The GameCube exclusive fighter Super Smash Bros. Melee first came out back in December of 2001. Since then it has become the best selling game released for that console and shaken the fighting genre with easy to grasp controls that allowed just about anyone to jump in and battle with Mario, Link, Kirby and other Nintendo icons.
However, while it is general consensus that Melee was easy to play, creator Masahiro Sakurai feels the game possessed a steep learning curve that kept it from being easily accessible:
“I had created Smash Bros. to be my response to how hardcore-exclusive the fighting game genre had become over the years, but why did I target it so squarely toward people well-versed in videogames, then? There are three Smash Bros. games out now, but even if I ever had a chance at another one, I doubt we’ll ever see one that’s as geared toward hardcore gamers as Melee was. Melee fans who played deep into the game without any problems might have trouble understanding this, but Melee was just too difficult”
I’ve heard many words used to describe the Smash Bros. series but I never recall hardcore being one of them. The focus on accessibility has managed to help make Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the sequel to Melee, one of this best selling fighting games ever released, with sales of nearly ten million copies. For more on steep learning curves in fighting games, check out this editorial.