Here I wanted to provide a brief overview of why Super Smash Bros. Melee fans are so passionate about their game vs. newer installments in the franchise. This is written to an audience generally unfamilar with the game and its community. So first, an introduction:
Super Smash Bros. Melee is a 2001 crossover fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube that features characters from various Nintendo franchises such as Mario, Zelda, Pokemon and Star Fox. It is the second installment in the Super Smash Bros. series and has been widely praised for its fast-paced, competitive and technical gameplay.
However, not everyone shares the same love for Melee as its die-hard fans do. Since its release, four more Smash games have been developed for different Nintendo consoles: Brawl (2008), 3DS/Wii U (2014) and Ultimate (2018). Each of these games has introduced new characters, stages, modes and mechanics that have changed the way Smash is played.
Some Melee fans have embraced these changes and enjoy playing the newer titles as well as their beloved classic. Others have rejected them and stuck to Melee as their preferred Smash game. They argue that Melee has a deeper and more rewarding gameplay that requires more skill and creativity than the newer titles. They also claim that Melee has a more vibrant and loyal community that supports the game through tournaments, mods and fan art.
So what makes Melee so special to its fans? And why do they think it is superior to the newer Smash titles? Here are some of the main reasons:
Melee is known for its fast-paced gameplay that allows players to perform advanced techniques such as wavedashing, L-cancelling, dash-dancing and edge-guarding. These techniques give players more options for movement, offense and defense than in other Smash games. They also increase the skill gap between players and reward those who master them.
Melee fans argue that these techniques make Melee more fun and exciting to play and watch than the newer titles. They say that Melee offers more freedom and expression for players to develop their own playstyles and strategies. They also say that Melee has a better balance between offense and defense than other Smash games, where offense is often favored over defense.
On the other hand, some of these techniques are considered exploitive, and have been removed or nerfed in subsequent Smash games by the developers. Some fans of newer titles argue that these techniques make Melee too complex and inaccessible for casual players who just want to have fun with their favorite characters. They also argue that these techniques create an unfair advantage for certain characters who can abuse them better than others.
Melee features 26 playable characters from various Nintendo franchises (25 if you count Zelda/Sheik as one). Some of these characters are iconic staples of Nintendo such as Mario, Link, Pikachu and Kirby; others are obscure or unexpected choices such as Ice Climbers, Mr. Game & Watch and Roy.
Melee fans love their roster of characters because they feel attached to them after playing with them for so long. They also appreciate how each character has unique strengths and weaknesses that make them suitable for different playstyles and matchups. They also enjoy discovering new tricks and combos with their favorite characters even after years of playing.
However, some Melee fans also acknowledge that their roster of characters is not perfect. Some characters are clearly stronger than others, creating a tier list that ranks them according to their viability in competitive play. Some characters are rarely seen or used in tournaments because they are too weak, too hard to use or too boring to play. Some characters are hated by many players because they are too annoying, too cheap or too overpowered.
In contrast, the newer Smash titles have expanded their roster of characters significantly, adding more variety and diversity to the game. Each new title has introduced dozens of new fighters from different Nintendo franchises, as well as third-party ones such as Sonic, Snake, Cloud and Joker. Some of these fighters have become fan favorites among both casual and competitive players; others have been controversial or divisive among different segments of the fanbase.
Some fans of newer titles praise their roster of characters because they offer more options and opportunities for players to experiment with different combinations and strategies. They also enjoy seeing how each character interacts with each other in terms of gameplay, storyline and personality. They also appreciate how each character is faithful to their original source material in terms of design, moveset and sound effects.
However, some fans of newer titles also admit that their roster of characters is not flawless. Some characters are still stronger than others, creating a tier list similar to Melee’s but with more variation depending on patches and updates. Some characters are still rarely seen or used in tournaments because they are too weak, too niche or too underdeveloped. Some characters are disliked by many players because they don’t fit their playstyle or they don’t represent their favorite franchise well.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features a variety of stages based on the different Nintendo franchises represented in the game. Each stage has its own unique layout, hazards, and music that affect the gameplay and the atmosphere of the match. Some stages are iconic and beloved, such as Battlefield, Final Destination, and Yoshi’s Story; others are more obscure or gimmicky, such as Fourside, Mute City, and PokeFloats.
Melee fans love their stages because they offer different challenges and opportunities for players to adapt and strategize. They also appreciate how each stage is designed with attention to detail and aesthetics, creating a cohesive and immersive world of Nintendo. They also enjoy the variety and creativity of the stage selection, which encourages experimentation and discovery.
