Video Game: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale aka: Playstation All Stars Battle Royale
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is a Massive Multiplayer CrossoverMascot Fighter developed by SuperBot Entertainment, which joins a cast of characters representing Sony Computer Entertainment's intellectual properties to beat the hell out of each other for Rule of Cool. To the speculation of many, the game's existence was foreshadowed when Sony launched their wildly successful ''Michael'' ad campaign in the fall of 2011. Initially known by the code name "Title Fight", the game was leaked by the Paul Gale Network before being officially announced by GameTrailers TV and on the PlayStation Blog on April 26th, 2012.The game avoids the usual approach to fighting games to use health or a life meter in lieu of a Super Meter which increases when a fighter connects an attack. Filling this meter gives the fighter access to a specialized, instantly killingsuper attack, and points are determined by how many of these attacks can connect. If the Super Attacks go unused, players can continue building to an easier to connect Level 2 Super, or even a show-stopping Level 3 Super. By default rules, players score 2 points per kill minus 1 point per death, with standard matches lasting for 3 minutes before declaring a winner; alternate rules include "stock" matches (limited lives, last player standing wins) and "kills" matches (first player to score a set number of kills wins). The game supports matches of up to 4 players in 3v1, 1v1, 2v2, or free-for-all.Many of the characters' fighting styles and techniques/abilities closely mirror or at least maintain the flavor of how they would play inside their own series, and nearly the entire cast has their most iconic voice actors reprising their roles. Stage interaction and items play a part in game-play, with many of them damaging built AP or causing a Standard Status Effect. Stages are notable for mashing up at least two franchises, with one universe hosting the battle while the other invades, while the items frequently feature some of the more iconic Playstation props/weapons. The game's story has the Anthropomorphic Personification of the PlayStation's power bringing the fighters and their worlds together for various reasons.The game was released in North America on November 20th, 2012 to reasonably favorable reviews. The official website is here and the wiki is here.On February 4, 2013, it was announced that Sony has "amicably" ended its relationship with SuperBot Entertainment, passing future content development of the game off to parent developer Sony Santa Monica Studios. However, Sony Santa Monica have since said that there are no plans to make more DLC, though noted that there was content left from SuperBot that was considered at some point; see What Could Have Been on the trivia page for details.Has a Fan Webcomic in the form of Zeus' Godly Goodtime, dedicated to Zeus attempts to be a good father to Kratos, and failing.
All The Worlds Are A Stage: The Boss Arena calls back a number of the previous level's hazards for the sake of making a non-predictable challenge.
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The PaRappa level features the MAWLR from Killzone, a HumongousSpiderMecha in the background, firing missiles at the players (the mecha can be seen outside the dojo window before the walls actually come down). Like in the Dojo level of PaRappa The Rapper, Chop Chop Master Onion will later reappear as a giant in the background in order to fight the mech. The Time Station has a Satan Chimera break through the portal, lobbing acid spit on the floor.
Background Music: As per the course for each stage. For example, Nate's Theme will play on Stowaways, the Precursor Legacy's theme in Sandover Village, etc.
Background Music Override: Goes hand in hand with the crossover stages. On Hades, the Patapon will override the stage's theme with their own jingle while The End Begins plays when the Hydra invades Metropolis.
Everything Trying to Kill You: The stages will feature many environmental hazards, such as Sandover Village, which has a giant Lurker Shark swimming beneath the stage who will eat players too slow to get back to the main platform. The Metropolis stage has the Hydra, which will periodically attack the players as well. In the Dojo stage, a Helghast MAWLR will open fire on Master Onion's dojo, and may end up hitting the fighters. The players may get involved in the crossfire between the Songbird/Vox Populi fight on Stowaways.
Free Floor Fighting: The Dreamscape level is constantly being built, adding extra platforms and occasionally lowering ground. This is just one example.
Alden's Tower is the greatest example, forcing the players to climb the stage periodically.
