PaRappa The Rapper vs. Big Daddy: FIGHT!
Sony's upcoming PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is an in-your-face mascot fight, and one that fans of the publisher have been crying out for. In it, much like Nintendo's Super Smash Bros, players will be able to use their favorite character from their favorite PlayStation game to face off against other characters in worlds that are also drawn from popular gaming franchises.
Fan service? You bet. Derivative? Possibly - but who cares? Certainly not the target audience for the title, if social media and gaming forums are any guide. Players really are keen to jump in and have a light hearted scrap with their character of choice - be that Uncharted's Drake, Big Daddy from the BioShock games, or Raiden from Metal Gear.
The title's also one of the first to feature Sony's new cross-buy compatibility; buy it on either Vita or PlayStation 3 and you'll get access to both versions of the game for one price. The feature, which was announced at Gamescom, has piqued the interest of Vita owners and prospective Vita owners alike, and is another reason many are following the fortunes of All-Stars.
Having had a play of the game at E3, we're quite excited to have another crack at it, but with its November release still a little while out, there's still some waiting to do before we'll get that chance. To help fill in the time between now and then, we sat down to have a chat with Omar Kendall, one of the principal creative talents behind the PlayStation All-Stars...
Tell us a bit about your background; what did you do before you joined the All-Stars team?
I track my life - as a fan and player of videogames - as "before I played Street Fighter", and "after I played Street Fighter." I had all kinds of interests, like collecting baseball cards, reading comic books, and all sorts of things. Then I played Street Fighter and everything else all fell away. I became obsessed with this genre, I pretty much played any and every fighting game I could come across.
I eventually landed a gig working on fighting game strategy guides. I wrote several of those, and then parlayed into being a designer on some old fighting games like X-Men Next Dimension for Activision, the Backyard Wrestling games for EIDOS, and then I did a stint for Neversoft, the guys behind Tony Hawk, Gun, Guitar Hero. That was my middle period where I wasn’t working on fighting games.
But then I got an awesome opportunity to work on the UFC Undisputed series for THQ, and I worked on those for a number of years, and it was when I was actually there that Sony was working with SuperBot to start working on PlayStation All-Stars.
The game PlayStation All-Stars went through a couple of different iterations really early on when they weren’t quite sure what type of game they were making. They settled on this 2D style, four-player, brawler/fighting game. They really started looking for talent that had specific history on working on games like this before.
If you’re not in Japan it’s kind of hard - there’s not really a history of fighting game making outside of Japan. I think Rare worked on Killer Instinct, and obviously the guys in Chicago made Mortal Kombat, but other than that it’s really hard to find experienced fighting game development.
They did find me, and a couple of the guys - even some tournament players who had done well in competitive play who also happened to be developers - and formed the core of the PlayStation All-Stars team.
Have you worked on the game since the beginning of this iteration - since it came to SuperBot? Was the game already in production when you joined?
When I joined, they literally had just decided “it’s going to be this kind of game”. Before I had joined they had gone through several different versions of the game, but once they decided on the style, I was a part of the team that created the first gameplay prototype, even before full-production.
How would you describe PlayStation All-Stars?
I think PlayStation All-Stars is a celebration. A celebration of the PlayStation universe and its characters. It’s had a long storied history, and this is finally the ultimate fan celebration of that great history.
It’s also a fighting game. it’s a four-player, 2D-style game where you and friends together on the same couch and play against each other, or you can go online and play against players all over the world. It combines two things that a lot of people have a lot of warm feelings about; the PlayStation universe, and fighting games.
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