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PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is a pretty interesting game. Despite looking like a shameless Super Smash Bros. copy on the surface, digging deeper reveals a complex combo-based game with a surprisingly large amount of love put into it. While the devs couldn't get established Sony icons like Crash Bandicoot or Spyro the Dragon (which I can't exactly fault them for considering the game's lack of budget and them being a new studio at the time) and some characters like Emmett Graves, Raiden, Big Daddy and the ever-popular Donte feeling like they're mostly there to advertise upcoming games, every character has a really well designed moveset which feels like they're ripped straight from their respective series: Kratos has a huge array of blade combos, Ratchet uses a lot of guns and other weapons, both Coles fight really differently to reflect their different alignments and so on; every single character also has multiple costumes and a wide selection of intros, outros, taunts and victory music to choose from. I dare say there's more love put into each character here than Smash puts into their own (Falcondorf, anyone?). The stages are pretty well designed too, with each one featuring two different universes meshed together in one way or another, and it's a pretty cool concept all around.
Unfortunately, it's not all great. There aren't many modes to choose from, the roster's pretty small at 24, even compared to the 26 characters Melee had (never mind Brawl's roster having almost 40), and the game's pretty dang unbalanced with some characters like Kratos, Kat and Raiden completely ruling the meta with their OP tools, never mind the fundamentally-flawed Super system which basically homogenizes the entire game into hitting easily missable moves (a health system would've worked way better in my opinion), so while I can admire the love put into what they had and love the entire concept of "Playstation characters beat the crap out of each other", the gameplay in general kind of misses the mark. If we ever get a sequel, I'd love to see what new characters we'd get (Crash, Spyro and Spider-Man pls), and I hope they can refine the gameplay from the unsteady foundations this game left. Here's hoping for a PS5 sequel.
I'll admit, I only played through one arcade mode (Ratchet) so if anyone else has gotten really into the game and loves it, consider this review uninformed. This is for any brawl fans out there who wanted to see if this was smash bros but with good online support; it isn't.
The combat system relies one smacking around your enemies until you can use one of your 3 supers, with the more powerful supers requiring more bars. This of course leads to the problem of characters that have the best level 1 supers being pretty easily the best characters. This also leads to the more indirect problem of making blocking seem pointless, as while the others will get more powerful for hitting you, you aren't in any direct danger of being killed by any attack that isn't a super. It also could have used to take some lessons from brawl's move sets, with everyone having basic melee attacks and the special attacks being explicitly different.
Outside of what I feel to be important about one's enjoyment of the game, I guess the customization is pretty good, with different taunts and such being available. The stages are pretty as well, but I'd have to say that actually annoys me more than impresses me, as it gets a little too flashy. Which gets distracting. The game isn't terrible, and the customization, and online services are good, but there's a lot of wasted potential here.
Let's start by removing all biased opinions I have by screaming them below.
This game rocks! I love the supers and rivalry system! Ooh, I can customize my character's intro and taunts! Yeah, eat that you Kratos spammer! Think you can beat me Radec? Well you suck you noob! Oh my God I just beaten a level 999!
SCREW THIS GAME! DAMN IT WHY DID THEY GIVE SLY THAT SUPER! Stop spamming that! OH MY GOD YOU NOOB! JUST DIE IN A HOLE YOU PATHETIC PIECE OF CRAP! I HATE THIS GAME! SOMEONE NERF SACKBOY'S LEVEL 3! THIS IS A SICK RIPOFF OF SSBB!
Back to the review
Story: The story is nonexistent and is made out of thin sticks. You get some sort of gathering where our characters will go to and fight for some reason and then face off with their rival in a misunderstanding cutscene. Then you fight clones while the boss looks pretty in the background. I'd rate this a low
Graphics: Visually stunning. Heck when I die in Stock battles that don't make me rage I'm more interested in the background on how the Resistance stage event occurs.
Gameplay: This tried to be unique on the gameplay, being similar and different from Brawl's mechanics at the same time. Same directional button attack influence but has different styling. Superbot tries to be connected to the character's moveset and did a really great job on it. The supers were definitely contreversial and some complain that they need nerfing or boosting. And some cheap moves like Giga Punch + Human Bullet, Raiden's Forward Square and R2, or Sweet Tooth's air neutral square + r2 can really be frustrating to deal with. The characters all need rebalancing, (With prominent example being Kratos) and some complain that they should be all nerfed or boosted. Some characters that were wanted in the game aren't there either *cough* Crash *cough* or aren't liked by fans 2 coles and new dante. But at least Superbot is trying to get them in.
Anyway, in my opinion All Stars is a great game! Not perfect, but good. It would have to withstand time to face SSBB as a rival, but as a first game it wasn't bad. I still think SSBB is much more superior. All Stars is indeed a copy of SSBB, but its because there are barely any games like SSBB in its genre and it even tries to be different. We just need more games in its genre.
I'd give it a 7 - 7.5 on average. Review would be edited
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