Take some of the most well know characters from PlayStation games across the board, make some themed backgrounds, and let the good time roll pretty much sums up the basic design of this one. When I first laid eyes on PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, I thought it would be a total Smash Bros. clone. Much to my surprise, however, it wasn’t really like that at all. This is mostly due to the combat being completely different. Is that a good thing? Keep reading to find out!
I played the Vita version for this review. The game’s graphics are pretty good. It looked sharp with crisp character models and nice colorful backgrounds. There is no noticeable slow down when combat is moving along, even when there are tons of things going on. Though on the small Vita screen, when the characters were spaced out the camera zoomed out making them really tiny and hard to see. Also when combat was going fast and furious, it’s really easy to lose where you are on screen, even with the colored arrow over your character’s head.
The music and sound are top notch, with notable themes for PlayStation games of the past. This adds a bit of nostalgia to the game. You will recognize many of the sound effects from each of the games represented by the characters and stages. You can also unlock new intro and finishing music for each character. I will go into this in more detail later on. These help improve the game’s overall atmosphere greatly as it gives a rush of great gaming memories from years past just hearing some of these tunes and effects.
The combat is where the game this game starts to falter. There are 3 different types of attacks mapped to the square, triangle, and circle buttons. Pushing a different direction on the d-pad or left analog stick with each button will give you a different attack. These vary from character to character and applies to ground and air combat. With each attack you will build up your AP gauge – think of building up a super meter in a Street Fighter game. There are 3 different levels of super attacks – these are kill moves. This is how you score points. It would be equivalent to knocking someone off the screen in Smash Bros. The lower level moves are easy to counter whereas the level 3 attacks are certain death to every opponent on the screen. This adds a bit of strategy to each battle, it also make the game overly complex for a game of this type and makes some characters more user friendly than others.
The other features of PlayStation All-Stars include a great online mode, which is one of the game’s saving graces. Matchmaking is easy with tons of options. It also plays really well with very little lag, which is really nice to see. There are a ton of unlockables in this one such as backgrounds, titles, icons, costumes, intros, and exits. You gain these by gaining EXP with each character. EXP is gained by winning matches and performing certain tasks. This will keep you playing the game for a good while. There is also a story mode for each character with some voiced dialogue and few still pictures. It adds a little to the game but it’s nothing to write home about in my opinion.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale had a lot of potential but it just seems mediocre at its core. There is nothing broken but there is nothing that makes it really stand out either. The cast of characters are interesting and each brings their own unique style of fighting to game, which is what a good fighter should do. The combat itself is just complex and fun in small chunks but, in the end, you will find one or two moves you like with each character and spam the hell out of them. Even on the highest difficulty you can still win in this way with little to no problems. When playing with human players online, the game feels much better in this regard as human players will not fall for the tricks the AI will. It is a decent fighting game at best but I can’t recommend this one at full price. If you catch it on sale, you may want to pick it up for a trip down memory lane. But beyond that, I would save my cash for something else.
The preceding review was based on the PS Vita version. The game was purchased by the reviewer.