Quick Impressions: Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

Okay so quick impressions, where I give a quick opinion on a game I tried or played for a short while.  I downloaded and tried out the PS3 beta for Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale for a couple of hours, so I thought I could give a quick opinion on it.

That opinion is… uh… Wuh?

I’m not sure what I was expecting.  I suppose I was expecting something closer to say Smash Brothers but with Playstation characters, since that’s what it looks like.  It’s really not though, which can be a good and bad thing.  The only thing similar to Smash Brothers is the format — 4 person party brawler — but even there it shares more in common with Ninja Turtles Smash-Up in that regard.
The goal in this one is to build meter and launch a super which will kill your opponents, and these are pretty much the only way to kill opponents.  This makes it a far more aggressive game than either of it’s predecessors, since you have to be dealing damage to have a chance at winning.
The demo featured only two stages and six characters.  The Hades stage was alright, pretty standard until the guys in the background decide to come in and fire a shockwave or various spears on the ground.  The Rachet and Clank stage is bit more interesting, since it changes form about two or three times from just a flat stage to a stage with platforms in the center and either side and a trap beneath them.

The characters are a mixed bag though.  Unlike Turtles Smash-Up, Playstation All-Stars keeps the characters feeling very different from each other — such as Sly Cooper’s block instead being a cloak that he can hold and move about the stage without being seen until hit or attacking.  However, Sly, Radec,and SweetTooth all employ an attack that drops a mine on the ground for enemies to step on, so the creativity at play here is still limited.  There’s also a big discrepancy in the power of some characters.  Kratos’ Blades of Chaos melee attacks have longer reach than some characters projectile attacks, letting him deal damage faster and get to his level 3 super lightning fast so he can get between 3 – 6 kills if he times it right.  Parappa, on the other hand, has limited range, and his level 3 super can only ever get a maximum of 3 kills.  Radec is also pretty ridiculous as a keep away character, so everyone online right now pretty much wants to play Radec and Kratos.  That doesn’t mean they are, however, which brings me to the biggest problem so far.
This may be because it’s a beta, but there was a problem that happened periodically where it drops you into a game as a character you didn’t choose.  It didn’t happen too often (over a couple hours, it only happened once), but if there’s some kind of online ranking for this game, I could see how that could become a major problem for online warriors.
From what I’ve played, I’m curious as to what the finished product will be like.  As far as rating, I still don’t think it has the energy or appeal that the Smash Brothers series has, but it’s still better crafted than Turtles Smash-up was.  I’d recommend this as a good rental so far, but unless you’re really attached the characters in this game, it doesn’t feel like a must-have just yet.


*Note: I don’t own anything related to the Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale game.  I only own the opinion formed from playing the pre-release beta for 2 hours, which likely will not reflect the final product. So ha!

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