikachu or Yoshi. OR you can be new characters like Princess Peach, Bowser, Ice Climbers, Zelda, Dr. Mario, Mewtwo and many more. Listing you all the characters would make you go out and buy the game, however part of the fun is discovering for yourself just who is part of the large cast, telling you would be like telling you the ending of every film and game being released this and next year. Most characters have their very own place to fight, Yoshi has Yoshi's Story, Luigi has Super Mario Brothers 2 Subcon world, Kirby has Wispy Woods and Fox has the Great Fox going over Venom and Cornier whilst Falco, Peppy and Slippy are in the background firing at you. Each stage and character has his or her theme tune, most you will recognize straight away from their own game, for example the Donkey Kong stages has one piece which is the D.K rap from Rare's Donkey Kong 64 and Link's Great Bay has the world map/Hyrule theme from Ocarina of time.

So what is the control system like? Well defiantly not like Street Fighter. Rather than a health bar, players must attack a character to make their life go from 0% to 100% to a maximum of 500%. The higher the percentage, the more chance there is of knocking the enemy off the level when you do a powerful attack. You can jump, double jump, jam the movement stick and press a button for a powerful attack and do combinations of physical and supported attacks.

The game is very detailed. As I stated in the first few paragraphs, the animations, graphics and detail is splendid. Each character is detailed well and look much better than what the Nintendo, Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 made them look lie. Each stage is full of detail as well, take Great Bay, the rusty metal is detailed, the background, water effects and animation of the tortoise and what make the game so enjoyable in terms of graphics and animation.

On the other hand is the music and sound, again no complaints, only compliments. Mario and the gang speak a bit when they win, get hurt or do an attack, for example when Captain Falcon is doing his Falcon Punch and Falcon Kick, you can here him shout the name of the attack, the same with Ness and his PK magic spells and Pikachu whenever he does an attack. The music of each stage is ripped out of a game as well. Two of the Earthbound tracks are from the Super Nintendo game whilst another is from the NES version.

Super Smash Bros. Melee is an amazing game, there are no flaws that I have noticed, no true glitches in the PAL coding, there is even a 60HZ option and it is the perfect game. Of course there is one little flaw and that is getting tiring after a few hundred rounds of multi-player, however in a hour later, you will be playing a few hundred more battles, I can assure it.

Everybody who does own a Nintendo Gamecube has to get this for their collection, it is the essential for the console and is indeed the best mutli-player on the machine, even better than Super Monkey Ball and Mario Party 4! I simply urge everybody to get this game.


- A great selection of characters, levels and items
- Many things to see, do and collect
- Excellent single and multi-player modes
- Endless fun


- There is nothing wrong with Super Smash Bros. Melee...


Graphics - 10/10
Music - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Gameplay - 10/10
Multiplayer - 10/10
Challenge - 7/10
Enjoyment - 10/10
Lifespan - 10/10
Overall - 10/10

Alternatives: Honestly, if you want a better fighting game, you are a bit stuck, the Tekken series are good, but as are Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. One game is worth checking out, which is Dragonball Z: Budokai, another fantasy character filled fighting game.

If this wins Review of the Day I will say sorry to Mega for borrowing his closing tagline which is this line here...

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/06/03, Updated 01/06/03

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