(GCN / GameCube)

Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN / GameCube)

Game Review

Super Smash Bros. Melee Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jacob Crites

Better than Brawl?

We live in a world of advanced communication. We can be sitting in our living room in Columbus, Ohio and play a game of Call of Duty with our friends in Vietnam. We could even put a headset on and have a conversation with them while we do so. We can whip out our Nintendo DS consoles and play a game of Mario Kart against complete strangers across the planet, and after we're done, we can hop back online and invade our buddy's town on Animal Crossing: Wild World and pluck all his hybrid flowers.

This is incredible stuff. And it's become so deeply integrated into our lives that we hardly even notice it all anymore.

But there are some games that are just better with a friend — and not some random Welshman with six zeroes in his screen name who you friend requested while playing Halo. We mean a living, breathing friend (because how do we really know that the Welshman isn't just a robot trying to hack into your system?), sitting in the same room as you, on the same couch, who you can punch in the arm when he or she cheats and talk smack to when you finally beat their sorry behind after hours of defeat. We may live in a world of advanced communication, but some games are just more fun the old fashioned way.

Super Smash Bros. Melee is one of those games. Since they unveiled that the Nintendo 64 would have not two but four controller slots, Nintendo has consistently focused on facilitating gamers with some of the best local multiplayer experiences money can buy, and Melee is no exception. It capitalised on everything that worked about its flawed predecessor while fixing everything that didn't, and even though its sequel, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, would expand upon everything even further, Melee is still a single- and multiplayer gem that's well worth experiencing even in the face of its successor.

For the three of you out there who are uninitiated, the Super Smash Bros. series is essentially a big excuse for Nintendo to bask in its glory — and for Nintendo fanboys to drool uncontrollably. With a roster packed full of classic and obscure Nintendo characters, a huge selection of stages based on locations from Nintendo games, and a soundtrack made up of remixed and remastered Nintendo tunes, the Smash Bros. games practically explode with wonderful self-indulgence.

But it's the gameplay that makes it all so much fun. Combining the fighting basics of Street Fighter II with the accessibility and frantic nature of Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros. is easily the most unique and user-friendly fighting series on the market. The object of the game essentially comes down knocking your opponent off the screen. The more you hit your opponent, the more damage they'll take; and the higher their damage is, the easier it will be to knock them out. Its accessibility doesn't make this a mindless button masher, either — there's a surprising amount of depth and nuance to the seemingly simple system, meaning the games are easy to enjoy both for casual newcomers and seasoned veterans.

If there was one problem with the original Super Smash Bros. it was the distinct lack of... well, stuff. It essentially consisted of a weak, repetitive single player campaign, a multiplayer mode, and two fairly boring challenges. To rectify the situation, HAL Laboratory has packed Melee with so much stuff that it's genuinely shocking that the little GameCube disc doesn't spontaneously combust.

Whereas the original had but one short and relatively unchallenging single player campaign, Melee sports three, the two new ones being Adventure Mode and All-Star Mode. Adventure Mode is essentially a platforming/ fighting hybrid not unlike Brawl's Subspace Emissary, albeit much shorter and with a heavier emphasis on fighting. The unlockable All Star Mode is by far the most challenging, and pits the player against every fighter in the game, one after the other, with limited health pickups. But despite these worthwhile additions, Melee's rendition of the original game's campaign is actually the most fun. Here titled Classic Mode, the player dukes it out against a series of increasingly difficult fighters in the attempts of getting at the end boss, Master Hand, while participating in a number of fun little events along the way. The difference here is that all the fighters you encounter (not to mention their sizes and abilities) are completely random, meaning you'll never play the same way twice.

The single player options don't stop there, though. A ruthless series of challenges are available in, well, Challenge Mode, and some fun diversions like the technique-testing Home Run Contest and endurance-focusing Multi-Man Melee have been thrown in for good measure.

Obviously, though, the main attraction here is the extraordinary multiplayer, and Nintendo has included a wealth of options to make sure you never run out of new and exciting ways to play. Everything can be customised, from the length of the match and number of lives to the amount of damage with which the players start. Individual items can be turned on and off, and the frequency with which they appear can be altered; this proves to be quite a blessing, as a number of the items, such as the hammer and the baseball bat, come across as rather unfair.

With 25 fighters, dozens of stages, and nearly 300 trophies to collect, this is one game of which you won't soon grow tired. But as if that wasn't enough, in addition to the standard time/ stock/ team matches, Melee introduced an entirely new way to play — Coin Matches. In this mode, players drop coins whenever they are hit; the harder you're hit, the bigger and more valuable the coins are. This put an interesting new twist on the classic formula, since the emphasis here is not on dying and getting kills but on collecting the most coins. In addition to this mode, there are a number of other things that Melee set the foundation for, the most fun of them being Special Melees. These riotous matches allow the player to put ridiculous twists — like fast-motion, low gravity, or making all the players invisible — on the already frantic gameplay.

Even if you're playing by yourself you can still get in on the multiplayer madness by substituting friends for computer players. While obviously not as much fun, it can prove to be quite a meaty challenge — you can customise the difficulty of the AI, and the upper level comps are noticeably more brutal than in the series' other entries.

Brawl may be bigger and prettier, but as far as gameplay is concerned, Melee still comes out on top as the most balanced fighting game in the series. The physics, for one thing, are distinctly less floaty than those of Brawl; this not only helps add to the fast paced nature of the game, but it also keeps the random-chance factor down to a minimum when it comes to deaths and KO's.

Unfortunately, the game's visuals haven't aged quite as well as its gameplay. While the character models are generally solid, many of the backgrounds and secondary characters are a bit low polygon, at times to the point of being N64-like in quality. The soundtrack, however, while not as beautifully orchestrated as its successor, is still a real treat for Nintendorks everywhere. It's hard not to grin while hearing Melee's epic rendition of the hilariously bad DK Monkey Rap, and its arrangement of the Fountain of Dreams theme is undeniably powerful.


