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Super Smash Bros. Melee

Preview By:  Roger Taylor

Developer:   HAL/Nintendo
Publisher:   Nintendo
Genre:   Fighting
Est. Release:   November 5, 2001
Posted:   8-6-01
Updated:    8-15-01
Updated By:    Jared Black

We've got six new screenshots of Super Smash Bros. Melee, this time showing off Captain Falcon (of F-Zero fame) in action.  Enjoy.

Additional Media:

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Some have argued that Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64 does not really constitute a fighting game. They say that it is not complex enough and that there are no difficult moves or near-impossible combos to pull off, and thereby does not qualify. While we at NGF can’t quite understand why someone would get so defensive about a genre, we concur that Smash Bros. is not a typical fighting game. But there is no denying that it is fun. Really fun. So fun, in fact, that I have two different friends whom have mastered the game in the same way someone would Virtua Fighter. And considering Smash Bros. simplistic gameplay, that is the ultimate compliment.

That being said, Super Smash Bros. Melee has a tough act to follow. So Nintendo went the safest route with the game and decided to keep it extremely close to the original in terms of gameplay and graphics. While the graphics are a slight step up, and while there may be some flashy new effects that enhance the insane feel of it all (think Marvel vs. Capcom 2), underneath it all, this game looks the same.

While the original Super Smash Bros. is one of the best four-player games available on any system, it did have its weak spot in the form of a miserably poor single player mode. That has all changed with Super Smash Bros. Melee. Instead of merely fighting opponents in a stage that is meant to remind you of the games they are from (as in the original), you are now placed into various side-scrolling mini-games which are themed around the character you are about to face. So if you are going to face Mario, you must first make your way through a horde of Koopa Troopas. The whole thing is meant to be very nostalgic, reminding you of all your favorite old-school games.

But what fans of Super Smash Bros. Melee are really buying this game for is the multiplayer mode. Well fear not, because Nintendo has managed to build on the multiplayer without changing the popular gameplay too much. Two all new modes, Decision Mode and Coin Mode, have been implemented. In Decision Mode, you must focus on using special attacks and combos to defeat your opponent; while in Coin Mode, you must collect coins that fall from the sky, whilst preventing your opponent from doing so (similar to the basket multiplayer game in Kirby 64). Also included is the new ability to set up tournaments for groups larger than four.

As for actual improvements to the gameplay, they come in the form of new moves. Most importantly is the new block, defect and evade options on the defense end of things. And every character now has a "special" move, which are even more powerful than Luigi’s uppercut or Caption Falcon’s Falcon Punch. There are also some new attacks that can be used after an opponent has been grabbed, and some new weapons.

And now, what every fan has been asking about since before the sequel was even announced: the lineup. The following characters are all playable, with more hidden characters also included in the game: Mario, Bowser, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Ness, Ice Climbers, Kirby, Samus, Link, Pikachu, Fox McCloud, Captain Falcon, Shiek and Zelda.

Sound has also improved, with all the themes you know and love making a return appearance. Best of all, the Zelda overworld music can finally be heard in all its orchestrated glory. Sound effects and voice samples don’t seem at all improved from the first game.

Overall, it is pretty much impossible for Nintendo to screw this one up. While it doesn’t offer much over its predecessor, the new characters, moves, and options will be more than enough for fans of the original to go out and buy this. Super Smash Bros. Melee will be available at the Gamecube launch.

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