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Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

Sony's Heavy Hitters Clash In PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Rumors of a Sony fighter in the style of Smash Bros. have been swirling for quite some time now, and the publisher finally let the cat out of the bag at a recent showcase event. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale will feature a cast of characters from the brand's 18 years in the gaming industry, and I played it using a restricted selection of combatants.

Sony unveiled Kratos, Sly Cooper, Parappa the Rapper, Fat Princess, Sweet Tooth, and Killzone's Colonel Radec as playable characters. Four stages were available, including Hades (God of War), Sandover Village (Jak & Daxter), Dreamscape (LittleBigPlanet), and Metropolis (Ratchet & Clank). Unlike the singularly focused stages of Super Smash Bros., most of these stages eventually morph to showcase trademarks from another PlayStation series. 

Hades is set in the Underworld, with the namesake god performing shockwave attacks on the playing field. The background eventually shifts to a Patapon stage, and the dancing creatures begin throwing spears at players. The grassy islands of Sandover Village are visited by golfers from Hot Shots at certain points in the round, and they begin showering golf balls from the sky. Metropolis is a futuristic city that features an appearance from Captain Qwark. His visit is cut short thanks to the Hydra from God of War, who bursts up through the stage and sends the bumbling superhero flying. Dreamscape feels different than the other stages, as it's set in the level editor of LittleBigPlanet. You see Pop-It bubbles and creation elements spring up throughout the fight, which creates different platforms to battle on. Keeping with the hybrid stage theme, it eventually turns into an impromptu game of Buzz! Quiz. A PlayStation-related question appears on the screen, and the fighters have to stand on the platform that corresponds with the correct answer to avoid taking damage.

Like Smash Bros., each character has a variety of moves accessed via a directional input in conjunction with an attack button (square, circle, or triangle). Every character has approximately two dozen attacks in their arsenal, and they vary wildly. Kratos has his trademark blades, Radec stays at range with his sniper rifle and other guns, Sweet Tooth controls space with land mines, and Parappa relies on the karate moves he picked up from Chop Chop Master Onion.

None of this really strays from the Smash Bros. formula, but the scoring method has notable differences. Attacking foes fills an AP bar at the bottom of the screen, which grants three levels of a super attack once filled. You can attack an opponent all day, but the only way you'll actually score a point is if you KO them with a super attack. Level one attacks are usually limited, such as Parappa's spin kick. Once you get to level three, however, you're almost guaranteed a couple of points with screen-clearing attacks. Parappa breaks into a rap performance that annihilates nearby opponents, while Sweet Tooth transforms into his robot form for an insane damage boost.

Considering the importance of super attacks, managing your AP becomes the focus. Items like rocket launchers and the Spear of Destiny from God of War will occasionally drop onto the battlefield, and they can be used to reduce the super meter of opponents. AP orbs can be granted by certain moves, such as Parappa's Boxy Boy boombox ability.

There's no denying where the inspiration for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale comes from, but I had fun during my time with it. Sony's characters may not fit the colorful, family-friendly mold of Nintendo's creations, but their differences make for some entertaining and varied attacks and play styles. While plenty of roster reveals are inevitable before Battle Royale is released, I can't help but wonder if it'll compare to the variety in Nintendo's fighter. That said, we wouldn't be surprised to see big names like Nathan Drake, Sackboy, Jak, and Ratchet join the fray (Crash Bandicoot is likely excluded thanks to the fact that he isn't Sony-exclusive anymore). It's far from a novel idea, but All-Stars Battle Royale made for a fast-paced and fun four-player experience in my time with it.

Check out footage of the game in action below.

 

Comments
  • Looks interesting. I love how the stages change a little bit over time
  • Interesting. I certainly look forward to seeing a bit more on this in the future. (And I really hope Sackboy is a character - I would love nothing more than to see him beat the crap out of Kratos.)
  • This looks SOOOOOOOOOOOO fun! I can't wait.
  • Looks kind of boring
  • LAME.
  • Ehh, this has me nervous now. I imagined it would be a little more like the SSB series where the point was knocking people off the stage. I don't think I am a fan of the concept of building up to an Ult move that one hits people. It seems like one person Will be able to get the advantage and run away with it. But we will see more in the future so won't count it out yet. I really hope though that MS comes out with something similar one day and we can have a game that has all three consoles. (A man can dream can't he?)
  • Those impromptu games in the middle of the action I feel are going to really bog the game down.

  • Honestly, I'm really looking forward to this game. Even if it is SSB with Sony characters. I can't wait for more info about the game to surface.
  • Continuously killing Parappa the Rapper ftw!

  • 4th, and please for the love of ps3 make marcus fenix a character
  • Sounds cool...need to borrow a ps3.

  • I'm down for this game. My personal guess list, Nathan Drake, Kazama Kiryu, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Ratchet, Jak, Jill Valentine, Dante, and Ryu Hayabusa hopefully.
  • looks cool, will be looking forward to this one.
  • I think Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo should just team up to make a Smash Bros. with all their characters in it. It would make billions. Guaranteed :]
  • oh this game is mine.
  • The concept is of course great, but it is really hard to tell how this will pan out. I'm not sure I like how KOing foes currently works. The stages also look super busy too which isn't really a good thing for more competitive play. I'm not saying they should all aspire to be like Final Destination or something, but there is a lot of random stuff happening in these stages. Hopefully this will be just as good as Smash Bros when it comes out. They definitely seem to be on the right track with the roster.
  • You gotta believe that I'd main Parappa! And also Sly Cooper. ^_^
    It looks as though it would be much harder to keep track of things in this game, compared to Super Smash Bros. Just way too much noise and things going on. It also seems a bit odd to have a game that seems like it's for a younger audience but has killers in it, like Sweet Tooth and Kratos, going against family-friendly Sly Cooper and Parappa. The LBP level looked pretty neat though.
  • Hey! A new Super Smash Bros.! Oh, Sony made this? Hmm... Not very different. That being said, a character from Metal Gear never hurt anybody. Snake is taken, so how about Raiden... or Grey Fox, the original cyborg ninja.
  • Clearly a huge rippoff of the Super Smash Brothers series, but it could still be good.
  • Meh, the point system looks alright, kind of like time based fights in SSB. But I hope there is more modes than that, after all, I never really enjoyed those.

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