Super Smash Bros. Melee is the second installment in the Smash Bros. Series. The first was Super Smash Bros on the N64, which allowed players to take top Nintendo stars and fight them in a melee of punching, kicking, biting, shocking, shooting and grabbing. Melee does the same and lots more. Ever want to see Mario get beaten by Bowser or how about a match between the two fighters who never seem to be full, Yoshi and Kirby. Nintendo’s famous mascots fight each other to try and prove that they are the best once and for all. So how does a game based on such a concept fare the second time around?
There are many ways to play Super Smash Bros. Melee such as Classic, Adventure and Event Matches. Super Smash Bros. Melee is a fighting game in which, when you hit your opponent you deal a certain percentage of damage, the total percentage they have is shown on the bottom of the screen along with the amount of stock or coins sometimes depending on the type of match. The percentage ranges anywhere from 0 to 999. The higher the percentage of a character is the farther he will be sent when hit by an attack. The objective is to weaken your enemy and send them off the edge of the map, into the distance or hit them hard enough to cause them to hit the front of the screen. The movements of the characters are smooth and allow you to fight with maximum efficiency. This is one game that will really test your reflexes as you will be required to launch attacks at the last time and avoid or counter enemy attacks before getting hit. There are a variety of items that may appear at your disposal when necessary and you can use them to heal yourself, damage your enemies or trick your enemies. You can set the frequency of items and choose which ones you would like in your matches. There is a whole arsenal of stages and characters you can choose from. Different characters have different attacks such as Mario’s fireballs, Kirby’s copy ability and Pikachu’s thunder.
There are so many options that you can set to enhance your fighting experience in any way you like. Nintendo and HAL certainly tried to give the gamer as many options as they possibly could including things such as item selection, a whole bunch of special melee modes, different color themes for characters, coin mode and many other interesting things. There are a whole bunch of characters and stages to choose from compared to the original Super Smash Bros. Most of the characters have their own abilities but some of them have cloned abilities but other than that the character selection is a huge improvement. The stages are also designed better and differ greatly ranging from tiny to gigantic, flat to full of platforms etc… The fighting style in Super Smash Bros. Melee is near perfect in every way, shape and form.
Super Smash Bros. Melee has many different modes you can play. Classic relives the original Smash Bros as you battle your way stage-by-stage fighting characters, teams of characters and completing bonus stages. After you complete a stage you will simply be sent into the next stage to fight with someone else. This is fun to try and complete on high difficulty levels and with a wide variety of different characters. It does get sort of boring after a while though. Adventure is a totally new experience incorporating both the elements of Classic mode and a platform game. You complete a stage to go to the next stage but it isn’t just fighting character after character. Adventure mode has more depth but still gets boring after a while. There are 51 Event Matches for you to play through which include different gameplay elements and pair up some characters against their rivalries. Expect to find things like levels full of explosives, Pokeball madness, Mario vs. Bowser and more in these. The event matches record your top time/score so you can keep playing them trying to do better than other people. Then you have the stadium, which gives you the option of Target Test, Home-Run Contest or Multi Man Melee. Target test gets you to hit all the targets in a stage as quickly as you can. It isn’t really fun and can be tedious trying to get the lowest time possible. Home-Run Contest is a bit better as you select a character and use the item, bat to hit sandbag as far as you can with a smash attack. Great for a while but also quite tedious. Multi Man Melee is where the fun is at as you must fight male and female wire frames in a series of different contests such as endless melee where you try to get the most KO’s possible or cruel melee where you also try to get as many KO’s as possible with near impossible enemies attacking you. Multi Man Melee is a great place to try and try again to score as high as you can while keeping the game still fun. If you want to just destroy an enemy with a set level of resistance such as no movement or walking movement just go to training. You can then set a whole load of settings to determine how you destroy your opponent such as set their damage to 999% or make them just stand there. Training is used to practice your attacks and combos when needing to fight better against other opponents. You can change lots of the training mode settings during the actual training easily making this the perfect experience in attack and weapons testing. One-Player Mode offers a lot to the gamer with very few flaws although the real experience in Super Smash Bros. Melee comes from the multiplayer.
If you can only get one GameCube multiplayer game, this better be it unless they make a sequel. Melee mode pitches you against the computer opponents or some of your friends (guess which one is more fun). You get to set the options such as characters, items, stock, stage, handicaps, teams and more. You can customize a match in almost any way you and your friends want. As you read earlier the fighting style in Super Smash Bros. Melee is superb so having so many different options just adds to the fun. The intense fighting, trash talking and overall fun in Melee mode is beyond comprehension unless you’re one of those wimps who can’t handle it. Lets hope you aren’t. Up to 4 characters can play on the match and if the characters are farther apart the more of the screen you see. This allows all players of the game to know where they are unless their eyes have some how fallen out. After the match the results are shown allowing the players to see who the winner is and allowing the winner to rub it in his/her opponents faces. Wait it gets even better. If you want you can play a tournament melee in one of three ways (tournament, winner out and loser out). Winner/Loser out kicks out the player who wins/loses and allows a waiting player to join the action. This is a good thing when you have more than 4 people eager to play. Tournament is your classic ladder tournament with the amount of opponents, difficulty of computer opponents and other things up to you. Great if you have a lot of people to see who gets where? Ono to the special melees we go. These matches contain a whole bunch of custom rules to make the gameplay a bit more interesting. Such as Stamina where you fight with HP instead of damage percentage or Single Button which only allows you to use the control stick and the A button (great for beginners). There are many of these strange and extremely fun melees for your enjoyment and you can still set many of the options in them. VS mode will be one great experience for you and your friends. It’s some of the best multiplayer action you’ll ever get to play.