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Super Smash Bros. Melee

Vital Stats
System(s): GameCube
U.S. Release Date: December 3, 2001
Current street price: $49.99
Save: Memory Card (11 blocks)
Size: 25 characters (26 if you count Sheik), 29 arenas, 3 1-Player Modes, 51 Special Event Matches, 3 types of mini-games in Staidum mode
Players: 4 simultaneous
ESRB Rating: T

In a nutshell
Nintendo's biggest and most famous characters, once again, duke it out using their signature moves and items.

Story
Like SSB, SSBM's "story" is told through an opening cinema. A children's arm grabs a miniature Mario trophy and throws it into an Arena. The trophy comes to like and is ready to battle with Link.  Thus begins a saga of fighting that eventually leads to a bout with Master Hand, as well as his twin "Crazy Hand".

Gameplay Overview
The gameplay of SSBM is exactly the same as SSB.  The goal is to knock your opponent off the edge of the playing arena into oblivion. You do this with a variety of punches, kicks, and special moves, each of which increases the opponents damage percentage. The higher a players damage percentage is, the farther they fly with each hit, until the slightest tap will send them flying over the edge. When knocked off, it is possible to get back using each characters double jump manuever and special, desperation move. Here are the Mario characters that make an appearance in SSBM;
There are three 1 Player modes in SSBM:
There are also 51 different event matches, which require you to battle in many different scenarios.

Then there is VS mode, where up to four players or computer controlled characters (or any combination) can duke it out in a battle royale.  You can also different rules in a Special Melee or grab a whole bunch or your friends for a Tournament Melee.

Finally in the Stadium, you can play in 1 of three types of minigames:

Why should I get this game if I own the last one?
SSBM basically improves on where SSB left off.  There are double the characters/levels, tons of new modes, plus some collecting on the side.  This is definitely a must have.

Notes of interest
First GameCube appearance for many Mario characters
First game, featuring the Mario characters, to recieve a "T" rating
Fully Orchestrated Soundtrack with some of the best music heard in a video game (as least one with Mario in it).
Mushroom Kingdom level in Story Mode complete with Goombas and Koopas.
Luigi is introduced into the game by interupting his good ol' brother Mario's entrance in Story Mode
When you get Luigi, he is called the "eternal understudy"
Two classic Mushroom Kingdom arenas.  One for SMB and a second hidden one for SMB 2 (yeah I know it's Sub Con, but that's what the game calls it).
A new hidden Giga-Bowser boss (Think what Bowser would look like if he drank Dr. Jeckel's potion)

Quote
Game!
-Announcer

Ending
The ending didn't improve much from the last game. Depending on the mode, Master hand explodes in a less-than-exiting ball of light or Bowser falls.  You trophy silently falls onto the SSMB "game board". Then the credits roll by, in the disguise of a space shooter and afterward you see a small montage of your character followed by a slightly humorous still with the annoucner saying "congratulations".



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