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Super Smash Brothers Melee Review - Gamecube

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Nintendo are certainly in a league of their own when it comes to making video games. Over the years they have been associated with childish games, games that are 'uncool' for the average gamer. With the release of the GameCube, Nintendo wanted to maintain their dedication to fun, original games whilst trying to target an older audience. Deals with Capcom and other developers meant we would be seeing the likes of Resident Evil, Eternal Darkness and other mature rated games.

It was evident that third party developers were capable of creating dark, scary and 'evil' games but could Nintendo themselves do the same? Well, one of the earlier releases on the GCN was Super Smash Brothers: Melee (SSB: M). Despite Nintendo's apparent new direction on games, they still managed to turn the genre of fighting into a cartoon like escapade. But after playing SSB: M, could you blame them?

Gameplay

The basis premise behind Melee is to enter the fray with a number of opponents and knock them of the stage. At first knocking them off is quite impossible, but after giving them a good ol' beating you will find it quite simple to send them for a six.

Melee is fighting game with a difference. Think long and hard about what a genuine fighting means to you. Now think complete the opposite and you are half the way there of what Melee is about. Like an all-star brawl, Melee comprises of over 30 Nintendo legends including; Mario, Luigi, Link, Bowser, Kirby, Ganondorf, Pikachu and a whole host more.

Each character has four basic attacks that can be executed by pressing a direction and 'A' simultaneously. Each character also has four special attacks that can be executed in the same way expect you must substitute 'A' for 'B'. Characters can also use either of the 'X', 'Y' or even up on the analogue to jump. Mastering the jump is one of the keys to success in Melee. Once you are knocked from the stage you obviously have to jump back on so utilizing the double jump (tapping 'X', 'Y' or Up twice) and using the Up + B special will aid you in returning to the stage.

All, well most, of the characters have a different Up and B jump, some being better then others, but they can all be mastered is such a way that your enemy will find it quite difficult to fall you.

Like the original Smash Brothers, items will drop onto the stage. There is quite a lot of them ranging from projectile weapons and pokeballs to the almighty hammer and even a giant nose. Items may come across as a novelty but they can be the difference between a shallowing defeat and a triumphant victory.

Melee comes packed with a huge number of levels that are key areas in the land that is Nintendo. Peach's castle, Terminal bay, ... (continued next page)