Even in light of its critically acclaimed sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee still comes highly recommended, with its relentlessly addictive, well-balanced multiplayer and impressive amount of content. The physics are different enough that even those who mastered Brawl yet missed out on Melee will still have plenty to learn, and its various challenges and single player campaigns are still a blast to play through nine years later. Furthermore, it's a nice reminder that even in a world where online multiplayer often takes the front seat, playing with your buddies in the same room, on the same couch, will always be more rewarding.

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User Comments (145)



Egg_miester said:

meh i still believe the worst fighting game series made and a embarrassing game series



Sneaker13 said:

I really never saw the brilliant game in any of the Super Smash Bros serie that a lot of people do.



irken004 said:

I never got Melee, so when Brawl came out I wanted to play as Mewtwo! It's a shame, really



Zach said:

Great review, but my favorite will always be the original!



brandonbwii said:

I can't believe someone who calls people who disses Nintendo sellouts hates a big name series like SSB. Is it because Sakurai isn't exclusive to Nintendo anymore?



Tetsuo_808 said:

Melee gets a lot of praise as it sold an awful lot of copies, and for lots of people it was their first entry to the series. But the N64 original is still the vastly superior game for me. It's gameplay was so tightly balanced I played it with friends for hours, days even.

In Melee, by contrast, the controls became far too loose and unsatisfying, the stages and characters lost all of their clever balance, and in general the emphasis instead became on throwing around hundreds of extra characters, game modes (particularly the 1-player game, which was never the emphasis anyway) and tiresome unlockable content. That just didn't cut it, and for me it's a pale shadow of the N64 game.



SwerdMurd said:

@Tetsuo - pretty sure the original had the absolute worst balance in a series known for crappy balance. Remember Yoshi's egg trick?

These games and Mario Kart are both the same for me--sure there's some minute layer of strategy, but there's no skill involved in pulling off the moves and too heavy of a random element at play. If I want 4 people to hold controllers and randomly win games, I'll play Mario Party.



Var said:

I haven't played much of the original, however I can say that I prefer Melee to Brawl



Noire said:

I like this game better than Brawl.

...because Marth is so much hotter in this game, holy crap



Stargazer said:


This! Exactly! My friends and I played hundreds and hundreds of hours of the original (mostly on one stage, even) and Melee wasn't nearly as satisfying. Brawl was better (to me, at least), but like Mario Kart 64, the N64 battle mode reigns supreme.



Mayhem said:

I've always found this series to divide people like the Mario Kart games... everyone has their favourite in the series. And for those who don't like it... there is far more strategy, thinking and skill needed to do well at the games to make it more than just a "party brawler"... but you can play it like that if you want to.



StuffyStuff said:

SSB games are incredibly boring to me. I like how the stages are designed, but the gameplay is so frustratingly easy. I'll take Street Fighter or Fatal Fury over this any day.

To piss off even more people, I think ALL games should be played with another human in the room. Too much online play makes people antisocial.



Weskerb said:

I'm not a big fan of the series and if it wasn't Nintendo mascots fighting it out I would have no interest at all. Saying that I think Melee is the best one so far and one of the definitive titles on the GameCube.

Btw I really liked the lead-in of this review.



rustythekid said:

This is the poster child of video games that I could never get into. I tried and I tried and I tried.



Blakestationone said:

Melee is my most played game of all time, it took me bloomin' ages to get all of the trophies.

Me and a friend used to play the N64 original all the time and were really excited about the Melee before it came out. We poured over magazines with articles about the game, speculated about who the secret characters would be and generally got ourselves in a bit of a tiz. Then one day while out shopping we saw the game being played in Dixons, we rushed in and waited for a turn - we ended up playing the game for most of the afternoon and managed to unlock the majority of the characters and stages. The guys in the store eventually managed to prise the controllers out of our sweaty mits so somebody else could have a turn and even though we lost the save in the end (no memory card) we were proper excited to do it again when the game was released.

I absolutely adore this game, thanks for the awesome review Jacob!



HugoSmits said:

@Egg miester :

I feel ya! I never understood why people like this so much. The basic idea(mario beating up pikachu) is good.. but the gameplay, I never liked it.

Give me Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat!



The_Fox said:

Incredibly shallow, but still damn fun. The Smash Bros series will never be a "serious" fighter, but get some friends together and you'll have a good time.



Varoennauraa said:

10/10, but brawl is better @ everything. Brawl is easily 20/10.

And for good players Smash brosses are the most serious games there is. 10 times more tactical, skill demanding and unpredictable, than every other fighter combined.



advance_melee said:

My favorite game for the gamecube (in terms of multiplayer). Though Brawl is better than this game, melee will always be remembered and hold its rightful place as one of the greatest multiplayer games ever. I hope the next Smash Bros has a better online system.