Funny Background Event: Since the stages will focus on one "host" stage being invaded by another PlayStation world, this will happen frequently. In Sandover Village, aboard the Rift Rider Samos and Keira (along with much of the local scenery) get sucked into a Rift Gate before a number of Hot Shots Golfers, their buggies, equipment, and a sign saying "19th Hole" start pouring out of it. Later on, in the Metropolis stage, Captain Qwark, having survived the Hydra's onslaught ends up becoming an unlikely Head Pet, riding away atop the creature as the match ends. In the Dojo level, Chop Chop Master Onion is attempting his usual training regiment and wondering why the players are more interested in fighting instead of following his words (before he has to go deal with the pressing matter of the MAWLR rampaging outside).
Hailfire Peaks: Every stage will smoosh together environments from completely different games for unique mash-ups (which includes mash-ups remixing the original game's music). In terms of story-justification, the developers describe the PlayStation locales as being invaded by other universes.
The Dreamscape level actually manages to have a duel BETWEEN BUZZ AND THE POPIT MENU! It starts out when the Popit Menu deletes the platform Buzz is standing on, causing him to fall. When he rises back up again, he uses a remote control to electrocute the Popit Menu. Seconds before the match ends, the Popit Menu actually deletes Buzz himself from the stage.
Pop Quiz: Buzz will quiz the players with random PlayStation trivia in the Dreamscape level, with incorrect answers being punished by AP-Draining pie thrown from off-screen. The four answers are attached to a random platform and the players have to be standing with their feet firmly planeted on that platform, turning this into something of a king-of-the-hill skirmish.
Standard Status Effects: Some of the stage hazards mimic status effects pretty closely. The Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler in San Francisco mainly immobilizes the players and the poison spit by the Satan Chimera steadily drains AP (like any video game poison).
Stuff Blowing Up: To be expected from a Twisted Metal level like Black Rock Stadium. The Turbo Cannons which show up later rain explosive fire later on.
Absurdly High Level Cap: Each character's level can go up to 999. The final unlockable for each character is at level 300.
Achievement System: The game (in addition to the PS3 Trophy system) allows the player to select a variety of icons and backgrounds for their in-game profile and customize each character's intro/outro lines or Minion, which are unlocked primarily by accumulating enough points with specific characters (a few others are purchasable DLC).
The All-Seeing A.I.: There’s a pretty good chance that if you try to use your Countering abilities on a computer opponent, that they’ll decide to attack just as your counter is ending.
Bring It: Just about all the taunts are this essentially.
Brutal Bonus Level: The combat trials, while necessary for a few obscure goals, can otherwise be avoided (it could be argued that some of them provide perspective on how to properly use a character). The later ones on All-Star difficulty can be terrifying.
One exhausting series of trials forces the player to fight a mirror match against an opponent with an unlimited Super Meter. The goal is to dodge the entire Level 3 Super, doing so 3 times on All-Star difficulty.
Charged Attack: Relatively common among the roster. Originally it was Spike who made the most use of it until Zeus came along, who can charge literally every single attack at his disposal.
Combos: Being held as a distinctive characteristic of the game to distance it from Smash (whose combos are created by the competitive players, rather than partially designed by the developers) by instead following the Marvel vs. Capcom philosophy of combo-stringing (though the combos in PSASBR will be comparatively less lengthy than a standard MvC combo).
Also, unlike Smash, this game has no directional influence (read: an advanced Smash technique that allows the player being attacked to alter the direction and intensity of his knockback), nor damage percentage (a variable in Smash that affects knock-back, and therefore, combo consistency), so the combat of this game is truly much more like traditional fighters' than Smash's.
Combo Breaker: A mechanic similar to Skullgirls' Infinite Prevention System has been implemented. Once a combo has yielded AP-gain past a certain point, the victim will enter an invincible state in which not even Supers can hit them. This was done for balancing reasons and to prevent infinite loops. Gradual Grinders like PaRappa will be able to string very long combos thanks to their low AP-gain, while bruisers like Sweet Tooth will typically have the lowest combo-potential. Most top-level combos are meant to hit the IPS limit, to maximize AP gain.
Counter Attack: Usually mapped to neutral circle, and common for melee-heavy characters to give them an edge inside their specialized range; none of them are completely alike (varying by hit-reaction, space affected, user-reaction and even whether they can return projectiles). They're used by Kratos, Nariko, Heihachi, Raiden, Dante and Sly, who instead uses his to stay unpredictable by teleporting around the screen and to protect himself due to his lack of a block or dodge.
