Super Smash Bros. Melee is the Nintendo Gamecube sequel to N64's Super Smash Bros., a side-scrolling fighting game featuring the characters from the Nintendo world. Fast-paced and exciting, the game is easy enough for young kids to pick up and enjoy, and deep enough to fighting game veterans to really sink into.
- Super Smash Bros. Melee can be found at all major electronics stores, used video game stores, and online through hundreds of distributors. Though considered a classic, expect to only pay between $20 - $40 for the game, depending on where you buy it, and if it's new or used. The instruction booklet is very handy, so be sure to get a copy of it with the game.
- Learn to attack. While special moves are fun and flashy, they usually aren't as practical as standard attacks using the A button. A-attacks are usually faster, easier to combo together, and are the bread and butter for all characters. Additionally, by holding down A + direction, you initiate a smash attack, which sends your opponents flying off of the screen. Remember, the objective of Smash isn't to rack up damage, but to knock your opponent from the field of play. Smashes are the most effective at this.
- Learn to throw. Throwing is effective because it can damage a blocking character, and often throws can be used to start combos. Throwing can be initiated by pressing Z, or by pressing A while blocking (block-throwing). Often, if you successfully block an opponent's attack, pressing A immediately will start the throw. If you throw an opponent, pressing A will hit them at close range for one or two percent damage, and a direction will toss them in that direction. Some throws can smash opponents off the field, so be sure to try out all of your character's possible throws.
- Learn to block. If you press the L button, your character puts up a shield, the strength of which is respective to how hard you press L. If you press it lightly, a weak shield will appear, blocking most standard attacks. If you press it strongly, a strong shield will appear, which blocks all attacks. Notice that the longer you press L, the less surface area the shield will cover. As your shield diminishes, you can be hit from certain angles you normally would have been able to defend against. Don't let your shield diminish completely. If that happens, your character stuns, and your opponent gets to attack you freely while you recover.
- Learn to roll and dodge. If you press a left or right while defending, your character rolls in that direction. During your roll, you are invulnerable, though at the end of the roll you are momentarily vulnerable to attack. This is a great way to avoid attacks that would otherwise break your shield, or to move forward through projectiles. If you press you down while defending, your character dodges in place. Dodging has a shorter recovery time than rolling, and is best used if your opponent is directly in front of you.
- Learn to L-cancel. If you perform an attack while jumping, you can cancel the recovery time on landing by tapping L as soon as you land. You can then follow up with an attack or a defensive maneuver, preventing your opponent from block-throwing you. Being able to L-cancel effectively is the most important step to becoming a successful, attacking player.
- Ledge-guard consistently. After you smash your opponent, they have a chance to try and get back on the field. You can prevent this multiple ways. You can stand near the ledge and attack your opponent as they jump back on, or you can hang on the ledge they're trying to grab and prevent them from grabbing it (only one player can occupy a ledge at a time). Practice alternating between the two tactics to keep your opponent guessing.
- Learn to play and play against the top characters. Though all of the characters have their own strengths and weaknesses, most agree that the strongest characters are Marth, Sheik, Fox, Falco, and Peach. These characters have dramatic advantages over other characters, and if you don't know how to play them, you should certainly practice against them!