Still nostalgic for the heady afternoons you once spent on your mate's GameCube (everyone knew a GameCube Kid) playing Smash Bros., but not been able to take the plunge into buying a Nintendo Switch? Well, you're in luck.
Super Smash Bros. Melee is arguably the greatest title in the platforming fighter franchise's history, combining a vast wealth of characters with intuitive, simple and accessible gameplay and an arcade feel that has earned it legions of fans around the world. And now, thanks to a rockstar team of developers and passionate longtime fans of the game, it's available to play online.
The game, of course, isn't an official Nintendo-licensed product, but rather a program called Slippi, which is designed to work with a PC-based Nintendo GameCube Emulator Dolphin. Emulators, which many people might know from trying to play Pokemon on their laptop computers growing up, work like virtual consoles, allowing people to effectively replicate the experience of playing a console on a PC.
Over the years, as the power and graphics capabilities of computers has risen, so too has our ability to recreate games on the platform, with emulators like Dolphin now comfortably bringing to life experiences that once would have been reserved exclusively for console gamers.
In an even crazier twist, the developers of Slippi have even built proximity matchmaking into the experience, meaning that anyone who wants to get their Smash on online can do so with other players around the world.
Even though numerous Super Smash Bros. titles have been released since Melee, the original GameCube installment still remains wildly popular with fans and players 18 years after its release. As one of the original titles to gain a significant eSports following, Melee tournaments still garner thousands of fans around the world, meaning that the prospect of being able to play online will undoubtedly be irresistible for long-time enthusiasts.
Many, like recent tournament champion and YouTuber Leffi, believe that the recreated game is not only powerfully faithful in its rendition of the original title, but that it'll potentially have the power to usher in a new wave of online Smash Bros. players, ensuring that the longevity of the game remains healthy well into its third decade of existence.