Critical Existence Failure: Characters hit with a Super merely explode into a splash of All-Star Energy and Playstation symbols. This is probably for the best anyway, since many of them can have some particularly grizzly after effects (Radec's Level 2 Super is designed to explode opponents into a red mist, and Raiden's would probably have some pretty visceral results if used accurately).
Damn You, Muscle Memory: The Vita version, for a lack of L or R2, instead maps Supers to R1, where by comparison the console version has this button as the Item Pick-Up button. Yes, this can become confusing.
Dash Attack: The game lacks sprinting or quick dash-in option like other fighters, so these aren't too uncommon to make up for it.
Difficulty Spike: The Combat Trials are innocent enough and most of them are reasonably doable with proper focus and application. Unfortunately, most of them are cut-and-pasted for the entire roster. This can be an issue depending on the character, since trials that are a breeze for one character can be horrific for another. The later trials can become surprisingly nightmarish on the easiest difficulty.
Finishing Move: Level 3 Supers are extremely easy to land several kills with and they also prevent the other players from using their own Supers while active. They come in about 4 varieties:
Super Mode: Kratos, Jak and Daxter, Sweet Tooth, Nariko, Evil Cole, and Kat. These tend to make the player bigger and their attacks change to usually 3 hugely-effective moves mapped to the three buttons.
First-person Shooter Mode: Radec, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, and Cole McGrath. Most of these involve an Unexpected Gameplay Change that turns the entire screen into a shooting gallery.
Negative Penalty: Nathan Drake, Sackboy, Raiden, and Big Daddy. These basically slow down or impair the other players in some way, but the character's controls remain (mostly) the same.
Cinematic: PaRappa, Spike, Toro, and Heihachi. These are the lowest-costing Level 3's, and are an UnblockableAlways AccurateSmart Bombs, letting them clear the screen but remain limited to 3 kills at a time.
Unique: Fat Princess' Level 3 is automated like a cinematic but doesn't guarantee any kills (in exchange, it can potentially get more kills if the other players are slow enough). Sir Dan's Level 3 involves hunting the other players down, but doesn't impair them and in fact limits Dan to just moving. Dante's Level 3 is a hybrid of Super Mode and a Negative Penalty, by its ability to increase his speed while slowing all other players to a crawl for 6 seconds.
The DLC fighters have pushed this category even harder: Emmett's Level 3 functions normally as a Super Mode, but can be ended to instead perform a carpet-bombing across the stage, with this move's power-output determined by how many kills he got before using it (making it essentially two different Supers). Isaac essentially forces the opponents to play the asteroid in a game of Asteroids while Zeus is a glorified game of Whack-a-Mole.
Ground Pound: Exceedingly common across all move-sets, and almost always activated with down + square (they don't necessarily have to hit directly beneath the character either). Some of them even create shockwaves.
Guide Dang It: The entire cast has a series of variable values which designate how much AP is required for them to pull off any given Super, most of them balanced by ease of use and effectiveness. This is mentioned nowhere in the game, but is brought up in great detail in the official guide.
Launcher Move: More than likely to be used with up + square, these are handed out like candy to any character planning to fight up close, and always have a useful follow-up somewhere on the control-scheme; others, like Kratos and Dante, can quickly cancel their launchers with jumps to continue combos.
