|Release: November 20, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Crude Humor, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence|
But in terms of flavor, Superbot has made a game that everyone can enjoy. The roster is one of the best crossover rosters we have seen in a long while, rivaling Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in sheer awesomeness. Do you want to play as modern day PlayStation heroes like Kratos, Nathan Drake, or Cole from inFamous? Or perhaps you’re more of a classic gamer, choosing instead to play as Sweet Tooth, PaRappa the Rapper, or Sir Daniel Fortesque? Maybe you’d like to choose a third party hero like Heihachi from Tekken, Dante from Devil May Cry, the Big Daddy from BioShock, or Raiden from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Yes, you can even play as Sackboy if you want to. There are even more characters to choose from and a whole host of new DLC characters will be joining them at a later date.
The stages of Battle Royale are also a triumph of creativity. Each stage mashes up two Sony properties, like God of War and Ratchet and Clank or LittleBigPlanet and Buzz! The stages change over the course of a match, introducing new hazards and new layouts as you play. Stage hazards only come into play a few times over the course of a match, never becoming prominent enough to make you focus on them more than your opponent. The stage list is far more balanced and much more interesting than anything you have seen out of any Smash title.
And, of course, there is online play. At time of writing, there weren’t many people on the PS All-Stars servers, but if the beta can be used as any indication, the servers will be almost constantly packed over the lifetime of the game. Battle Royale’s netcode is rollback-based, meaning that you won’t experience any button lag at all while playing online. Unfortunately, this does mean that characters will sometimes teleport around the stage and attacks will randomly become unblockable as a result of lag spikes desynching the players. It’s somewhat annoying at times, but is worth it to avoid slowdown.
It’s hard to deny that PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is fun, but it’s not “the golden fix” to the Smash Brothers formula that some gamers are hoping it is. It’s just another party-style fighting game that can be tweaked to be more or less random and chaotic, just like every other Smash clone before it. But unlike other Smash clones that you may have played, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale isn’t a quick crossover cash-in. It’s a well-thought-out game with responsive controls and a magnificent roster. It’s the first game that I can confidently say gives Smash Brothers a run for its money. However, it’s not perfect, and it certainly doesn’t hold a candle to more balanced hardcore fighters on the market like Street Fighter, BlazBlue, Tekken, or Skullgirls.
As long as you understand that, there is no reason not to give PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale a try. It’s $60 well spent.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: November 20, 2012