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PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale Review

3
  • VITA
  • PS3

This frantic fighting game just doesn't pack in enough PlayStation flavor to truly earn the title of "All-Star."

PaRappa is one of the older (and better) characters on the roster.

I don't know that I'd call PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale an ambitious game. Its developers surely must have sat down at some point early in development and said "let's make a Smash Bros. game but with Sony characters in it." And that's precisely what they did. It carves out its own fighting style in the margins, but make no mistake--this is a highly derivative game. That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course, though PlayStation All-Stars makes a couple of design decisions that make the whole thing feel a little more awkward than it should. Also, for a game that's supposed to bring together the greatest heroes of the PlayStation platforms, it's missing too many key figures.

Crash Bandicoot. Let's just get it out of the way up front, OK? I'm certainly not privy to whatever backdoor dealings went into securing (or not securing) characters for this game's roster, but if you're making a game that attempts to bring together the classic PlayStation players and you don't have the system's first big mascot, someone has already screwed up. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those weirdo Crash Bandicoot fiends or anything, and I'm well aware that Sony doesn't actually control the rights to the Crash Bandicoot property (through a series of mergers and sales, he belongs to Activision these days), but it's an embarrassing omission. While we're at it--and I'm sure those of you at home have already played along by filling out your own dream roster--it's difficult to talk about stand-out characters from the PlayStation era without bringing up Cloud Strife and Lara Croft. These three characters typify the early days of Sony's console business. Even though they aren't Sony characters, they're the characters that brought Sony to the dance and helped make the PlayStation the must-own platform through the back half of the '90s. If you catch me on the right day, I might even go so far as to say that if you can't lock down those three characters for your Sony fighting game, you probably shouldn't make your Sony fighting game.

The roster isn't all bad, though. The Sony-controlled standards from the modern era are present, like Ratchet (with Clank in tow), Jak (with Daxter, natch), Kratos, Nathan Drake, and not one, but two version of Cole from Infamous. That he gets two squares on the select screen instead of a "press triangle to select Evil Cole" treatment says to me that the developers were struggling to fill out that roster, but perhaps I'm projecting. PaRappa is in, and he's maybe the perfect mix of a known character that's still worth getting nostalgic about. You also get a set of also-rans that are too new and underused to feel classic, like Nariko from Heavenly Sword and Col. Radec from Killzone 2. These aren't franchise players, and while it's cool to dig deep, these guys aren't distinguished enough to feel like meaningful inclusions. Instead they feel like warm bodies, there to pad out Sony's end of the roster.

Each background busts apart at a set interval to reveal parts of another game.

The game feels a little heavy on third-party characters, which is entirely sensible. Sony has always enjoyed firm support from third-party developers, and many of the best PS1 and PS2 games don't have SCEA's name on the box. But instead of focusing on the greatest names from PlayStation history (see above!), the inclusions here feel like a bunch of co-marketing deals masquerading as guests in a fighting game. Dante from Devil May Cry is here, but it's the new Dante. Say what you will about that redesign, but of the two Dante designs that are out there, only one of them could safely be referred to as an "All-Star" right now. Raiden from Metal Gear Rising is here. There are two BioShock Infinite-themed backgrounds, and Big Daddy appears on the roster. You know, Big Daddy from BioShock, that huge PlayStation 3 hit... that shipped like a year later than the PC and 360 versions? Instead of leveraging its past, the roster keeps an eye toward future releases. It makes a sizable chunk of the game feel like a series of ads instead of a love letter to the PlayStation brand.