Limit Break: The game is based around these, as the only way to score points is to hit opponents with one. Each character is given a meter that fills as they pummel their opponent, allowing them to use up to 3 levels of Super moves. The main reason for attacking normally is to build AP to fill that meter. Level 1 Supers are usually brief, affect a small area, and tend to be the easiest to interrupt, Level 2 Supers last longer and can potentially take out multiple opponents over a wide area, while Level 3 Supers will likely annihilate the opposition. SuperBot wants there to be a tactical approach to Supers, such as when to use them or how to counter them. For instance, Level 2 Supers which don't activate instantly or fire some type of projectile tend to transform the user in some way (Raiden, Big Daddy, Fat Princess) or give them a new control-scheme (Nariko, Sly, PaRappa); they aren't immune to other Supers in this state. This means it's possible to waste an opponent's Level 2 Super with a Level 1 if the player has proper timing (there's also the option to dodge by pressing Block + Left Stick). More importantly, tossing out many difficult-to-land Level 1 Supers has been described as the ideal strategy, with Level 3 Supers primarily being Cool, but Impractical. As a for-instance, Toro, Heihachi, and Parappa's Level 3 Supers are UnblockableAlways AccurateSmart Bombs, but this limits them to only being able to get 3 kills per use, whereas other Level 3 Supers could potentially get 5 or even 6 (one representative from SuperBot said that with the tools they've given the cast, in the time it took your opponent to build that Level 3 meter, you should've killed them several times over, and if it still reaches that point, you have only yourself to blame).
Some Supers are specifically made to be situational or require heavy set-up, yet they'll give heavy pay-off at their full potential. Heihachi's Level 1, for instance, is meant to be disguised as a low-key, simple-looking — if somewhat slow — punch that can easily be slipped by or worked into his usual combo-grinding. Meanwhile, Nathan Drake's Level 1 Super leaves a large explosion relative to other Supers, but requires concentration and awareness of your enemy's presence (as not to be interrupted) thanks to the speed at which the propane tank falls. SuperBot has tried to create a balance between risk and reward relative to difficulty or ease of use. Kratos and Fat Princess' Level 1 Supers come out fast but are predictable, while Sweet Tooth's Level 1 is hard to set up, but if used properly alongside his space-controlling gameplay, can work like a faster version of Drake's propane tank. Level 2 Supers tend to have even more wild variations.
SuperBot made a video showing several ways to escape or defend against a Super, further proving that they can't reasonably be spammed or tossed out without thought.
Nonstandard Game Over: If you lose against the final boss, you are treated to a cutscene where your character gets turned into one of the minions that you fight during the battle.
One-Hit Kill: Without Hit Points to deplete or edges of the arena to fall out ofnote (very much unlike Super Smash Bros.), the only way to score a KO (and thus win a match) in this game is to successfully land a Super attack on your opponent. If it connects, it kills, end of story.
One-Hit Polykill: The intention with most ranged Supers. Sadly not the case with Radec's Level 1, which has no drop-off range but will explode on contact with its first target.
Padded Sumo Gameplay: The game is heavily based around chaotic, highly offensive, yet mostly ineffectual combat (spread across at least 24 attacks per character). No amount of combos will kill a character, and moves which drain AP are rare (item attacks, environmental hazards, throws, and Sly's invisible strike). Even hazards offer a comparatively small consequence in AP drain, if they lower AP at all (some of them merely stun briefly). Attacks exist specifically to build meter, and built meter remains the same even when a character dies. The game's lack of a health bar can make it seem like this.
However, the true threat most of these forms of ineffectual combat offer will probably be how much time they waste, since the need to build meter turns standard (timed) matches into something of an arms race of resource-denial much as a fight.
Rocket Tag Gameplay: Due to its lack of a health meter and refusal to count kill-score, the game is a hybrid of this and Padded Sumo Gameplay. Attacks may not deal any damage, but they do help your opponent, giving plenty of incentive to dodge. Since the only way to win is to build AP, players are forced into the fray if they don't want to add to their opponent's score; staying idle or retreating is simply not an option. One distinct design-choice involves score going unrevealed until the timer runs out, meaning players will be less likely to give up if they're losing badly. Even going into overtime will still have all four players appearing instead of just the two players that have tied (hopefully to give the two losers a chance to catch up). The developers have compared the frantic pace of the fighting to a fog-of-war effect in simply trying to figure out what attacks are incoming.
Timed one on ones are often like this; it is depressingly easy for someone to get an early kill and then simply stall out the match, and since you can't simply find someone else to whale on, you are forced to chase the fleeing opponent, hoping to land enough hits to get a super and praying that you can actually land said super.
Clockw0rk made an analogy by comparing the opponent's Super to a proper Life Meter; the higher it is, you closer you are to death, almost like in ThrillKill.
