Smash Bros was a highly anticipated game coming from those lovely people at Nintendo. Not having played the original I wondered what the fuss was all about, it didn't take me long to find out.

Super Smash Bros Melee is a platformer/beat-em up that includes some of the greatest characters from Nintendo's past, it has a cast which includes some of the icons of gaming down to some guys with mullets from bizzare Japanese games. The cast includes Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Fox McCloud, Pickachu, Jigglypuff, Kirby and Samus to name but a few.

Gameplay involves 2-4 characters on a level at any one time, to win the game you either beat your opponent to death or knock them off the level, sounds simple, huh? Like in most beat em ups each character has their own strengths and weaknesses for example Bowser and Donkey Kong are big and powerful and difficult to knock off the screen, but they are also very slow and once knocked off the screen have a fair bit of difficulty recovering, whereas princess isn't very tough, but her jump allows her to hover and one of her special moves allows her to glide accross the screen making recovery very easy. Each character also has a selection of moves which involve either pushing a button and a direction, repeatedly hitting a button or holding down a button until the move is charged. The beauty of the game is that it uses two main attack buttons and a jump button, so learning each characters moves is quite easy. In a battle their are quite a few different weapons at your disposal examples of these are light sabres, mushrooms(the ones that make you grow) pokeballs (allowing you to summon a pokemon who will unleash a special attack) among many others.

Graphically the game is excellent its colourful and striking and fits in very well with allof the characters. Even though the game is a 2d beat em up, each character is in 3d so once paused you can rotate round a character. One flaw with the graphics is the slow down, if you have four characters on screen at once each using a special move or an item the frame rate can become quite choppy.

The game can be played in both single and multiplayer. The main two modes for single player are classic and adventure. In classic the player must battle against a series of opponents and attempt a few bonus missions. Adventure is a slightly more indepth game with side scrolling mario type levels find the triforce level amongst several others. The game also has event mode, where you have to complete a certain challenge and a stadium mode amongst other things. New characters are unlocked by acheiving certain goals such as completing a certain event or completing classic mode with a certain number of characters.

The real attraction of the game is most certainly the mutliplayer mode. The game is simply a brawlfest until a winner emerges, you can choose to add computer opponents and even set teams. Also you can play special melees where all characters are giants or midgets, or the game is played in slow mo, these are just a few of the many options.

Another thing that will get you hooked are the trophies, in all there are 290 trophies to collect. Trophies are obtained in many ways, completing classic and adventure modes, bonus levels in classic mode and events are one way of getting them, another is using coins collected in the game (these are awarded to a player for usinga smash move and ko'ing a player) in the lottery, the more coins pumped in the greater the chance of winning a prize.

All in all Smash Bros is an amazing game that should be in every Game Cube owners games collection.