Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale PS Vita

The characters from Playstation’s finest get together for a Battle Royale!!
Creating a crossover fighting game featuring Playstation characters is definitely long overdue. The mouth-watering prospect would finally settle the debates as to which character is better. As Harry Hill would say, there is only one way to find out, FIGHT!
Over 20 fan favourites are bundled in the game including Jak & Daxter, Rachet & Clank, Sly Cooper and of course Sackboy being some of the big names on show here. We also have some characters from some past classics like Parapper The Rapper and Spike from Ape Escape. There is a little problem that will have plagued this title from the moment it was announced no matter what and that is it’s comparison with Nintendo’s crossover title Super Smash Bros.
Playstation All-stars Battle Royale (PABR) is a strange affair as in one way, it is similar to Super Smash Bros (SSB) but in another, it’s completely different. Let me explain, when you look at everything featured on PABR, it’s basically the same as SSB and is obviously inspired in many ways by the Nintendo counterpart. Apart from the obvious character selection in both games and the combat definitely features a number of noteworthy comparisons. For instance; up to four characters can play at one time, they include platforming elements in the stages, the array of combos include the same button mashing combinations and you can use items. The only real difference which is a game changer and puts PABR in a league of its own is the way you win. You can’t knock your opponent out of the arena like in SSB but instead you need to charge up your AP (All-star Points) gauges to perform a super attack to inflict a kill. To build up your gauges, you need to cleverly attack the enemies around you. The super attacks are split into three types of blows with the first being the quickest and easiest to dodge and the third meaning you possess killer blows for longer and can rack up more points. It’s a clever and unique way to decide a match but it does take getting used to after playing SSB for 15 years.
The campaign mode is entertaining but is the same for every character and gets a bit too much like Groundhog Day after a couple of times and is only good for getting used to the controls and dynamic of the game. What is really entertaining is the multiplayer feature as you can play anyone who owns the game online, no matter what console you’re playing the game on. I have the game on the PS Vita and I am to believe that it is no different to the PS3 version, including graphics wise. With more ways to challenge a fellow gamer always means you’re less inclined to put the game down.
Another reason to own this game is because the PSN are still continuing to release new data for the game including new characters from Gravity’s Rush, Starhawk, Dead Space and God of War and new stages that freshens up the game. Hopefully they will continue to design and release new content as that might be a new way in increasing the life span of the fighting crossover. When you think of the Playstation and the amount of great characters whom have appeared on one of the 5 consoles, the opportunities are endless. A few favourites I would just love to play with on PABR include; Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy 7, Hana Tsu Vachel from Fear Effect or Ico from… well Ico of course. Hopefully the people at Sony won’t stop improving this game for a while as the opportunities to make this a classic are somewhat endless.
Though PABR is something of an anomaly and is not on the same level as its comparison sake SSB, it is still a solid Beat ‘Em Up title that will always be a hit with the fans because it includes the established characters the people at Sony know the fans love due to sales and research. A new style of gaming takes time before getting used to and it’s suggested you do that before you challenge the world online otherwise you will probably give up after getting handed a beat down a number of times. Playstation gets a huge thumbs up for finally paying homage to their mascots, it’s been too long! Now we just need to wait until Xbox does the same. How cool will it be to see the Master Chief and Marcus Fenix go head to head? Only time will tell...

The Verdict: A strong roaster opens a new style of gaming for the Playstation community. Not a very good title to play alone but a must have to play with fans or online. 82/100

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