However, the DLC characters are actually labelled as "Secret" characters in the game itself, with their portrait in the Character Select screen being darkened and marked with a padlock. Bonus points that they have a "Press X to Unlock" label, and selecting it sends you to the PS Store where you can buy them.
Sudden Death: Going into Overtime mode causes everyone to earn AP twice as fast. An interesting part of the game's Sudden Death mechanic is that all participating fighters (not just the ones who force Overtime) will participate in the final battle, allowing for come-from-behind victories.
If the game is still tied after Overtime, the AP rate is multiplied by 3. It can eventually go up to 4.
Super Mode: Many Supers will transform the character while often giving them a new control scheme, such as Sweet Tooth and Kratos. They'll offer protection from certain Supers as well.
One odd aspect of the two games' approach to note is that Smash Bros is Japanese-developed and is primarily focused on ring-outs, while the American-made PSASBR works with flashy supers. Kind of like sumo wrestling as opposed to Professional Wrestling.
Butt Monkey: If you are playing online and you decide to use a character that you are not used to and also see players with a higher rank expect to get tossed around.
Cast Herd: Within the story, the roster-members never associate with each other. Outside of it, on the other hand, they're required to be grouped in fours so DLC bundles can be made about them (such as costumes or themes). The descriptions for these can be pretty vague.
The Bad Dudes Pack: Kratos, Sweet Tooth, Radec, and Evil Cole.
The Classic Pack: Jak, Ratchet, Spike, and Sly.
The Heroes Pack: Nathan Drake, Sackboy, Sir Dan, and Good Cole.
The Fun Pack: PaRappa, Toro, Fat Princess, and Narikonote Logically, it would make more sense for Nariko to trade places with Sackboy.
The Heavy Hitters Pack: Dante, Raiden, Heihachi and Big Daddy.
Dirty Coward: Arguably anyone who would always rely on kill-confirms.
Downloadable Content: There's plenty of it available, in the form of new characters, stages, costumes and minions.
Follow the Leader: Though it is inspired by several past fighting games, includingSuper Smash Bros., the gameplay is actually very unique. SuperBot actually took feedback from Brawl players invited into the office as well as beta testers via a thread on Smashboards, the hardcore and competitive Smash community website.
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.
Long Title: A common notion from the public. The game widely goes by the initialism "PSASBR", or as director Omar Kendall suggested, a colloquial abbreviation such as "All-Stars", or "Battle Royale".
Product Placement: A number of the characters in the game seem to be here for promotional reasons, especially the 3rd party characters. Big Daddy and the Columbia stage are promoting Bioshock Infinite, the Reboot Dante is promoting DmC: Devil May Cry, young Heihachi is promoting Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and Raiden is promoting Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. This has now extended to DLC characters, as Isaac Clarke was added shortly after Dead Space 3 came out, and Zeus was added shortly before the release of God of War: Ascension, and you'll get him and Isaac for free if you get that game.
Adaptational Badass: Effectively the entire cast are in some way more powerful than in their own games; the Big Daddy can use Plasmids, Sly teleports, and Nathan Drake manages to create environment pieces from his home series. Even Kratos has access to some weapons that he's never held all at once.
Extra points to Fat Princess, who not only didn't fight in her game, but is best known for looking quite immobile!
Same goes for Sackboy, to some extent.
There's actually a bit of in-story justification for it: All-Star Power (AP) is implied in the character endings to make the user vastly stronger than they've ever been. It's possible AP started being distributed among the Playstation inhabitants after Polygon Man fused the universes.
Some characters don't get the nifty abilities they get in their own game to the same power, such as Ratchet. Carrying a truckload of weapons and portable black hole launchers would be too much.
Also, each character's story mode intro and ending cutscenes are animated in their respective art styles. For example, Parappa's cutscenes look like the Parappa the Rapper anime, while Kat's are told in a 2-D comic book style like in Gravity Rush.
Badass: Despite not being a playable character, Chop Chop Master Onion without question. The later half of the Dojo stage has a colossal MAWLR stomping around the PaRappa world, yet near the end, he shows up again as a giant and beats it with one hit.
Badass Boast: Many characters after completing a successful Super.