Ravage said:

Sad to hear that some people can't enjoy this series because button-mashing doesn't win you a game.
I kid, I kid



thaantman said:

wats wit all the smash bros bashing here. Smash bros is easily one of the top fighting series of the decade. Smash bros has always taken tons of strategy, that wats cuts smashs bros. form the cloth of other fighting games, u cant button mash ur way to victory u actually have 2 know the character style ur playing wit, any1 who says the game doesnt take strategy probably keeps items on and play on sum of the most ridiculous stages appose to playin on a neutral state no items and actually playing sum1 of skill. All the smash bros. games has been well balance, brawl is the pick 4me because the action is more fast paced and every move feels curial when dippin and blockin knowing its either u or ur opponent, plus it had a more epic feel wit the orchestrated tracks. The original smash bros will 4ever be a classic, way more hard hitting than the later games of the series. And I feel melee probably had the most balance, the pacing is between both of the games in the series, melee brought the most to the table, which brawl only added a bit to. The only sad thing about the smash bros series is that they only make 1 a generation



Killamancer said:

The people calling this game shallow has never seen competitive smashers. There is a huge community (smashboards.com) and the game is very deep and hard to master. I will admit that brawl kinda sucks since they took out everything that made it a deep fighter.



suburban_sensei said:

Melee is so great! Even to this day, I change it up a bit, and switch between both Melee and Brawl (and when I feel like going old-school I pop on the original on my VC menu). I think I liked some of the levels in Melee more than in Brawl; always thought Poke Floats was really cool.



thaantman said:

you want to play against competitive smashers, check out allisbrawl.com, man sum of dose guys r merciless, I need 2 buy a new copy of smash bros brawl, mines stopped working a few weeks ago, and I trade it in towards metriod other M.



Kaeobais said:

The people who believe Smash Bros is just a simple button masher aren't trying. Despite what people may think, it's actually very deep. Probably more deep than other fighters, which usually just consist of knowing special moves and having quick reflexes.



RyuZebian said:

For Christmas many years ago, when I was a little boy hoping to one day become a Nintendo gamer, I got a gamecube, Mario party 4 and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Yup, best Christmas ever. Maybe because it was the last of my "Child Christmases" on which I received a console. There is something magical about Christmas as a child, a Nintendo Console-recieving child at that! I had played Melee MANY times at the stores that summer. If there was a demo, I was all over. I had some skills from playing the original, so I pwned the other kids! xD Good times. Good game. Maybe the best game from my childhood... The new character screen is still the best screen I've ever seen. Not the screen itself, but what it meant; a new character to play with together with my childhood friends. Awesome. EPIC. This IS probably the game that defined my gaming childhood! Although it started with SM64. Oh, and the original Smash Bros!



Chris720 said:

I played Melee for a while, but I could never get into it like I did with Brawl. And with Brawl's snapshots, replays, custom stages, online etc. it blows Melee and the original out of the water. And with the extra options to turn items on/off makes it hardcore or casual. And with Nintendo's classic characters, its just awesome.

But I agree, its not a "serious" fighting game like say Mortal Kombat. But its WAY more fun and by far deeper than any other fighting game I've played.



Kevin said:

I like Brawl a bit better. But both this and Melee are BETTER than the original. I couldn't stand playing the original.



WaveGhoul said:

People calling Melee cheap and so on, idiots.lol Some people just don't get it or KNOW how to properly play the game haha.

Anyways, Melee has the advantage in physics. The air dodging was MUCH better in Melee since your air dodging didn't sink to the ground and you could control it with any direction in the air! In Brawl you perform alittel animation and you sink! still, they're both awesome AND deep fighters.



MeloMan said:

The people calling this game shallow has never seen competitive smashers. There is a huge community (smashboards.com) and the game is very deep and hard to master

I agree with this... in fact, that's a double edged sword because my love for the series has waned a bit since the original. The simplicity of the original is what I loved... no physics for people to "break" like Melee (wavedashing anyone?) or crazy infinites like Melee and Brawl, just a rolldodge and attack buttons and I was ok with that. I will say that a piece of the N64 SSB came back into the style of Brawl in how the characters attack and move a bit, but overall, Sakurai and co. need to find a way for these "pros" to stop breaking this game with all this unnecessary metagame. /rant

Still love the series for the nostagia though.



Machu said:

@Egg miester: Yes, they are easy to pick up, but to master? No! Tis a very deep fighter, shame you didn't look that far.

As for the review, Melee is better. Nowhere near as much content, but the control and feel were slightly better.




Magnificant game this. Shook up the whole fighting game genre as it was starting to get samey. Mind you its more of a genre all of its own rather than and out and out fighting game series.

I prefer Brawl,but this is also an all time great and a classic



Link-Hero said:

"Better than Brawl?"

Nope. Brawl has improved what Melee has done in just about every single way, plus more.



Noire said:

doods smash brothers is like relly deep you should see my skillls brah



TKOWL said:

I played this game like crazy... until Brawl owned my life. Seriously, if you don't have this game (or Brawl for that matter), you aren't a real gamer.



BulbasaurusRex said:

How has this gem not been reviewed already? It should have gotten a 10/10.

Take it from someone who's played in forum-arranged online Brawl tournaments and consistently gotten his butt kicked by much superior players, there is actually a LOT of depth to the fighting system. It takes a few minutes to learn but years to master like games should. Also, a lot of the randomness can be toned down by excluding some (or even all) of the items and not choosing the more gimmicky stages. Different moves should be easy to pull off. It's which one, when, and where you use them that makes the difference. Fighting games that require complicated inputs for special moves and combos make things too complicated. The ability to have good depth without making the controls too complicated is one of the reasons I also like the Naruto Clash of Ninja fighters.

Anyway, I do prefer Brawl in almost every way, but Melee does have one major advantage: Brawl is much too floaty. in Melee, it was much more of a challenge to get back to the stage and conversely much easier to get a KO without having to knock them completely out of the arena.



StarBoy91 said:

When I first got my GameCube the year that I moved here [in Texas] (2002), this was the first game I played for the console, seeing as how I really enjoyed the original on the Nintendo 64 with my cousins. Good game.



Varoennauraa said:

Melee better!?!?!? It was the best until Brawl came ofcourse, but Brawl makes everything much more fluid and now Melee feels almost awkward after playing Brawl heavily. I have invested hundreds of hours on both games (over 1000 on Melee!!!). Some "pro's" just were over critical and bitter because of absense of some vain feature, which I didn't even notice and I have seen many people who bought this whining without even trying themselves, which perception changed immediately when I put controllers into their hands for some direct comparing. Despite howgreat it was in its day, Melee just feel clumsy next to Brawl! Remember the pain of picking items in the heat of the battle? Remember the inability to turn off jumping from analogue controller? Brawl is better on everything than Melee and Melee is better than all the rest fighters. The only thing I miss from Melee is a couple of levels.

