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Why I'm Disinterested In PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Posted on Saturday, August 18 @ 15:00:00 PST by Alex_Osborn

The minute I first got wind that Sony would be bringing us a brawler in the vein of Super Smash Bros., I knew instantly that this would inevitably be a terrible decision for the company. Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not adverse to the game because it rips off Nintendo's popular brawler. I am against the concept because Sony simply can't pull it off.

Developer SuperBot Entertainment is undoubtedly a capable bunch, but regardless of the talent behind PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, it's a piece of gaming travesty. Why? Because Sony's library of first-party franchises doesn't lend itself to a character mash-up brawler. There's this sense of discord among the entire cast, reminding you that Sony not only lacks a well-defined mascot, but also has absolutely no level of consistency among its franchises.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is by any means a bad thing. An expansive selection of vastly different types of games is what makes Sony's platform so great; however, shoehorning them all into a fighting game is absolutely ridiculous and only draws attention to the fact that there is no common ground or sense of unity among the various IPs. 

That, however, hasn't stopped the developer from trying, and while I must admit SuperBot has done an admiral job, it just doesn't work. In an effort to create a sense of unity among the game's cast, each character has been modified in such a way that strips away any sense of what gave that particular character its identity. As a result, you end up with a mishmash of characters that don't fit together or recapture the charm that they have in the context of each of their own respective franchises.

I had a chance to play the game a bit at E3 and have spent some time with the private beta, but no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to like this game. Everything they've changed to differentiate it from Super Smash Bros. has inherently made the game a less compelling experience. By not including percentages or ring-outs, you eliminate an enormous sense of self-preservation that only kicks in when your trying to avoid someone who is using one of their super attacks. In the end, it becomes a button-mashing race to see who can fill up their gauge the fastest. 

Honestly, I really tried to like it, but after several bouts of playing it for a few consecutive rounds at a time, I found myself bored and uninterested. The controls feel far too floaty and like I mentioned before, the mechanics aren't all that compelling. But let's face it, these character-centric brawlers aren't about the controls; they're all about having fun with the conglomeration of familiar faces all duking it out, but because Sony doesn't have the overarching sense of unity among its franchises, it ultimately fails in this regard.

The reason Super Smash Bros. is such a beloved game franchise has everything to do with the fact that it capitalizes on Nintendo's strengths. Sony clearly is adept in different areas, namely quality single-player experiences. So instead of copying Nintendo, Sony would have been far better off pouring their resources into a new IP, or (dare I say) better marketing for their tragically overlooked exclusive titles.

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