PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale
For years, Nintendo has been holding the title for best crossover fighting game, involving popular characters duking it out for fame and glory under the name of Super Smash Brothers. Sony finally decided to strike back with their title, PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale. This title is cross buy, so if you buy the PS3 version, you get a free download copy of it for your Vita. Let’s see how it compares to Super Smash, shall we? Please note we’re mainly looking at the Vita version in this review, but the titles are practically identical.
The story is more or less, non-existent. It certainly isn’t the epic quest the Super Smash Brothers Brawl gave us. Instead, there is an arcade mode that has a mini story for each character, usually involving this strange power that everyone is after. Near the end of arcade mode, every character has a rival they have to fight (Jak and Daxter versus Ratchet and Clank, for instance), and a little exchange between them, and honestly, it’s usually pretty cool to watch.
The gameplay involves you building up AP, which is gained after each successful hit, or by picking up AP orbs. Once you have enough AP, you can unlock a level 1, 2, and 3 super based on how much AP you build up, and if any of those attacks connect, they are a kill. Each level of super makes for a more devastating attack, killing more at once if used in the right situations. X button is jump (and double jump) while the other three face buttons are all attacks, and are directional. (For example, down and triangle is a separate move than forward and triangle) Every character is very unique in their play style, and all the supers are very cool looking and enjoyable to pull off. The touch control is only available in the menus, or to pick up item when over top of an item. This control is changed to the R1 button in the PS3 version. The game is a lot of fun with friends, or while playing online, although I can admit that it gets a little bland playing alone. Online play works very well, and is mostly seamless, although, there are a few bugs, and seemingly no matchmaking formula, matching newbies up with well-accomplished players. Cross platform play is very cool; At one point, I went over to my friend’s house and faced them while they played on the TV and I played on my Vita . It was seamless the whole time.
There are 14 mash-up stages (not including the 2 DLC stages) and 7 practice arena stages. Each of the 14 mash-up stages are very unique and includes a mash up of two different series’. During the match, hazards can show up (usually in the form of other game’s characters or events) and damage characters, causing them to lose AP. For example, one stage starts in the Fruites Dojo from Parappa the Rapper, and later the giant robot from Killzone 3 shows up to wreak havoc. Each stage is similar in that aspect. All the stages are varied and play very well.
There are 20 different characters to learn and master, and a special arcade mode for each of them. Each arcade mode run takes around a half an hour, so you can expect a minimum of 10 hours of gameplay. As you play more with each character, you can level them, unlocking customization options for them, such as their costume, taunt, intro and outro, and their victory music. You can also unlock backgrounds and icons for your online profile, and minions to cheer you on in battle, all of which are unlocked by leveling up characters. There is also a trials mode that asks you to get kills with characters while completing certain tasks, allowing for more playability.
Why the Vita?
Being Sony’s go to handheld, it only makes sense that a game like this would be cross buy and cross platform play enabled. While there is no emphasis on the Vita’s specific controls, it plays very well, as good as the console version, which is great. There is also cross sync, so if you bought the PS3 version, all you’ve done will be saved between both systems, however, there are two separate trophy sets.
The Bottom Lines
- Fun gameplay.
- See PlayStation characters duke it out.
- Great party game with friends.
- Tight controls that are just as good as the console version’s.
- Nice customization features.
- A somewhat uncompelling story.
- Not as deep gameplay mechanics as SSB.
- Can get boring and monotonous playing alone.
Final Score: 8/10
If you loved games like SSB, this is definitely enjoyable and fun, especially with friends. If you have a PS3, definitely go for the cross buy deal.