I hope that next one will have better level editor. If you could freely rotate and stretch peaces, you could make almost any kind of level. Also I hope they include more special functioning pieces AND theme pieces from classic games, so that you could replicate their levels...or...what if Smash Bros came for 3DS? You could make hand drawn levels!!!



Kid_A said:

Thanks for the positive feedback guys
I was happy to review this game because I know the Super Smash Bros. series has always stirred up some controversy, but I think a lot of the haters are missing the point. A lot of people confuse simplicity with shallowness. Anyone here who plays the series seriously knows how competitive and skill-based these matches can get--especially if you turn items off.

But what makes the game so brilliant is that it appeals to everyone without losing any of its depth. Kids who can barely hold a controller will have as much fun as avid gamers looking for a real challenge.

...probably should have put that in the review, huh?



YoshiSage said:

Complaints aside, a great game and a great review. Melee about on par with Brawl (I think they tried too hard to add extra things... the Coin Launcher really gets on my nerves), IMO.



LordJumpMad said:


It is one of the best looking Gamecube games out there.
And The game was more fun to play with a Friend, then to play alone.



Alphack3r said:

Ya know, I almost wish I would've spent my 600+ Brawl hours on this...at least it seems like everyopne would still be playing w/ me!

Oh well, they did spam somewhat...& use accursed GC controllers! GAH!
Brawl was never meant to be played w/ a GC pad. sigh I can always tell when people are using em online

(I use nunchuck )

EDIT: & yeah, I agree w/ everybody else who says Melee & Brawl are both purty good.



Hyperstar96 said:

no. No. NO. Melee isn't NEAR as good as Brawl and anyone who thinks Melee is better can... well... Brawl is better

@Machu: Control? Better? What? The controls are the exact same for both games if you use a GC controller! Don't lie



mjc0961 said:

@56: So the only reason anyone can ever hate Smash Bros is because they missed the point? I find that offensive. I played it, I played it with friends, we all thought it was boring. It had nothing to do with it being shallow or too advanced or anything about how detailed the game mechanics were. It just simply wasn't fun no matter how we played it.

Missed the point my ass.



StarBoy91 said:

To each his own. I personally find Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl just as good.



MasterGraveheart said:

Better than Brawl? Maybe. Brawl had a better roster, but I think that some of the mechanics in Melee were better.



JohnWalrus said:

I like Melee better for gameplay (Brawl was too floaty, slow, and small, in my opinion), but Brawl for content. If only there was a way to combine them...



NintyMan said:

Better than Brawl? Not in my opinion. Melee was great for its time, but as soon as I got Brawl on day one I've played it so much that it became my most played video game ever. I haven't even played Melee since March 9, 2008. Brawl is better in every way plus more. That said, Melee is still a good game on its own.



Kid_A said:

Just to clear something up, here: I'm not saying Melee is better than Brawl. Melée is more balanced than Brawl, but whether or not it's better is up to your personal opinion; which is why the tagline reads "Better than Brawl?" rather than "Better than Brawl!" I don't think I could decide personally.



hylianhalcyon said:

Overall I think I like Brawl is a bit better, though both are absolute greatness.

Every once in a while me and a group of friends get together and play Brawl. Some of you people saying it's shallow should witness just how competitive it can get.



Kid_A said:

Also: since when does ridiculously complicated button combos equal depth? I've never understood what made Street Fighter more deep than Super Smash Bros. More complicated? No doubt; but I have yet to have someone give a satisfactory explanation as to how making a game more difficult to control makes it deeper.



The_Fox said:

@Kid A
Controls aren't the only reason SF2 is deeper. For one, the gameplay in Smash Bros. is more spastic. Also, the character balance is broken. That doesn't help.



WaveGhoul said:

Melee has better controls, since they're slighty quicker, less floating and the air dodging is superb and more deep since you can dodge directionaly, over peoples heads AND stay longer up in the air. Targets mode in Melee is also WAY better. But that aside, Brawl is better in every other single way.



Kid_A said:

@The Fox
Spastic doesn't mean shallow. It means you have to have quick reflexes. And saying that the character balance is "broken" is horribly misguided. As stated in the review, the character balance in Melee is pretty spot on--and while Brawl isn't balanced as well, there aren't any completely awful characters that can't possibly win; and even the seemingly "unfair" characters can beaten with skill. I kick serious butt with King Dedede, I'll have you know

And once again, no explanation on how Street Fighter's controls are deeper as opposed to just more complicated. For the record: I like Street Fighter. I just don't like the misinformed bias against the Smash series.



Zach said:

Guys, guys, guys... to each their own, eh? Live and let live, play Smash Bros and let play Street Fighter.



Kid_A said:

Actually I really don't. Didn't mean to come off as argumentative. I like discussing these things



siavm said:

Brawl is better than melee too me. And one of my favorite fighting games. Anyone calling this game a party game does not know how to play. Because you play me items on or off you will always lose.



The_Fox said:

Heck, I'm in the same boat as Kid A. I like a good argument, but as far as the game is concerned to each his own.



Funky_Gamer said:

Smash Bros games are good, but they just get old after a while.
The Smash Bros concept was really clever, but I think it could have been made way better. I think that this is over rated, but I guess its not up to me.



Cia said:

In most fighters, it's possible to win a match against other player with just mashing buttons randomly. In SSB series it's completely impossible against skilled player. SSB > all the others.



