You guys should play more melee and live up to your reputation as the "gaming dorm". It'd be nice to have some competition.
<3 VBody "I'll money-match anyone on this campus" Bhattacharyya
SuperSmashBrothersMelee is the sequel to SuperSmashBrothers. Keeping in mind that I've only limited experience with the original, the sequel adds tons of new characters, about three times as many levels, new game modes, faster and less bitchy gameplay, and the shiniest 3D graphics that ever graced a 2D game (play around with the "Camera" mode sometime to see what I'm talking about). All of the characters from the original are back, along with new faces such as MrGameAndWatch?, the IceClimbers?, PrincessZelda?, Marth, and many "clone" characters (e.g. characters that have the same move set as existing ones, but vary in size, power, speed, and so on. For example, Young Link is a clone of Link, and Ganondorf is a clone of CaptainFalcon?).
Throws got nerfed, although there are a few rather amusing throws that are still "useful" (e.g. Kirby's backflip, which is certain death for your foe and near-certain death for you). Spikes are much more difficult to pull off. Characters can now dodge out of plane when blocking; they can thus completely avoid the attack, and if on the ground, they can roll around other characters. Tapping the block button briefly allows you to reflect any missile attack, though the timing is very difficult.
The new game modes include an Adventure mode, which allows the character to play through several familiar platform levels, including a MarioBrothers? area, an Escape-From-Planet-Zebes area (from SuperMetroid from Metroid, an IceClimbers? level, and so on. In general they are reasonably fun, and for the most part not too difficult. Yoshi on the CaptainFalcon? level is especially amusing.
The other new game mode is the All-Star mode, wherein you fight a series of 1 on 1, then 1 on 2, then 1 on 3 battles against all of the other characters, keeping your damage from level to level. There are various awards for things like not taking advantage of your three healing options, or not taking any damage for the entire game. SteveHaas was working on the latter with Roy, was almost through, and then got zapped by an Arwing on Fox's level. Oops.
Aside from different game modes, there are also a lot of things you can do to change the normal gameplay. These include things like changing which items can be dropped, putting the game into Turbo or Slow-Motion modes, making everyone giant or tiny (for extra fun, play Tiny melee with only poison mushrooms being dropped, and hide Pichu behind the handrails on the Rainbow Road level's flying boat), and so on. Most of these don't change major things, but they can be fun once in a while, and the ability to turn off annoying items or levels (e.g. the IceClimbers? level) is nice. There are also a bunch of "Arena" games, which are essentially minigames. These include fighting off N Wireframe enemies (the wireframes take the place of the Polygon People), or fighting Wireframes for N minutes, in both cases having the difficulty of the enemies increase as the end is neared. There's also the beat-up-mr-sandbag game, wherein you do as much damage as you can to a sandbag before sending it flying with a baseball bat, all in 10 seconds. Some ludicrously optimized strategies have been developed for this one. I personally like the ineffective Kirby and DonkeyKong? methods because they're funny.
For the most part the game is fairly balanced. There are some characters that aren't very good (notably Pichu, who is really powerful, but hurts himself with his special attacks, has basically no range, and is the easiest-to-clear character), but for the most part there is a character for every play style and games come down to skill more than player choice. Jiggypuff is still broken for those that don't know to stay away from her, but most characters are quick enough to be able to dodge her without too many problems, and once she's asleep, she's in for a beating. One of her costume options includes a ninja headband.
The graphics, as mentioned before, are shiny to the point of being ludicrous. Every character is carefully modelled, despite the fact that the game never enters the third dimension (save for clearing people out the back and off the front of the level). About the worst I can say about the graphics is that Ganondorf's cloak looks like a carpet (My personal gripe on the graphics is that Blastoise's attack's render priority is incorrect --EvilSouthie). There are a lot of little details added to the game, including wind effects, teetering-on-the-edge motions, and lots of environmental effects (watch out for cars on CaptainFalcon?'s levels, and the Arwings on Fox's levels). Unfortunately it's easy to miss the graphics when playing, because you really don't have time to admire things. The gameplay, as was mentioned before, is very fast-paced.
Um...can't think of any more content to add here. Oh, yeah - there should be an award for successfully completing Young Link's taunt mid-battle.
Favorite/Most? Hated Characters:
Roy is just uber-smashy and pretty mobile (unlike, say, Ganondorf). I usually just use the C-stick and up-B, since you can knock everyone around pretty well with just those, and save the charge-sword move for opportune moments (opponents asleep, etc.). Another trick I like is baiting people into counters by just walking straight up to them, giving them a chance to react, and then countering as they try to smash.
Donkey Kong isn't quite as cool as he was before since his throw has been nerfed, but he's still excellent for the same reasons as before: He's difficult to clear, dishes out the damage, and can clear multiple foes easily with the power punch.
I always liked Link in the previous game, even though no one else did, and they made him better in this one. The nice thing about Link is that you can always feel like you're in control; he has a move for just about every situation, and while he isn't all that smashy, I find it pretty easy to play skillfully with him.
