Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Melee (大乱闘 スマッシュ ブラザーズ ＤＸ, Great Fray Smash Brothers Deluxe), often shortened to "SSBM" or "Melee", is a 2.5D fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released on November 21st, 2001 in Japan, and December 3rd, 2001 in North America, shortly after GameCube's launch, and then on the following year in Europe and Australia on May 24th, 2002 and May 31st, 2002 respectively. It is the second game in the Super Smash Bros. series, following its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. and was succeeded by Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4.
Like Super Smash Bros., its predecessor, Melee features gameplay unique from that of other fighting games. Compared to characters in other fighting games, Melee characters have simple movesets and lack complicated button inputs and lengthy natural combos. Instead Melee emphasizes movement and ringouts. Indeed, edge-guarding in Melee takes on much more significance than it does in most other games due to copious mid-air jumps and other methods of reaching the edge unfettered. The game has sold over seven million copies and is the best-selling GameCube game. Melee is also one of the two games in the Super Smash Bros. series to be rated T by the ESRB, with the other being its sequel, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
The opening movie of Melee was given particularly high attention by the developing team; according to Sakurai, the team wanted to create an entire, high-quality FMV sequence in the game in order to highlight the then newly-released GameCube console's graphical power in comparison to previous consoles. The development team worked in three different animations studios in Tokyo, Japan to finish the FMV opening.
In addition to pre-rendered cutscenes, the opening sequence also contains some shots of actual gameplay; continuing the trend started in the previous game, the opening also directly segues into the title screen.
An early opening has also been found; in this sequence, the clips of actual gameplay had been considerably changed.
The cast of 25 playable characters, 26 including Zelda's alter ego Sheik, includes all 12 characters from Super Smash Bros. and 13 newcomers. Of these, 14 are available from the start of play (15 if Sheik is included), including all the veteran characters but Luigi and Jigglypuff.
Of the new characters, the greatest number are from The Legend of Zelda universe if Zelda/Sheik are counted as two characters to go with Ganondorf and Young Link, although the Mario series also takes three new character slots for Bowser, Princess Peach and Dr. Mario added. On top of these, two universes add two characters each, with the Fire Emblem series making its Smash Bros. debut with Marth and Roy (with Roy making his debut in any game), and the Pokémon universe adding Mewtwo and Pichu to its two existing characters. The three other characters added are Falco, a second character from the Star Fox series, Mr. Game & Watch, and the Ice Climbers from two highly venerable Nintendo series.
List of characters
Bold denotes unlockable characters.
There are eighteen starter stages and eleven more which can be unlocked.
These stages cannot be unlocked, and can only be played under certain circumstances.
These stages can only be used when the game is hacked. Some are functional; most are not.
* Can be activated with other hacks, but not Debug Mode.
The game features several points to be unlocked, most of which include the trophies, unlockable characters and stages. Some of them are unlocked by a special way, like achieving a certain distance on the Home-Run Contest, while others are obtained by the Lottery. For a full list, see List of unlockables (SSBM).
Melee was well-received in many quarters and is the GameCube's top-selling game. More than seven million copies of Melee were sold as of March 10, 2008. It was the fastest-selling GameCube game in Japan and sold 358,525 copies within four days of its release. In North America, it sold 250,000 copies within nine days of its release. It was the first GameCube game to sell over a million copies, an achievement reached only two months after its release. Super Smash Bros. Melee is the best selling game for the Nintendo GameCube, selling about 7.09 million copies worldwide, as of December 31, 2009.
Melee has received critical acclaim from reviewers, and has received high rankings on many gaming sites, such as GameRankings, IGN, and GameSpot. GameSpy commented in their review that "you'll have a pretty hard time finding a more enjoyable multiplayer experience on any other console". Reviewers compared the game favorably to the original Super Smash Bros., commonly due to the large amount of new content added to the sequel, with IGN's Fran Mirabella III saying it was "in an entirely different league than the N64 version". The improved graphics were also welcomed, and GameSpot said that "the character models are pleasantly full-bodied, and the quality of their textures is amazing". Planet GameCube's Mike Sklens also rated it as "one of the best sounding games ever", while GameSpot's Greg Kasavin commented that "it all sounds brilliant".
Super Smash Bros. Melee has received many gaming awards. GameSpy chose it as Best Fighting GameCube Game in their "Best of 2001" awards, IGN's reader choice chose it as Game of the Year,, Electronic Gaming Monthly chose it as Best Multiplayer and Best GameCube Game,, and GameSpot chose Melee as the Best GameCube Game and tenth best game of the year..
Despite overall positive reception, common criticisms of gameplay included the controls' over-sensitivity and "hyper-responsiveness", with characters easily dashing and precise movements difficult to perform,, as well as the fast-paced gameplay, with Nintendo Spin's Clark Nielson stating that "Melee was too fast for its own good". Many gamers additionally criticized the game for being too similar to the original, and GameCritics.com's Caleb Hale called it "every bit as good as its Nintendo 64 predecessor. The game doesn't expand much past that point".
Changes from the original
While Melee mainly follows the same formula introduced in the original game by retaining most elements, several differences exist between the two games. The following list, while not all-inclusive, notes several of the changes. Note that this list does not include obvious changes, such as a different button scheme/controller and Melee-only characters and items.
Gameplay and game mechanics
Melee is widely known for its large and intricate tournament scene. The birth of the tournament scene occurred with the creation of the Tournament Go series in 2002. Melee has since been featured in the championships of many grand-scale fighting game tournaments, such as Major League Gaming in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2014, and EVO in 2007, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The community has constructed a set of standard tournament rules to regulate tournament play. While rulesets may vary between different tournaments, generally universal gameplay rules include all matches being played via timed stock (four lives and eight minutes), and restrictions on legal stages. These regulations are enacted to ensure that gameplay at the highest level remains fair and interesting.