Fast-forward a mere two years and the series now has Gamecube Intensity. The N64 original was a pretty cool concept, but this is where that concept truly gets realized: The best way to sum up Super Smash Bros Melee is to run up to someone and flying punch them.
Like most teenagers do regularly, I'm going for Solo Smash. This game has a robust story mode that GREATLY expands upon the original's arcade mode. The Wii successor to this game expands story mode even further. Unfortunately, the Wii U successor to that one dropped story mode entirely. Some players can take it or leave it, but I'm a huge fan of story mode in these games. It's a chance to see characters interacting that you never really get to see interact anywhere else.
More selectable characters this time. Whoa, Ness? I bet he was the last selectable character in the N64 game. Awesome to see Earthbound getting some recognition.
Before we take on Adventure Mode (story mode), I tackle the single-player Arcade Mode. This is a lot like the original game, only with better visuals.
Each of the eight battle stages has you taking on a different foe in a different situation. Here we see Mario and Link in TAG TEAM MATCH, PLAYA.
This is the Onett stage, straight out of Earthbound. I was hoping the Onett area music would play here, but instead we get a more general tune from the game.
The next stage is supposed to be Brinstar, and the music is pretty sick. Keep in mind that this game pre-dates Metroid Prime.
Here's the tune. It's taken from the original NES Metroid and remixed for the 'Cube era.
There's also a remix of Brinstar Depths (aka Kraid's Lair) from the original Metroid. This would fit in a Prime-series game. If you're wondering where Norfair is, I believe it's the Metroid-area they went with for Super Smash Bros Brawl.
Next, Mario locks horns with Fox McCloud, as Fox seeks retribution for Mario sabotaging Star Fox Adventures. Why are we fighting like this? WHY DOES PURGE NIGHT GO ON, YEAR AFTER YEAR?
Whoa. Sweet neon visuals here, as I fight no fewer than ten kirbies.
As if the T-1000esque Metal Mario in the original game wasn't bad enough, now it throws Metal Yoshi my way. To what depths will Skynet sink?
As usual, the final boss of Arcade Mode is the Invisible Hand of the Free Market. It has taken a bit of a nerf since the last game, at least.
The Groping Hand of Donald Trump has the same attacks as usual. The battlefield looks a bit prettier, at least.
After a pitched battle, Mario emerges victorious in Arcade Mode. Now I can really dive into Adventure Mode.
But wait! A shadowy Pokémon has materialized. Gengar?
Nope, it was Jigglypuff. And this time...I emerge victorious. Never again, Jigglypuff. NEVER AGAIN.
Adventure Mode begins! Instead of just fighting battles, you get to traverse stages inspired by other games. You pick a character and have at it. I go with Samus again.
In the first stage, Samus battles Goombas and Koopas. It's sorta like that Super Mario Crossover flash game that I've heard so much about (that Nintendo should buy the rights to and put on Wiiware). Bring over Another Metroid 2 Remake too. There are so many great, sponsor-less fan-games out there to mine.
The Screw Attack is more visually true-to-Metroid here, and still overpowered.
Triple Goomba is NO MATCH for a charged shot. This is awesome.
I play as Pikachu a bit, since I defeated him too fast to see any of his moves in the first game.
Whoa, Bowser is looking impressive. This was definitely a graphical leap over the N64.
The next battle is also the sexual fantasy of numerous furries: Ten Yoshis At Once.
Get past that and you get to fight the Marvel Team-Up monstrosity that is Luigi and Toadstool. Here we see Toadstool trying to hover to avoid a pit, only to realize she's wielding a sword instead of her trademark umbrella. Meanwhile, Luigi executes a Psycho Crusher at nothing in particular.
Super Oozaru Donkey Kong returns, but this time it's one-on-one. It might seem like you're outmatched until you discover that he can be defeated with one simple strategy: Hundreds of Dick Punches.
He's also even easier to ring out. I'm winning most of these fights with ring-outs, which is also how I beat Tobal No 1, Tekken 3, and Battle Arena Toshinden. I also beat WWF War Zone with nothing but countout victories.
