Review by mr pyscho
"Bowser! Watch out for the bomb-omb! Wha? Ah, son of a......"
Usually, I like fighting games as it is. However, this gem is quite different than other games in its genre, but still shines, nonetheless. The entire package is fun, intuitive, addictive, and smells minty fresh. Unless you despise Nintendo or fighting games overall, then this game will more than likely be a great gaming experience.
First of all, the graphics are pretty amazing, at lieu of its simplicity. Although the objects are 2-D or 2 1/2-D at best, they are fun to watch as explosions, lights, and more of a vast array of colors as your four players duke it out. The characters are fairly detailed, not as much as other fighting games per se, but this is still great, as you won't have time to oogle over shiny lighting effects and great looking characters as you step into battle. Each character has their own set of costumes, and although it is mainly just to distinguish between identical characters, it is a nice touch nonetheless and can lead to some amusing combinations.
The stages are good as well. Each stage has great backgrounds and some interactive stages as well add to the graphics. It's easy to move around and you can see yourself all the time, although the camera can go wild at times, although this is a small inconvenience. Overall, the stages are great.
If the game had one awesome point about it and nothing else, it is tremendously addicting gameplay. Fighter buffs who have tons of button combos and spectacular moves need not to worry, as this is about as simple as a fighting game as you can get nowadays. It's design is great in the sense that anyone can pick up a controller and get going. The mulitplayer melee aspect is surely the best, as four players furiously duking it out is unmatched in fun and excitement. However, the absence of three other players doesn't have to extinguish your fun. There are computer controlled players at your disposal, which are great for training against actual players, although they get easier over time. The single player modes themselves are adequate for fighting, and are addicting as well, in the eternal quest for all trophies.
There are two modes available from the start, the original smash bros Classic mode, a journey of fighting and occasional bonus rounds thrown into the mix, finally to the climax, a fight with the giant Master Hand, and his counterpart should you choose to take the harder difficulties.
Adventure mode is a new twist, as a sort of side-scrolling adventure takes place in the beginning, as you fight each character ultimately, which the fighting takes place in a themed level that corresponds to their character. It is longer, but more variation makes this mode a great one as well.
The third mode, All-star, which has to be unlocked, is a simple battle between all the characters, until you progress towards two and three characters at once, and the last stage a 25 man melee at your fingers.
Trophies are a large part of the game, and there are 290 of them. Each trophy has a small description of the object portrayed, and getting every one is quite a hardy feat. They can be obtained on adventure courses, in bonus rounds, and bought in the lottery, and in minigames as well. One must feel a sense of pride when viewing a fully completed trophy gallery!
If all of that isn't enough for you, there is a mini-game section as well. Break the Targets is back, under target test, and although they have gotten significantly more difficult than the original, you'll find yourself playing it over and over again, until your time is at its shortest.
Home-run contest is another game in the fest, and it consists of your character beating up a large sandbag, racking up as much damage as you can in ten seconds, until you launch the bag into orbit with a home run bat. Another addicting classic, I find myself playing this over and over and over.
Multi-man Melee is a different mode, with the easy ten man melee, with ten wireframes, fragile, pitted against you. It ups the ante with 100 man melee, which gets a little harder, and then the timed melees. The three minute melee is good practice at endurance, but the 15 minute melee is rather insane, you'll need luck for that one! Finally, there is the Cruel melee, which gives you the endurance of a wire frame and gives the computer extremely high AI, making for an insane fight. Don't expect it to last for very long, unlike the Endless melee, a variation of the timed melees, but like it says, it doesn't end until you fall off the stage.
The controls are easy to follow and are very intuitive. With the usage of the joystick, the c stick, and all of the buttons, its fairly easy, control-wise, as you'll find yourself using the stick and the a button, most of the time. The A button is general melee attacks, and when used in conjunction with the control stick, can unleash a smash attack, a high powered attack that makes the game live up to its name. The b button is special moves that your character possesses, and when used with the control stick, four different moves can be executed, usually high powered or another move that proves to be advantageous for your character.
The Story is simple; you fight your way to the master hand, who is the omniscient equivalent of a kid with a LOT of toys. That's about it, simple and to the point. However, don't let the lack of story deter you, the game is too much fun for it to fall under a petty minor thing like that.
Nintendo music fans rejoice! All of the original tunes are in here, and some are in remixed orchestral form as well. You have the original mario theme (Where is this NOT at?) and the metroid and zelda themes as well. Either way, each stage has some pretty good music, catchy, but not too much to distract from the gameplay, from psychedelic guitar anthems in the battlefield, to a banjo tune on Yoshi's Island. Every character has their own introduction so to speak, as well as a victory jingle. An assortment of grunts, shouts, and other noises are in the mix, and sound effects as well, from laser blasts to engine bursts, everything. The sound really shines!
Items are another aspect in the fighting. Each item is a piece of nintendo memorabilia, so to speak. Ranging from the bombomb to the Super Scope itself, the items can make or break a fight. I can't tell you how many times I rejoice when my pokeball unleashes a scizor on my opponent,, but I can also tell you when I die because of a bomb-omb that decided to lodge itself up my butt. However, all explosions and mishaps aside, the items really enhance the chaotic nature of the game.
As this comes to an end, its fairly simple. This game is a great party game, surely one of the best. With great aspects all around, you can't really go wrong with this game. The fighting is top notch, the controls are simple and easy, its just a fun game. The only actual complaints is the occasional camera disorientation, and perhaps some minor glitches, but it shines. A great game for all gamers around, and an especially sweet treat for Old-school Nintendo fans, as there's a bounty of nostalgia in here, as well as a great game.
Play timewise, This game is calling you months of attention. It's one of those games that just keep giving. I've racked in a total of more than five weeks worth of time on this game, and it's well worth all of that time. Definitely a buy-game, a rent is feasible, but trust me, you'll be addicting to this great game!
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 04/17/03, Updated 04/17/03
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