Princess Peach and Pichu win my awards for the Worst Characters, since Pichu as noted above is "pay-to-play", and Peach just doesn't seem to have any good offensive moves. Oh yeah, and I suck at Ness, but only because I think his special moves are dumb and keep refusing to use them.
My favorites tend to vary. I'm not fond of Marth/Roy? because their moves are boring to look at (i.e. all they do is swing swords around. Period.). I like the CaptainFalcon? / Ganondorf pair. Ganondorf is really powerful, especially with his up-smash, and he seems to have more range than most people realize. Falcon, of course, is really fast. The down-B move for both tends to hurt people because they don't see it coming. It's useless otherwise.
Bowser is amusing to play against Jigglypuffs, because he's really easy to hit with the bitch, but if he dodges successfully, then his side-smash will clear. No questions asked.
Kirby is just plain amusing to play. Best tactic: hug the edge, taunt, wait for someone to come near, swallow them, and walk off the edge. You have better recovery than they do, and the swallow is easier to land than his throws.
And I'm fond of Young Link, as he has abilities for any fight, as was mentioned before. Plus he's smaller, and IIRC he does more damage than Adult Link (who is himself more smashy, but meh).
CAMEL!!! You know you see it...
Ok... so I just played as Zelda for the first time recently, and I am really impressed with her. Awesome recovery - I actually managed, twice in the same game, to get back up after having hit the racetrack on the more annoying of the two F-Zero stages. Impressive up-A, and a darn good charge-A. Fun ranged attack, though not as fun as Samus's. Nice throw. Has a reflection attack, being the one thing I liked about Fox in the original. Just overall a really nice character to play. SamusAran? is still my favorite (even if her up-B did get much worse, it's still really good), but Zelda is a definite second. Marth and Roy come in third - they're good, but they're just not as interesting to play. And Kirby just seems to have gotten royally suckified compared to the original.
Samus is still the original queen of ass-kicking. There's something very special about letting two oponents flank you just so you can take them both with her up-B attack. Her charged shot still does plenty of damage, although it takes as much finesse as it did before. Dropping bombs, while not particularly damaging, is a great way to dissuade your enemies from juggling.
My favorite characters are probably Ness and Peach. For Ness, PK Thunder is a great move. There's nothing like standing on one side of a level and sniping someone as they try to get to you. It's also fun to be able to juggle people with the move. PK spark I've never really been able to use well, as it takes way too long to take effect, but PK fire is sometimes useful. Ness's down-b move is also great, as it's one of the few moves in the game that actually heals you. It would be nice if it worked on a few more types of attacks (bombs, missiles), but it's still great to fight Samus, let her charge up her gun fully, then hit down-b right before she fires.
Peach is fun to play because she's great at juggling. Her special moves are nothing special, though the turnips she pulls out of the ground are sometimes useful, but her up smash is great for keeping people in the air, as are her normal attacks. Her side smashes aren't too bad either. In addition, her high jumps and ability to float make her excellent at dodging in midair, and give (possibly) better than Kirby recovery, at least horizontally.
Jugglypuff is also fun to play, though I don't have quite the level of finesse needed to take out anyone who's not big and slow, like Bowser.
I hate using Ganandorf, since I always get stuck doing his up-a attack where he sticks his foot up in the air and sits there for a while, at which point someone always smashes me. In fact, my least favorite characters are the big slow ones, like DK and Mewtwo, though I'm surprising okay at Bowser. However, it's all about being speedy and never letting people land.
Samus. Samus Aran. The Man. (Not "a" man, THE Man.) As an observer, Roy, Marth, and Cpt. Falcon seem to be the most undefeatable characters in experienced hands.
Huh. Could've sworn I'd already written here. *shrug* Here goes:
It's all about Falco. He's nearly as fast as Captain Falcon, has an incrediblely useful dash attack (great for horizontal recovery), and a stompy *repeatable* side-smash. The laser is amusing, but not overly useful--that's still worth something, though. Oh, and the reflect is just brilliant when used as an attack (you can even spike with it, if you're sufficiently awesome); it's unexpected, freezes the opponent momentarily (which is all Falco needs to start side-smashing him across the board), and does a little damage even when the opponent isn't currently attacking. All in all, Falco is t3h aw3s0m3?. Oh, and you should see him on coin mode.....
The catch with Falco is that your reflexes and knowledge of your (human) opponents playing styles must both be top-notch, or else you'll just wind up in stupid and random places, pause to catch your bearings, and get smashed. Very sad. (As a side note, that's something to look to take advantage of against a novice Falco, or someone who's just played 3 or 4 straight as a slow character.)
I played this game briefly... I found it really confusing - it felt like there was more to keep track of than in SoulCaliber?, which is probably true since the edge is much more of an issue, and there are also multiple opponents. Also, I had trouble distinguishing my character from the others, and all characters from the background, even when I played a green Link on a reddish-brownish background. >_< --SeleneTan