It's a shame that this aspect of PlayStation All-Stars sticks out so much, because once you get past the roster and its lackluster story cutscenes, Battle Royale is a fun little game. It's a chunk of frantic action that blends button mashing with meaningful strategy, even if that strategy comes from a slightly strange set of systems. All-Stars is all about your three-level super meter, and your sole goal is to build that meter up and unleash it at the appropriate times. Landing a super on an opponent is the sole way to kill that opponent and earn points. By default, your overall total at the end of a match is kills versus deaths, with two points earned for earn time you kill an opponent and one subtracted each time you fall to an opposing super. So, in a sense, waling away on another fighter has no direct impact on that fighter. But indirectly, it's key, because while you're landing attacks you're earning more meter and your victim, who's just standing there and taking your attacks, isn't. Throws and a couple of other attacks give you an opportunity to steal some of another player's super meter, too.

This means that the game really comes down to your knowledge of a character's super attacks and how best to land (or avoid) those attacks. So what the game lacks in moment-to-moment monitoring of a damage meter it makes up for in a multitude of "oh snap!" moments when the supers start popping off. Some of these attacks, particularly the low-level ones, feel like they come out of nowhere, so when Parappa runs up behind the other three fighters and busts out a flash kick that kills all three players, it's rad. When Raiden does a breakdancey little spin kick that takes out foes on either side of him before you can figure out what was happening, it's the sort of thing that makes a couch full of players start shouting up a storm. It's chaotic fun. The higher level supers get flashier and are more in line with a character's unique style, so Sly Cooper gets a little sniping sequence that feels like it fell out of one of the Sly Cooper games. Sweet Tooth turns into a giant robot. Kratos goes nuts and starts swinging a sword that kills in one-hit. The bigger attacks are more stylish and pretty interesting, but I always felt like I was doing better when I was slipping into range and busting out my low level supers on unsuspecting players.

The differences between the PS3 and VIta versions are minimal.

For a game that should be bursting at the seams with personality and charm, PlayStation All-Stars sure has some drab, plain menus. Once you're actually inside the game and fighting, things look fine but a little basic. The flashy super combos are certainly over-the-top, but the baseline action looks like a bunch of tiny dudes scurrying around and a bunch of little hit flashes. This ends up being worse on the Vita, since it's a smaller screen to begin with, but even on the PS3 I was picking myself out on-screen by the big player number text that floats above each character's head. All of this action is set on a series of mash-up backgrounds that start out based on one game, but transition into another. These transitions are the same every time, though, so seeing Chop Chop Master Onion's dojo bust apart so a Killzone robot can invade the stage is surprising and cool precisely once. More randomness in the stages would have made this stuff way cooler.

The single-player side of All-Stars is very slim, but a lot of what's there seems to be focused on getting you to understand the game's fighting style and, ideally, train you up to be a better online fighter. The online works great on both the PS3 and Vita, with a ranked mode that's broken up into "seasons," giving players multiple chances to be at the top of a season's leaderboard. And, if you buy the game on the PlayStation 3, you get access to the Vita version for no extra charge. I ended up preferring the default control scheme on the Vita over the PS3, even though the Vita version awkwardly requires you to tap the screen to pick up items during a fight. It's also worth noting that if you know that you only want a portable version of the game, you can get that on its own for $20 less than the console/handheld bundle.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is an interesting first attempt at bringing Sony's characters, stages, and items together in the traditional Smash Bros. style, but it fails to carve out enough style of its own along the way. It ends up being an interesting, if occasionally awkward "party" style fighting game that works a little better than you might think. But it also feels like a proof-of-concept that misses too many classic PlayStation figures and moments to truly earn the title "All-Star."

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
127 Comments
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Edited by Darthozzan

Closest I have ever been to the quest =( Oh well! I think this game plays really well, and I think 3 stars is personally a bit low but as I'm reading I find myself agreeing. Oh well. I think PSAS 2 could be sick though!

Posted by Sooty

I'm still finding it hard to look past them including a Big Daddy when that series was exclusive to 360 originally.

It's so stupid.

Posted by leejunfan83

Why is Jeff reviewing a game that is of a style that he does not like?

Online
Posted by Young_Scott

@Sooty said:

I'm still finding it hard to look past them including a Big Daddy when that series was exclusive to 360 originally.

It's so stupid.

Actually, according to wikipedia, Bioshock came out on the PC the same day as the 360. But I understand and agree with your basic point! It's a bit weird.

Posted by Xeirus

@Darthozzan said:

Closest I have ever been to the quest =( Oh well! I think this game plays really well, and I think 3 stars is personally a bit low but as I'm reading I find myself agreeing. Oh well. I think PSAS 2 could be sick though!

Quests are getting removed in the new website design. I wouldn't think too hard about it.

Posted by Morningstar

Too bad.

Posted by Sooty

@Young_Scott said:

@Sooty said:

I'm still finding it hard to look past them including a Big Daddy when that series was exclusive to 360 originally.

It's so stupid.

Actually, according to wikipedia, Bioshock came out on the PC the same day as the 360. But I understand and agree with your basic point! It's a bit weird.

Being out on PC has never made the "Only on Xbox" marker go away, that only seems to refer to console exclusivity. There's been quite a few other games to follow this pattern, it makes sense in a way as the PC doesn't directly compete with the 360 and it also runs a Microsoft OS. (well the vast majority of games require that)

Posted by Hawkerace

Bit of a typo, 'BioShock, that huge PlayStation 3 hit... that shipped like a year later than the PS3 and 360 versions?'

I assume it means the PC, just a typo nothing to lose shit over.

However while watching the quickplay and referencing super smash bros, I can't say either are appealing but probably feel more attached to the playstation as opposed to the nintendo brand for a battle royale. Either way I thought it was a dead genre more or less. Neither are appealing so my opinion really is a bit hollow.

Posted by Ravelle

I'll wait it out and see if they're planning on releasing a bunch of DLC characters or pull an Capcom All-Star Complete edition down the line. The game seems fun but with this few characters and the price still steep I can spend my money on better things.

Posted by AjayRaz

"You know, Big Daddy from BioShock, that huge PlayStation 3 hit... that shipped like a year later than the PS3 and 360 versions?"

i think you mean PC version instead of PS3

Posted by SlashDance

More like 3 Stars Battle Royale !!! aaaaHA !

Posted by Strife777

Just wanted to point out you wrote ''on snap!'' instead of ''oh snap!''. Also, somebody else mentioned the Bioshock PS3 and 360 typo.

Great review. It's really too bad they didn't go further with the roster. I would've loved seeing characters like Noby Noby Boy or Vibri from Vib-Ribbon. Even levels from more "recent" games like Trash Panic. Hopefully, they get a second go at it and put more charm into the menus and that whole thing.

Posted by gesi1223

This review sums up my opinion of the game to a T.

This game feels like nothing more than a really poor rip of Smash Bros. The roster desicions and lack of polish to the aesthetics makes it that much more uninteresting. What a bummer, but if they happen to make a second game, maybe they'll try a little harder to put in the real Playstation All-Stars.

Posted by JoeyRavn

@leejunfan83 said:

Why is Jeff reviewing a game that is of a style that he does not like?

He is thorough in his review and presents the positive and negative points of the game in a balanced way. Why shouldn't he? He knows more about fighting games than anyone else on the staff, even if this particular approach to the genre is not his cup of tea exactly. Besides, everyone reviews games that may or not click with them This game is not special, it's not an exception to the rule.

Posted by TheHT

A bit ranty when it comes to the roster and presentation, but I get that a huge part of the concept for this game is exactly that.

A fine review all the same. Like you said, those "oh snap" moments are fantastic, and totally what makes the game for me. It's downright addictive looking for the right moment to drop down to the thick of things and wipe out all other players with a level 1 or 2.

Posted by Veektarius

There's also a typo here where you say "on snap!" But thanks for the review. I would certainly be more interested in a game with Cloud Strife and Lara Croft, even if I would never select Crash Bandicoot.

Posted by Pixeldemon

Neither Sony nor MS actually managed to create a mascot for their game systems. For a while Sony had Crash Bandicoot as an answer to Mario, but that wasn't their IP and it went multi platform.

Posted by bkbroiler

@TheHT said:

A bit ranty when it comes to the roster and presentation, but I get that a huge part of the concept for this game is exactly that.

A fine review all the same. Like you said, those "oh snap" moments are fantastic, and totally what makes the game for me. It's downright addictive looking for the right moment to drop down to the thick of things and wipe out all other players with a level 1 or 2.

I think you mean "on snap"

Posted by Dixavd

At least it isn't broken - but I find that these titles really need all-out crazy references to work (something which the unimaginably large number of collectibles in Brawl really works). But purely from the fact that it works and does seem to be a proof-of-concept, I hope Sony gives the team more time to go for a bigger scope and knock it out of the park on the next PS console (I really think a next gen All Stars could steal a lot of fanfare from Nintendo's Smash Bros. on the WiiU).

We'll just have to wait and see.

Posted by Napalm

@SlashDance said:

More like 3 Stars Battle Royale !!! aaaaHA !

Give this man a medal.

Posted by Yummylee

Concerning the two Coles, I think it's really no different from how there's both Mario and Luigi in SSB's. I mean technically they're different characters, but when it comes down to it Luigi is just a taller Mario wearing a different coloured outfit, and the personalities for each variations of Cole are of course drastically different from one another. I imagine each Cole even has his own unique moveset like in the inFAMOUS games themselves?

I'm not trying to defend this game or anything mind you as I have no interest in playing it anyway, but I just wanted to air my thoughts to anyone who perhaps regarded putting in two different Coles a little weird. Of course I won't deny that the roster is still a little weak all the same... A Big Daddy before even Kazuma Kiryu?! Let alone all of the other bigger Playstation omissions? GTFO, Sony U_U

Posted by Krakn3Dfx

As someone who enjoys the Smash Bros series, I had a good time with the beta for this and picked it up as a XMas gift for my son. Looking forward to cracking it open then and playing more. Yes, they could have done more, but I think it comes across as a solid first attempt at what it does. It also doesn't hurt than you're getting a free handheld copy alongside the big screen version if you happen to own a Vita.

I don't know that it'll sell especially well, and I don't know if it should, but as a fan of the "genre" as it is, it seems to scratch the itch between now and when a Smash Bros hits the Wii U,whenever that might be.

Edited by Ehker

A big point of this game is selling these modern characters and games, so why would Sony be putting time and money into licensing dead mascots?

Besides the marketing issue, suggestions like Lara Croft for being on a Playstation (but also the PC) some 15 years ago is still such an obscure and dated reference to force them to make for an All-Stars game, especially one that isn't called "Old School Playstation All-Stars".

Edited by Cyrisaurus

Mention Smash Bros in first sentence - check

Complain about characters not being in that Sony doesn't have control over - check

figured Jeff wouldn't make the same dumb mistakes other reviewers did, but oh well.

It's a really fucking fun game, and in case everyone kinda forgot why they started playing games to begin with, Fun is kind of the most important factor.

FYI Jeff, Sucker Punch requested Good and Evil Cole. They are not palette swaps, they have different move sets.

Posted by upwarDBound

I know I'm a little biased but I'm convinced that Sega could fill out an interesting roster for this style of game far better than Sony did. Not to mention that pretty much all of the characters could be first party creations.

Oh well it'll never happen and I still probably wouldn't be interested in it anyway. I'm not a Smash Bros. fan.

Posted by Draxyle

It's really a shame. There's no way they could beat Smash Brothers as far as a roster lineup goes, but they could have done so much better than this. It really feels like a cynical marketing product with so much focus on games that haven't been made yet. For a game touting "Playstation Allstars", the weak roster is a very legitimate complaint.

Super Smash Brothers never gave the sense that they were promoting anything; it always kind of served as a celebration of the past. I mean they threw ROB in their last game. That's certainly not out to promote a franchise with continued support.

Posted by MEATBALL

Excellent review, you really nailed the roster problems.

Edited by Xer0Signal

@Cyrisaurus said:

Mention Smash Bros in first sentence - check

Complain about characters not being in that Sony doesn't have control over - check

figured Jeff wouldn't make the same dumb mistakes other reviewers did, but oh well.

It's a really fucking fun game, and in case everyone kinda forgot why they started playing games to begin with, Fun is kind of the most important factor.

FYI Jeff, Sucker Punch requested Good and Evil Cole. They are not palette swaps, they have different move sets.

Seriously, this game is a blast. Some of the most genuine fun Ive has in a long time.

Edited by Ouren

Fun game with serious roster issues.

As Jeff said, it's a fun game.

Fun game.

I'm going to get it.

Hopefully they will be able to get some DLC folks in there that should have been there Day 1.

Posted by TheHT

@Yummylee said:

Concerning the two Coles, I think it's really no different from how there's both Mario and Luigi in SSB's. I mean technically they're different characters, but when it comes down to it Luigi is just a taller Mario wearing a different coloured outfit, and the personalities for each variations of Cole are of course drastically different from one another. I imagine each Cole even has his own unique moveset like in the inFAMOUS games themselves?

I'm not trying to defend this game or anything mind you as I have no interest in playing it anyway, but I just wanted to air my thoughts to anyone who perhaps regarded putting in two different Coles a little weird. Of course I won't deny that the roster is still a little weak all the same... A Big Daddy before even Kazuma Kiryu?! Let alone all of the other bigger Playstation omissions? GTFO, Sony U_U

Their square attacks (melee) is basically the same as with in inFAMOUS, but their triangle, circle, level 2 and 3 are all different variations of the same powers from their game.

Good Cole is more precise and thoughtful (sticky grenades, redirect rocket) while Evil Cole is more chaotic and explosive (bouncing grenades, widening rocket, much stronger pulse wave) and their secondary powers from inFAMOUS 2 take up their circle attacks (ice and fire respectively) which are much more disparate than their electricity (triangle) attacks.

Edited by iAmJohn

@Xeirus said:

@Darthozzan said:

Closest I have ever been to the quest =( Oh well! I think this game plays really well, and I think 3 stars is personally a bit low but as I'm reading I find myself agreeing. Oh well. I think PSAS 2 could be sick though!

Quests are getting removed in the new website design. I wouldn't think too hard about it.

What the fuck is this?!

Everything I've seen of this game reminds me a lot of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (the first one, not the one that just came out) - it's a completely serviceable game that's very well done mechanically but feels like a nostalgia trip made by people who don't really have much reverence for the source material. The entire reason Smash Bros. works is because it feels like a game made by people who really love Nintendo and its history. This just feels mercenary by comparison.

Posted by Tylea002

Yes but is smash mouth in the game?

Posted by BlackLagoon

Lara Croft's deep in Microsoft's pockets these days (timed/exclusive DLC, featured in MS E3 press conferences). I doubt she was ever an option.

Edited by Colourful_Hippie

No Crash, no sale. I don't see why they didn't bother working out a deal with Activision cuz it's not like they care about Crash at all. That roster just looks weak and to be honest I think I still rather just play Smash Bros.

Posted by CrossTheAtlantic

@Yummylee said:

Concerning the two Coles, I think it's really no different from how there's both Mario and Luigi in SSB's. I mean technically they're different characters, but when it comes down to it Luigi is just a taller Mario wearing a different coloured outfit, and the personalities for each variations of Cole are of course drastically different from one another. I imagine each Cole even has his own unique moveset like in the inFAMOUS games themselves?

Yeah that's what I thought of. Similar to the other clones such as Fox/Falco/Wolf or Link/Toon Link etc etc.

