PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale Review

Well guys, it’s finally here. After years of waiting for Sony to produce such a title, it’s finally here. So, does PS All-Stars live up to the dream of a true PlayStation fan?

Many out there will be quick to point out the obvious, but let me just get it out of the way right now: This is not a Super Smash Bros. clone. Yes, it may have been heavily influenced by it, but the games are very much different in their own way. Who’s to say both titles can’t coexist? I know Call of Duty, Battlefield, Killzone, Halo, and a bunch of other first-person shooters out there do.

Content/Replayability

I know this is going to be one of those things where people et upset due to the current roster list. The true issue isn’t who’s in it, but who isn’t in it. While I did want to see Crash Bandicoot make his debut return, it just wasn’t going to happen at this time. (Maybe as DLC.) Anyway, I can easily say that this game packs a punch when it comes to content. With 20 diverse and addictive characters, hundreds of unlocks, and a competitive multiplayer, PS All-Stars will keep you hooked for hours on end. I can’t remember the last time that I played a multiplayer game that has kept me this interested in the maps and characters.

As an addition, the game also has extra costumes can that can be unlocked for each character. If you were lucky enough to pre-order, you also got 20 extra costumes. Though these do nothing other than offer a new cosmetic look, it is nice to the eye and avoids seeing the exact same characters on one screen. As for the other unlocks, you’ll be able to unlock minions that’ll cheer for you in combat along with new playercard icons and backgrounds that can be customized (not too deep though, just in selection).

A Fighting System With Depth

As I explained in my preview of the beta, All-Star is set in a 2D plane where players brawl with iconic PlayStation characters. Yes, this is all quite similar to that of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series, but that doesn’t make it a complete rip-off. The biggest thing that All-Star does to differentiate itself is that it uses a system where the only way to get points is by eliminating your opponent(s) with supers. Superbot Entertainment has truly crafted an entirely new system different from that of the Smash series. Both games feel completely different enough from one another.

Each character has their own unique combo set, though all characters have the basic attack special layout. So pushing ‘up,’ ‘triangle’ or any other direction and attack button combination will work on any character, with each offering their own attacks. Not only that, but the build of a character matters as well. Take for example Big Daddy (Bioshock). This guy is a massive tank, meaning he moves slow but deals damage heavily. Sackboy, however, is the exact opposite. He’s small, which gives him an advantage at dodging specials. However, his attacks aren’t as effective as Big Daddy’s. With Raiden, he’s built exactly as he is in the MGS series. He’s fast, can run up walls (the only character) and utilizes a sword more efficiently than the rest of the characters.

With that said, it’s in the the combo (and Super) system where all the depth comes in. There are so many combos and all of them are different for every character. So, if your someone who enjoys mastering a fighting game, than All-Stars is for you. For a novice player, you can expect them to spam buttons continuously, but for more advance players, you’ll be seeing them pulling off some amazing moves. Thankfully, they aren’t completely impossible to break, however, seeing that the game has added a dodge, guard, and recovery system, which allows anyone to easily counter against these combos.

Nariko (Heavenly Sword) summoning her level three super

The Supers also add some strategy to the whole mash’em up brawler genre. Do you hoard your meter up till a full level 3, or do you try to get quick kills with level 1′s? Constantly, players will be asking themselves when is the right time to strike with a Super. And like the combo system, each character has their own Supers. Some of them are more difficult to perform, such as Sweet Tooth’s. But with a little practice, it eventually becomes easy to perform the level ones. Level twos are usually Supers that can take out a minimum of two players, but I have seen it take out three (same with a level one). Level three Supers will typically net you 3 kills no matter what and possibly more.

Originally, I thought the game was going to a larger number of modes. Sadly, I was wrong. The game, besides the single player stuff, only has two modes from what I’m aware of. There’s Free-for-All, and then there’s 2 vs 2. In custom games, you are allowed to play with stocks, meaning that you only have a certain amount of spawns. Otherwise, this game is lacking when it comes to matchmaking  modes. Hopefully they’ll add 1 vs 1, King of the Hill, or other fighting mode favorites later on in the game’s cycle.

An Active And Supporting Community

Matchmaking in All-Stars is made simple, and the game does support custom games along with an easy to invite party system for friends. Beside the normal launch day issues, getting into a full lobby is fast, so you’ll never have to worry about finding anyone. Support from the developer side seems to be there to as SuperBot Entertainment has said that they’ll continue to support the game with new DLC and characters, so you don’t have to worry about this game dying out any time soon.

Skills Matter When It Comes To Balancing

The biggest issue that many players will come to realize is that “X” character is “overpowered” or “Y” character is too “underpowered.” From my long hours of match playing, I have come to realize that all these characters are as balanced as the user using them. I am a complete mess whenever I use Sweet Tooth. He’s sluggish and his combo sets are hard to perform compared to other characters. Yeah, I’ll win some rounds with him, but not so often as I do with someone like Radec or Big Daddy. Yet, I have played against other players who’ll absolutely dominate with him.

Overpowered, you say? No. I’m Just A Better Player.

The balancing all really comes down to the player skill level, which is what this game is all about. There are just some players that are far better with one character then you’ll ever be, which will make you believe that specific character may be “overpowered.” That’s just my opinion though. Like I said, I don’t see anything wrong with the current balance level.

Graphics/Performance

The one thing that truly impressed me the most was how fluid the connection between the PS3 and PS Vita is. Not once throughout my online career with the Vita did I encounter any hiccups simply due to the fact that I was playing on a difference console. Both platforms perform identically, so for those who feared the Vita getting a shoddy console port, you don’t have to worry about that. The games are literally the exact same across both consoles. Both have no virtually no frame drops (60 FPS on both console), and graphically speaking, they look identical. Whether you’re an owner of either console, you’ll be happy with the version that you buy.

