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March 5, 2008 5:52 PM   Subscribe

Do you like the original Super Smash Brothers, for Nintendo 64, more than the sequel, Super Smash Brothers Melee? If so, why?

With the release of SSB Brawl just days away and my desire to play the game having reached epic proportions, I've been reading any information I can find on the game. One thing I've noticed is a decent camp of people who think that Melee was disappointing and hope that Brawl is more like the N64 original.

I loved the original game back in the N64 days, but I've always thought that Melee improved on it in just about every way imaginable. So I'm posing the question here: if you liked the N64 version of Smash Brothers more than the Gamecube version, why do you feel that way?
posted by phaded to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I prefer the original. It's nostalgia, mostly, probably.

Plus I think the original character and move sets are better-balanced, which seems to be a sometimes-problem with fighting game sequels. No doubt, Melee had a better single-player mode, and more stuff (options, characters, unlockables, etc.), but I think the original is more pick-up-and-play. I see Smash Brothers as a multiplayer party game, and so that's more important to me. YMMV, natch.
posted by box at 5:59 PM on March 5, 2008

I enjoyed the N64 version more. Mostly because Melee seems too fast and the levels to hectic. I didn't play it nearly as much, so maybe I just never got used to it. For example, I was so concerned about not falling to my death in the f-zero level, I didn't have any time to be fighting anyone else! :)
posted by meta87 at 7:20 PM on March 5, 2008

Like you, I've totally bought into the SSB Brawl hype and am dying to play it once Nintendo gets its arse around to releasing it down here in Australia. But I have never played Super Smash Brothers and, until a few days ago, had never played Melee.

Passing by my local EB Games, I saw an ex-rental copy of Melee on sale and bought it since I figured it's be a cheap way of seeing if my desire to play Brawl was worth the money I would eventually shell out on it. I can say that, having now played Melee, I like it, and its growing on me. Infact, it grew on me pretty much instantly.

Which, I know, does not really answer your question per se. However, I offer it to you as a way of saying I, a SSB n00b, thought Melee was pretty damn good and it would have to be a damn near perfect N64 game (think about it... this is the N64 we're talking about here) for the original to be better than it. I'm not saying it's impossible... just improbable, and I humbly suggest that it is indeed nostalgia that is fueling this "the original was better than the sequel" talk.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:21 PM on March 5, 2008

To put that another way, when Brawl comes out, it too will be subjected to criticisms by fans of the original Smash Brothers game as not being as good as it was. And no doubt some Melee fans will say Melee is better than Brawl. Despite the fact that Brawl looks and sounds better than both of those games and, based on universally positive reviews, it plays just as well if not better than either of its predecessors.

People are, of course, entitled to think so, but any objective measure would almost certainly find them wrong.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:25 PM on March 5, 2008

The way I see it, the original was great because it was so simple. Melee built on that simplicity but gave people the option to play the game in a way that rewarded technical skill. Without even getting into wavedashing and that sort of thing, think of the difference between a Falcon Punch and one of Marth's B-button combos. People can still play Melee by mashing buttons and have a great time, but those of us that got bored with the original now have an entirely new approach to smash. From what I understand, Brawl sort of splits the difference, and I can't wait for a chance to play.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:43 PM on March 5, 2008

Melee seems too fast and the levels to hectic.

Ditto that. The N64 version was a great casual game where folks who did not play very often could wander into a dorm room, pick up a controller, and feel that they had a shot. The GC version was so hectic that new players would start to quake from a strobe-induced seizure before they could get a grasp of the controls. There was something about the camera and the way it zoomed in and out that was just... jarring.

