Super Smash Bros. Melee Turns 20

Super Smash Bros. Melee was released 20 years ago today in North America!

Super Smash Bros. Melee remains a fan favorite among many in the Super Smash Bros. community, with improvements like remarkable graphic and animation updates and an expanded roster of playable characters. After the critical and commercial success of Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, series creator Masahiro Sakurai was given a bigger budget and development team for the sequel.

The follow-up entry would be touted as the first ‘Killer App’ for the soon-to-be-released Nintendo Gamecube.

Unfortunately, Sakurai wasn’t provided with an abundance of time to develop brand new move sets for all the new characters. For this reason, 7 of the 26 characters available are mere “clones” of others. This means they play essentially the same as other related characters in the roster, only changing their appearance.

Melee made up for this with new features such as All-Star Mode and Adventure Mode, which livened the single-player up compared to its predecessor. There are also new Event challenges where the player must fulfill a certain requirement to beat the level. The game also keeps track of your stats over time and records your milestones. Multiplayer mode offers far more customization and items for you and your friends to terrorize each other with.

Super Smash Brothers Melee would go on to become the bestselling title for Gamecube, selling over 7 million copies! Melee is still a mainstay in the competitive gaming community thanks to its simple controls, fast-paced gameplay, and steep learning curve.

The original Nintendo 64 Smash Bros. started the franchise. But Melee cemented it as a bona fide staple for all subsequent Nintendo consoles.. The series’ success carries on to this day, as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch had its last DLC character announced just two months ago. Creator Masahiro Sakurai has shared his possible intentions to retire but what a legacy he has left!

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Writer, native Texan, DBZ fanatic, and budding Oscars historian

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