Big Daddy, Kratos and PaRappa the Rapper fighting it out? Yes, now it can happen, and it’s pretty awesome, too
Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale has something for everyone. It can be a chaotic four-player party game, or a one-on-one hardcore fighter. It is a great blend of the brawler aspects from the Super Smash Bros. franchise and the more combo and block heavy aspects from deep fighting games. [flickr id="8220830880" thumbnail="small" overlay="true" size="original" group="" align="right"]
Speaking of the Super Smash Bros. comparison, many have written off All-Stars as a cheap copycat of Nintendo’s popular beat ‘em up, but the similarities are only skin deep. All-Stars does look similar, and there is no doubt that it pulls inspiration from Smash Bros. in its level design, but the actual gameplay is quite different.
In Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale, there is no damage or life meter. Instead, all attacks build up a super meter (akin to Street Fighter), and kills can only come from landing one of each characters three different super attacks. Depending on how much the player builds up their meter, the power and duration of the supers increase.
Level one attacks are typically a simple powerful attack capable of taking down one opponent, whereas level three supers often take up the whole screen and either kill all opponents instantly or super charge the player for a period of time, enabling one-shot kills.
It is a cool system that changes the way this style of game plays out. The need to build up a super meter means no one can run away all match and win. It forces player interaction, and adds an element of risk/reward, since level one supers can come quickly with small rewards while landing a level three can outright win a match, but they typically take all game to build up.
As Super Smash Bros. has proven in the past, the real appeal of these games lieds in the varied roster of characters, and All-Stars lives up to its name by offering a great selection of fighters from Playstation’s past and present games.[flickr id="8219737271" thumbnail="small" overlay="true" size="large" group="" align="left"]
There are PS3 favorites like Kratos and Sackboy and lesser-known characters like PaRappa the Rapper and Sir Daniel Fortesque. Each one of the 20 characters plays very differently (with one exception) and it requires time to master their specific skills and combos.
The one exception being Cole McGrath from the inFAMOUS games, since there is a good and evil version of him, each one playing similar with the only notable differences coming from one’s use of ice attacks and the other’s use of red lightning.
All-Stars also has the benefit of being on a system that has full internet connectivity, something that the Wii struggled with. Game developer Superbot has already announced they will release two downloadable characters for free, with more characters to come. Online multiplayer is easy to jump into and uses a season system that ranks players based on their performance over the course of short seasons.
The game comes with a free downloadable Vita copy, and the game holds up amazingly well on the portable system. The games also wirelessly transfer progress from one system to the other, making it easy to play on the go and then come home and continue on the big screen.
PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale is easy to pick up, but takes time to master, which is good because its fun multiplayer makes it hard to put down.