Creator Backlash: A very mild form, but this interview with Rodney Greenblat, (PaRappa The Rapper's character designer) does state that he's not exactly thrilled with PaRappa's first appearance in over ten years being in a fighting game where he can potentially use rocket launchers and guns, but he's still glad the guy got a chance to come back.
Which is somewhat ironic, considering this is the first game in which we could actually see PaRappa use the kung fu he learned in the first level of his own game.
Doing It for the Art: Superbot was handpicked and created specifically for developing this game. The team purportedly has several fighting game enthusiasts working on it as well (the lead combat designer has written several fighting game guides for Brady games). The development team team has even gone so far as to include fighting game veterans like Maj, note runs the combo-video site Sonic Hurricane Ed Ma note EVO 2007's 7th place in Street Fighter III Third Strike and 3rd in the Street Fighter IV tournament of EVO 2009 as senior combat designer and Daniel "Clockw0rk" Maniago note 5th place in 2002's Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes tournament and 3rd in the 2010 tournament; he later co-authored the Brady guide for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as community manager. Superbot very much wants PSASBR to be successful.
This goes further than just fighting mechanics: apparently Ken Levine himself was tasked with writing the story-line for the Big Daddy’s arcade play-through. SuperBot also had Namco write Heihachi’s script to keep his dialogue intact. Supposedly SuperBot will be working closely with several of the cast's original developers to maintain series flavor.
SuperBot has placed particular attention into maintaining the cast's iconic voices (Terrence C.Carson, Tara Strong, Nolan North, Sean Pertwee, J. S. Gilbert), going so far as to bring Dred Foxx out of retirement to reprise PaRappa. In fact, it'd be easier to note that the only playable character who is not voiced by one of their original actors in this game is Nariko!
There is also the matter of Seth Killian, known for his time from Capcom. You know, the one they named a boss after?
In Parappa's story mode, instead of putting him and his friends in the flat 3D style during the intro and ending, he's drawn in the style from his INCREDIBLY unknown anime, Parappa TV. They basically got the old animation team from it-or at least someone who copies it well-JUST to make sure the Parappa design is intact. Now THAT'S doing it for the art.
Kat's story mode also got this treatment, being drawn in the same comic book style as cutscenes in Gravity Rush.
Bizarrely enough, Cole/Evil Cole didn't get graphic novel styled intros and endings based on the cutscenes from their home games. They were done in the realistic style shown primarily in gameplay.
Fake Brit: The Fat Princess Narrator, being pretty much the only example in the game. Every other character has a voice coming from that character's homeland (aside of alien or otherworldly characters, anyway).
Hey, It's That Voice!: Superbot went through a lot of effort to get as many of the original voice actors back and it shows.
In addition to Dred Foxx reprising Parappa, most of the cast from the series (except Katy Kat) returned as well, namely Armstead Christian as PJ, Ryu Watabe as Chop Chop Master Onion, and noticeably Kenya Hathaway as Sunny Funny, who hadn't voiced the character since Um Jammer Lammy.
Internet Counterattack: The Release Dart movement, which came about after concept art for Dart announcing him as a cancelled DLC character was leaked online. When Release Dart failed, the fandom regrouped with a new motto, Keep All Stars Alive, which was more successful.
Name's the Same: For one, there's the matter of the roster having both Jak and Jack (more commonly known as Raiden)
Old Shame: Borderline, post-release. PSASBR was released to lukewarm reviews, reception, and sales. Sony ended up cutting ties with SuperBot Entertainment, and questions about future DLC or a sequel are met with nonanswers.
As of late 2013/2014, this attitude is changing for the better. SSM celebrated the game's first anniversary with a number of competitions and prize giveaways. The promised Keep All Stars Alive patch was released, despite a Schedule Slip due to Sony prioritising the launch of the Playstation 4 prompting fears that it would be quietly shelved. New trailers and tips videos were released to promote the patch, and the game has an increasing presence in fighting game tournaments, with The Runback tournament being officially endorsed by SSM.
The Other Darrin: Sir Dan is voiced by Stephane Cornicard rather then Medievil designer Jason Wilson. Might be a subversion since some sources state Cornicard as Sir Dan's voice actor in the first game.
Zigzagged with Jak, going from his iconic voicing by Mike Erwin (who reprised the role in Playstation Move Heroes in 2011) back to Lost Frontier voice actor Josh Keaton (a 2009 title).