Link-Hero said:



Melee more balanced then Brawl!? I'm sorry, but you are completely wrong there. Melee has some of the most unbalanced characters I’ve played in a fighting game (well, at least compared to other fighters I’ve played, which is not much). For one thing, some of the characters like Jigglypuff and Pichu are completely useless because they’re very weak. While characters like Sheik, Fox, and Marth are overpowered. They’re fast with some strong moves, which make it unfair for the other players. Also, do you know who are the most popular characters to use in tournaments? That’s right; it’s Sheik, Fox, and Marth.

When I owned Melee years ago, and before I knew any of this, Mario and Marth were my favorite characters to play as because I liked their move styles and they were the easiest for me to use, but even then, I noticed something odd. Whenever I play as Marth, I always seem to have a better chance at winning, but as Mario, not as much. That and some of the other characters just bothered me for some reason, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at the time. But after I’ve learned more about how well the game is “balanced” and how the game was rushed near the end, it made complete sense.

That just breaks the game for me. It made me never want to play it again, especially when Brawl is still around.

With Brawl, you will have a much easier time fighting other players without having to worry about someone choosing an overpowered character. But, even though the characters are much more balanced out, Meta Knight and Snake are the least balanced characters in the game thanks to a certain attack they have, but at least it’s not as bad as Melee.

@People Who Think SSB Games Are Not Deep

SSB games are deep, you just need to learn how to play it properly. In order to win in a SSB game, you have to get good at the moves of the character you chose and make a strategy. You can’t just abuse a character’s move or button mash, it will get you nowhere (or at least very far) doing that.



JimLad said:

Smash Bros > all other fighting games
They've been doing the same thing for 19 years now, nothing but tedious button combos.
Granted the Smash Bros series now has little elsewhere to go. I think that's why many people prefer Melee, because they spent more time and fond memories on it and Brawl is just too similar in terms of gameplay.
That said I see Brawl as the better game since it has far more content. The minor balancing issues never bothered me that much.



DrCruse said:

I know exactly what you mean. It's only really good for multiplayer. And compared to games like SoulCalibur that take weeks or even months to memorize all of the combos and even more to master the game, Super Smash Bros. is very easy.



Varoennauraa said:

Smash Bros is called too "easy", "random", "fun" and "button masher" to be "serious" fighting game(well doesn't a "serious fighting game" sound corny?), but in reality interactive levels and changing situations make Smash Bros the only really strategic and involving fighter. Everyone can learn Smash Bros, but play against me and THEN call it easy game. In skill level variation there is no game like this.

In that sense Smash Bros is like Othello, its easy to get in, but very hard to master. Old style fighters are hard to master and still even the beginners can win veterans. I have beaten(by luck and button mashing) several Tekken and Soul Calibur "Masters"(one even has weekly Soul Calibur training sessions with their gang). Of course if we would play 100 games, I would lose more than 50 but despite its random nature, in Smash Bros winning is really less about luck. And in Smash Bros the Winning ratio would be accurately 100 - 0. I cannot even convincingly play so that they would have chance, I mean in every level and items ON you "Last Destination pro" -wimps. Smash Bros is not simple game. Here memorising moves and combos is not enough. In this game you have to move as well as perform moves. You have to think ahead, where you should be in next two or three seconds and play like chess. In Smash Bros three seconds feels like a week, like every one trying to survive @ 180% knows. Smash Bros is almost like action chess and in 4 players human brain starts to be too small. I'm nearing 40 at alarmingly accelerating speed, but thanks to Smash Bros, my reaction times are at teenagers levels, no, I mean faster. I beat even hyper active teenagers.

And a video game cannot be too fun, it can only bee too dull! To me Smash Bros has destroyed the old fighting paradigm and I cannot even imagine of going back on dull fighters.

And do your self, and rest of the world, a favour. Get both Melee and Brawl and do some direct comparing between Melee and Brawl. Its easy on Wii. I thought Melees gameplay is perfect and my memory fooled me to think they both share identical controls, but NO, they are almost completely different! Moving in Melee is riggid, Brawl is really noticeably more responsive and fluid. I thought Melee was perfect, but then Brawl is perfectER. Trying to pick items in the heat of the battle in Melee drives you crazy and with the mandatory analogue controller jumping makes you accidentaly jump at wrong places. Just moving around in Melee feels clunky. Brawl is perfect, until next Smash Bros.



toymin80r said:

@Link-Hero: "For one thing, some of the characters like Jigglypuff and Pichu are completely useless because they’re very weak."

It really seems like there are plenty of people who don't know much about competitive scene of Melee. Jigglypuff is one of the best fighters in the game and can easily take out a Marth player (just as any other character could) if played properly.



Varoennauraa said:

What!!! Jigglypuff is my nemesis!!! One especially good player surprised our crowd by secretly practising Jigglypuff and kicking our with it! I hate that, and Jigglypuff too!



Kid_A said:

There are no "bad" or "weak" characters in the Super Smash Bros. roster; Just ones that take more practice to master (which is the way it is with most fighting games). Believe me--there is nothing weak about Jigglypuff. She's(?) one of my strongest characters. Everybody picks the characters you mention because their skills are the most immediately apparent. But every character in that game is deadly in the hands of the right player



thaantman said:

@ Link-Hero When I owned Melee years ago, and before I knew any of this, Mario and Marth were my favorite characters to play as because I liked their move styles and they were the easiest for me to use, but even then, I noticed something odd. Whenever I play as Marth, I always seem to have a better chance at winning, but as Mario, not as much.