Battle Aura/Power Glows: Characters show this when they fill their AP bar or respawn. It bears a striking resemblance to the wavy ribbon that appears on the PlayStation 3's default XMB.
Battle Intro: Every character can earn 4 of them, as well as four victory poses.
Bilingual Dialogue: In the cutscene preceding Kat and Emmett's rival battle, the two converse without any difficulty understanding one another, despite the fact that she's speaking French/Japanese and he's speaking English.
In the Japanese version, it is played out with Dante (vs. Nariko) and Parappa (vs. Spike), as they remain the only two characters to retain their original English dub. In the case of Dante, it could be a Shout-Out to how the main Devil May Cry titles (in addition to the Western reboot) have never been dubbed in Japanese. Isaac gets this treatment as well, since the Dead Space games have never been to Japan.
This actually causes a Lost in Translation moment for Spike and Parappa. In the former's cutscene, the latter still refers to him as Spike, despite being named Kakeru in Japan, although it may be a jab towards his spike-y hair.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Most of the roster's select screen dialogue seems to do this both obviously and subtly when they're selected. Some of them are merely Leaning on the Fourth Wall (Kratos saying "Let's see what you can do!") while others seem to blatantly address the player (Sweet Tooth's "Right choice" select quote).
Cool Versus Awesome: Matchups such as the guy who killed Ares fighting a psychopathic clown killer, as well as an obese princess and a raccoon thief fighting a freak of nature trapped in a scuba suit, an old man who literally REFUSES to die, and an adventurer who possesses rotten luck.
Composite Character: The cast will frequently draw various elements from their home series that don't generally make sense with that series' continuity. Some notable examples:
Bioshock is an example of a composite franchise; the character representing the series (Big Daddy) hails from the original games, while the stages and items representing it are from Bioshock Infinite. The icons and backgrounds are a mix of both the Rapture games and Infinite.
Darker and Edgier: When compared to its "competitor," Super Smash Bros.. All-Stars rarely falls into the type of Nightmare Fuelseen in Smash, but it does push the M-Rated fighters as far as it can with a T-Rating (if only in dialogue and through the slide-show of a story-mode). Also notably Solid Snake was barred from using guns in Brawl, but in Playstation All Stars, several characters have movesets based around them entirely.
Designated Girl Fight: Averted in the game itself with Fat Princess, Nariko, and Kat all having male rivals, but played straight in Kat's intro trailer where she starts off fighting Nariko one-on-one.
Disproportionate Retribution: Sweet Tooth is admiring his 'perfect' ice cream. Kratos comes and knocks it out of his hands. Kratos then dies a horrible death.
Not just the Kratos/Sweet Tooth rivalry either. Sackboy comes in and instantly becomes the Little Sister's new best friend. A seemingly jealous Big Daddy then destroys the little sackperson. It's hard to say if the Little Sister sees the Big Daddy as less of a friend because of it. You still get the Big Daddy's level 1, through the fight, so maybe the Little Sister is the mastermind behind pitting Mr. Bubbles against Sackboy?
Although, based on the Big Daddy version of the rivalry, she seems to be hungry, and as little sisters are dependent on ADAM, it's possible she's going through some symptoms of withdraw from being hungry for it.
Final Boss: Polygon Man is the one responsible for bringing the fighters together.
Foreshadowing: In the background of the Rival Arena, behind the XMB-style waves, there are flashes of purple lightning. In Arcade Mode, you fight in the Rival Arena prior to the final boss fight with the purple colored Polygon Man.
Full-Name Basis: The Announcer uses full names for characters that have them, so it can be a little jarring to go from "Sir Daniel Fortesque" to simply "Spike".
In-game, only three are affected by this trope: Nathan Drake, Sly Cooper and Emmett Graves.
Happy Dance: The minions engage in this when the player using them performs particularly well by getting a bunch of kills at once.
I Am Not Shazam: Used by SuperBot with two characters. "Sweet Tooth" should normally be named "Needles Kane" (though his own series has taken to calling him Sweet Tooth as well), and "Fat Princess" is known as "Princess Plump" in her own games.
