There’s an elephant in the room, so let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale is Sony’s attempt to create a game similar to Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers franchise for the PS3. It was also one of the worst kept secrets. That being said, the second footage hit GameTrailers TV, I flipped out. Quite a few details were released. As GiR’s resident Daniel Kayser lookalike, I’m here to not only have awesome hair, but keep you informed. Instead of you looking all over, I’ve perused the net and compiled a list of as many details as I could. I’ll attempt to touch on everything and mention a few things I noticed.
SuperBot Entertainment is a new studio. The concept for the game began about two and a half years ago within Sony Santa Monica. From there, a team was assembled with the intent on designing this game. Prior to yesterday I was a bit scared at the idea of a new studio tackling this ambitious of a project. I thought it would be hard to combine some of my favorite whimsical, fantasy characters with the more mature franchises. It’s now clear the game is in perfectly capable hands.
Unlike Smash Brothers, the game does not have life bars. Kills are only achieved with special moves. Throughout the fight, players will accumulate AP to unlock three increasingly devastating specials. Players can also lose AP through various means. Instead of focusing on staying alive, your primary objective is to build your special meter as quickly as possible and make efficient use of your specials.
Normal attacks are mapped to three buttons: square, triangle, and circle. Combining these with the directionals can give each character around two dozen moves. There are also the abilities to block, roll, air dodge, and grapple. Combos also seem to play a large role.
Like Smash Brothers, there are various pickups in the game. Some of the ones shown include the Spear of Destiny from God of War, the Hedgehog Grenade from Resistance, the RPG-7 from Uncharted, and a gravity shield from WipEout. There were also a few spots where a rain-like energy fell from the sky, but I wasn’t sure if that was triggered by a pickup. I’m sure we’ll be seeing many more of these too.
Levels pose an interesting dynamic. They are all a mash-up of two different worlds. They appear to start off normal, then merge into these beautifully odd combinations. So far, four were shown.
In the Underworld, Hades looms in the background, viciously pounding the ground from time to time. The Patapon warriors appear a little later, sending a hail of arrows into the level. When the two aren’t causing mayhem to the players they are fighting each other.
Metropolis, from the Ratchet and Clank universe, seems fine, until the Hydra from God of War decides to show his ugly heads, devouring hover cars and fighting with Captain Qwark. Exploding crates, conveyer belts, and a trap add to the chaos.
The LittleBigPlanet level starts out as a blank canvas. Over time, the Popit menu adds detail. Eventually Buzz, the trivia game mascot, pops in and players have to answer questions based upon various Playstation franchises. Wrong answers result in being hit with a pie.
I was a bit unsure about the only other level, which appeared to be a mash-up of Hot Shots Golf and Sandover Village from Jak & Daxter. It didn’t seem to be as interactive, except for the fish at the bottom. I may have seen the portal activate once too.
Overall, the levels seem to provide interesting mash-ups, which is something I was disappointed Playstation Move Heroes failed to do. Plus, there are plenty of hazards to keep things interesting. The music is also supposed to follow this mash-up approach, so I look forward to hearing it.
This is what everyone cares about. Sony owns a rather large collection of first party studios and franchises. So far, only a handful of characters (technically a handful plus one) were mentioned. These include some obvious choices and a few interesting ones. Kratos, Sly Cooper, Sweet Tooth, Radec (from Killzone), PaRappa the Rapper, and Fat Princess round out the first six fighters. Here’s a look at some of their characteristics.
Kratos seems to have his entire arsenal. In addition to his traditional blades, I managed to notice the Blade of Olympus, Barbarian Hammer, Spartan spear & shield, Nemean Cestus, and wings of Icarus. I also heard mention of the Bow of Apollo and one of the dismembered heads, although I wasn’t sure if it was similar to Medusa’s Gaze or the Head of Helios. His second special is a magic cyclone ability, and the third special results in Kratos donning the Armor of Ares, granting him a boost in both size and damage.
Sly Cooper is agile and stealthy. Instead of a traditional block like all the others, he becomes invisible. His first special allows him to recruit his brawny buddy, Murray, to unleash his trademark Thunder Flop. His third special uses his Binocucom to take pictures of the players in a first person mode. Anyone caught in the frame is toast.
Sweet Tooth relies heavily on guns and explosives. I saw him planting mines on a few occasions. It was also mentioned that he has a chainsaw and can breathe fire. Hopefully he can freeze people; the combination of fire and ice could be a lot of fun. His ultimate special has him transforming into a huge mech and firing off all kinds of artillery.
Radec also relies heavily on guns and explosives, but does so more from afar. He’s got a sniper rifle that delivers some serious knockback. His ultimate special brings him into first person mode through the use of his jetpack, allowing him to gun down anyone he can get in the crosshairs.
PaRappa is still a bit of a mystery to me, especially since I never played the franchise. He has a boombox that drops AP balls and stuns others, and his specials often incorporate a skateboard. I didn’t get to see it, but apparently his ultimate special plays out much like the old games, and ends by wiping everyone out.
Fat Princess uses all her loyal subject to do her dirty work. In a few situations I saw her riding a chicken too. Her first special was described as hastily running toward a piece of cake, obliterating anyone in her path of destruction. Her ultimate special consisted of an onslaught of her soldiers and mages attacking in every direction.
Within these six characters there seems to be quite a bit of variety. SuperBot also seems to have really put the time in to make sure each character stays true to their universe. As a huge Playstation fan, I’m impressed with the execution and subtle details I’ve seen thus far. There are plenty of characters I anticipate seeing, but I’m really interested to see who they reach out to for third party support (Fingers crossed for Isaac Clarke, a Big Daddy, and Rayman.) With the amount of quality characters from Sony, and third party companies, I’m sure not all of the characters on my wish list will be checked off. Thankfully DLC is a possibility.
I’m already sold. The amount of fan service is right up this Playstation fan’s alley. There were plenty of reveals that already had me smiling, like the inclusion of the Hedgehog Grenade and the fight between Qwark and the Hydra. My mind is racing with the infinite possibilities that leave me anxiously awaiting more details and the day this releases this holiday season.