25 December 2001 | axemblue
The best fighting game... EVER!
Mario and the gang have returned for another bout. Only this time, they have new moves, items, places to battle... and of course, several new Nintendo stars to battle with.
The characters have never looked better. There's a lot of nice texture work here--you can see even very minor details like the stitching on Mario's overalls or the scales on Bowser's skin. The game constantly runs at 60 FPS, or frames per second (really, really smoothly), and load time is anywhere from one-and-a-half seconds to almost none at all.
Thankfully, Nintendo has not decided to edit the sound effects for the English version, unlike what they did for the first title. (Grr...) The music is very nicely done. Most of the tunes are orchestrated, and they even included the DK Rap from Donkey Kong 64!
Controls are also very similar to the first game. Players jump with the Y Button, use regular attacks with the A button, use special attacks with the B button, shield with the L or R buttons, and grab other players with the awkwardly placed Z Button. I recommend practicing to get the hang of it all.
The arenas are a lot more unique this time around, too. For instance, in the F-Zero Mute City stage, the arena constantly moves, and you can even get hit by the F-Zero cars zooming by. (This has to be seen to be believed.) Or in the Pokémon Stadium level, the landscape changes at random. All of the stages have little obstacles and traps like these.
The game is LOADED with all sorts of modes, even in single-player. Adventure mode, for instance, takes you through all sorts of cool stages based on Nintendo games. Players have several battle options, and players can also fight in tournaments with up to 64 players.
What about secrets? Well, I won't disclose much, but there are many characters to be unlocked, like Pichu, Ganondorf, and Prince Marth (from the Japanese RPG Fire Emblem). The only one I would change is Jigglypuff, who doesn't do much of anything. You can even earn many new arenas.
With all these options, modes, and secrets, this game is sure to keep players busy for a long, long time.
My score: 10 out of 10