With Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and Super Mario Sunshine getting remastered versions on the Nintendo Switch, it seems that rereleasing Gamecube games on the Nintendo Switch is not out of the question.
Yet, with its 20th year anniversary looming in 2021, should Nintendo remaster Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo Switch?
Possibly the most popular entry in the series thanks to its reputation as the main entrypoint for many fans, Melee has endured over the years and still has an active fanbase today. So, to celebrate the game’s 19th anniversary this year, let’s look at what Melee contributed to the series and the arguments for and against its remaster.
The original Super Smash Bros. acted almost like a one-off spinoff, with it featuring only 12 Nintendo characters and only a handful of franchises getting represented. Melee brought along 13 more combatants including fan-favourite characters like Princess Peach and Zelda, Bowser, and Ganondorf.
Oddball picks like Mr. Game and Watch, Ice Climbers, Marth and Roy certainly were welcome additions, especially since the latter two made their debut outside of Japan and brought Fire Emblem into the mainstream.
The addition of side special attacks and tighter controls as a whole changed the game completely and elevated Smash into a competitive game. Combined with the numerous exploits that fans have figured out over the years (like wave-dashing), this ensured Melee’s longevity even after three sequels were released.
Why It Should Be Remastered
It’s a bona fide classic, and it is still awe-inspiring to look back at. For a game of this caliber and scale to be made in 2001 is worth being preserved for newer generations of gamers to experience for the first time. To see how Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was shaped by Melee would be quite a treat for fans.
The lively competitive scene surrounding the game can also be reinvigorated with a new version of Melee, especially one with online multiplayer. This can make the game a lot more accessible and tournaments a lot more viable since competitors wouldn’t have to solely rely on playing the game physically on a Gamecube.
Melee’s Adventure Mode is also a great single-player mode that has not been revisited since, as it turns Smash Melee into a fully playable side scrolling platformer that has you go through Nintendo worlds that have been faithfully recreated. Super Smash Bros. Brawl’s Subspace Emissary may have turned this concept into an epic tale, but it doesn’t have the same charm as Melee’s Adventure Mode.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Remastered
Melee purists may not like the hypothetical additions that could be implemented in a remastered version, especially since all the exploits that fans have found relied heavily on overlooked mechanics and oversights that could not be patched out since Melee has always been an offline game. Melee without things like wavedashing would not be the same.
Even the base mechanics that are baked into Melee, like how only one character can hold onto a stage ledge at a time, can be quite unorthodox for Smash Ultimate players. The quality-of-life additions that later games brought can make playing Melee a little hard to get into. Melee may be a more fast and loose game, but Ultimate is certainly more consistent with its physics.
Last but not least, it might be easier for Nintendo to just release a Melee mode for Ultimate instead, since they are still going to be supporting Ultimate for quite some time. At this point, it’s more likely for them to release a third season pass than to regress to Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Overall, Melee’s contribution to modern day Smash Bros. cannot be overstated and it is unbelievable that a fighting game can endure for 19 years. Maybe Nintendo will surprise us with something Melee-related for Smash Ultimate, but we do have the slightest hope for a remaster of some sort.