I mean, it was still kinda whack in Super Smash Brothers, but it's not like this is unprecedented. Of course, looking at it that way just makes it look like they copied one more thing from that franchise, so I'm not sure what the positive is.

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

@Draxyle said:

It's really a shame. There's no way they could beat Smash Brothers as far as a roster lineup goes, but they could have done so much better than this. It really feels like a cynical marketing product with so much focus on games that haven't been made yet. For a game touting "Playstation Allstars", the weak roster is a very legitimate complaint.

Super Smash Brothers never gave the sense that they were promoting anything; it always kind of served as a celebration of the past. I mean they threw ROB in their last game. That's certainly not out to promote a franchise with continued support.

In Melee Roy was basically an advert for Fire Emblem 6. At least that was for nintendo's own game.

Posted by RobotSquad

Roster and interface issues aside, this is a really fun game. I expected a less than glowing review from Jeff though. He's said on many occasions this genre does nothing for him.

Edited by vinsanityv22

As soon as Jeff, in the Quick Look, said, "I feel like there's no Marth Equivalent", it was clear why PS All Stars would eternally feel off. They completely fucked over the Japanese brands of Sony. Sure, they have Parappa and Spike - even though they went out of their way to make Spike NOT look anything like the hero of Ape Escape - but that's pretty much it.

This game is balanced way too heavily towards western characters and western brands, and newer (worse) iterations at that. Twisted Metal meant more to gamers back during the PSX days, for instance - why drag out the MODERN incarnations of Sweet Tooth? The one from the vaguely Se7en-inspired, "Desperate to appear hardcore" shenanigans of Twisted Metal Black and Twisted Metal PS3? No one likes them - when the giant babydoll mecha from the PS3 game appeared in Colombia during the Quick Look, none of the Giantbomb editors could even place which game it came from! The newer stuff is blander, less likeable, less colorful and completely un-iconic -- why focus on that? Why focus on the bland, western character designs, such as normal-looking guy no.1 (Drake), normal-looking guy no.2 (Cole), normal-looking guy no.3 (other Cole) or normal-looking guy no.4 (Dante)? Or "That guy from Killzone" and "That guy from Starhawk"? It's like Superbot went out of their way to assemble the group of Sony's blandest heroes. And the worst 3rd party licenses. Big Daddy and Bioshock doesn't mean shit to Playstation gamers and we all know it. Crash, Spyro, Lara Croft, Solid Snake, Cloud, Squall, Lightning -- THESE are the ones that HAD to get in here.

But yeah, the lack of the Japanese games is KILLER. There's so little personality without them, and yet that's what BUILT the Playstation brand into what it is today. The PSX, the PS2 - they were the consoles that were kings of the industry. And while Sony's always been good at balancing games made in the east and west, it's largely because of games made overseas. That's where the Playstation got it's personality from. So not having representation - either in the form of characters or stages - from series' like Alundra, Wild ARMS, Dark Cloud, Jumping Flash, Cool Boarders, Folklore, Genji, Ico/Shadow of the Colossus, Legaia, Legend of Dragoon, and other games like that (did they also do Jade Cocoon?) is just inexcusable. What's here is too bland, too new, and too western. There's very little Playstation DNA in this game, and yet it's still called Playstation All Stars? It's kind of laughable, but mostly, it's sad. What should've been a celebration of Sony's consoles comes off like a marketing stunt for Bioshock Infinite.

This game makes me furious. It's one thing to whiff it entirely, but there's such a weird melange of totally uninspired and completely inspired, that it ultimately hurts more than if they just completely missed the mark. Whoever brought Polygon Man into the fold should've been in charge of the whole roster and stage selection! Whoever wanted Col. Radec in should've been fired. There should be a Marth equivalent, and it probably is someone like Monica from Dark Cloud 2. Or Joan of Arc from Jeanne D'Arc.

