Mario Madness: Super Smash Bros Melee Wins

Super Smash Bros Melee

Sure, there are other fighting games out there. Some of them even have blood and realistic graphics. What they don’t have is poke-balls, super-scopes and Samus Aran. Q.E.D., they are lesser fighting games than Super Smash Bros. The series began with the towering achievement Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, which brought a new degree of real-life combat into a fighting game and it did it with totally unrealistic, cartoony, kid-friendly Nintendo characters.  It’s the Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez of the series. Other fighting games, for all of their greatness and their achievements, did not take in to account the reality of fighting.  SSB presented us with the probability of defeat as a simple percentage. Statistics gurus around the world went mad with glee (or at least smiled grimly, since statisticians have Vulcan-like emotional control).  No longer were the “life bars” present at opposite ends of the top screen.  Your survival depended on your surroundings – a pit, a platform or, perhaps, the fire-breathing Charmander popping out of a skyscraper in Saffron City.  No matter the absurdity of the animated participants in these battles, the combat took on an entirely new level of realism that the so-called “great” fighting games have yet to match. The environment of the battle was as important as the combat and not some bonus feature to interact with after a complicated series of button-presses when you had vanquished your opponent.

Mario MadnessSuper Smash Bros Melee will be one of the featured games in the Mario Madness tournament at Horrible Night Out on July 8th.

Melee is the only choice

Virginia is for lovers, Shiek is for cheaters.

Now, that we’ve cleared the ring of other franchises, let’s look at the SSB series. As with nearly everything else for Nintendo’s Wii, Super Smash Brothers Brawl is nothing but a pretender to the throne. If it were 15th Century England, it would be Edward V. If it were a A Game of Thrones, it would be Renly Baratheon. If it were Metal Gear Solid, it would be Raiden. Although it would be prohibitively difficult to produce a bad game in this particular series, Nintendo seems to have tried its damndest. Unlike its predecessors, Brawl tries to eliminate the character balancing issues that gave players who mastered slower/less dynamic characters bragging rights. Do you know how embarrassing/gratifying it is to clear the board of your opponents using Jigglypuff? The geniuses who created Brawl must have decided that kind of thing was either too shameful or too much fun, since they negated almost all of the  individuality of the characters. While Melee entries allowed people, like my brother, to use the faster characters (e.g. Sheik, the Odd Job of Smash Bros characters) to dominate with lightning (but weaker) strikes or lay down the law with bruisers like Bowser, Brawl leveled the playing field. Whether it takes perfect timing or a patient demeanor the characters that a game offers should be more diverse in attributes than those that Brawl has to offer.  Honestly, Nintendo, don’t we deserve better than Meta Knight?

Smash Bros Ladies

Exhibit "A" in why Brawl is the red-headed stepchild of the series: sexy-female Pikachu, Snake and Mario.

That leaves us with Melee vs the original, and there’s a reason Super Smash Bros Melee is the best game in the series. It improved on the few problems present in SSB (i.e., the 64 controller), made smash-attacks easier to perform, added some throws and gave us Giga Bowser. Oh, sure, there was one fault: it had too many characters/achievements/trophies. THERE’S TOO MUCH AWESOMENESS! ARRGH! I’M OVERWHELMED AND COMPLAINING! Seriously. It had a freaking mini-game where you hit an inoffensive-looking sandbag with a baseball bat for maximum distance! The multiplayer was even better than before – more characters, more loot, insane amounts of stats… The core characters from SSB were all there while the arenas were greatly improved. Nintendo singled out the thing that made the first game unique among fighting games and it improved upon it. Hyrule Castle alone validates this as a marvel of modern game design.

Kneel and prepare for the King’s justice

There might be some of you out there who disagree. You might have a different opinion but, despite common wisdom, your opinion is wrong. Melee is the Connor MacLeod of fighting games. Fighting games, bow down before its great and beautiful wrath.



8 Comments Mario Madness: Super Smash Bros Melee Wins

  1. Alex Porter

    And the embarrassing thing? The fact that one of the first things I noticed about that photo is that it’s actually Peach, Samus, and Zelda in those costumes…

  2. Andrew Cooper

    I think i’m the only person on the planet who never really got into Smash Bros. It was just another fighting game that I sucked at.

  3. Sean Castillo

    “slower”??? “less dynamic”???
    JIgglypuff is a top-tier character! She (evidenced by the feminine alternate costumes) is currently considered the third best character in the game, but there’s always the possibility that she’ll move up to second place since some of the best pros have been playing her very well at the latest major tournaments. Her Wall of Pain is incredibly dynamic! It takes a lot of technical skill and it looks amazing if pulled of correctly. (Watch from 9:21)
    Most of Jigglypuff’s moves may not be blazing fast like Fox’s and Falco’s, but those three characters all possess the fastest moves in the game. Fox and Falco have the Shine (called Reflector by most people outside of the tourney-scene), and JIgglypuff has Rest. The Shine and the Rest both hit at the first frame of the animation (1/60 of a second), and if that’s not fast, I don’t know what is. Your friends shouldn’t be embarrassed by getting their asses kicked by one of the best characters in the game.

  4. Justin Gifford

    Well, Sean, from watching the YouTube video, your point’s well taken. I know I’ve actually won using Jigglypuff and I know the Wall of Pain move, but give me a LITTLE artistic license here – her name is Jigglypuff and, aside from Pichu and Kirby, she’s one of the most um…weak LOOKING characters? That said, those guys are freaky fast and I’m positive they’d own me. I’m pretty good at SSB:Melee, but make no claims to that kind of skill. So, I get your point, but I’m still going to make fun of someone if I whup them with Jigglypuff. Curious why no one’s playing as Sheik, though – is it one of those “someone’s done the FPS activation rate” things (?) since she’s faster than crap otherwise?

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