• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
PlayStation Vita  header logo

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

For: PS Vita

It ain't no smash, bro, but it'll do

Product: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale | Developer: SuperBot Entertainment | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Fighting | Players: 1-4 | Version: Europe
 
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale PS Vita, thumbnail 1
A warning: I will be mentioning Nintendo's Smash Bros series at least once during this review.

That's not because I'm looking to stir up bile from PlayStation gamers, but rather because PS All-Stars Battle Royale is hugely inspired by the Nintendo classic. Sony even admitted as much in the briefing notes it sent out to journalists recently.

And let's be honest - it's a wise move. Huge portions of PS All-Stars Battle Royale, from the general battling to the loose Arcade mode, are based firmly on its Nintendo counterpart.

However, PS All-Stars Battle Royale also brings some new ideas to the table that distinguish it as a separate game. Unfortunately, it messes around with the formula in negative ways as well, resulting in an experience that's great, but not essential.

Starry night

The basic premise of PS All-Stars Battle Royale is that a string of high-to-medium profile PlayStation characters are engaged in violence, side-scrolling platformer style.

Each character, from Drake to Ratchet, has its own unique abilities, ranging from simple beat-downs to laser pistols to gigantic sword-swipes. There's a huge amount of variety in both characters and abilities, and it's all balanced well.

As you run, jump, and toss your opponents around a selection of PlayStation-themed arenas, your Super meter fills up to the point that you evolve, first to Level 1, then to Level 2, and finally - after a huge amount of battling - to Level 3.

This is where PS All-Stars Battle Royale attempts to set itself apart from its inspiration, and it's also the key to beating other players. Rather than knocking them off the world, you're looking to hit them with a Super move.

Level 1 Supers are pretty weak and slow, while Level 2s are a bit more powerful and thus deadly. Level 3 Supers, meanwhile, are certain to destroy every player several times over, usually filling the screen with death or making you invincible for a small amount of time while you charge around bashing players into submission.

This levelling system is what makes PS All-Stars Battle Royale interesting. Do you simply save up for Level 1 over and over and take the risk that you may not hit anyone? Or do you keep saving for Level 3 and hope you make it before the time runs out? The risk factor behind making those kills is hugely entertaining and adds real tension to play.

Take to the online stage

PS All-Stars Battle Royale attempts to set itself apart from Smash Bros in other areas, too.

The various arenas and stages, for example, are taken from popular PlayStation games, but then mashed-up with other PlayStation games, with characters like Buzz and the Patapon invading stages from other games.

It's a really good idea, and helps to enliven what is otherwise pretty dull, forgettable level design. We can remember several of the mash-ups pretty well, but trying to picture the layout of a single level in particular is difficult since they're all so flat and plain.

Where PS All-Stars Battle Royale really tries to take the side-scrolling battle throne is through its online play. There are online 'seasons' every few weeks or so, and you're awarded belts and so on based on how you did during each season.

There are also Street Fighter-esque ranks and titles given out to players who dominate online, so you can show everyone just how good you are - a great idea that will no doubt get us jumping online often in the future.

The online play itself is rather different to playing solo or with friends, as it's all a bit more furious and tactical. It takes a while to get into, but once you do it's pretty addictive stuff.

Bow out

But then PS All-Stars Battle Royale stumbles and smacks its face against the cold, hard floor.

The solo play, in which you blast your way through numerous battles using each separate character, is dull as ditchwater. There's not enough variety, and you're essentially just playing what appear to be random matches over and over again.

There's a little bit of story at the start and end, with voice acting and static images, but overall it's poorly designed. The only slightly different bit is the final boss, which introduces polygon model versions of other characters that attack you. Sound familiar at all?

But here's the real killer - the controls in PS All-Stars Battle Royale just aren't tight or fluid enough, and feel faintly robotic. It's far more button-mashy that Smash Bros, because trying to pull off tight combo sequences is next to impossible.

The training levels and levelling-up system encourage you to learn the craft of each character, but the real test is whether they work in full flow against other players. And, quite honestly, they're far from perfect.

To top it all off, the items are terrible, providing players with more power, or faster speed, or other equally uninteresting attributes. Remember in Smash Bros when you'd all rush excitedly to grab the latest drop? In all the games of All-Stars I played online, whenever an item appeared, everyone just ignored it.

PS All-Stars Battle Royale isn't going to be on anyone's Game of the Year list, but nor will anyone who picks it up feel disappointed. It's not a knockout, but just about scrapes a points victory.
 
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 20 November 2012
PS All-Stars Battle Royale plays around with the Smash Bros formula, and comes away with a multiplayer experience that's enjoyable, but not essential
 
Have Your Say
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Nov 2012
Post count:
5
@stOneskull | 14:01 - 26 November 2012
I think the review is valid, albeit brief.
I do see that objects are ignored a lot. As skills of players improve I believe the items will be used more.
While the game may be inspired by smash bros, it really isn't the same.
I think it comes down to whether or not someone is a fan of fighters like tekken, mk, street fighter. If you like fighters then you'll love this.. if you don't like fighters then you'll probably dislike this. Proper fighting games skill is needed to beat the other players.
I agree that combos can be a little painful to pull off, even within the training.. but perhaps with time, this could be the key part that sets the truly skillful fighters to the top of the leaderboards.
If you like fighters, you really should get it.. it's a true fighter with intelligently created skill sets that give each character their own, unique advantages. Half the fun of the game is learning each of the characters and their skills.
Joined:
Nov 2012
Post count:
1
TweakTweekXD | 18:50 - 24 November 2012
Terrible review. The game is not anything like smash bros. The Pickups are plenty strong and balanced for competitive gameplay and the controls are fine. This game shouldn't even be compared to smash bros. This is a real fighting game in the brawler genre. The only thing they have in common are the system character roster and genre based formula.
 
POPULAR REVIEWS
LATEST COMMENTS LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS