AA Roundtable – Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale Beta
For those of you who have a PS3, one of the big first party games being released this month is Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. Recently Sony released a beta which is for all intents and purposes a demo as it’s close to the release of the game. Hopefully by now you’ve played it, myself and some of the editors of Analog Addiction have played it and here’s what we thought of it.
As a huge Smash Bros. fan, I was actually pretty excited to see the announcement of Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale back when it was first revealed. A Playstation fighting game with some of Sony’s biggest characters duking it out with the core fighting mechanics of Smash Bros. all in silky smooth HD at 60 frames per second? Count me in! Despite me being intrigued by it, I was still a little hesitant (more excited though) about the game. Judging by all of the videos and information I read about the game, I could tell it was going to be different, but was different going to be enough? Can you really match something like Smash Bros.?
Fortunately when the beta came out for All-Stars, that worry was put to rest. Though the game definitely has Smash Bros’. core fighting gameplay, it felt distinct enough from Smash Bros. where I could assure anyone reading this that it feels like its own franchise. Rather than knock people off stages by beating the crap out of them, you fight people in the chances to build up points that are used for special abilities to rake in kills. Each of the six character’s (Kratos, Parappa, Fat Princess, Sly Cooper, Radec and Sweet Tooth) special abilities as well as their fighting moves felt different enough to where you will likely not enjoy every character, which to me is a good thing because it gives a sense of balance among the characters. Where one person might like Sly Cooper and his stealthy abilities, another may like the up-close-and-personal approach Sweet Tooth takes, and I think that’s important for any fighting game.
I thought there were some balancing issues, mainly with Radec and Kratos. Kratos is not only fairly powerful, but his reach goes too far with some of his moves. With Radec, all people would do when I was in a match was stay back and shoot people with the sniper rifle, which can stretch across the entire map. This move also builds up points to use special abilities way too fast. Then Parappa’s rapid-punch move got irritating when there was absolutely nothing I could do to get out of it once I was caught in the barrage of fists. As far as matchmaking goes, it worked about 80% of the time (with an Ethernet connection). Strangely, I wasn’t too upset about being kicked from a match since getting back into one hardly took any time. Judging by my time with All-Stars, I don’t think it will top Smash Bros., but I think any Smash Bros. fan should at least check it out if they have a Playstation 3.
The Vita is NOT the system to play this game. Being without Plus membership Vita was my only chance to experience the Beta, I confirmed my suspicions that the handheld was not the way to play the game. The gameplay got so hectic on the small screens that I could not keep up, there was just so much crammed into such a small area.
My online experience was also hampered by many technical problems, loss of connection, upwards of 10 minute waits for a game and many times I ended up being included into a match as the wrong characters and sometimes…Well opponents were invisible the entire match.
Am I still excited for the game? Yes, actually more so because the combat mechanics seem in-depth, the method of using supers to get kills is still hard to get my around due to my Super Smash mentality. But I believe the console version, has great potential and await it with open fan boy arms.
I thought that it was really fun to play. It encourages you to use all of the characters to explore their strengths and weaknesses and I think that people learn how to use certain characters. I used Radec a lot because of his sniper rifle. If you position yourself away from everyone, you can raise your Super easily because getting hit by the shot sends opponents flying.
The gripe I had was that about 5 times, I’d get to the end of the match to have the connection die. But it’s a great game that plays completely differently to SSMB so it would unfair to call it a copy at this point.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I enjoy it on the Vita. The announcement of a Vita version made me want to buy it. The reason I say this is because I commute in the week at rush hour times which always have the most amount of stops. PlayStation All-Stars is stupidly fun and the fact that I can have that on a handheld and it still looks great and plays the same is perfect for me.
I was looking forward to playing the game and on the whole I have really enjoyed my time with the game. The majority of my time with the game has been with playing with my mate Marcus and we played as a team. The match finding was really straightforward and we encountered little problems finding a game and it ran well over the wireless which was pleasing. I really like the building up of the special meter which I thought varied for each character, by this I mean some peoples first special was more effective than saving up for a third special with someone like Kratos for example. I found it frustrating playing with some characters but that was because of me feeling uncomfortable playing with them, but clearly if you get to grips with people like Radec or Sly you can be really successful.
I did however, feel that some of the characters like Kratos and Parappa the Rapper were quite imbalanced. Kratos had too large of a range and with Parappa there was no way of getting out of his punches combo which was really frustrating. But that is the only gripe I have with the beta. Playing with friends on the sofa is how it should be played but online was still hugely enjoyable. It has me excited for the game and its only drawback is the fact that there aren’t many more characters which can realistically be added to make the roster bigger. But it’s a great game to play and it’s my most anticipated game of November.
Jaime Francisco Sifontes:
So here is my take on the fighting game that is PS All-Stars Batt..zzzz…
Ok, long name aside:
I really enjoyed Playstation take on the 4 person brawler. It is very different from Smash Brothers as most people can already tell. However, due to lag and other issues that plagued the beta (As they normally do, hence beta) I couldn’t really get a grip on the true depth of the fighting mechanics. I know its there, however it didn’t really showcase itself well in the small time I played. I love the varying play styles (namely Sly being able to hide in the shadows as opposed to block). However, one thing I didn’t like was the lack of option its regards to how I defeat opponents. In Smash, the sky is the limit regarding knockouts, but in PSASBR you have to use the super! I realize this is the mechanic they are going for, and it is really great fun, but I wonder what the longevity of the game will be like. The fun of Smash can come from numerous outlets like silly mistakes made around the edge of maps, the stage kills, and opponents strategically using the map to their advantage. In Battle Royal, only the latter exists, and in limited form. It hinders the strategic enjoyability for me. Perhaps it is a small gripe, and I just need to play the final copy of BR, but it could make or break the game for me. I would have opted for different game-archetypes that cause deaths in various manners. That is the nature of these 4 person brawlers. They have the foundation of something really special, and all the moves seem capable of creating some amazing combo demonstrations, but some of the actual game mechanics seem lacking in terms of who wins and who loses. I need more time with it to give it a solid opinion, but right now I label the game under “cautiously optimistic.”
So that’s what we thought, but have you played the beta? If so, what did you think of it? If not, why haven’t you? Leave your comments below.
Hugh Simmonds is an editor for Analog Addiction, where you can get your latest news, previews and reviews. You can find Hugh on Twitter and see how the current Sunderland team have crushed his hopes once again.