Super Smash Bros. Melee


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Deep down, all of us have had a dream to plaster Donkey Kong in the mouth after getting flattened by one of his barrels. The vast majority of the hardcore gaming community would love to blast Pikachu sky high on a repeated basis, too. Nintendo has given gamers their dream with Super Smash Bros. Melee, and this time it's an all new experience.

A majority of games today lack replay value and usually only last a few hours, making that $50 purchase even harder to swallow. Not only do gamers get $50 worth of gameplay time out of this one, $100 could be a reasonable price. There is simply so much to do, you'll constantly be playing with the menu system and finding new ways to play. The most significant change is the inclusion of the adventure mode. Instead of simply putting the player in a stage against another fighter, you'll will traverse across numerous Nintendo-themed stages. The opening stage is a near perfect recreation of the original Super Mario Bros., even allowing bricks to be busted by attacking them. A personal fave is the F-Zero stage which you must run across with cars battling for position, possibly taking the player with them. While running for dear life, players must also look for trophies of popular (and some not so popular) Nintendo stars. There are nearly 300 of these hidden within the game and it will take extensive play time to find them all.

Of course, the usual one-on-one mode is present, but that's not everything. There are new mini-games such as survival modes and time attacks. Digging even further, players will find 50+ challenges set up for them, with  some that will allow players to unlock hidden characters, stages, or trophies. These can be insanely difficult, but the rewards are well worth it. Die-hards will be happy to find that not only are there trophies for games not even released stateside (Doshin the Giant comes to mind), but hidden characters from the land of the rising sun as well. And yes, the first games four player mayhem is alive and well, making this the best party game in years.

The games look is impeccable, staying true to each of the games roots. The backgrounds also show off the best of the system with great touches added to the stages. Fighting will occur in the Pokemon Stadium (with a large screen showing the battle in the background), Hyrule, Kirby's Dreamland, and of course, the Mushroom Kingdom. Gamers will also recognize the weapons in the game, one of the best being the Super Scope 6 which fires a stream of bullets at your opponents keeping them at a safe distance. Everything is easily recognizable and rendered flawlessly. It's also cool to see characters such as the Ice Climbers in 3-D for the first time.

Classic Nintendo themes are a must and the music features nothing but remixed tunes for the player's enjoyment. If you thought the Mario Bros. tune had escaped your head years ago, get ready to be stuck with it again. The characters are voiced flawlessly and all of the recognizable sound effects from numerous games are present. It's exactly what was expected for a game like this, so it's impossible to be disappointed.

Players who didn't care for the first game will find that not a lot has changed this time around. The same basic attack system is present which makes the game more of a button masher than anything. There is definitely strategy to be had, but most players will simply find it more fun to go in swinging. The game really comes down to luck and being in the right place at the right time. Not exactly the deepest fighting system ever devised, but it leads to hours of fun when four players enter the arena.

There is very little not to like about this game. It feature characters that are almost as recognizable as Mickey Mouse, and getting players together for some multi-player battles is a priceless experience. The games atmosphere is impeccable and the name Nintendo has never been better represented. The gameplay could be a bit tighter with some more strategy involved, and that seems to be saved for next sequel. Gamers who weren't big fans of the first game may not like the gameplay, though the challenge of collecting all of the trophies and completing challenges that lie before them may just be enough to lure them in.


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Last updated: Monday, September 26, 2005 01:06 PM