Gamescom 2012: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

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As a fan of Nintendo’s mash up brawler Super Smash Bros, I’ve been keeping a close eye on Superbot and Sony’s PlayStation All-Stars…mostly because it’s the same damned thing, just with a Sony-centric overhaul.

That it’s a blatant rip off is not in itself a terrible thing; it’s something Sony fans have missed out on, and something they want. A little worse is Superbot’s insistence that it’s a game filled with all-new ideas, because after having a decent look at the game, there’s no way of denying, with a straight face at least, that it really is little more than a clone.

I got to take a look at the game’s new characters and how they worked, but only after being delayed by half an hour while Superbot installed the latest build of the game – one that supports cross-play with Sony’s handheld, the PlayStation Vita.

It is, as you’re probably aware, a two dimensional brawler with 3D characters from some of Sony and it’s third parties biggest and most beloved characters.

It differentiates itself from other, similar games (or rather, that one particular other game) by dispensing with health and healthbars, and utilizing that space instead for energy, which you build up by attacking the other on-screen players. The ultimate goal is to get a higher score than your opponents by the timed level’s end – and to that end you’ll have to perform super moves, using that energy as currency.

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Each character’s granted roughly two dozen normal  attacks and three supers. The characters we got to take a look at we’re; DmC’s youthful and rebellious Dante; the Lombax Ratchet and his mechanical sidekick Clank, littleBigPlanets stitched up Sackboy, Ape Escape’s monkey wrangling Spike.

We also got to take a look at two of the game’s weirdly and wonderfully mashed up levels; the first that we got to saw mixed the two dimensional paper-cut out world of Parappa the Rapper, curiously, with Killzone – as a large Helghast Walker approaches from the background. The levels are dynamic and destructible, with walls collapsing and the Helghast, eventually, attacking the fighting players. It sounds ridiculous – but it works, and is a completely unique experience.

Yeah ok, it’s not at all unique; it really is a facsimile of Nintendo’s fighting game mash up – but it is actually quite fun to play.

The reason for the delay so that Superbot could install the latest build of the game which had a rather intriguing feature; cross play between the Vita and PS3 version of the game; and it worked rather well. Though the Vita version obviously wasn’t quite as crisp or detailed, there was – and this is important – no discernible lag.

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I’m a little more keen for the game now than I was previously – and the fact that the Vita version comes free with its home console counterpart is really just a bit of icing on the cake.

Even if it’s somebody else’s cake.

 

Last Updated: August 17, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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