Review by MetalSonic700

"How does Super Smash Brothers fare with the games of 2005?"

After 3 years and 1 month of owning it, there is still one game that I am putting in my Gamecube over and over again. I am going to come right out and say, Super Smash Brothers Melee is the best game to hit the Gamecube. Melee is the sequel to the great melee fighter Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64.

Some of you might be thinking, “This kid is crazy! Playing a fighting game for three and a half years?” But Smash Bros is no fighting game. There isn't a life gauge, there aren't any rules, and button mashing will get you nowhere. Super Smash Brothers is all out war. Smash Bros has a huge set of moves. The A button is a basic move, which can be pressed more than once for a triple attack, the B button is a special attack, and the X and Y buttons are used to jump. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it is, but not as much as it sounds. Pressing in any direction along with a button triggers a different attack, and jumping then doing this makes more attacks. If you slam to the side and press A, you can use your special Smash attack to send your enemies sprawling. While there aren't any combos, you will definitely need to use strategy to prevail in this combat. The only flaw in control, and possibly in the entire game, is that you cannot move using the directional pad. Instead, pressing the directional pad causes your character to do a cool pose, which gets you extra points if used after a K.O.

When you first start the game, you will be greeted with a beautiful cinema scene that shows off each of the game's characters. The main menu contains a one-player mode, a melee mode, a trophy mode, a data mode, and an options mode. When you click on one player mode, you get a selection of Classic Mode, Adventure Mode, Arena, Event Match Mode, and Practice. Classic mode lets you select a character and go through 10 stages of battles. You'll do one on one match, 2 on 2 matches, and even 3 against giant matches. In the tenth round, you fight the evil Master Hand. With 5 difficulty levels and a ton of characters, you'll be playing this for quite some time. Next is the most innovative addition to any fighting game, the Adventure Mode. You basically go on side scrolling adventures and do some melee fights and all kinds of fun levels. Once again, the 5 difficulty levels can prove time consuming. The Event Match is another serious innovation. There are 51 event matches, each consisting of you trying to complete some kind of goal. Some throw a slew of enemies that can only be killed a certain way, and somewhere you have to be a certain character. The arena is kind of a test of skill. First, there's the target test, where you have to hit ten targets that you have to use all your skills to destroy. Next, there's hit the handbag, where you have to use your best combos to smack a sandbag as far as you can. The final Arena test is the Multi-Man Melee. The Multi-Man Melee consists of all wire frame battles including 100-Man melee, 3-minute melee, 15-minute melee, infinite melee, and brutality melee. The last one player option is Practice Mode, which is, well, practice mode.

If you go back to the main menu and click Melee mode you end up with the options of melee, tournament, melee options, and special melee. Melee is basically multi player mode. Up to four characters can duke it out, or a computer player between level one and nine can be selected. There are a few melee modes. The first is time mode, where whoever kills the others the most within a set time limit wins. The second is stock where you have a set number of lives and whoever lives longest wins. The third is coin melee where you get coins from hitting people, and the first person to a set amount wins. The fourth and final mode of play is team battle, which allows you to fight 2 on 1, 2 on 2, or 3 on 1. Tournament lets you play a tournament with 4 to 64 people! You can set up the level of your opponents and the stage you go to. Special Melee is quite interesting. It lets you select one of about ten fighting modes. Lightning mode which makes you speed up, Slow-mo mode which makes you slow, Single button mode, where you can only jump and punch, and fixed camera mode, where the camera views you from a certain distance. Invisible melee makes everyone invisible, and many more. My favorite mode, personally, is the Camera Mode, where you can take pictures of the characters performing moves and save them onto your memory card. The options menu lets you control the items, amount of items, and mode of play used in melee mode.

The next thing on the main menu is the trophy mode. If you picked up trophies while playing Adventure or Classic mode, you can view them here. Also while playing Classic and Adventure, you pick up coins. These coins can be used to purchase trophies at the trophy lottery. When viewing the trophies, you can read descriptions of the trophies and which game they come from. There are well over 1000 trophies to be collected in this game.

The data section of the game is quite amazing. First, there's a table that shows who's beaten who. Next, there's a sheet that shows you all sorts of records and the amount of time you've played in each mode. There are also 2 really cool videos. One is a tutorial, and the other is a video showing each character in ultra-cool scenarios.

The final section of the main menu is the options. The options let you pick what language the game should be in, the sound you want, and things such as that.

Possibly the thing that makes Smash Brothers more unique than any other game is the items. There are a TON of items in this game. Lets start with the basic items. Weapons like the Beam Saber and the baseball bat can be used for basic smashing. The baseball bat can kill any enemy in one hit. Then there's the star wand, which fires off stars when you use it. Lets not forget all the guns. There's the beam gun which fires off 27 beam shots, and the Scope Guns which can charge up to create super shots, or fire around 100 small shots. Then there's the crazy Bomb-Ombs, which you can pick up and throw, or they can get up at walk right into you! You can throw a hardly noticeable motion sensor bomb on the ground, which works kind of like a land mine. Then there are these weird little baldhead things that walk around and… what the heck are those things? Oh, yeah, and the fan. It seems useless since it does next to no damage, but trap someone in a corner and the smacks are endless. The most unique item is by far the Poke ball. Throw it at the ground (or at someone) and it will open up revealing one of about 20 Pokemon, each with it's own unique abilities. Lets not forget the Invisibility machine and the Invincibility Star, each which lasts a certain amount of time. Even the bunny ears that make you fast are in this game! Finally, there is the Magic Mushroom, which makes you giant, and the Poison Mushroom, which makes you shrink.

One of the interesting and yet quite pointless things about this game is the point system. Doing certain moves and using certain combo's get you more points. There is a certain battle you can do where the winner is the one who gets the most points, but other than that the only possible explanation for this point system is to get a high score.

Smash Brothers has a large cast of characters. You start off with Mario, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Peach, Bowser, Captain Falcon, Ness, Link, Zelda, Yoshi, Kirby, Ice Climbers, Fox, and Samus. Zelda can also turn into Sheik, who has a whole other pallet of moves. Every character is unique, and has their own moves and statistics. For instance, Bowser is huge and slow, but incredibly powerful, while Fox is insanely fast and not very strong. But the best things about Smash Brothers are the secret characters. There are 10 secret characters, each more challenging to get than the last. Once you have every character (which will take at least 25 hours GUARANTEED) you unlock the special All-Star Mode, which consist of you battling every character in a row.

Like in any fighting game, there are quite a few stages. In Smash Brothers, each stage is related to one of the characters games. Much like the characters, each one is unique and interesting. There are also about 10 secret stages. Some of them are small and have platforms. Some of them are huge and require a lot of jumping to cross. The toughest ones, though, are ones that move constantly, so you have to fight and run at the same time.

There is no real story in Super Smash Brothers, but it makes up for that with graphics. There is an incredible amount of detail in each character and stage, and everything looks totally sweet. Most of the arenas seem to be floating through space or over an area, which calls for some cool backgrounds. For example, at Termina Bay, you can see the moon coming closer like in The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask, and then the giants come and throw it back up.

Super Smash Brothers Melee has what I consider the best music in any game. This could be because it plays new and classic songs from every Nintendo game. Every theme song has been orchestrated and put into this game.

As one may guess, this game will take forever to beat. You know that you've done everything when you've earned every character, every level, every trophy, and seen the final Pokemon. All of this would take around 50 to 100 hours to do. And best of all, even after all that, you may still want to play again. I give Super Smash Brothers Melee a 9 out of 10.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/23/05

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