Review by charyon
A pathetic attempt to be Smash Brothers
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (PASBR) brings together a number of Sony's most beloved characters from franchises both new and old. The line-up includes characters from current franchises such as Cole McGraff (Infamous) and Kratos (God of War) as well as old franchises needing a reboot such as Sir Dan (Medievil) and Parappa the Rapper. However, none of the characters have the "flagship" quality that Mario or Link do. Many of the stages are "mash-ups" from two franchises. Most stages have environmental hazards as well.
On the surface, the game seems like Super Smash Brothers. It is not. The simple and pleasing gameplay of Smash Brothers is replaced by a more complicated system. Genuinely, this game is harder to pick up and play without any experience than Smash Brothers is. Consequently, it is less fun. There are also fewer items and such that can change the course of a match. Thus Smash Bothers matches were a lot more chaotic and more fun. While Smash Brothers had numerous alternate modes, this only has the basic matches. This severely limits the replay value of PASBR. To put another way, if I was stuck on a desert island with Smash Brothers, I would be entertained for a long time. Not so with this game.
The first thing you will notice about the matches is the lack of a life bar. Instead, your goal is to build up an "AP meter." Once the meter is full you can unleash a super attack which can "kill" your opponent. This adds a bit of strategy, but is different from nearly every other fighting game.
There are two basic ways matches are played. In the first, you have a set amount of time and players try to get the most kills in that time. You get 3 points per kill and -1 points for everytime you die. Highest score wins. In the second you preset a number of kills and the first to reach that threshold wins. Both modes are serviceable, but limited.
As for the PS3 fighting game line-up, I would say that this game ranks among the lower third of the collection. Basically, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter 4 are all much more fun and deeper than this game.
Graphic 7 - The characters look right but are too small. When there are multiple characters on the screen it hard to keep track of where you are and what you are doing. Given the complicated nature of the fighting controls, This makes the game unnecessarily frustrating.
Sound 7 - There are plenty of sound effects and voice overs. Nothing special in either direction.
Replay 5 - There isn't a lot going on here except the core fighting game. This was perfectly acceptable in 1995, however now gamers deserve better. While I can see myself going back and replaying (if only briefly) the other games mentioned in this article years after their release, I don't see myself returning to this game after I have seen everything it has to offer.
Fun 6 - A nice diversion, but not as "newbie" friendly as the others. While I appreciate a deep fighting game, there is something a lot more fun about the other fighting games in my library. In this case it lacks both the chaotic fun of Super Smash Brothers or Marvel Versus Capcom and depth of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat.
Overall 6 - While this game is fun in ways, it lacks charm and depth. If you are not a fan of these characters to start with, then there is absolutely no reason to play this game. If you are a fan, maybe wait until this game is on sale.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (US, 11/20/12)
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