Review by chunkyliver1204

"A great update of a fantastic game."

The first time I'd heard about this game, I thought of it as just a crappy party game. I never gave it a second thought. I had believed the characters were childish and ridiculously simplistic. Though I hadn't played the game, I still thought I knew what I was talking about. I felt for sure this game was especially over rated. That was until one day when my friend claimed this game was the God of its genre. He finally convinced me to rent it.... I bought it the day I took it back.

Story: Irrelevant

The game has no real story or plot line whatsoever. The adventure mode gives somewhat of a trip down memory lane with all the levels being past scenarios from previous franchises of Nintendo's creation. Examples being the escape from an alien planet gives the distinct feeling of the Metroid feel. Or the first few levels you'll play through takes you along for the ride in the world of Mario. Others are here as well such as Hyrule castle and Kirby's excellently recreated dream land.

All of the arenas have to do with at least one of the many classic characters you'll play as. There are two levels (about half being un-lockable) telling the story of most characters save for a few such as previously little known Marth and Roy from quite recently U.S. released and beloved Japanese strategy game: Fire Emblem. The arenas perfectly recreate the feel of each of the games all of the lovable characters come from.

Game play: 10/10

The game is all about game play. The characters you are introduced to at the start are just as good as any you'll unlock later in the game. That's one of the great things about the game: no characters can really be compared to another (except for a few varied clones i.e. Mario and Dr. Mario). Though you'll eventually unlock more characters than what you even started with, all of them still provide great and completely different experiences. It doesn't matter how often you use them because you will still do something unexpected each time you play. The characters all have a unique sense of style which is why you should experiment with all of them before you decide what your preferred fighting style is.

The whole point of the game (in your normal "kick the crap out of each other" mode) is to knock your opponent out of the arena to score a point. Being batted out yourself or accidentally falling off will make you suffer a point. Whoever has the highest score at the end of the match is the winner. Instead of a life bar, a character's point of death is determined by a number system. When you receive a hit, depending on how powerful the attack was, will put a certain number percentage by your character's symbol. The higher the percentage, the further you will fly when you get hit. 0% means you're in good shape while say 200% will put you in grave danger of being knocked off. Once you become quite skilled, however, you may be able to last quite a bit longer (my personal best was 432% if I remember correctly, though I'm sure that's nothing compared to hard core gamers). Some arenas you can use to your advantage. Some have enclosed areas where you can get hit and the tight space will keep you from flying very far.

The game play itself is amazing and yet simple at the same time. During the matches or levels you are playing on, your character will be able to walk or run in all directions (duh), duck, jump and double jump. They then have a basic attack executed by pressing the A button. Some characters' attacks can be linked to more consecutive basic attacks while others can only be pressed once before becoming slightly vulnerable. Say, Mario can punch twice and then kick while someone like Roy can only strike once with his sword. Adding on to that, an extra powerful attack can be executed by pressing the desired direction on the control stick and immediately pressing or holding the A button. Other attacks specific to the character can be performed by pressing the B button in all different directions. Example: Yoshi can perform an eating attack (by turning other characters into eggs temporarily) by just pressing the B button by itself. However, when pressing up for example and then pressing the button, he can execute an "egg grenade" attack. All in all, there may be four attacks performed from that formula. Up, down, left or right (it makes no difference), and neutral. A shield that can block mild attacks can be done by pressing either shoulder button. Grabs, or throws, may be used by pressing Z. The game play is overall so amazing yet the developers were able to make it easy for anyone to pick up.

The arenas give that distinct Nintendo feel. From the speedways of F-Zero to the constantly moving level of ice that we all know made Ice Climbers a classic. Each and every one never gets boring, as you'll be able to utilize very aspect of the arena. Careful timing can get you out of tight spaces by dodging an attack by ducking behind a wall (I must thank the raised piece of land in Hyrule castle near the pit leading to the bottom for the many times it has saved me), or even just by timing the events that occur in the arena to help you. Say on Ness's world, you can let cars batter around your enemies while you skitter to safety.

The fun factor is all the way up here. Hectic battles with four players are insanely fun and intense while two player matches are duel-like and set a feeling of tension. The mass selection of playable characters give the game an even higher feeling of customization. The game's modes are very different while not straying too far from the elements that keep it so fun.

Graphics: 10/10

Nearly flawless. The style makes the action look very realistic. The graphics act as a simulator and a cartoon action like theme. While the characters have a realistic feel and look, the theme still convinces you it's all fun and games. The game puts you on a side scrolling based formula, but all the while having three dimensional sprites and items. The landmarks in the background of the arenas are very believable. They fit right in with the style of the level.

The ways in which characters react are extremely great and real. The instances of pain and being struck are great. Take a shot by playing camera mode and taking a snapshot of a character who was just struck. You'll see what I mean. The expressions on their faces change with every move and sequence. From looks of pride from just smacking an enemy all the way to being struck to their deaths. The special sequences of being knocked off the arena are different occasionally and help set that "drink and be merry" feeling. Characters may be thrown onto the front off the screen or even fly into the background and end up as a swirling star.

The style of graphics used are slightly strange at first. Putting Mario in a realistic point of view isn't exactly what you'd expect from Nintendo. But in time, you realize it strengthens the fighting aspect of the game. Each character is put into a realistic style and not cartoon like at all. It feels amazing that the game still gives a mood that doesn't seem so real but fun and light hearted.

Sound: 9/10

First of all, the classic scores from all the favorites are back, each specific to their levels. From the classy robotic happy theme of Mario to the orchestral up tempo Zelda tunes make you wish it were the time where gaming went from a "fad" to a great thing. The score of the game is basically all recycled from previous games. It's all amazing, though it can't really achieve music nostalgia without at least a few new tunes. I mean, you have to add some but not ruin the rest. It makes the game that much better.

The sound effects blew me away. All the voices of the characters come straight from their own games (if they spoke in them). It helps the classic style of the game hold its own. The clangs of weapons are what you'd expect (did I mention if two attacks connect at the sames time, they hit each other and leave both characters open? It's really cool.). The sounds of miscellaneous things are awesome. Pikachu's thunder sounds perfect and Caption Falcons's Falcon punch has that menace of the American official bird.

Replayability: 10/10

You can't say much here. Just the thought of so much variety is enough to know that this game will keep you wanting more for years.

Final Score: 10/10

Buy. Nothing else to it. This game is suitable for any type of player, as it can satisfy the fans of any genre just because of its style and the vast way it can make you feel free. This game will cost you hours of lost sleep and have you trying to keep your grades up after realizing you forgot to do that science project for the last week. This game is extraordinarily addicting and fun. Give it a shot if you haven't already. You won't be disappointed.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/29/06

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