Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale Review
Developers: SuperBot Entertainment, SCE Santa Monica Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
North American Release Date: November 20th, 2012
European Release Date: November 21st, 2012
Trophies: Yes, 1 | 1 | 8 | 45
Playstation All-Stars took many by surprise. The premise was simple, making an all-out fighting game with some of Playstation's biggest and baddest characters. "Super Smash Bros. with a Playstation paint-job" is actually fairly accurate, but is that for better or worse?
The aim of the game is to hit your opponents for attack points, which accumulate to level up your "supers" which allow you to kill others. I'm not sure I like this approach, because it feels like you aren't damaging the characters when you're pummeling them, which is true. It would be better if the characters had some sort of health bar, or something that makes it feel like what you are doing actually affects the others. It makes the experience rather boring, just attacking to build up your attack points. Still, the supers are unique and generally fun to use.
There are three different levels of supers, level one being the least powerful and if you get hit while you're trying to do it, it's basically countered and the super is stopped. Level two is a more powerful super and for the most part makes it easier to get more than one kill. Level three is unstoppable, you either instantly kill everyone or you get a chance to do it yourself. Each character has different supers.
Sweet Tooth's level three super, definitely bad-ass.
The characters each play differently, with many possible combos that can be pulled off. This is done rather nicely, but it's very easy to find unfair attacks that keep your opponents unable to attack back but still rack up your attack points. For example, Cole's down + circle attack (which makes a sharp block of ice shoot up) knocks the other characters back so they can't attack. As does the Big Daddy's ground-pound attack. It's so easy to be unfair in this game, which is definitely not a good thing.
The main singleplayer portion of All-Stars is called "Arcade Mode", where you can pick your favorite characters and see their stories. Truth be told after the first or second character, arcade mode becomes extremely boring.
All arcade mode consists of is four three minute matches, where you need kills that act as points and you need the most amount of points to move on. After those, you have two matches where the first person to get three kills wins. Then a boss battle (the boss is a different character for each character) and a final battle against Polygon man. One playthrough of these takes me about 30 minutes. There are 20 characters. If you're doing the math, that takes approximately 10 hours to actually finish everyone's arcade mode. You will not want to do that.
Multiplayer is essentially the same as the rest of the game, just with real people. It's less boring than singleplayer, however. That being said, there isn't much to it. There are few different modes and basically, people use and abuse characters that are unfair (Kratos, for example). Your best bet for enjoying multiplayer is to play with a friend in the 2v2 game modes. There isn't much variety between game modes either, just 2v2 or Free for All, be it against bots or players. You play in the same arenas with the same characters so there isn't much different from playing solo. You can level your characters up but you can also do that in the singleplayer game modes. Leveling up also unlocks various things like mascots (called minions), and a sort of calling card where you can choose an emblem and background for others to see. Again, all of this is present in singleplayer.
All-Stars admittedly looks dated, like it's a few years older than it is. It's also easy to exploit characters. I also had a hell of a time trying to connect to online matches, so I'm not sure what's up with that. Nothing else is wrong with the technical aspect other than those complaints, though. Each arena is unique and interesting, each one starting to be from one game and later clash with another. For example, there's an Uncharted arena where you're in the plane from Uncharted 3 that explodes while your in it, whoever played Uncharted 3 surely knows this. Anyway, the arena has you fighting on the trucks and before you know it, you see Columbia in the background, with blimps and Songbirds. This resembles Bioshock: Infinite. Ties like these made the arenas really interesting.
The game's soundtrack also is fairly good I found. The opening video when you boot up the game has a catchy tune in it, as does the menus. The music in the arenas are also quite varied and some (like the Uncharted arena 'Stowaways' and Bioshock's 'Columbia') are quite good. However you may get sick of hearing the same songs in the arenas as you play arcade mode 20 times.
By far one of my favorite arenas in All-Stars, even the music shifts as it transitions from Uncharted to Bioshock.
The list is relatively simple, you've got some online trophies for various things, using level three supers with certain characters on certain arenas, and more. I say "relatively simple" because there's also trophies for completing arcade mode with each character. This will hold many from the platinum I'm sure. While this isn't a hard thing to do, it's so boring and time-consuming doing even one arcade mode.
Playstation All-Stars tried to compete with Super Smash Bros but ultimately failed. All-Stars doesn't have the polish that Smash Bros has had multiple games to achieve. It's good for a few laughs but becomes extremely boring after not too long. The premise seemed great, but they failed to deliver. All-Stars is fun with friends for a few matches though, until they find an exploit and repeatedly abuse it. I did have fun playing Playstation All-Stars for a while, actually; that just didn't last very long.
There was nothing ground-breaking here, but it is still fun to mash buttons and beat the shit out of Fat Princess. However, I'm not sure if the supers were a good thing to include.
The character's stories in arcade mode are the only reason anyone would play them (assuming you aren't going for trophies) but the stories aren't very good either. Arcade mode is boring after your first or second character.
It's singleplayer with real people. I found it more fun only because you can play with a friend, which actually made strategy present in 2v2 matches.
All-Stars looks like it could be from 2008, I wouldn't have known the difference. On top of that, there are exploits for many characters that hinder the experience.