Adventure Mode continues with the lengthy Hyrule Dungeon section. This was my least-favorite part of the game. You run around a maze until you find the Master Sword, which can randomly appear in one of five places. In my case, it usually didn't appear until I checked the fifth and final spot.
Mirror Match! Dark Samus didn't exist yet, so the palette-swap of Samus is Weirdly Faded Samus.
What follows is a brief escape sequence, followed by an exploding planet. Adventure Mode is SO COOL, you guys. It might seem like we're pretty far along, but we're barely at the halfway point.
We go right from my second video game to my first video game. Here's Dreamland, home of greedy food capitalists and starving cream puffs. There's also this one sentient tree who keeps turning evil for some reason. You'd think the citizens would have taken an axe to him by now.
In this stage you fight Kirby himself, the Robin Hood of Dreamland. This...is a battle between the main characters of my first two games. It's a mad house!
Kirby activates the power of Ice Man from Mega Man 1, who he killed and ate. This gives him the ability to give another Kirby a vicious Pedigree. I guarantee these sentences have never been written before.
While some Adventure Mode stages are full-on stages with map layouts and exploration, others are quick battles. Unfortunately the Great Fox here is the latter. I kinda wanted to see what the ship interior was like.
Samus dishes out a flying kick! Fox responds by drinking in the corner.
WrestleMania is next, and this time it's you versus a horde of Pikachu.
This battle is tricky because some of the Pikachus hold onto Samus' legs while the one in the wizard hat leaps up and down casting foul incantations.
The next area is an F-Zero track that you sprint down. Every so often...
...a bunch of racers whiz by! They cause significant damage and/or death if you're still on the track, so you need to jump onto platforms when they're en route.
The Death Race culminates in a battle against Captain Falcon, Nintendo's most feared superhero. I later discovered that he's kinda OP to play as in this game. His attacks tend to have huge knockback and ring-out potential.
The next area is Onett, where you fight...a horde of Nesses. Some of these stages are getting a little redundant. I liked the early stages like Mushroom Kingdom and even the Hyrule level because they were something different and felt like crossover games.
We find Mr. Saturn rolling around on the roof of the Drug Store. This...this explains a lot.
Icicle Mountain is the domain of the Ice Climbers. It's more of a real stage, as it vertically scrolls upward while you jump from platform to platform.
This was a fun one. Samus is particularly good here because the Screw Attack effectively dispatches the foes on the platforms. The auto-scrolling is faster than I would have expected, which keeps things exciting but never gets frustrating.
At the top, we find...an army of mallet-wielding Ice Climbers. A lot of Nintendo fans don't know who these guys are, but they're the reason the Nazis lost the war. Never try and battle the Ice Climbers in the middle of Winter.
Speaking of the war, here's the aptly-named "Battlefield". Adventure Mode is really starting to resemble the endgame of Arcade Mode now.
Much like the N64 game pitted you against a bunch of polygonal figures, this one pits you against a bunch of wire-frame figures. They're all easy to beat, so I'll take this opportunity to point out that wire-frame characters were bad-ass back in the 90's. Like The Lawnmower Man and...the ones I drew in notebooks at school. That's all I can think of at the moment.
In the Shang Tsung position, as usual, is the fuckably-smooth Metal Mario.
Get past Tsung, and the final battle is against Bowser himself. This time he's in giant form, and he's even scarier than Master Hand. You've probably already figured out his weakness:
Charged Energy Blast to the Dick. When simple dick-punches don't suffice, you have to go all-out.
Samus poses in the Metroid 2 cover-art crouch. Awesome.
That does it for this game. Very cool Adventure Mode and I enjoyed it a lot. Super Smash Bros Brawl has an even MORE expansive story mode, so stay tuned.
After Adventure Mode concludes we get another of those battles where you can recruit a new character...if you win. Unfortunately, the drug-peddling Dr. Mario manages to escape me this time as he spreads the opioid crisis to the already shroom-addled Mushroom Kingdom.
And now for something completely different: The Squirtle Dance.