An interesting case with the Ape Escape characters. Most of them have their voice actors from the UK dubs of the series (making it the first time the voices are used outside of Europe), with the exception being the Professor, with Dan Green reprising his role from Ape Escape 2.
Outside the roster is Hades, now voiced by Matt Prescott Morton instead of Clancy Brown. What's odd about this is Clancy being credited as reprising his role as Baron Praxis for the Black Rock Stadium stage.
Katy Kat is voiced by Charlean Carmon, instead of Michele Burks (her VA in PaRappa 1 and Um Jammer Lammy) or Lea Alomar (her VA in PaRappa 2).
Talking to Himself: Playing Big Daddy on the San Francisco stage has Andrew Ryan effectively talking down to everyone involved in the battle, including Dr. Nefarious. Both are voiced by Armin Shimerman.
In the Japanese dub, this occurs when Big Daddy uses Flood against Heihachi; the latter's VA also provides Andrew Ryan's Japanese dub.
Vocal Evolution: Despite PaRappa having the same VA he's always had, he sounds much different than how he did in his games. This is due to the fact that the last PaRappa game came out in 2001 (2002 in America), so his VA obviously got much older during that time.
A stage featured back when the game was still being referred to as Title Fight mashed up the train segment from Uncharted with Warhawk.
Before SuperBot was formed, Sony originally wanted Naughty Dog or Santa Monica Studios to develop the game, but they were busy with their own projects (The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension). Sony then decided to build SuperBot from the ground up with a focus on team-members with experience in fighting games.
According to Seth Killian, a Katamari representative character was considered, but SuperBot was ultimately unable to decide how such a character would work.
According to Kojima Productions, Raiden was scheduled to have a big reveal at Penny Arcade Expo 2012, but his leak led to a more basic reveal as a preview for PAX.
The game was originally going to be a capture-the-flag game with each character being a archetype. Read here
One of the biggest removals, were the Game Changers. It took the form of an item from another series like a Buzz controller or a Hot Shots Golf flag. Picking up a game changer would have initiated the mash-up, but was removed for a more natural occurrence.
Possible final bosses could've been from specific games: the entire Helghan army, Dr. Nefarious, but Superbot wanted to find a way for you to fight Playstation itself; thus, Polygon Man was selected.
Abe from Oddworld was a planned DLC character, but then canned during the merge to SSM. (Stewart Gilray later deleted the tweet and claimed he never posted it, but an Oddworld developer also confirmed it.) Who was going to be his rival? Possibly Dart. Months later, artwork by Mike Edwards (the game's character artist) revealed Dart was also planned but scrapped. Apparently, they would have been accompanied by a new stage based on Gravity Rush and Journey. Despite a fan campaign to get them back in, Sony has remained staunch in their decision to not create any more downloadable content.
The game's title is somewhat similar to the Japanese title of the original Super Smash Bros., known there as "Nintendō Ōru Sutā! Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu," or "Nintendo All-Star! Great Melee Smash Brothers."
Emmett and Sweet Tooth share some lineage: Light Box Interactive who developed Starhawk was formed from old members of the now-defunct Incognito studios, who were responsible for both Warhawk (2007) and all of the Twisted Metal installments between Black and the 2012 reboot (the rest of Incognito including David Jaffe went on to become Eat Sleep Play, who would develop that 2012 reboot). Incognito was itself formed from remnants of SingleTrac Entertainment, responsible for the development of the first two Twisted Metal releases and the original Warhawk released on the PlayStation in 1995.
Including DLC and counting Cole as one character, the game's roster includes, 7 Japanese-created characters, 4 European-created (mostly based in England) and 12 American-created (mostly based in California).
San Francisco and Alden's Tower are the only two stages in which the host environment is invaded by a franchise coming from the same franchise holder (Insomniac Games and Sucker Punch respectively). Incidentally in both cases it's their lighter cartoony game (Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper) invading their grittier franchises (Resistance, Infamous)
The moon that appears in the top-left corner of San Francisco during the Ratchet & Clank segment of the stage is the same moon used by Insomniac Games for their company logo.
Some notes about the ages of the cast:
Heihachi is by far the oldest character in the game: his first appearance in a video game (the first Tekken game) was in December 1994 while his first appearance on a Playstation console was in March 1995.
Sweet Tooth is the oldest of all the first-party characters (December 1995). Emmett, on the other hand, holds the distinction of being the youngest (August 2012) out of the entire roster...
Unless you count the rebooted Dante as his own character, at which point, he becomes the youngest (January 2013).