That just simply mean you can play better as marth than you can as mario. Mario has been my top character since the 1st smash bros. because of his well rounded move set. And what you said about characters like marth, sheik, and fox being perhaps the strongest characters in the game, and characters such as jiggypuff and pichu to be the weakest, not true. I could play just as well as pichu as I could play as pikachu, and I've played people online who've crushed me with jiggypuff, and as far as sheik/zelda goes I've played against zelda and sheik many times most of my friends choose 1 or the other and dont switch out and have had wars with them and won many of them with mario. Now on brawl I play as sheik & zelda and have been commended well online for being one of the few people to actually play as both during gameplay because I know how to utilize the strengths of both characters. and that were strategy kicks in, your not gonna get the same results with the up B button with on character as you would another, dk is better at getting on the stage horizontal, were as king ddd is better at getting on the stage vertically and some players are gonna have to adjust if their use to playing one way oppose to the other. Once again if you dont think this game takes tons of strategy you need to look up the advance game tips for brawl on your nintendo channel



lex0plex said:

the only thing i didn't like about brawl is that you can make your character trip by moving too much. why is that even in there? its frustrating and annoying... still love brawl though, that game has gotten so much use!

yeah my friend is absolutely AMAZING with olimar... i dont get, to me and most ppl ive talked to he's the suckiest character, he's a god with him. my character's game & watch



BeeZeroOne1 said:

@StarBoy91: In the Pokemon games, Jigglypuff has a gender ratio of 25% Male to 75% female, so technically it could be either

The Smash Bros. series are definitely heavily skill-based. I'd say it takes more actual thinking to become a good SSB player than a good player of any other fighting game, since it's a case of knowing how and when to use what moves against what other characters in what situations, as opposed to memorising countless button combinations. And I completely agree that it's impossible to lose to button-mashing in the SSB games; I've lost plenty of times in Soul Calibur 2 to button mashers despite playing as characters I've known really well, while I can't recall ever losing a Smash Bros. match to a first-time player.



Acidfoxdyi831 said:

brawl is the better gaem even tho i can play brawl better but in terms of balancing multiplayer melee is better because its not jus 1 MAIN character getting used them all the rest and kinda hurting the fun factor.

still all the games in the series and NINTENDO!!!



hulklol123456789 said:

Smash Bros Melee, is just awesome, is only of the small quantity of gamecube games than im keeping, the single player campaign is much better than the brawl one, go melee go!!!



Noire said:

Brawl was such a major disappointment because they had eight years to realize that Jenna was the most desirable new character to ever grace the human population, and they totally blew that. So this game is automatically better in every way.

just sayin'



DrCruse said:

I've played Brawl more than Melee, and I've played quite a bit of online, and let me tell you, it is mostly random who wins. One time I will be in first, the next I will be in 3rd and the person who was in last will be in first. I have a 1 on 1 duel with someone. I win, they win.

I don't believe it is very hard to master at all. There are roughly 5 sets of moves: Special Attacks (B), Normal Attacks (A), Smashes (C-stick), Grabs (Z) and Air Attacks (Jump + A). Doing those while pressing different directions will get you virtually all of your moves. From there, it's just finding which character works best with you. A bit of practice and voilà! You are as good as anyone else is. At least that's how it was for me.

Unlike Soul Calibur in which there are 200 different combos for each individual character, and they take weeks to master.



MegaAdam said:

Smash might be my favorite game series of all time. I salivated over the original for months and scraped and saved my allowance to buy it, and wasn't disappointed. I played tons in single-player, and kicked all my friends' asses. Then there were multiple Smash 64 revivals where an N64 was floating around but no GCN.

Then, Melee came out and consumed my life when I bought a GameCube, and I much later had great groups of friends to play that with.

Brawl never quite got to the same level for me, but I think that's because I was out of school and so didn't have easy playmates and also because they super-nerfed my character (Falcon) into worthlessness. The knee of justice was the best move in Melee.

Anyway, not sure how this game misses a 10/10. It's brilliant.



MegaAdam said:

Also, the Smash Bros. games are ridiculously deep. They may not be as well balanced as certain Street Fighter games, but the gameplay has plenty to offer.



grumblebuzzz said:

I've played all three of them to varying degrees and I liked the N64 one best. These types of games, such as Smash Bros and Mario Kart, don't really appeal to me in the long run since I generally prefer to play games by myself; single player Smash Bros is incredibly boring to me.



armoredghor said:

@Phoenix Aran Who is Jenna?
@Jesus Saves I understand the difference in depth but I'd imagine that most those combos are discovered by trial and error or luck.
@Link-Hero Pichu is the one character I miss in brawl because he/she/it can attack and kill just about anyone at 80%. In Brawl, I've heard that Sonic has banned from most every tournament because "he is too overpowered". That being said I still prefer Brawl.



DrCruse said:

If you haven't played SoulCalibur, don't judge it for being a button masher. Button mashing will get you no where in Soul Calibur.
All of the combos can be found in a list in game, and you can watch clips of the combos being performed.



Varoennauraa said:

I've beaten many Soul Calibur and Tekken tournament winners by button mashing and luck and their finely trained combos didn't help at all...well ofcourse they always eventually win me, but they don't get a single win over me in Smash Bros. Its impossible, and I don't even have to play at my best.

Anybody, who says Melee's singleplayer was better, than Brawl's doesn't know anything at all about Smash Bros. Thats not even an opinion, thats completely random hearsay propably originated on some other vain point coming from the Melee huggers, but even Melee lovers who skipped Brawl because their favorite web site told there was something better in Melee than Brawl, couldn't possibly say that single player was one of Melees strenghts. Its "adventure" had one proper level, with gimped gampley and then it started repeat boss battles. It was better than nothing, but they admitted, that they had to concentrate their efforts in multiplayer, because of time constraints. Brawl is massively enhanced in everything, but especially in singleplayer. There are no other arguments either that would raise Melee above Brawl.

