Lasting First Impressions of Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Developed by SuperBot Entertainment | Published by Sony Computer Entertainment
» Personally I think PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is a game that’s long overdue. Sony has access to a large cornucopia of fantastic characters and, frankly, I’m surprised this game wasn’t brought to us on the PlayStation 2. I’m a huge fan of brawlers and, as most people my age, I began liking this genre when Super Smash Brothers came out for the Nintendo 64. My nerdy friends and I would have hours of entertainment beating each other up with our favourite characters. Well, it turns out All-Stars compares very well with Super Smash Brothers in many ways.
Before delving into the multi-player aspect of the game, I tried solo play to see how they would develop each individual character’s story. It’s very tricky to have storylines make sense in fighting games or brawlers and PlayStation All-Stars isn’t anything special in that regard. Sony chose to create intros and outros for each character’s solo story to try to give them depth, but they didn’t end up being very compelling; not to mention that they chose to use still image montages during these scenes. Considering the original voice talent was brought in for this game, I’m surprised they did not spruce the single player up a bit with a broader story that the entire cast could have been part of.
Then again, no one really buys these types of games for single player, so I went on to try both offline and online multiplayer. In PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, much like a lot of fighting games such as Street Fighter and Persona Arena, the entire roster was unlocked from the get go. I personally prefer having a little air of mystery to the game when it comes out so that I feel like I have something to achieve while playing with my friends. They did, however, create a ranking system that allows you to level up each character and gain new taunts, costumes, and even victory music. This is a neat feature which was carried out well and leaves room for DLC and customization. After browsing through several menus I did find that all their design choices were too simplistic and very bland. I think that was something they should have spent more time on. When choosing your character, you can’t even see how a specific colour scheme will look on them before you accept your choice. That’s a big deal!
Here’s my biggest problem with the game so far: the only way to get a KO on an enemy is to use your super move which you slowly charge up when doing damage to your opponents in the match. I would have liked to see this game have the option for a damage counter (or health bar) that would allow you to hit enemies off the map after they took enough damage. This feature was not included and it made obtaining special items underwhelming because they are just another way to charge up your super move from Level 1 to 3.
The overall combat is very intuitive. Each character has a wide range of abilities and, as you continue to play, you find new combos to harass your opponents with. The movement flows well and I thought it was smooth and well thought out. All-Stars also has a wide range of maps to choose from that are dynamic and present challenges during the matches. These maps look very detailed and interesting and I found they gave the game a lot of life because they were 3D and they interact with you as you played. The graphics are gorgeous and a lot of attention was given to the characters in both their appearance and motion capture. I was playing as Nathan Drake for little while and noticed that all of his actions were identical to the actions he did in the Uncharted games. To me, that really stands out because it would be a lot easier to just make standard kicks and punches for all characters. All in all the game was lot of fun to play. It was fast paced and it didn’t get stale in my first hour, unlike most fighters I have played. I really enjoyed the online brawls and all the characters seemed very balanced.
I have laid out a lot of positives and negatives to this particular title and I have to admit it really makes me want to go back and play Smash Brothers. Regardless, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is a solid first entry in a genre sorely lacking in the PlayStation family.
SuperBot Entertainment, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.