Yet, I'm looking forward to a potential sequel (thought I doubt this will sell well enough to get one). It wouldn't take a lot to correct what went wrong with this. They need to rethink their combat too a bit though; in their quest to differentiate themselves from Smash Bros., they went and devalued DAMAGE ITSELF. Kind of important in a brawler like this.

Edited by Yummylee

@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@Yummylee said:

Concerning the two Coles, I think it's really no different from how there's both Mario and Luigi in SSB's. I mean technically they're different characters, but when it comes down to it Luigi is just a taller Mario wearing a different coloured outfit, and the personalities for each variations of Cole are of course drastically different from one another. I imagine each Cole even has his own unique moveset like in the inFAMOUS games themselves?

Yeah that's what I thought of. Similar to the other clones such as Fox/Falco/Wolf or Link/Toon Link etc etc.

I mean, it was still kinda whack in Super Smash Brothers, but it's not like this is unprecedented. Of course, looking at it that way just makes it look like they copied one more thing from that franchise, so I'm not sure what the positive is.

Clones all of these examples may be, but going back even further, it's just like how you've got Ryu/Ken/Akuma/Dan ect. across Street Fighter. And much like the variety of Shoto characters, while Mario/Luigi, Hero Cole/Infamous Cole all play very similar, there's enough differentiation between them so as within a complex enough fighting system, they can still feel different enough from one another, and I think it'll be the same deal with the Coles.

As it was with the clone characters in the Smash series. I remember that even though I was pretty good as Mario, I could never quite get the same results as Luigi, whom I recall had a higher jump, his fireballs went in a completely straight line instead of slowly descending like Mario's, and he had this powerful uppercut attack amongst other such variables to set the two apart. Same goes with Captain Falcon and Ganandorf, whom (Ganandorf) was my main in melee - Captain Falcon on the other hand was too squirrelly for me.

Posted by FinalBoss

I agree with the review. I own the game and I really like the fighting system way more than I thought I was going to. It's different and it works. But like Jeff says the game lacks personality in the menus and the roaster is disappointing. I grew up with Crash and Spyro so not having them in the game was a huge bummer. All of the third party characters just feel like advertisements for their upcoming games. But at least Raiden, Dante and Heihachi have some sort of history with PlayStation. That being said Big Daddy should not be in the game, especially when there are so many other characters that would have made more sense to be included. But overall if you get four people together its a lot of fun.

Posted by Yummylee

@upwarDBound said:

I know I'm a little biased but I'm convinced that Sega could fill out an interesting roster for this style of game far better than Sony did. Not to mention that pretty much all of the characters could be first party creations.

Oh well it'll never happen and I still probably wouldn't be interested in it anyway. I'm not a Smash Bros. fan.

I'd love for Sega to one day at least make some sort of Yakuza fighting game :P

Posted by Turtlemayor333

I'm thinking Jeff wanted a Zelda/Sheik dynamic for Cole instead of a separate character or alternate costume. That would make sense. It doesn't make sense when you start talking about Mario transforming into Luigi.

Posted by Cybexx

I would add Spyro to that list of missing PS1 characters (also Activision controlled). So lets hope that the Activision licensing issue gets worked out if they do another ones of these.

As for the game I am actually quite impressed by it. The modes are pretty bare bones, its kind of weird that the "rivals" cinematics have better production values than the intros and outros, but I assume thats because they didn't want to animate the non-fighter characters.

I am impressed by how different each character plays (other than good and evil cole but even they only really share a 3rd of their moveset). I like how Dante plays like Dante. I like how characters who are not from fighting/brawling games still feel kind of like their games. Such as Sly with his stealth and gadgets or Nathan Drake with his cover and run-and-gun abilities. The move names also have lots of callbacks like the aforementioned Nathan Drake's "Brutal Combo".