However, some Melee fans also admit that their stages are not perfect. Some stages are unbalanced or unfair, favoring certain characters or playstyles over others. Some stages are too distracting or chaotic, making it hard to focus or enjoy the gameplay. Some stages are also banned or limited in tournaments, due to their potential for camping, stalling, or glitching.
In contrast, the newer Smash titles have also introduced their own stages, which are more diverse and dynamic than Melee’s in some ways. These stages have taken inspiration from not only Nintendo franchises but also other video games, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Metal Gear Solid, and Minecraft. They have also incorporated new features and mechanics, such as stage hazards, interactive elements, and stage morphing.
Some fans of newer titles praise their stages for being more innovative, entertaining, and competitive than Melee’s. They say that their stages offer more possibilities and excitement for players to explore and interact with. They also appreciate how their stages reflect the evolution and expansion of the video game industry, including the rise of indie games and cross-platform collaboration.
However, some fans of newer titles also acknowledge that their stages can also be problematic, controversial, or inconsistent. They say that their stages can be too gimmicky or random, reducing the skill and strategy of the gameplay. They also say that their stages can be too distracting or overwhelming, compromising the clarity and enjoyment of the match. They also say that their stages can be too dependent on the technology or hardware of the console, limiting the accessibility and portability of the game. Even Ultimate’s Omega and Battlefield form stages aren’t consistent across their various forms - meaning the stage parameters aren’t identical, making them not ideal for competitive play.
Super Smash Bros. Melee has a distinctive art style that combines the visuals and sounds of different Nintendo franchises into a cohesive and colorful universe. The characters, items, and stages are designed with attention to detail and fidelity, making them look and feel like their original counterparts. The music and sound effects are also carefully selected and arranged, creating a rich and dynamic soundscape that enhances the mood and rhythm of the game.
Melee fans love their art style because it celebrates and respects the heritage and diversity of Nintendo. They feel like they are playing with their childhood heroes and memories, reimagined and remixed in a way that honors and expands their legacy. They also appreciate the art style for its clarity and readability, making it easy to follow and understand the gameplay and the story.
However, some Melee fans also admit that their art style is not perfect. Some character designs are outdated or inconsistent with their recent portrayals, creating a dissonance or disinterest for some players.
In contrast, the newer Smash titles have an edge over Melee’s in some ways. These titles have pushed the limits of the technology and the aesthetics of the game, creating more detailed and realistic models, textures, and effects. They have also introduced new visual themes and motifs, such as the ink splatters in Splatoon’s stages, the glowing circuits in Mega Man’s stages, and the sparkling jewels in Diamond and Pearl’s stages.
Some fans of newer titles praise their art style for being more immersive, expressive, and diverse than Melee’s. They say that their art style brings out the best and the worst of each character, item, and stage, making them more relatable and memorable. They also appreciate how their art style reflects the current trends and innovations of the video game industry, including the rise of 3D modeling, motion capture, and photorealism.
However, not everyone agrees the latest iterations of character and stage designs are the best, especially fans who consider the 90s era of Nintendo to be their golden years.
Melee has a dedicated and passionate community that has kept the game alive and thriving for over 20 years. The community has organized and attended thousands of tournaments, events and gatherings around the world, featuring some of the best players and moments in Smash history. The community has also created and shared a vast amount of content related to Melee, such as combo videos, mods, fan art and memes.
Melee fans love their community because it is inclusive, supportive and creative. They feel like they belong to a family that shares their love for the game and their values of sportsmanship, creativity and fun. They also appreciate how the community has pushed the limits of the game, discovering new techniques, strategies and possibilities that have inspired and amazed them.
However, some Melee fans also admit that their community is not perfect. Some members of the community can be toxic, elitist or exclusionary, creating a hostile or unwelcoming environment for new players or different opinions. Some members of the community can also be too focused on their own goals or interests, neglecting the growth or health of the game or the community as a whole.
In conclusion, the reasons why Super Smash Bros. Melee fans think about their game vs. newer Smash titles are many and complex. It’s not just about gameplay, characters, stages, art style, or community, but also about nostalgia, history, culture, and identity. Each fan has their own story and perspective to share, and each game has its own merits and flaws to appreciate and criticize. Whether you are a Melee fan, a fan of newer titles, or both, there is always something to learn and enjoy from the world of Super Smash Bros.