PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale brings iconic characters together for full on fun fighting!
Reviewed on the PlayStation 3 by Matthew Reynolds
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is an arcade style fighting game based heavily on the classic Super Smash Brothers games but using iconic PlayStation characters. I actually like the idea and unlike some hardcore Nintendo fans I really don’t have a problem with copying the style of Super Smash Bros.
Unlike Super Smash Bros battles are not won by throwing your opponents off the edge but are instead won by more unfriendly kills. However, killing your opponents can only be done in a very specific way.
[pullquote]Super attacks are the only way of killing[/pullquote]Your character is equipped with a range of ‘regular’ attacks. Different attacks are performed by using either square, circle or triangle with a direction. The variety is these attacks is great but shallow as all the attacks have the same purpose – to give you AP. The AP meter is filled as you beat up your opponents and when it is filled you have reached a level 1 super attack. Super attacks are the only way of killing your opponents.
There are 3 levels of super attack and you can hold off on using your attack until you reach the next level as subsequent levels are more powerful and often have a bigger range. The system works but it is far too concrete allowing for not much variety as you will see the same attacks again and again as they are the only ways to kill opponents.
The super attacks are all different as are usually based around a theme for the character. The level 3 attacks are much more detailed and will show a cutscenes and then completely dominate the next 20 seconds of the fight. This can get extremely frustrating when playing with friends.
[pullquote]It’s not that difficult and in the end is very simplistic[/pullquote]In the main game there are a few different modes to keep the game interesting, you have the Arcade, Combat Trials, Tournament (basically online) and versus. The arcade mode serves as the story and is supposed to be completed with each character. At the beginning and end of the arcade there is a small slideshow cutscene featuring the character but they are completely different and separate from the rest of the arcade fights rendering the whole arcade story useless. The arcade is pretty much the same every single time. It is not that difficult and the Boss at the end is very simplistic.
There unlockables system is based on a good idea but again is poorly executed. Each character has a rank and every time you use them they rank up and this unlocks new items for that character. The good thing is that characters gain rank whether being used in training, arcade or versus mode. Each character can be customised from a menu and you can change the costume, taunt, intro, outro and victory music. Unfortunately there are not many options on these for each characters and the difference between levels you need to be to unlock them is very inconsistent. For example the first unlock may be at level 5 and the next one not until level 40.
Playstation All-Stars is quite an appealing concept. However, the game doesn’t come across as a fun celebration of these characters, it comes across as more of a marketing scheme for each franchise. The characters are good and include some classics but there really are a few that were missed (Most likely being saved for rip-off DLC or due to licensing issues). It also falls flat on the combat system as the variety of regular attacks is good but they all serve the same purpose and having super attacks as the only method of getting kills gets boring fast not to mention that some the balance in how powerful these attacks are feels very inconsistent between characters.
There are a lot of flaws in this game and a lot of underutilised potential. But the good range of characters make it fun to play and it was interesting to complete the challenges and goals. It’s nice to see a game of this style again but it really could have been something more. If you are looking for a fun game for you and your mates to play then you might want to give this a try.