[Hands-On] PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale
The only place you can see raccoon on clown violence.
Published: August 8, 2012
Alright, done? Good, let’s continue. There are six characters in the beta: Kratos, Parappa the Rapper, Fat Princess, Sweet Tooth, Radec, and Sly Cooper. Each character brings something unique to the table. Whereas Vince seemed to fall in love with Radec, I found Sly Cooper to be my cup of tea. Really, there’s something for everyone and no matter how you prefer to play, you should be able to find someone who fits your tastes. I found Sweet Tooth and Fat Princess to be slow, heavy hitters, Radec to be great at keeping enemies at a distance, Parappa being the opposite and wanting to get in your face and mix things up and Kratos to be a strong all-around type. Again, though, it was Sly that kept me coming back. Being able to dart around the slower characters to build meter and to escape trouble seemed to click for me.
Speaking of, the building meter aspect was one that caused me to have some hesitation. It was strange to me to think of everything revolving around a single meter. As Vince said, building and managing meter becomes the focal point of every match. Yes, this is present in just about every fighting game, but it’s still a big step to say “only supers can kill.” The unpredictability in Smash was something I liked, a lot. A regular punch can send you flying off a stage if your health gets up over the 100s. With Battle Royale it feels as though matches become more about figuring out when you can safely use a special and keeping up with how far along your opponents are. Many matches I played became “oh crap, character x has a special, everyone is going to run and play keep away in case they use it.” When I’d get up to level three, or even two, I would have to chase people down as they jumped and ran. Sure, it’s amusing at first, but it becomes grating when you’re avoided like the plague.
I’m not sure just how I feel about the supers in the game, and I find myself wistfully wishing for a lifebar mode. I have read all sorts of arguments for the super mechanic, ranging from “this forces people to fight instead of laying back and letting everyone else beat up one another” to “it’s a risk/reward system that’s unique.” It may eventually just win me over by the time the game comes out, I honestly don’t know. Right now, however, here at the beginning of August, I’m willing to go on the record and say I have mixed reactions leaning toward being against it. I’d prefer being able to kill with anything I do instead of having a handful of attacks that can get the kills I need to win matches.
I saw a few levels through my adventures, including a mashup of Hades from God of War III and an invasion of Patapon. Even though I knew what to expect, it was still a fun treat to experience it for the first time. There were other levels, including a locale from the Jak and Daxter universe, a LittleBigPlanet and BUZZ mix that led to some quizzing and even Captain Qwark made an experience on a Ratchet & Clank level. It should be a blast to see what SuperBot has up their sleeves when the game launches and what combinations they’ll concoct. The same goes for items, as it seemed like most of the ones I saw were Resistance hedgehog grenades and rocket launchers.
All that said, PlayStation All Stars: Battle Royale is still my most desired game for the rest of this year. I have found the beta to be fun and engaging, even with the limited options. I’m sure as things open up and are expanded upon that the game will truly shine. It is very easy to lose track of just where you are, especially when someone else is using your character, but that’s to be expected with this type of title. If you’re like me, be sure to keep an eye out for more details in the coming months as we get confirmation of characters, levels, and everything else. Who knows, maybe by then I’ll have fully come around to the super mechanic.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Sweet Tooths to extinguish.