Review by The_Elite_Lord

"Gamecube: $99.99. Super Smash Bros. Melee: $29.99. Getting to humiliate your friends as Pichu: Priceless"

This is my first review here at Gamefaqs. I chose Super Smash Bros. Melee for my first game, because it is hands down my favorite GameCube game.

This is one of the first games I got for Christmas back in 2001 for my GCN. I was addicted to it from when I first got opened my shiny new GCN's disc drive and inserted the disc. Is this the best game ever? No. Is it the best game for the GameCube? Hell yes.

At the time, the graphics for this game were stunning. All the stages are in lush detail, and all the characters are smooth and slick. The effects of getting hit by elements like fire and electricity are realistically done here (Except not dying instantly, of course). You are covered in steam for a few seconds when struck by a fire attack and glow with electricity when hit by something like most of Pikachu's attacks. In other words, this game is a perfect example of what Nintendo is capable of.

The soundtrack is also great. Most of the best songs from Nintendo's 20+ year gaming history are here. Sound effects are also realistic. The songs for Final Destination and Battlefield are among the best. Electricity crackles, fire burns, and ice freezes much like it would in real life. Songs ranging from the classic Super Mario Bros. and Dr. Mario themes to the riff from Super Mario Bros. 3's theme, this song has an array of several excellent titles.

This game's lifespan is nearly endless. There is so much to do. There are 11 secret characters, 11 stages to unlock, 290 trophies, 51 Event Matches, and so many different modes that it's nearly impossible to get bored. Beating up your friends has never been so much fun. Even if you manage to unlock everything (Kudos to you if you have managed to do this), you could still play multiplayer forever.

The control for this game is a bit complicated for people who have never played it before, but it gets comfortable after a short time. A is your standard attack button, B is for special attacks, L and R shield, Z grabs, and Y and X jumps. The Control Stick moves your character. There is tapping, which is moving the stick slowly or holding it there for more than a split second, and tapping, which you quickly tap the Control Stick in a direction, which can change an attack from Strong (medium strength) to Smash (Strongest attack).

In 1-Player Mode, you basically have four modes: Regular Match, Event Match, Stadium, and Training. Regular Match has three modes: Classic, Adventure, and All-Star.

Classic Mode is basically where you fight your opponents one at a time over several levels. There are three basic fights, one two on two battle, a target test (which will be explained later), one trophy snagging mini-game, where you have to smack trophies into a central area, one three on one giant battle, one battle where you have to fight 10 lightweight opponents, three at a time, a race to the finish where you can get coins to spend at the lottery depending on how well you do, a fight against a metal opponent, and the final fight against Master Hand.

Adventure puts you through side-scrolling stages where you fight non-character enemies through several different places, like the Mushroom Kingdom, Zebes, Pokemon Stadium, and Onett. There are several enemies like Goombas, ReDeads, and Topis.

All-Star cannot be played until all 25 characters are unlocked. This pits your character against every character in the game. Your damage meter carries over from one match to the next. You only have three hearts that fully heal yourself, and you are pitted on one on one, then one on two, then one on three battles.

Event Matches are special matches where you must fulfill specific requirements to win, ranging from protecting a character to not letting an egg break. There are 51 in total, and the last couple are challenging, especially the final event match.

Stadium has three mini-games. The Home-Run Contest gives you ten seconds to beat up Sandbag and send him flying with the home-run bat. Target Test gives your character one life to break 10 targets placed to challenge that character. Multi-Man Melee pits you against the Fighting Wire Frames.

VS. Mode has Melee, which allows you to set up a basic fight. Tournament Melee sets up a tournament with up to 64 people. Special Melee has a lot of alterations, from making your character invisible to letting you use only the A Button and Control Stick. There are four basic set ups: Time, which when the preset time ends, the person with the most points wins, Stock, where the last person standing wins, Coin, where the person with the most coins from beating up their opponents after time ends wins, and Bonus, where the person who gets the most bonus points after time runs out wins.

Trophies lets you look at the trophies you have collected. Gallery shows a list of the trophies you have and lets you examine them in detail. Lottery is where you can spend your coins to win new trophies. Collections shows all of your trophies laid out in a room, where many Nintendo items rest.

Options lets you adjust language, screen display, and sound. Data lets you look at videos, delete data, and look at records for KO's and such. There is also a sound test option here.

There is a cast of characters here that spans from several games. All of the characters from the previous game are here. 13 new characters are here. There are 25 in all. Five (Mario, Peach, Luigi, Bowser, and Dr. Mario) are from the Mario series, four (Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, and Pichu) are from Pokemon, two (Fox and Falco) are from Star Fox, two (Marth and Roy) are from Fire Emblem, four (Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, and Young Link) are from the Legend of Zelda series, Donkey Kong, Captain Falcon, Samus, Kirby, Ness, and Yoshi are back, the Ice Climbers are here, and so is Mr. Game and Watch.

There are 29 stages in this game. Three are from the previous game (Dream Land, Kongo Jungle, and Yoshi's Island). There is the Rainbow Cruise, which is on a ship that crashes and you have to jump on platforms until the cycle repeats itself. Princess Peach's Castle is where buttons occasionally appear that release the famous ! blocks, and Banzai (huge Bullet) Bills burrow into the castle. You can also play on two stages exclusively found in the One Player mode of the previous game, Battlefield (where the Fighting Wire Frames are), and Final Destination (Master Hand's domain.) An endless icy mountain known as Icicle Mountain is here. There is also a stage that resembles an old Mr. Game and Watch system. There are two stages that take place right on the F-Zero racetrack (and yes, you can get run over by cars). The infamous Brinstar on Zebes has returned, deadly than ever with yellow lava, and there is also a chaotic stage where Kraid comes up and rotates it every few seconds.

Kranky Kong's Cabin (known as Jungle Japes) is in this game. There is also an updated Kongo Jungle that has an appearance of a makeshift ship. There is also a stage fashioned in the Great Bay Lab from Majora's Mask. There is also a gargantuan temple stage with several places to hide. There are stages based on Yoshi's Story and a larger Yoshi's Island. The Fountain of Dreams from Kirby's Dream Land is here, along with a new Dream Land stage called Green Greens similar to the original. There are two stages based on the Great Fox, one like Sector Z from the original in Corneria, and one in Venom where you fight looking at the ship from the front. There is also a stage based on a city from Earthbound, and Ness's hometown Onett is here. There is a standard Pokemon Stadium, and a stage where you fight on parade floats that look like certain Pokemon. There is a larger Mushroom Kingdom (starting to notice a pattern?), and lastly there is a stage based on Subcon from Super Mario World 2.

In short, no GCN collections is complete without this game. This game is great for just about anybody. The graphics and soundtrack rock, there is a lode of things to do, and many pieces of memorabilia from Nintendo's past, from 1980 to today are hidden in this game. This game will go down in history as one of the best GC titles ever. It's little wonder that this game is the best selling GameCube game even four years later. So go ahead and waste a few months of your life on this. You won't regret it.

Graphics: 10/10
Sound: 10/10
Control: 9/10
Lifespan: 10/10
Multiplayer: 10/10
Fun Factor: 10/10
Overall: 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/05/06

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