Brawl has more options, more levels, more characters, more and enhanced items, and despite all this Brawl is much better balanced. I couldn't anymore beat everyone(so easily) with Link in Brawl and finally even I had to practise other characters too in Brawl. But most importantly, and everything else is just nitpicking: Brawls gameplay is by far better and thoughtfull. Brawl moves more fluidly, and is more responsive because Brawls animations are shorter and thus accepts actions better. In all Melee feels clunkier after Brawl.



StarBoy91 said:

It's amazing what difference two years make in graphical prowess. The original Super Smash Bros. was made in 1999 and it looked good; Super Smash Bros. Melee was made in 2001, and it looks spectacular.



BobberyFan98 said:

Jeez! So much strife! There are alot of people who love SSB, there are alot of people who hate SSB. There are a lot of people who think SSB is well made, there are alot of people who think that SSB is the worst made Fighter of alltime. Really, its not worth any arguments. I love SSB, but that's me. I'm a Nintendo fanboy, it's OK if you prefer Street Fighter.




Noire said:

Who is...?! Who is! Who... is? WHO IS?! Who... is... Jenna? You... you... must be new here, hahaha, umm, while I freak out for a second... read this...

i didn't even realize there were people left alive who don't know who jenna is, that's it, we're starting a crusade, we're gonna become bigger than every world religion, go cult of jenna



DrCruse said:

Note to self: Never Argue with a Fanboy; they will call you a fool and not consider your opinion. Instead, they will continue to assert that their opinion is the only correct one without backing it up at all. (e.g. claiming that anyone who says Melee's single player is better is an idiot without actually doing anything to prove that Brawl's is better)



MJongo said:

As someone who loves all three games, has won multiple local Brawl and Melee tournaments (playing as Snake and Marth, respectively), and has an encyclopedic knowledge of Nintendo (been collecting for over 15 years), I happen to like the original N64 SSB the most. None of the characters are too powerful or too weak than any other, which is in part due to the huge knockback of all attacks, but that puts the SMASH in Super Smash Bros. Also, I feel that the character picks themselves are more balanced, with no series getting too much representation (some may cite the Mario series as an exception, but seriously, how can you not not include all three of Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi?). Melee's characters picks feel sort of "off". I would have replaced Ice Climbers with Pit or had both in, Dr. Mario with Wario, and removed Pichu, Falco, and Roy and included Meta Knight, R.O.B., and Diddy. IMO, Brawl had the characters spot on, though I think including Snake and Sonic changed the soul of the game quite a bit. All three are 10/10 in gameplay, but I play the first the most and think it captures the "Nintendo All-Star" theme the best.



Rathe said:

I very much miss the days of playing Melee with all my buddies back in school. Brawl is a great game, don't get me wrong, but Nintendo really did dumb down the game to make it less of a competitive fighting game than Melee.

Removing wavedashing and several other tricks/strategies was the worst idea ever. That, and all of my friends going their separate ways after school. =(



Varoennauraa said:

I don't understand how someone could moan about lack of meaningles little things, when the game is this massive. Better physics is more meaningful to this game than Wavedashing for example. Absense of some minimal things don't make Brawl less competetive game, learn some new things. Its not the same dumping down as cutting the balls from Street Fighter 3, Sakurai just cleaned some unnecessary branches and made even more great game. Removing some glitchy and unthoughtfull, unbalanced spamtastic side effects by coming up with much better physics left some Melee players bitter, for it revealed that many people had their basic technique lacking. And that is not called dumping down either, its called evolution. Some players just are not able to climb down the tree. I too had hard time, when I noticed that I was not as good in Brawl as I was in Melee, but after practising couple of characters more I learned to Smash even better than ever.



DrCruse said:

You can think that, but I think the modifications from Melee to Brawl took most of the challenge out of the game. And the Brawl single player was exceedingly boring.



Varoennauraa said:

And Melees singleplayer is 100 times worse in every way. Brawl actually has single player adventure(and co-op), and pretty robust even, while Melee is severely incomplete in that regard, and practically has only one proper level. Brawl actually is two games at a same price; its obviously a fighter, but it also has (co-op-able)platformer game! And because of enhanced gameplay and better balance, I have had much harder time surviving in top of the hill in Brawl, while in Melee I beat everyone else so easily that it isnt even competition.



DrCruse said:

What do you mean "only one proper level?" I had more fun playing Melee's single player with every character than Brawl's entire Subspace Emissary once! I prefer "Quality over Quantity." Brawl was monotonously beating up the same easy enemies over and over and over while platforming uninspired levels.

I wouldn't call it better balance just because you have a harder time winning in Brawl. Perhaps you were just better at Melee? If anything, it contradicts your argument that old fighters are luck-based, i.e. an "expert" player can lose to a mediocre player often. In Brawl, even the expert players can not always win.



Varoennauraa said:

Melee only had one level in adventure mode and bunch of end level fights. Brawl has all the same modes than Melee, but it has many more. You can play every mode with all characters in Brawl too, Brawl only has many more characters and Brawl has less emphasis on copying chracters too. HAL didn't have much time on making Melee, so not everything could be of highest quality. Iwata admitted and apologized about Melees single player fiasco, but he stated that those mistakes have been fully compensated in Brawl, where they cut no corners. Brawl has great adventure. Perhaps you didn't like it, but there is no way to argue that Melee is better in single player.

I didn't contradict anything. Old school fighters are luck based (of course not completely; as I said a old scool fighter master wins 60/100 games against first timers like me. A Smash Bros master wins 100/100 in both Brawl and Melee) Melee and Brawl are almost identical in gameplay, Brawl is just much more refined, more responsive(because it accepts more inputs between animations, so picking up items, for obvious example, is easier. More examples on the link below) and it has better physics engine. I relied too much on certain techniques on Melee, but Brawl is not that easily exploited, so I had to concentrate on basic techniques once again and learn to understand the game better by practising several characters. In Melee the balance was so bad, that I could beat every one with one uber character. And for "certain technique" -whiners, Brawl has many, MANY "special" and "competitive" techniques: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsF0S5N3Lhs&feature=related go learn those.



