Super Smash Bros. Melee

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Tips and Tricks for Dummies

Tips and Tricks
(for dummies!)
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Basic Tips 

Smashing for Dummies 
You have to ask yourself, do you really understand what a smash attack is? 
Surprisingly, many beginner players don't understand what a smash attack is. If you 
don't, you're missing out on the foundation of the fighting system. Read on. Smash 
attacks are performed by using the A-button in combination with the analog stick. 
Basically, you have to quickly smash the control stick in a particular direction -- 
right, left, up, down -- and press the A-button in sync with the moment the stick 
connects with the edge of the control barrier. Still confused? Here's an easy way to 
open your eyes. Select the one-player training mode with a character of your choice. 
Select a simple stage like Kirby's Fountain of Dreams. Now, zoom in on your 
character with the C-stick and center them on the screen. Light press and hold down 
on the analog stick. You'll be crouching. Now, hit the A-button. Repeat the move a 
few times and take note of it. Now try smashing the control stick downward and 
tapping the A-button at the same time. You should see a completely different attack. 
If you're not seeing it, press Start and slow the speed down to 1/4 which doesn't 
require as much accuracy. Move the speed up to x1 until you can repeat the smash 
move. There are of course smash moves that work for pressing left/right or up on the 
control stick as well. 

Lighten Up 
You'll notice that when you press horizontally your character will want to move and 
when you press up they'll want to jump. It's important that you become accustomed to 
the control stick. It has many levels of sensitivity and you'll need to have a feel 
for them. In the case of pressing up you should practice slightly tilting the 
control stick upwards. It's a measurement that is probably on the order of about a 
millimeter or two. The point of this is that your character usually has a very 
important non-smash Up + A attack that should be a part of your attack regiment. You 
don't want to have to jump and hold up every time you want to perform this attack. 

As for pressing left or right on the analog stick, you'll notice that your character 
has varying speeds of movement. You can walk, trot, or run depending on how far you 
press it (slowly tilt the controller to vary your speed). During any of these speeds 
if you press the A-button you'll perform a non-smash attack. However, there is also 
a dash. If you smash the control stick to the right or left you'll see that your 
character will quickly sprint off into the desired direction. For most characters 
pressing the A-button will result in another different non-smash move. So, as you 
can see, being able to discern between the varying levels of sensitivity is 
important. 

Jump for Life
A basic and often not understood element of Smash Bros. is how KOs happen. Every 
stage, as you'll see, has no outer edges. You'll also notice that your damage meter, 
a percentage, goes up and not down during fights. Both of these features are quite 
contrary to most fighting games. This is because the main modes of Smash Bros. 
require you to knock your opponent off the stage. As their percentage rises it could 
be considered as losing health, but what it really stands for is their ability to be 
knocked a certain distance. The higher the percentage, the more likely they can be 
smashed so far from the stage they are KOed or simply can't make it back to the 
stage. 

This is where jumping, performed by pressing X, Y, or Up, comes into play. It is not 
just a vehicle for attacking, but also one that you must master to save yourself. 
Every character besides Yoshi and Jigglypuff have the ability to propel themselves 
up into the air a total of three times. The first two times is referred to as a 
double jump. You simply jump once and then at the height of it jump again. The 
third "jump" is most often an Up + B attack that pushes your character even farther 
upward. You'll want to time this third recovery attack, or jump, perfectly. Usually 
it will be at the height of the second jump, but occasionally -- if you're too far 
away -- you'll need to continue towards the stage after the second jump before you 
make your last attempt. 

Try to get together with a friend and practice this with the character you plan on 
mastering. It's one of the most important techniques in SSBM you can master. It's 
also a good idea to experiment with the jumping conventions. You can press Up on the 
analog stick or use the X or Y buttons. In the end, it's a matter of taste. However, 
there are definite benefits to both. If you use Up on the analog stick, you'll 
always have easy access to the attack buttons. However, because you cannot really 
press left/right while jumping, you stand to loose a little distance. In the case of 
using the buttons, it will draw your finger away from the attack buttons. Again, you 
have to find what feels most comfortable for you. 

