Superbot’s upcoming brawler, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (AKA Sony’s Smash Bros clone), releases in less than two and a half weeks. After getting some hands-on time with the beta, we’ve decided to bring Dusty Cartridge’s own Mark Ankucic and Martin Gladstone to discuss what they did and didn’t like about the game, if any improvements still need to be made prior to release and much more!
Having played the beta, are you excited for the full version of Playstation All-Stars?
Martin: I’m sitting on the fence at the moment. Some balancing issues with the beta frustrated me which meant I stuck to using the same characters over and over. Still, I’m a massive Playstation fan and a sucker for the fanfare so it’s hard not to be a wee bit excited. The novelty of penetrating Fat Princess with Kratos’ spear never wears off and the backdrops look absolutely gorgeous. If All-Stars can deliver a well rounded package then I can’t wait to bring three mates around, a couple of six-packs and enjoy the ensuing carnage both on and off screen.
Mark: It goes up and down – I really, really want to use Daniel Fortesque as my main, but every time I use Radek or Riddick or Count Ridikula or whatever his name is, I win by millions of points. Not so much because I’m one bad-arse All-Stars playa, it’s because I’ve learned how to exploit an easy-to-use character, and when I watch how Sir Daniel plays … it just seems like the final game is going to be as unbalanced as a plane which regulates passengers by putting all the fatties on the left.
What are the similarities between Smash Bros and All-Stars?
Martin: The game’s director Omar Kendall might not openly admit the obvious similarities, he says they are purely superficial, but in many ways they are incredibly alike. We have 2D fighting planes with multiple levels and up to 4 players at once, items you can pick up and attack with, a double jump ability, super moves, platform mascots from the past 20 years and a goal to knock players off the battlegrounds (in slightly different ways). More than any of these connections though is that the two games feel the same. If you enjoyed Smash Bros you’ll enjoy All-Stars (unless your love for videogame characters extends solely to the Nintendo world.) This isn’t a bad thing, as Nintendo’s mascot brawler is one of the most enjoyable games of the current generation.
Mark: They are both brawlers, and that’s where it ends…for me at least. Supers are kind of similar to the Smash Balls they introduced in Super Smash Bros Brawl, but the mechanic is the sole way to win in All-Stars, so the two are really incomparable. Also, All-Stars has taken on a more common fighting game trait: combos. While you’d think combos wouldn’t fit into a brawler (and they kind of don’t), the player with the best understanding of their characters combos is going to have a much easier time winning, though it won’t necessarily guarantee them a victory.
Does All-Stars have enough complexity to attract hardcore fighting fans?
Martin: That will be determined by balance tweaking. The only way to win battles in All-Stars is by using a super on your opponents, yet some supers are easier to pull off than others. In competitive play this could be an issue. For example, a couple of the level 3 supers require nothing from the player once initiated while some still need some form of interaction. Aside from that, the combo system looks like it has depth and flexibility and should allow hardcore fighters to strut their stuff online.
Mark: Technically yes, I mean, there’s always going to be a niche group that plays it to the extent they know by heart how many pixels each attack does, but due to the balancing issues of the game and the rather straight-forward and mostly unexciting way in which you win, I’d say no.
Who should have been included in the roster that isn’t?
Martin: Somebody from the Final Fantasy universe. I would have thought an FF character was right on top of the list so it’s surprising to see not one. Cloud, Sephiroth or Seymour would slot in perfectly. Crash Bandicoot is another obvious and Ezio or Connor could also work. I’m not sure why both Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank made the cut considering their similarities. And having two Cole’s from the inFamous series screams mimic character, my most hated feature which seems to pop up in every single fighting game.
Mark: CLOUD STRIFE FROM FINAL FANTASY VII. HOW WAS HE NOT INCLUDED HE IS A PLAYSTATION ICON AND IF HE COMES INTO THE GAME I WILL BUY FIVE COPIES OF IT.
Crash Bandicoot wouldn’t have hurt either.
How can All-Stars win you over, if it hasn’t already?
Martin: A strong single player campaign ala Smash Bros’ Subspace Emissary. This is essential for solo players out there without a strong internet connection or who don’t have friends over that often. Plus it would be awesome to see how Santa Monica and Superbot Entertainment envisage the first encounter between the God of War and an obese princess.
I would also like to see a game mode that doesn’t require supers to score points. It’s doubtful All-Stars will borrow Smash Bros scoring method seeing as it’s trying to cement its own personality but an alternative would be nice for those not hugely fond of the supers. A game mode structured on a standard health meter could suffice.
Mark: I think it will for a very brief period, and then it will become another Sony product on my ever expanding fanboy shelf. The main problem with the game is that the only way to win is to use supers, and everything else in the game apart from that one thing feels a empty and without impact. Also, I have no idea who I’m going to to be able to get to play this game with me, and that’s the main appeal of brawlers – same couch gaming.
All-Stars still has a lot to prove.
Did you get the chance to participate in the All-Stars beta? Impressed? Disappointed? Let us know in the comments below!