Two words describe this game: must have. This game is a sequel of the successful N64 Super Smash Bros. Melee and has the same idea as the original Super Smash Bros. with just a few upgrades. There are better graphics, more characters, more levels, more moves, more weapons, and more game modes. However, some of these upgrades are a little disappointing. For instance, none of the new characters are really that spectacular, especially because many of them have almost the exact same moves as one of the original characters (Young Link, Falco, Dr. Mario, and Pichu). Also, some of the new weapons are not useful, just annoying (Mr. Saturn, umbrella, cloaking device). The graphics are only slightly better than the N64 version, and none of the new levels are anything special.
However, there a few good changes. Some of the new game modes (like Adventure Matches, Stadium mini-games, and Tournament Melee) are interesting and can be played over and over again, and still be fun. One difference that I really liked was the trophies. Where as the original Super Smash Bros. only gave information on each of characters, in Melee you have little segments of information to all kinds of old Nintendo characters and items. Collecting Trophies and looking through your collection may be one of the funnest parts of the game.
There are also a few differences in the controls and the moves. One part that is very cool is you can now perform your special attacks using the C stick, but you can only do this in VS Mode. All characters now also have a B over attack, in addition to a B attack, a B up attack, and B down attack. The controls are very easy to get used to, especially if you’ve played the original Super Smash Bros. a lot.
Overall, I think the differences between the original Super Smash Bros. and Melee are little disappointing. However, if you look at Melee by itself, it is an excellent game. Besides very good gameplay and good graphics, I think that Melee has exceptional sound. Try playing Melee with the volume all the way down, and I think you’ll find it is a completely different experience. While this is probably reasonably true for all games, I think it especially true for Melee because of the noises we normally wouldn’t even pay attention to. The little bangs, or umphs, you hear when characters hit each other or when they hit the ground. We hear these sounds, and pay very little attention to them, but they make Melee a good game none the less.
In summary, you should buy Melee if you already haven’t (especially because it’s only $20 now). Despite the fact that the differences between the original Super Smash Bros. and Melee are a little disappointing, Melee is still an exceptional game. I should warn you that it would be futile to rent the game and try to get enough play-time in the five days you rent it for. Melee just has too many hours of fun packed in that little disk.