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Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (PS3) Review

 
PlayStation-All-Stars-Battle-Royale
PlayStation-All-Stars-Battle-Royale
PlayStation-All-Stars-Battle-Royale

 
At A Glance...
 

Formats: PS3, PS Vita
 
Genre: ,
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
9.0
9/ 10


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

We liked?


  • Great use of some beloved characters
  • Frenetic and fun brawler with surprising depth
  • Great fun online or with friends on the couch
  • Immense value for money if you own a Vita

Not so much?


  • Can descend in to furious button mashing and little else if you let it
  • Some missed classic characters eg Lara, Gabe Logan etc


Final Fiendish Findings?

Sony took a large gamble with Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. Like I said in the start, they didn’t have the same roster of loveable characters as Nintendo have to pick from with Smash Brothers.

They managed to create a real contender for the throne though as this game captures everything it needed to be and more. Offering blisteringly paced brawls with some of your best loved characters from the Playstation golden days. Single player is more substantial than you might think and the online is superbly managed.

With the added bonus of a free PS Vita copy of the game with each PS3 disc purchase the value proposition is astoundingly good!
If you’re looking for a fun fighter for the holiday season, or any time really, then you could do much worse than pick up this wonder homage to all things Playstation.

With Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale Sony have produced a game that straddles fan service, nostalgia and all our fun-tastic fighting.

0
Posted December 19, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, apart from being a stupid title, is Sony’s blatant clone of Nintendo’s classic Smash Brothers franchise. Can Sony muster enough fighting spirit to dispel those shaking their head and wagging fingers?

The biggest uphill struggle for Sony here isn’t that Smash Brothers is such a massive success for Nintendo. Nor it is that a lot of people will tire of using Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale as a full title. No it’s that Nintendo has a roster of many widely recognisable house hold names. Names that people in the street with little to do with games will recognise like Luigi, Mario, Donkey Kong etc. How many know Parappa the Rappa or Sweet Tooth? Even larger Playstation stars like Nate Drake or Dante probably wouldn’t get any recognition outside of the gaming world.

With that in mind it’s certainly impressive that Sony, and developer SuperBot Entertainment, have managed to cram the game full of some interesting figures from the various Playstation franchises. Cole McGrath, Sly Cooper, Jak, Raiden, Parappa the Rappa, Kratos, Sack Boy, Nathan Drake, Ratchet, Sweet Tooth, Dante, Big Daddy, Nariko… the list goes on.

For those not familiar with the Smash Brothers game format the game breaks down to a massive brawl between you and up to three other players at any one time. The idea is to beat down as many of your opponents as you can in an allotted time – be that a total score after 3 minutes or that you have 3 minutes to knock down 3 opponents.

The combat system is relatively simple here using a 3 button attack system coupled with the right stick for throws. The three buttons execute different styles of attacks and can be combined with movement directions or jumping to perform different attacks. The left button shoulder button is to block, the right to pickup special objects like rocket launchers and the right trigger is used to unleash your special attack.

Your special attack power comes in three stages. Each stage of the progress bar is filled by executing attacks against your opponents. You then choose if you want to unleash a level one, two or three level attack. The benefit of a level three attack is that it’s pretty devastating and will affect all players, but requires a lot of hits to build the meter to that level.

You can choose to take part in single player battles that sees you choosing a specific character and following their story arc through the game. These are huge flights of whimsy loosely based in the originating characters game or story arc. The single player portion could have been a skeletal attempt at placating the offline players. Instead it’s actually pretty fun and, as long as you don’t mind your fighters single-minded, can provide many hours of challenge and fun. The lower difficulty settings will be a cakewalk for anyone with a modicum of hand-to-eye co-ordination. Ratchet (no pun honest!) that difficulty up a notch or two and you’ll find some challenging and pretty devious AI waiting for you.

Single player isn’t just the story mode though. No, there is a massive challenge mode included as well. Here you can choose a fighter and go through a series of challenges for each one – get kills by only using level 2 specials, block x number of hits etc. These are fun asides and actually offer a reasonable challenge on top of the already lengthy story modes.

Like Smash Brothers, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale is a game destined for multiplayer. That can be in one of two guises. You can keep the action up close and personal with the local four player mode or head online and use network play. Both modes are simple to setup, execute and get into. Online play was nothing but lag-free and simple to get in to every time. Whether that was on the PS3 or the PS Vita it just simply worked. I will say though that the Vita seemed to take a fair amount longer to get in to online games than the PS3 did.

Getting four online players all playing at the blistering speed demanded by these titles was no mean feat for Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale’s developer SuperBot. Matches are massively chaotic affairs with nobody truly knowing what the hell is happening from one moment to the next but having a blast just the same.

As much as a star as all the characters in the game are the varying environments in the game. These have been inspired or taken directly from the characters originating titles. Having a massive crawl whilst a world is created around you in Little Big Planet is surreal and great fun. More often than not though this initial environment is encroached upon by another. Metal Gear Rays will suddenly pop up in Parappa the Rappa’s dojo for instance. A fight in Nathan Drakes “world” takes place on a freight plan. It’s cramped and tense until suddenly the door blow off and you’re then fighting in the sky atop crates hanging out the back of the craft!

It doesn’t stop there either as other non-playable characters make a cameo. Watching Captain Qwark wander over the screen wittering to himself only to be eaten by a creature is just hysterical. I won’t dig in to these too much as they’re a real treat when they happen.

The game looks and sounds great. The opening salvo of an intro sets the tone well. A flashy, almost Tekken like, intro with a Coldplay remix over the top just works so well. Ludicrous and bombastic in all the right ways. The characters have all been recreated faithfully. The look great and move superbly. The specials are ludicrously over the top too which is great. Every chance they get in Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale they smash you over the head with just how Playstation the whole thing is – it should be garish and overbearing but somehow it just stops short and becomes an endearing bit of fan service.

Fighting is a button mashing affair. Mostly you’ll be wailing on your lighter attack button waiting for your specials to build up. Blocking is essential against some of the more experienced players online but for the most part it’s just a low-down dirty fight. That’s not to say some artistry can’t be had from the fighting system. There is a depth there that can be tinkered with and it’ll still challenge even the more hardened fighting game fan.

There aren’t any glaring issues here with Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. Sure it’s a little messy at times. Your mileage might vary as it‘s essentially a short game played over multiple times with a different character and you might not want to play online.

Final thoughts

Sony took a large gamble with Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. Like I said in the start, they didn’t have the same roster of loveable characters as Nintendo have to pick from with Smash Brothers.

They managed to create a real contender for the throne though as this game captures everything it needed to be and more. Offering blisteringly paced brawls with some of your best loved characters from the Playstation golden days. Single player is more substantial than you might think and the online is superbly managed.

With the added bonus of a free PS Vita copy of the game with each PS3 disc purchase the value proposition is astoundingly good!
If you’re looking for a fun fighter for the holiday season, or any time really, then you could do much worse than pick up this wonder homage to all things Playstation.

With Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale Sony have produced a game that straddles fan service, nostalgia and all our fun-tastic fighting.


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.