Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, henceforth known as All-Stars, has been a pretty hot topic since its announcement. Mostly because of Nintendo fans getting mad at Sony “ripping off” the purity of their Smash Bros. games. The beta just went live for Playstation Plus members so I thought I’d write a preview of the game and what to expect from it when the public beta goes live next week and when it ships Nov. 23.
Upon first glance of All-Stars I can understand why you may find it a bit derivative of a previously mentioned fighting game but I think Sony have been very smart in the changes they’ve made to differentiate itself from other titles. For example, in All-Stars there is no life bar; only a super meter. The only way to take out your opponents is to fill your super meter by landing attacks up to three levels of super and then unleashing your character’s super attack which will kill any opponent standing in its wake. These super attacks vary a lot from character to character and from level to level. The final score is calculated by adding up points for kills and taking away points for deaths in a three minute match.
The game at its core does play like Super Smash Bros. You have three attack buttons; a basic attack and two special attack buttons, a throw, a super button and a block. A small thing that I felt was a really nice touch is that the characters’ block animations are all different. Radec sets up a knee-high wall to hide behind and Sly turns invisible, while invisible he can still move around but can’t evade like other characters. Not a huge deal but it’s nice to see such attention to detail. There is a short tutorial in the main menu to walk you through the ins-and-outs of the combat. It’s a fairly basic idea though so thankfully it doesn’t take too long and doesn’t feel the need to hit you over the head with the mechanics.
The cast in the beta is decent enough. Kratos, Sly Cooper, Radec from Killzone, Sweet Tooth, Fat Princess and Parappa the Rapper. I found myself really enjoying Sly Cooper but found that every online game I played had at least two Kratos players. I’m pretty sure that’s an issue of more Kratos looking like a badass and less about bad game balance though. The final game will tally twenty total characters when it ships including the new Dante from DmC, Raiden, Heihachi Mishima, Nathan Drake and Nariko from Heavenly Sword.
There are two stages available for play in the beta. One is Hades underworld from God of War and the other is Metropolis from Ratchet and Clank. The stages are really neat in that they have dynamic events occurring throughout. In Hades, Patapon will show up and start bombing certain areas of the stage forcing you to keep an eye on both the stage and your opponents. It’s a nice touch and a bit of fan-service for Playstation alums. The final game will feature fourteen stages including famous Playstation locales like the Dojo from Parappa and Sly Cooper’s Paris.
After playing a few games I am very impressed with how it’s currently shaping up and will definitely be picking up a copy when it launches next month. I hope anyone with a PSPlus membership checks it out right now or those without check it out next week because I think you should really play it to get the idea of what it is trying to accomplish. If you’re a fan of Sony franchises then you owe it to yourself to at least check it out, the fan service in the beta alone blows my mind. Just being able to play a fighting game with Metropolis from the Ratchet series as my backdrop gets me super excited for when the game ships.
In conclusion, I call Dante.
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