A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a fighting game, plain and simple. Be prepared for plenty of non-stop violence (hitting, punching, kicking, as well as using special weapons, such as arrows and bombs). However, there is no blood or gore, and when characters are beaten they just fall from the screen.
What's it about?
SUPER SMASH BROS. MELEE accommodates from one to four players, providing plenty of gaming options. Choosing from Nintendo characters like Mario or Pichaku, you fight head-to-head in colorful Nintendo-game-themed arenas for prizes and advancement, or just go wild in no-holds-barred melee mode. In stadium mode, players partake in a home run contest (hitting a sandbag character as far as possible), take target practice, and fight in varied melee fighting scenarios against the CPU. This is probably the best mode for single players because there are actual tasks and goals -- not just a one-on-one face-off against the computer.
Is it any good?
Even adults will have to spend time mastering complicated moves like Luigi's airplane spin or Zelda's midair flame attack. Luckily, skill and luck go hand in hand, making it fun for kids of all ages and experience levels. You never know when a spaceship may come out of the background to interfere with your fight, or an object with the power to heal -- like a heart container -- may appear for your use, affecting the outcome. Also, games can be tweaked to give certain players an advantage.
The game has had a fantastic graphic facelift since the Nintendo 64 version. Samus' and Bowser's fire attacks look like they are popping out of the screen and Mute City is so incredibly saturated in colors that players can't help to stop fighting and admire when playing for the first time. All in all, Super Smash Bros Melee will certainly raise the volume of the room as players scream at the TV in elation, frustration, and shock.
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