Imported Alien Phlebotinum: This depends heavily on to what degree Polygon Man could be described as "alien." Many of the endings have the winner glowing translucent blue, having taken control of All-Star Power (seemingly gained from Polygon Man after he explodes) and utilizing it for their own purposes. Spike declares he's ready to take on whatever Evil Plan Specter has since cooked up, while Drake uses it to power Sully's plane to head off to another adventure. Some characters come up with their own explanations for it, such as Jak entering Battle Royale thinking AP is a new form of Eco (which he continues to believe after winning) while Heihachi writes off his new-found abilities as a side-effect of the youth serum.
Kick the Dog: Before their rival fight, Kratos knocks over Sweet Tooth's ice cream cone for no reason. Sweet Tooth was being plenty reasonable beforehand, only demanding that Kratos pay and retaliating during the actual fight.
Let's You and Him Fight: The Rivalry cutscenes have maybe 30-45 seconds to justify the oncoming battle. Few of them manage to give much of a reason for it.
Mood Dissonance: Intentionally invoked. Superbot wants there to be a charm in the juxtaposition of setting lighthearted E-rated characters against M-rated murderers in stages that jump between tone and theme routinely.
"In terms of integrating them all into the same world, part of this is supposed to feel like a mash up. We're not just trying to sanitise everything, we kind of want them to stand apart from one another — that's where the irreverence and the humour comes from. It's a challenge, but ultimately we've found a pretty decent balance of getting them all to live in the same world."
Oh Crap: Any time a character has suffered a Super, they're given a respawn quote that usually falls under this (Nathan Drake naturally says the trope title.)
Power Creep, Power Seep: Invoked when you take Parappa, who fights with music and karate, and pit him against Radec, who is a cold-blooded Colonel Badass that owns a lot of heavy firepower. Right now, taken to its logical extreme with NathanDrake, who hails from one of the more realistic (sort of) series featured in-game and has no powers whatsoever.
"While no one doubts Fat Princess' moxy, she probably wouldn't fare too well against Kratos' homicidal rages and penchant for ripping the heads off of enemies. Balance is key."
Unexpectedly, Kratos is designed to be a beginner-friendly character with high combo-potential while PaRappa and Fat Princess are made to build meter quickly and create complex villager-rush set-ups respectively. Lead designer Omar Kendall makes a small joke referencing his tier-standing.
Kendall: I do feel a little bit sorry for Kratos, but he does put up a good fight.
There's the general effectiveness of the weaponry; in his own game, Raiden could use his sword to cut through pretty much anything with ease. In All-Stars... well, it's unclear exactly what his sword is doing, but it certainly isn't chopping his enemies into pieces.
Sweet Tooth: Dunno if you got any money in that skirt of yours... But one way or the other, you're paying for it.
Radec: Let's hope this provides more than a momentary diversion, though somehow I think it won't.
Cole: You're either gonna help me, or I'm gonna stop you... here.
Evil Cole: Okay, Princess! How about instead of cake, I stuff my foot in your mouth!
Ratchet: I think this is plenty reasonable. Let's settle this.
Jak: Maybe it's time someone taught you some manners!
Dante: Just remember when the blade's at your throat, I gave you a chance to walk away.
Heihachi: You should have listened to your friend. Now I'll give you a lesson in respect you won't forget!
Nariko: Then I'm afraid you won't be walking away from here at all.
Spike: Well, I'm not going to wait around to find out!
Kat: It's not going to be today!
Emmett: I knew it would come to this. You keep your feet on the ground, girlie, and I'll try not to drop a building on you.
Zeus: You will pay with your life for your insolence.
Isaac: I know the dangers of men convinced they're gods. If I'm what stands between you and the rest of civilization, I'll put an end to this... now!
The Rival: Every character has a rival matchup in the arcade mode, most of which, if not all, have a specific reasoning.
Heihachi Mishima vs. Toro (Both are Japanese-speaking characters, and were in Street Fighter X Tekken, which might explain why Toro recognizes Heihachi. They also are related to cats: Toro is a cat, and the back of Heihachi's gi has a tiger head.)
Dante vs. Nariko (Both have a game developed by Ninja Theory that focus on fast, hack n' slash gameplay.)
