Super Smash Bros. Melee

Game: Super Smash Bros. Melee (demo)
System: Nintendo GameCube
Release Date: 2002
Price: $49.95



Important: This review is of the demo copy of Smash Bros. Melee. Some items may be changed in the final version.

smashbrosmelee1.jpg (54063 bytes) Super Smash Bros. Melee is the second game in the mega-popular Smash Bros. Series. It takes a simple concept and expands it into one of the most innovative and fun games on Earth. Basically, you choose any one of a full character roster of Nintendo legends (Mario, Link, Samus Aran, etc), from all kinds of different games and series, and battle it out in a 1-4 player dukefest.

 The original Super Smash Bros., for Nintendo 64, still remains one of the most popular, and most sought after titles for that system, despite the actual console being dead for more than a smashbrosmelee2.jpg (54359 bytes)year now. It was no surprise that Nintendo would follow-up with a sequel. The real surprise was just how amazing and over the top the sequel would actually be. Backed by the power of the size-deceptive GameCube, Smash Bros. Melee brings nearly every Nintendo character in history to the stage to battle it out. You can choose from a character list that features the likes of Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Zelda, Bowser, Link, Samus Aran, Pikachu, Fox McCloud (Starfox) and many more hidden characters. Each character has at least four different colors/outfits to choose from, with some of smashbrosmelee3.jpg (50080 bytes)the color choices being directly related to how the character has appeared in past games. For instance, Link’s colors match the different tunics he wears in the Zelda series. Battles can be single player, two player, three player or four player. There’s virtually no limit to combinations of how you can participate in the game. There’s several different modes as well, consisting of time battles, objective battles and more, including mini-games.

 The play mechanics translate a little confusingly at first, to the GameCube controller, but eventually you’ll get the hang of it. smashbrosmelee4.jpg (41160 bytes)Executing moves and attacks are a breeze, once you’ve realized you pretty much push in the direction you want to attack and wail away. This makes combos exceedingly easy to perform, but there are also advanced combo attacks you will be able to do only if you become a true expert at the game. This is what will let novice players pick up the game easily, while still retaining a sense of challenge for seasoned Smash Bros. veterans. You have basic normal attacks, and then a sub-attack, referred to as Special Skills. This is usually the smashbrosmelee5.jpg (45433 bytes)character’s trademark move(s). Some characters only have one or two, while other characters have several depending on the situation. For instance, Mario’s special skills are Fireballs, and his “Cape Twirl” from Super Mario World. Whereas Princess Toadstool, a newcomer to Smash Bros., takes most of her moves from the Super Nintendo Squaresoft masterpiece, Super Mario RPG (right down to the frying pan). She can also fly around the arena, a signature move she acquired in Super Mario Bros. 2. Rounding out the list of attacks and specials, there are also grab moves, which change depending on the character grabbing, and being grabbed.

 Smash Bros. Melee is an excellent sequel to a game that was already head and shoulders above the rest. As a Mario Bros. fan, you deserve to check it out, if for the sheer number of Mario related references alone. This game continues to sell out at every major retailer who carries it. I have only gotten to play the demo version, as I do not own a GameCube yet, but after playing this game, you can be sure I won’t be waiting till Mario Sunshine to buy myself one.

- NulShock