Throwdown
The conventions for throwing your opponent have changed in Super Smash Bros. Melee. 
Now you can throw an opponent upward or down as well as to the left or right. Simply 
grab them and press the analog stick in the chosen direction. There's no need to use 
the A-button in conjunction with the toss. Also new to the game is that once you 
grab your opponent you can hit them a few times by tapping the A-button before you 
throw them. It takes a bit more of patience, but is worth the extra damage if you 
can remember to do it. 

Then you have to decide how you want to perfor your grab: the Z-button or L/R + A? 
We strongly recommend using L/R + A, as activating your shield before your throw 
will protect you. Also, if you master rolling and sidestepping (read below) you'll 
find that this method is far more effective than using the Z-button. 

Advanced Techniques 

Eventually you will come to grips with the basic control mechanics. Or, perhaps 
you've been a pro smasher for years since the title debuted on the N64. In either 
case, you're going to find there is a whole new set of advanced controls waiting to 
be taken advantage of. The tips and techniques detailed in following will bring your 
skills to a whole new level. It's one thing to understand the rudimentary mechanics, 
but now it's time to see how deep the rabbit hole goes and explore the deeper 
control mechanics. 

Charge It
Each of your smash attacks can be charged if you hold the A-button instead of 
releasing it. This is an extremely important feature that is useful not only for 
more powerful smash attacks, but also for timing. There are a lot of opportunities 
where a smash attack would be effective, but due to bad timing they may be weak or 
you may miss completely. That said, charging your smash attacks is always a wise 
idea if the opportunity is there. You'll find that you have more accuracy and the 
hit is often much more powerful. The ability to charge and its timing varies from 
character to character, so put some time aside to practice your charge hits and 
devise new strategies. 

Shield Yourself
One of your biggest assets is your shield. To take full advantage of it, you need to 
understand its more subtle abilities. Firstly, the shield is activated by the R or L 
trigger. Those triggers are analog (i.e. like a gas pedal), so depending on how much 
pressure you place on them your shield will behave differently. Lightly press R or L 
and your shield will be very large but lightly colored. This means it will last 
longer but shrinks faster to damage. As you move towards a fully depressed shield, 
you'll notice that it's very powerful but shrinks quickly. Depending on the 
situation, you'll need to try to adapt your shield. If someone is, for instance, 
shooting you repeatedly with the Super Scope it's a good idea to lightly press the 
trigger for a very large, slow-to-shrink shield. The smaller, more powerful shield 
is more convenient for blocking smash hits or item throws. 

On the subject of items, you now have a better way of dealing with the ones tossed 
at your noggin. The shield can be used to reflect items and certain projectiles like 
lasers. The trick is to activate it at the very moment the projectile comes in 
contact with it. The risk is that if you're too slow, you're going to get nailed 
with it instead. Some characters such as Fox, Zelda, and Mario have more efficient 
built-in moves for deflecting things, but for those that do not you can use this 
shield method. Get together with a friend and head into the Training mode (switch 
the CPU to human on the menu) and practice trying to reflect something like the 
laser gun. When you get good enough, try playing around with the Bob-omb. 

Art of the Dodge
One of the most talked about features to be added to Super Smash Bros. Melee is the 
dodge function. Don't make the mistake of brushing it off as a "quirky feature." 
There are so many different ways to use it, dodging could practically be considered 
an art form. But, let's discuss its basic functionality before we trivialize real 
world art. A dodge can be performed both in the air and on the ground. In the air, 
you simply tap the shield trigger (R or L) and you'll see your character defy the 
laws of gravity, stop in midair and shift to the side. You can additionally force 
the dodge into one of eight directions with the analog stick. For example, Up + R/L 
will push your character upwards, while Up-Right + R/L will push them slightly 
diagonally. There are many different reasons and ways to use the air dodge. 

Most of which you'll have to experience on your own, but we can suggest a few of the 
most popular uses. First and foremost the air dodge is a brilliant way to avoid 
getting smacked by another player in mid-air, which is often where you're most 
vulnerable. Just dodge right through them as they jump at you to attack. The air 
dodge is also very useful if you're about to land on someone's uppercut. You may 
even want to tease them by nearly falling onto their attack, but dodging it at the 
last second. If you dodge to early, they can often to easily realign their hit. 