Parappa vs. Spike (Both are from colorful, quirky Japanese franchises. Both also have anime that never made it outside of Japan.)
Big Daddy vs. Sackboy (Both are silent characters who have others do their speaking for them, Andrew Ryan/Little Sister for Big Daddy and Stephen Fry for Sackboy. Both BioShock and LittleBigPlanet place emphasis on the player's choices, moral and ethical choices for BioShock, and level and character designs for LBP. Big Daddy and Sackboy also come in many different varieties. It could also be a big vs. little motif.)
Kratos vs. Sweet Tooth (Both are from popular Sony franchises directed by David Jaffe. Both characters were even created by him, have Blood Knight tendencies and both of them killed their own families. Kratos genuinely loved them and was tricked into their murders, while Sweet Tooth despised them and slaughtered them of his own free will.
Sir Daniel Fortesque vs. Colonel Mael Radec (Both are soldiers who are also commanders and are also dead. SCE Cambridge made the MediEvil games and helped with the development of Killzone 2.)
Sly Cooper vs. Nathan Drake (Both are treasure hunters; however, while Drake takes from ancient ruins, Sly steals from other thieves. Also, they both have it in their respective families; Nathan is a self-proclaimed descendant of Sir Francis Drake, while the Cooper clan's line of thieves goes on for centuries. Both also grew up as orphans and had a game named after the idiom "honor amongst thieves".)
Jak and Daxter vs. Ratchet and Clank (Both are duos. Developers Naughty Dog and Insomniac are "friends", and these two IPs are often considered rival platformer/shooter counterparts.)
Cole MacGrath vs. Raiden (Both have electric powers. Both have also have electricity-themed names; "Coal" is burned to produce electricity, while "Rai" and "Den" are the Japanese words for "Thunder" and "Lightning", respectively.
Evil Cole MacGrath vs. Fat Princess (Both are rather greedy; for Evil Cole, it's for power, for Fat Princess, it's cake.)
Kat vs Emmett Graves (Both have a Scarf of Asskicking and Power Glows. Also, both have been touched by cosmic forces, but whereas Kat's is beneficial, Graves has to suppress his lest he turn into an Outsider. Said cosmic forces power their games' main enemies.)
Isaac Clarke vs Zeus (Zeus is a deity with a desire for absolute control, while Isaac has had problems with both religion (Unitology) and authority figures (EarthGov). Also, both are from franchises that love brutal dismemberment. Also, note that Zeus is a god who hails from a mythological setting while Isaac is a regular human from a futuristic setting. Also, both character's final Limit Break transports enemies to another battlefield; for Zeus, it's the Summit of Sacrifice while for Isaac, it's the Sovereign Colonies ship graveyard/minefield outside of Tau Volantis.)
Rule of Cool: Much of the game's low level of sense can be chalked up to this.
Series Mascot: Many, but special mention goes to Toro Inoue, a company mascot.
Soundtrack Dissonance: The dark, moody score to the Hades level fits well with Hades himself laughing manically in the background. This trope comes into effect when the Patapon warriors start attacking, their upbeat tune replacing the original while Hades continues overlooking the arena.
Also, during the Stowaways stage. The pacific and appealing main theme of Uncharted 3 barely fits with the punch-fest this game is.
When a character activates their Level 3 on a stage that doesn't fit. Try listening to Dante's metal-ish theme kick in while playing on Dreamscape.
Sony vs. Whatever: Considering that a good part of the roster is composed by Third-Party characters (Big Daddy, Dante, Raiden, Heihachi and Isaac Clarke)
Given Dante's appearance here, the original version of the trope, Capcom vs. Whatever, also counts.
Some characters, especially the Third Parties, appeared in this game before their own games were released, so this is the first appearance of Reboot Dante, Metal Gear Rising Raiden, Young Heihachi, Thieves in Time Sly, and others.
Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: The main premise of the game. The games allow for many dream matches, like Kratos vs. Sweet Tooth, Nathan Drake vs. Jak and Daxter, and Sly Cooper vs Cole MacGrath. This does not just apply to Sony, but for other companies as well. Come on, where else are we going to see a Big Daddy go head-to-head with Heihachi Mishima?