I'm looking forward to Brawl, though. It'll be the first thing I'll fire the Wii up for since I beat Galaxy and bought Rock Band for the 360.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:33 AM on March 6, 2008

I much preferred the original, too. I think that's mostly because, as people have said, the timing of just about everything got rebalanced for Melee, and a player's skill in 64 doesn't really translate into skill in Melee. I was a beast in 64, having spent most of college playing it, and the little bits of trickery that (in 64) let you parlay most forward attacks into brutal, downward-knocking combos are mostly gone in Melee--I'm only an average player on the GameCube. (Granted, I was an extremely cheap player, and my high-level play was mostly directed at preventing anyone else from getting back to the edge, so you could make the argument that they rebalanced that in the correct direction.) Aside from that, I'll vote that the level design in Melee pales in comparison to 64--I hate having to worry about the level morphing underneath you, since it detracts from the normal game experience, and tends to result in more self-deaths and opportunistic times to knock someone into an environmental hazard that's a guaranteed kill. Melee also seems to move too fast, making the timing behind some of the finesse moves nigh-impossible in real-time.

Granted, this is probably fueled entirely by nostalgia, but the original was one of those rare games that did everything right, and while subsequent changes might make the game more playable to newcomers to the series, they strike me as monkeying around with something that wasn't broken.

That said, you'd best believe I'll have my copy of Brawl the day it comes out.
posted by Mayor West at 5:10 AM on March 6, 2008

I think that part of it is the element of surprise. It is like how a first album by a band will come out and people will go nuts, and then the band will put out a second album that is just as good or better than their first, and it will get panned. It isn't a sophomore slump so much as it is that the first album had the element of surprise.

When Smash came out, very few people had any expectations for it, and so when they first played it it blew them away. When Brawl came out, it had to live up to all the expectations of Smash and all the excitement built up around its release, and that is tough to do. I also think that there is something to the earlier expressed opinion that Smash was more noob friendly. It was possible to pick up the controller for the first time and beat someone who had been playing for months. That was less true with Brawl. In that respect, I hope that Melee is more like Smash than Brawl, because I too see it as a fun party game.

Also I am so pumped for Melee that I can't stand it, and I think that we should have a MeTa post soon where we exchange Wii codes or whatever (I haven't played any Wii games online yet. Melee will be my first time doing so) so that we can beat the crap out of each other using our favorite Nintendo characters.
posted by ND¢ at 7:27 AM on March 6, 2008

But expect this if you play the rat.
posted by ND¢ at 7:29 AM on March 6, 2008

Response by poster: ND¢, you've got Brawl and Melee reversed. :)

Interesting points of view here. I definitely agree with those who say that SSB64 was more balanced than Melee, but I think that can be traced to how many more characters Melee had. (Even if quite a few of those were clones of other characters.) From what I've been reading about Brawl, there's been quite a bit of rebalancing. For example, Fox isn't as good as he was in Melee, much to my delight. (And Jigglypuff's Rest [down+B] has been nerfed, much to my dismay.)

I can also see where people might not like the randomness of some of the stages in Melee. Personally, I enjoy this...Brinstar Depths is one of my favorite levels. I think I'm in the minority there. Thankfully, the Stage Editor should satisfy everyone's cravings in this regard. I saw a video on Youtube of someone who'd recreated the layout of Hyrule Castle from SSB64 (minus the tornadoes, of course), and I can't wait to do something similar once I lay hands on the game myself.

ND¢: "Also I am so pumped for Melee Brawl that I can't stand it, and I think that we should have a MeTa post soon where we exchange Wii codes or whatever (I haven't played any Wii games online yet. Melee Brawl will be my first time doing so) so that we can beat the crap out of each other using our favorite Nintendo characters."

Agree 1000%. I'll get on this after I've had time to unlock all the characters, if someone else doesn't beat me to it.
posted by phaded at 9:40 AM on March 6, 2008

Melee inspired a kind of super-fandom that borders on the maniac. Where the original was all about "Can Mario beat up Link?", Melee became about "Kibry's B+ drop moveset can only be countered by a C- Drop Kick Quarter Spin by Baby Bowser". It just became weird and inaccessible and not all that fun. And it looks like Brawl might be similar.
posted by GilloD at 12:03 PM on March 6, 2008

Original on the 64 until I die! It's just, classic, perfect. In the same way that Goldeneye was the perfect FPS. But I may have played those two games during my formative years, so...

Now, to get ready to go pick up Brawl with my roomate tonight at midnight when it comes out.
posted by baserunner73 at 8:13 PM on March 8, 2008

posted by ND¢ at 2:58 PM on March 9, 2008

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