Super Smash Bros. has grown over the years from Nintendo’s premier couch party game into one of the longest-running and most cherished esports in the world. And though each installment has its own competitive scene, the crown jewel in the series is undoubtedly Super Smash Bros. Melee, due in large part to its unique mechanics that set it apart from those that came before and after. Fans famously took it upon themselves to alter Super Smash Bros. Brawl in an effort to make it more like Melee, resulting in the now-legendary Project M, and it appears that Super Smash Bros. for WiiU will be getting the same treatment.
Released yesterday, the beta build for Melee HD is now available for both homebrew WiiU systems and the CEMU emulator. It’s exactly what any Melee fan would want; the speed and weight of characters have been adjusted to Melee levels, techniques like wavedashing, crouch cancelling, and L-cancelling have been reintroduced, and veteran fighters have had their movesets reverted to their Melee iterations. And much like Project M, some characters have been rebalanced in order to improve their viability or limit their sheer dominance over the rest of the cast.
Though this mod may seem like a godsend, the community is understandably cautious about adopting it wholesale. Project M had entirely replaced Brawl in major tournaments and was growing exponentially when, in late 2015, the team behind it abruptly and shockingly ceased all development on the game. Though no official reason was ever given, many believe that the threat of legal action by Nintendo was responsible. It would fall in line with the typical behavior of Nintendo regarding fan mods; just last year, the beloved remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus, titled AM2R, received a takedown order from the company in advance of the release of Metroid: Samus Returns for 3DS.
With the Nintendo Switch enjoying phenomenal success, many fans believe that a proper Melee remaster for the console is possible—there are even petitions focused on getting the game made. And even if that’s not the case, some manner of Smash Bros. title for Switch is imminent, so it’s logical to assume Nintendo won’t want a fan project taking away attention from whatever that game may be. Until that time comes, the Melee faithful can enjoy this remixed version of Smash Bros. for WiiU without fear.
The beta release and patch notes are available here.