The Songbird from BioShock Infinite flies high above the sky as you battle it out against other players on the crashing Cargo Plane from Uncharted.

Of course, the game wouldn’t be any fun if it didn’t have any memorable maps to support these intense battles. No map in the game is just a map. In fact, they are mash-ups or maps collaborated with two or more game series. For those familiar with the Uncharted 3 Cargo Plane scene, you’ll be quick to notice it as PS All-Stars will bring that very same moment back, except instead of traveling into an uncharted desert, you’ll be flying through the city of Bioshock Infinite, all while the Songbird is gearing up to attack the plane. All the maps available in All-Stars act this way with some sort of mash-up happening in the background, and at times, it can even affect the playing field itself.

Overall Thought

Since the title launched on Tuesday, I have been playing this game nonstop. I am very addicted to it, so yes, I would say it’s an excellent title to own. It has a great line-up of characters (with two free ones coming next year), the balancing is well thought out, and the gameplay has a great amount of depth. While visually the game does look like Smash Bros., I can safely say that these two titles play on completely different levels.

Remember, if you own both systems, buy the PS3 version as you’ll get the Vita version for no additional charge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002367454310 Jonathan Stoffregen

    what i don’t like about Playstation All-Stars Battle Royaleis that the only way to kill someone is to use supers which gets kinda boring after awhile

    • Miguel Torres

      How? Using only super attacks makes a huge difference in the battle arena as to you want to use your lvl1 super attack and risk it or wait and build up to that lvl3 supper attack. The only thing this game lacks is characters other wise this title is perfect for any ps fan. Playing as parappa made me think back to my old memories growing up as a child playing my ps1.

      • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

        I am sure Sony will release many new playable characters!! I think the next one available for download will be FREE =)

        • Icyfire

          yep the first 2 will be free to download for 2 weeks

  • http://www.facebook.com/TaterToTFTW Taylor Faile

    …. This game doesn’t deserve a 4.5…
    Every single game you rate gets a 4 or higher.

    • jimmylara

      I have only reviewed 2 titles (including this) here…

      May I ask why it doesn’t?

      ________________________________________________________________
      I found nothing wrong with All-Star, and if someones goal was to go into reviewing a game expecting it to be a carbon copy/rip-off of the similar product than they are reviewing a title wrong. Not accusing you of being one of those people who think it’s a ripoff, just thought I would get that off my chest before someone does say that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/TaterToTFTW Taylor Faile

        This entire site i believe hasn’t done one review correctly. Max Payne? The story was amazing. The graphics were also pretty good. How does that get a 2.5 when All stars has unbalanced characters, the graphics are bad compared to everything else coming out,and the unlockables are garbage.

        • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

          LOL Do you like any games?? seems you just don’t like reviews!! lol I think you are just a Sony hater for throwing such a huge fit over a review.. The review is quite accurate and don’t know what you don’t like about the game!!??!

          • http://www.facebook.com/TaterToTFTW Taylor Faile

            Funny, only time i commented something bad on a sony review. Shut up unless you know what you’re saying.

            • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

              Well, what do you expect when you show so much hate toward a review!!? I mean I have never seen someone get so but hurt unless some is attacking there franchise but since you hate the review since he talk good about the game I assumed you were a Sony hater and a Nintendo lover since people assume that PS All stars is a rip off when really the overall feel of the game is entirely different!!

        • jimmylara

          We don’t review games based off their single player, though yeah we’ll mention them in our review, the majority of our judgment comes from the MP. Thus the title of that review being MAX Payne MULTIPLAYER Review.

          I didn’t review the title, Shawn did, and either way I do feel that that review was mishandled considering the video and the content found in the written work (sorry Shawn). However, while in my own personal experience with Max Payne 3, I do feel as the title did deserve a 8+ AS A WHOLE PACKAGE, granted that Single Player was good. MP wise, didn’t have much with it.

          As mention in my review, people will complain about unbalanced characters, but there is nothing unbalanced that I see. It’s like the weapon game in FPS, it’s overpowered, they dumb it down, people attack the next weapon until everything in the game is nerf and we are back the square one again. People saaid that Kratos was to overpowered in the beta, now in the final release they nerfed hi up a bit and people complain he’s pointless in terms of range attacks (well duh he’s a close combat character)

          It’s hard to balance a character for a game based on skill, which is what fighters are all about.

    • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

      Have you even played the game??? Just because you did not enjoy the game
      doesn’t make the game not deserve a 4.5/5. Awesome review man

  • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

    Have you even played the game??? Just because you did not enjoy the game
    doesn’t make the game not deserve a 4.5/5. Awesome review man

  • JK Monroe

    This obviously is a great game and not only is that confirmed by this review but by many other respectable sites.

    • miDnIghtEr20C

      Great games don’t sit at a 76 on metacritic. It might be a good game at times, and fun to play. But a 76 average is far from a great game.

      • JK Monroe

        Metacritic is flawed since they take an average of all review sites. Unfortunately when you take ratings from bad sites you’ll skew the average.

      • Icyfire

        The metacrtic is beyond flawed for this game. due to biased reviews that make no since. Lets take GameSpot for example. They gave it a 6.5 because the menus were bad and the game was too “complex.” It’s reviews like that have been screwing over this game.

  • Dylz

    A great review with bias put aside. However I have to disagree with the character balance. Any player who is good with one character will immediately be 2 to 5 times better with Kratos, Raiden or Nariko. Uninterruptable combos with high priority and crazy strong supers. At least Dante is slow to recover from combos making skill needed for him. Just an opinion from another reviewer.

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