Review of Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale for PS Vita

Zelda acquired the smash ball- wait, wrong game.all-stars-lead-440x270

It’s widely known that PS All-Stars is Sony’s crack at making a successful Playstation-ized Super Smash Bros., and for the most part Sony admits that. But there was that little band of Superbot design team members who were determined to seperate this from Super Smash Bros., to make it its own game. The best thing they could conjure up? Super move kills only.

All cynicism aside, the game does a good job at being an original twist on the practically perfect Nintendo formula. Twenty characters, the majority of which are exclusive to Playstation, battle it out on small maps with up to four people. It’s a button-masher, nostalgia-inducer and fighter all wrapped up into a nice, family-friendly package. Does that mean it’s actually a good game?

I’ll put it bluntly: If you’ve never been spoiled with the glory that is Super Smash Bros. Brawl, then PS All Stars is for you. But once you’ve played the masterpiece by Nintendo, going back to Sony’s title with amateur developing mistakes like “super move kills only” just won’t do. The idea is fun, but in reality it just makes everything really unbalanced. Characters like Raiden and Nathan Drake have level 1 supers (super moves can be attained through basic combat and level up the more combos you pull off) that are on par with characters like Sackboy’s level 3. So depending on who you’re playing with, racking up kill points will either be a walk in the park or a near impossible task, and that kind of balancing, or lack there of, just isn’t acceptable in a supposedly “hardcore” tournament worthy fighter.

Not only are supers overpowered with some characters, but basic move sets aren’t balanced either. Colonel Radec has this cheap-ass sniper attack that can knock fifty shades of snot out of someone across the map, while most of Parappa the Rappa’s attacks can’t hit anything beyond point-blank range. Now, character and moveset variety is to be expected, but movesets that encourage piss-poor playing? Not exactly what I’d call a smart gameplay element.

I’ve been pretty harsh to the game thus far, but it does have some nifty features. The stages are unique combinations of various Playstation series’ levels, and some even have environmental hazards (though not to a degree where it feels anything more than just a petty annoyance, unlike SSBB). The items are solid enough to give the player an edge but not overpowered like a smashball or a really good pokeball in Super Smash Bros., so that’s another thing PS All-Stars has going for it. The menus showcase different characters every time you boot the game, which is a nice touch.  And that’s pretty much all I have to say in terms of complimenting this game.

At the end of the day, is this a Super Smash Bros. copycat worth your money? Frankly, no. Sure, it’s fun for Sony fans and people who want to see Big Daddys trample Sackboys (or vise versa), but otherwise you should stick to Nintendo’s superior game, or get this one after a twenty dollar price drop.

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