The air dodge can also be used as a sort of third jump instead of the usual Up + B 
recovery attack, which usually leaves you very vulnerable. If you double jump and 
then air dodge upward you'll see that you have a bit more control over the extra 
height and the recovery time is slightly better. It's not recommended for getting 
back to the stage necessarily, but definitely if you want to jump high above the 
stage. It's very useful for leaping from one side of the stage to the other, and you 
won't be left vulnerable falling through the air so long. 

Equally important is that you learn to dodge item throws. Often as you fall through 
the air above a character they will throw an item at you. If you can successfully 
dodge them most of the time, you'll save a lot of damage points. Often when you're 
attempting to triple jump back to the stage foes will toss an object at you. If your 
position is right, you can easily dodge the object, thus saving your life. The 
ground dodge, performed by pressing Down + R while your feet are planted, can also 
be useful for item tosses. However, it requires incredibly precise timing. Instead 
we recommend sticking to blocking object throws with the shield, where you stand to 
deflect them or even pick them up. The ground dodge should be used in other 
situations, though. If your shield is running low and you can clearly see you're 
about to get smashed by a powerful attack, try a ground dodge. It's also very handy 
for hefty overhead attacks. If a character like Bowser comes smashing down on you, 
it may be wiser to dodge instead of blocking (especially if you're shield is low). 
This leaves you in perfect position for an attack. Also, it's the perfect defense 
against the crushingly powerful Kirby Star item. Overall, the dodge function is one 
of the most advanced techniques you can take advantage of. Learn it well. 

Tuck and Roll
The ability to roll or sidestep around characters is yet another valuable technique 
that requires mastering. The use of it is quite simple. Activate your shield and 
press either left or right on the analog stick. Depending on your character, you'll 
notice you can perform a few different sidesteps or rolls. Heavy use of this is 
recommended. There are two major benefits to it. Firstly, while you sidestep your 
shield will actually not wear down even though you're holding it down. It's a good 
way to prolong the use of your shield. On top of this, you can reposition yourself 
for an attack. One of the easiest strategies you could develop would be to side-step 
behind your opponent to attack them. It sounds simple to avoid, but it works 
incredibly well. This is also an easy way to position yourself for a throw. 
Sidestepping in general is disorienting for opponents and unpredictable. Hence, it's 
very useful. For some characters you'll actually find their sidestep is quicker than 
running, and because you don't slip and slide you can change directions on a dime. 
Don't overlook rolling and sidestepping. You can dance under the protection of your 
shield from one side of the stage to another without gaining a point of damage. 

Itemize
Somewhat new to the side-scrolling fighter is the item. In Smash Bros. it is a major 
deciding factor in who wins or loses. There is a huge range of items to use and each 
of them has specific benefits. Be sure to browse our items section to learn more 
about their separate features. From a more general standpoint, you need to realize 
that throwing items is just as important as smash attacks. A hostile projectile is 
one of your best friends. You can chuck it across the screen, deal out major damage 
to an opponent, and not have to worry about any repercussions (assuming they don't 
deflect it with a shield). Tossing an item is also very handy when trying to keep an 
opponent off of the stage. For example, if you manage to throw, say, the Star Rod at 
an opponent, sending him flying off of the stage, you can usually pick the Star Rod 
back up and throw it at your opponent as they jump back to the stage. If you 
connect, chances are they're doomed to fall into the oblivion below. There's a bit 
of geometry and calculation involved, so practice your throws. You can actually 
affect the speed of the throw depending on how hard you smash the stick forward. 
Yes, there are smash item throws, believe it or not. 

There is a solution for this, though. You can actually catch items that are thrown 
your way. Try playing a game of hot potato with the Bob-omb. You'll likely blow 
yourself up many times, but it will help you work on your timing, which must be 
precise. In most cases, your better off not attempting to catch a lethal item, 
opting to dodge or reflect it instead. 

One last interesting detail about items is that you can pick them up with the A-
button while you're feet are planted, but if you're jumping through the air the A-
button will not snatch them up. Instead, use the Z-button to grab the item. It's 
very useful to pass through a platform and pick up an item without stopping. 



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For more helpful tips go to, http://guides.ign.com/guides/16387/page_3.html
My friends and I made a wep page of all the characters and their moves.

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