Price: $59.99 (PS3, $39.99 (Vita)
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (PS3) Review
Sony’s answer to Super Smash Bros., PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale brings together 20 characters from franchises that have all appeared on a PlayStation console. Gameplay has a significantly different twist to it, though. Instead of your attacks dealing damage, they help to build up your Super meter, allowing you to then unleash a powerful special attack to kill the other fighters.
What I Liked
There’s A Lot To Do By Yourself
Even with the obvious allure of multiplayer, anyone who wants to play solo can find a lot to do. If you just want to play through each character’s Arcade Mode, you’ll be given a unique story opener, each fighter has their own rival you have to defeat, and each story will have a closer, with some stories ending just as one of their games begins.
Aside from playing through each story, everything you do will help you unlock the over 1000 (you read that right) different items. Whether it’s completing the over 20 Combat trials for each individual character, playing online, or fighting against your friends, your fighter rank will increase, giving you access to more and more customizable content to play with.
It was awesome to be able to go into the customize menu with a fighter I’d used for the last couple of hours then be able to change their costume, taunt, intro, outro, and victory music all in something befitting their style. As for you personally, your Profile Card has a customizable background and icon, and the option of choosing a minion who will cheer your character on in fights.
Even playing PS All-Stars for 20 hours won’t grant you everything this game has to offer.
The Fighters Fight As They Should
After playing with each character quite thoroughly, I can safely say that they all fight and handle as they should. Taking the God of War himself, Kratos, as an example, he has access to the Blades, Cestus, Golden Fleece, Icarus Wings, Apollo’s Bow, and so much more. It doesn’t stop there as all three of his Supers will be very familiar to fans of the God of War series.
SuperBot clearly spent a lot of time making sure that every character wasn’t falsely represented and gave each franchise their dues.
It’s PlayStation Characters Fighting Each Other
At the end of the day, anything I didn’t like about the game is overshadowed by the fact that this is all about famous characters on PlayStation systems fighting each other. Being able to choose someone like Nathan Drake (who I’ve taken through many adventures) to fight against someone like Sly Cooper (again, someone I’ve played as many times) is just amazing.
Throw in the fact that you and three other people (either online or local) can jump into a match with your favourite character at any point and you have a worthwhile multiplayer experience.
Billed as ‘mash-ups’, each stage you fight on will be based off of one of the popular PlayStation franchises. After a short period of time, it will morph and be mashed up with yet another franchise. Whether it is watching Captain Qwark fighting a Hydra, trying to avoid both Hades and Patapons, or avoiding some hot shot golfers in Sandover Village, the stages are a true standout for PlayStation All-Stars.
What I Didn’t Like
This really is my biggest gripe with PlayStation All-Stars. Instead of all your attacks doing damage, they only help to build your Super meter. Once it’s filled to either level 1, 2, or 3, you can unleash one of your Supers and kill the opponent, thus helping your score.
Unfortunately, dodging the first two Super levels can be done with relative ease, meaning that all the attacking and combos you pulled off in the last minute or so to build up your Super were all for nothing. Needless to say, this gets really annoying very quickly and it had me questioning why the couldn’t do a damage indicator as well as Supers, because I would have had a much better time.
I will admit that the Supers did grow on me after a few hours into my playtime, though I was still always wanting some other way to deal damage or kill my enemies.
Dying Doesn’t Matter As Much As It Should
When you do manage to pull off one of your Supers and kill another fighter, their Super meter will stay the exact same with no reset and the only penalty is a loss of one point. What this really means is that you can be as annoying and as reckless as you want, launch lots of close up attacks to build your meter, die, then still be able to unleash that Super as soon as you respawn.
It would have been nice to see dying hurt your Super meter in some way or another, maybe taking away half of it, rather than leaving it untouched.
Parts of The Roster
Even with Kat and Emmett showing up for free as DLC early next year, the roster feels very lacking. Characters like Toro, Spike, Nariko, emo Dante, and Evil Cole just don’t feel like they belong, whereas characters like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Cloud, Snake, regular Dante, Spyro, and Lara Croft feel like they fit the bill of ‘PlayStation All-Star’, yet aren’t present. As I said above, they did a great job making the fighters feel as they should, there just should have been more of them included.
I know it’s early on, but there are some online matchmaking issues that shouldn’t be happening (they had multiple betas!). On numerous occasions I’ve entered into fights where people wouldn’t show up until a minute in, respawn times would vary from 1 second to 30 seconds in the same match, or people would disappear on your screen for extended periods of time. They don’t impact the game too much, though I hope the problems are smoothed out soon.
The Blandess of the Menus
Admittedly this is a very minor issue, but it was a real letdown. Every time you would be in the main menu, you get the blandest looking background ever, with just a static picture of one of the all-stars looking at you. Then, whenever the game would load, you get a single coloured background that doesn’t get you excited to beat up PlayStation characters at all.
I simply couldn’t understand why they didn’t put gameplay tips, stage history, character fun facts, or just an interesting animation in the background because it gives the game a really cheap look.
Not As Good As: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
It tried to copy it, but PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale came up short. Super Smash Bros. Brawl had damage, Final Smash’s, more options, and is just more fun to play through. PlayStation All-Stars is still a great game, just don’t go in expecting it to eclipse Nintendo’s fighter.
If you own a PlayStation 3, you really can’t go wrong with PlayStation All-Stars. Though some of the fighting feels off, you can’t replace the fact that you can have a Kratos vs. Nathan Drake vs. Cole vs. Sackboy square off in Hades, with your friends or against people around the world.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was reviewed with a copy provided by Sony.