Sony’s new “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” may have a similar appearance to Nintendo’s successful “Super Smash Bros.” franchise, but “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” offers players a new kind of gaming experience. The similarities between the two allow “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” to draw in “Super Smash Bros.” fans as well as loyal Sony fans.
From the time the game is first booted, “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” is essentially the same as any “Super Smash Bros.” game. The basic menu stays about the same as any fighting game, like having an arcade mode option and a versus mode option. Once a mode has been selected, a “Super Smash Bros.”-esque character selection screen appears complete with empty space on the side for secret characters. The same is true for the stage selection screen.
“PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale,” solely based on menu comparison, is nearly identical to the menu system any “Super Smash Bros.” game uses. The real difference is in the actual gameplay.
Any game in the multiplayer fighting genre has a singular goal of wiping out your opponents. In a “Super Smash Bros.” game, this can be accomplished by knocking your opponent off of any side of the screen. By incorporating a damage calculator, players can get launched further based on their damage. In the latest “Super Smash Bros.” game, “Super Smash Bros. Brawl”, there was the addition of Smash Attacks, special character-specific moves that almost always knock your opponents off-screen.
“PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale,” however, takes a different approach to this familiar style of special moves and knocking around your opponents. Each character still has a unique set of attacks assigned to each button on the controller, but “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” actually removed the damage counter and death by going out of bounds.
Since there is neither damage nor deaths by going off-screen, “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” relies on its addition of a Super Meter. As a player lands hits on an opponent, the meter begins to fill. It can fill up to three times, giving each character three different Super Attacks, the equivalent of Smash Attacks in “Super Smash Bros. Brawl.” Landing a hit with one of these moves is the only way to kill your opponent.
It may seem a little strange to have Super Attacks be the only means of killing an opponent, but that is where a new strategy, independent of any “Super Smash Bros.” game, arises. This creates more calculation-based gameplay rather than the usual knock-opponents-off-the-stage approach.
This set-up allows inexperienced players to have a chance at winning against more adept players. “Super Smash Bros.” has a learning curve that makes it difficult for newer players to stand a chance. Of the two, “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” is much friendlier to new players.
The only unfortunate thing with the “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” battle set-up is that there are characters whose Super Attacks are noticeably more effective than others. For example, Dante’s level one Super Attack has a much larger range than Spike’s level one Super Attack. This means that some characters will be utilized more because their Super Attacks are simply better than others’.
Other than just the battling system, there is another notable difference between “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” and the “Super Smash Bros.” games. From the get-go, “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” has twenty characters to choose from. “Super Smash Bros.” has about the same amount. One glaring difference is that “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” has no unlockable characters. That’s right — zero.
For those who don’t know, in “Super Smash Bros.” games, one of the main tasks is unlocking every single character. When a secret character could be unlocked, a one-on-one battle between a player and that character would ensue. Should the player win, the defeated character becomes playable.
Sony’s choice to not include secret characters is definitely an enormous difference and will take away from the game’s sales. A lot of the point of unlocking characters is giving players something to work toward. “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” only allows the player to work to unlock new costumes for the same twenty characters that have been unlocked since the beginning.
Granted, this is Sony’s first attempt at a game similar to a “Super Smash Bros.” game, but there isn’t an excuse for not having some level of unlockable characters in the game. There are, however, two confirmed characters that will be available as downloadable content early this year which should help offset the small character pool.
Sony has made a gutsy, but calculated move by creating a game that is so similar to a franchise that has such a huge fan-base. Since Nintendo hasn’t released another “Super Smash Bros.” game in almost five years, “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” will draw on the curiosity of loyal “Super Smash Bros.” fans. “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” also has answered a call that many loyal Sony fans have been asking for.
With the addition of its cross-play feature, Sony has made “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” a convenient way to have the fun of a “Super Smash Bros.” game on a hand-held device. The cross-play feature allows players to play from their PlayStation-Vita with players using a PlayStation 3.
The cross-play feature, familiar menu system and unique battle system have made “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” a marketable game to gamers who play at any level. The similarity to the “Super Smash Bros.” franchise may make the game seem unoriginal, but it gives players a uniquely different and enjoyable gaming experience.