DrCruse said:

Brawl lacks Melee's adventure mode, which I personally liked better than Brawls. Subspace emissary. And I am arguing that Melee has better single player FIY.

You are saying that the better people beating the not-so-good people "unbalanced"???? Maybe it is just that you were better?

Again, the fact that you flip flop from losing to winning shows that if anything, Brawl is "unbalanced" in the sense of SoulCalibur/Tekken. You said that you have beat tournament winners despite not being the best at the game. On Brawl, people have beat you even though you claim to be very good at SSB.



Sylverstone said:

Whoa. I'll stay out of this.

I will say that Melee has been the game that has been definitive. No Smash Balls to save your arse. Hard-edge fighting.

I own Brawl and I wish to own Melee.

(The original is still a pinnacle to this day, I need to get it from the VC.)



Watchful_Eye said:

"Melee more balanced then Brawl!? I'm sorry, but you are completely wrong there. Melee has some of the most unbalanced characters I’ve played in a fighting game (well, at least compared to other fighters I’ve played, which is not much). For one thing, some of the characters like Jigglypuff and Pichu are completely useless because they’re very weak."

I just have to correct this.. on a very high level of play, jigglypuff is one of the best characters. One of the best melee players of the world - he is called "Mango" - plays jigglypuff and Ill promise you that you wouldnt have even a slight chance against him (me neither, of course) .

Here is a youtube link of tournament finals a year ago:



Varoennauraa said:

No, again, I didn't say that. And I will add, that I've been watching A LOT of people playing Tekkens and Soul Caliburs, and there clearly is a pattern. Masters do not win so clearly in those games. I, and other totally useless noob players could totally win respected master in those games. In Smash Bros good players win new comers every time. And, again, Brawls balance is good because its physics and gameplay couldn't be exploited so easily. Melee is super good in that reagard too, but there are a couple of uber characters, that are not that strong in Brawl anymore. For example Links spin attacks smash-ability has been reduced in the name of balancing. Both games are astonishing examples of balance, for they have so many different characters, gameplay variations, levels and stuff. I miss many things from Melee, but Brawl feels better and is better game.

Jesus Saves:
"Note to self: Never Argue with a Fanboy; they will call you a fool and not consider your opinion. Instead, they will continue to assert that their opinion is the only correct one without backing it up at all. (e.g. claiming that anyone who says Melee's single player is better is an idiot without actually doing anything to prove that Brawl's is better)"
Some note. It takes to to tango, yeah, but actually I'm backing my arguments. I havent seen a single backed up argument from you...about the game I mean. You are trying to move the conversation to me, what I'm contradicting and trying to affect my credibility that way. Man, relax your buttocks, this is a game we are talking about, no need to go personal.



StarBoy91 said:

I did like the special multiplayer (whether against human or CPU players) battles like Fast, Slow, Tiny, Giant, and Camera modes, to name a few.



DrCruse said:

"but actually I'm backing my arguments. I havent seen a single backed up argument from you...about the game I mean."

Wow. I can't get any sense into you. I'm done with this.



TheBigHamlin said:

I can understand enjoying Mario Kart 64 over the others, battle was better, different controls, levels, but to prefer SSB over the Melee and Brawl doesn't make sense to me. Same game mechanics, less characters and options in the original, and no level creation (which puts Brawl ahead of the rest for me), all point to an inferior game experience. But we all are entitled to our opinions i suppose, i just can't understand it.



Kingbuilder said:

Melee is a 10/10 IMO. Brawl vs. Melee is a classic 'Quality > Quantity' situation with Melee's 'quality' being it's superb physics, and Brawl's 'quantity' being it's huge variety of unlockables. I could point out how Brawl was only a blatant advertisement for the Kirby series and the Virtual Console service with some unpleasant filler in between, but I'd rather not get ravaged by vapid fanboys.



amh said:

I think it should be given a 10/10! As the first large budget game in the series( following the enormous success of the first smash bros. which was a low budget game) It has a large collection of trophies, a few alternate small stories in the adventure mode, and a larger compilation of event matches than the brawl. Not saying its better than brawl, brawl is the best! Its still an excellent game, as expected in the series.



Poketendo said:

@Egg_miester EXCUSE ME?!?! This series is AWESOME!!!!!!! I haven't played this one, but Brawl is the no. 1 best game I've ever played! With the original Super Smash Bros. a bit lower, but it's still a great game and a great series! You, Egg_miester, than wat do YOU concider the best fighter ever? I wonder or it come's even close to Brawl! >



XtraLife said:

There's only one thing I hated about Melee that Brawl fixed... There are TOO MANY CLONE CHARACTERS! Young Link, Roy, Dr. Mario, Pichu, Ganondorf, and the Clones of Brawl? Uh... Lucas. BARELY.



Hints_Whispers said:

I have two of those SSB special demo codes (for NA) that I wanted to give out. I didn't know who to give them to because so many people are asking for them. So I decided to post about it here as kind of an easter egg or something. Anyway, the first two people that reply to this (put @Hints_Whispers in your reply so I get an email) will get the codes.



Weedy said:

@Hints_Whispers Oh, in my excitement I didn't really take in the fact you're offering NA codes. I'm a citizen of the UK! But I imagine I'd be able to find someone to trade with if you were kind enough to message me the code.



Weedy said:

@Hints_Whispers Thank-you so much, this is very kind of you. I don't imagine it will be difficult to find an EU code holder to trade with. I will inform you once I have success then you will know that you have made two people happy with just one code.



Mariominer said:

I don't have this, but I have a gamecube... maybe I'll get this... someday...

Also first 2015 reply on this review

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