Like Jeff I find the Level-3 Supers not nearly as interesting as the Level-1 and Level 2 supers. Its kind of cool to see Parappa pull up his original interface and perform for a bit the first time (I think the song is slightly randomized too) but his Level-2 super where he jumps on his skateboard and rams into people can be as effective and much more fun to play.

Posted by JesterPC238

Good review Jeff, pretty much what I expected from someone who doesn't particularly love the genre.

I don't think there is much of a problem with the roster. Sure, it would have been nice to get Lara Croft, Cloud, Crash and Spyro, but Sony doesn't own the rights to these characters, and I'm guessing getting those rights would be hard. Lara has a very dark, very serious new game coming out, so I imagine they don't want to put her in a mash up situation. Activision has Crash and Spyro, and I imagine they wouldn't want to play ball. Square Enix has Dissidia, so they may want to keep their characters to themselves for their own fighting games. The roster that is there is incredibly diverse. No two characters play anything alike when you dig into them. The thing I love about All Stars is the depth, as each character has a ton of capabilities if you are willing to learn.

Also, I've never had any real issue keeping track of my character on PS3 or Vita, I almost enjoy playing it on Vita more to be honest. The online stuff works phenomenally well too, the belt system for rankings really provides incentive to improve and take your game online, and the fact that you can play with any combination of online friends, vita owners, and couch players without any lag is freaking fantastic. I'll probably write up a review in the near future, but please don't let what the press is saying turn you off without giving the game a shot. It's really a wonderfully deep and interesting fighting game if you are willing to put the time in.

Also, the menus are not that bad, I don't know why everyone keeps harping on them.

Posted by EricSmith

I started off not liking it much, but as a free game I got with my white Vita, it's okay.

Posted by MikkaQ

I think if Sony showed more reverence with the characters and picked them more carefully instead of as Jeff puts it, made them seem like co-marketing deals, then the game could have been something special. But they don't come off as being particularly honest about how they present their roster like Smash Bros does and I think the lack of credibility kinda flattens the whole experience.

Oh well.

Posted by SupernormalStep

I don't really care about who is/isn't on the roster, but even besides that I found the content of the game to be really disappointing

Edited by Spoonman671

I pretty much agree with all of his points. The game feels more like a marketing tool than it does a celebration of Playstation, which is what it should have been.  They need to get Lavitz Slambert in this game.  Why?  Because his name is Lavitz fucking Slambert.
 
EDIT: I should add that I'm actually having quite a bit of fun with the game.  I play online on the PS3 with characters I'm already familiar with, then go through tutorials and practice mode with new characters on Vita while I'm waiting to fall asleep.

Posted by Superkenon

@Cyrisaurus said:

Mention Smash Bros in first sentence - check

Complain about characters not being in that Sony doesn't have control over - check

figured Jeff wouldn't make the same dumb mistakes other reviewers did, but oh well.

It's a really fucking fun game, and in case everyone kinda forgot why they started playing games to begin with, Fun is kind of the most important factor.

FYI Jeff, Sucker Punch requested Good and Evil Cole. They are not palette swaps, they have different move sets.

Everything Jeff's said about the game, including this review, would suggest he's right there with you (well, mostly). He's clearly had fun with it, but is making his gripes clear as well.

Honestly, the character roster is a damn important (I'd argue most important) aspect of any fighter, so I think it's a fair complaint if it's leaving something to be desired. For me, personally, I was on the fence about this game, waiting to see how the roster filled out. In the end, it's too few dudes I'm excited to pit against each other. Kind of a bummer, 'cause I want to try it, but it's enough to make me pass until it comes down in price.

Out of curiosity, does your enjoyment of the game stem from investment in a significant portion of the roster, or on the contrary, do you find the gameplay is simply enough to make up for that disadvantage?

Posted by MormonWarrior

And where the heck is Spyro? Croc? The dude from MediEvil? This game just ain't what it should be. Fortunately, few other companies take as long to come out with sequels as Nintendo so...maybe a future one will be cool?

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