PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

“What’s the next game you’re reviewing after this one?” asked my girlfriend. “Far Cry 3”. “Oh, do you need me to beat you at that too?” It is amazing how quickly new players learn smack talk.

Less than ten minutes after picking up PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, she was already schooling me, including, at one point, a twelve kill to zero thumping. This is the joy of PSASBR; less the fun of seeing Sackboy beat up Kratos and more the thrill of new players quickly gaining skills to master the game.

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The screams of delight in my house as we pulled off multiple kills or cries as our special attacks missed reminded me of multiplayer games gone by. This was fun, goddammit!

PSASBR is obviously the Sony equivalent of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. But whereas Nintendo has a large number of fun cartoony characters, Sony’s stable is filled with a lot of serious, technical, and often gun-wielding types. However, the balance that has been struck is remarkably good. For every Raiden there is a Sly Cooper.

The characters from less violent games still have excellent attacks that are not out of step with their attitude. Sackboy, for example, uses stickers and objects from LittleBigPlanet’s creation menu as tools and weapons.

Within the game there are various modes. You mostly spend your time in the Tournament, Arcade, and Versus modes.

Arcade gives each character a story play through. This can be odd, as characters like Kratos send themselves on quests to battle heroes and test their skills against the best, while Parappa the Rapper just wants to be a comic hero and somehow ends up fighting Helghast.

The battle before the boss is where each character fights their opposite. Sometimes this is the perfect comedic foil - Jak and Daxter vs Ratchet and Clank - and sometimes it makes no sense - Kratos vs Sweet Tooth.

Tournament offers up matched and unmatched games. You can invite friends to play or the system will just hook you up with randoms. Each “season” lasts about a month. So if you are only hitting your stride at the end, don’t worry. Oddly, online play isn’t as much fun as having other people in the room with you hurling trash talk back and forth (which can be done using Versus mode).

There is something to be said for the lack of female characters. The current roster (assuming there’s no interesting DLC on the horizon) is Fat Princess and Nariko from Heavenly Sword (a game released in 2007 when the PS3 first came out). It’s not a huge deal breaker but surely there was a female Tekken character they could’ve added [Or someone from Final Fantasy... - Ed.]

The levels are fantastic. Each one is a mix of two different games. The Helghast invade Parappa’s dojo, while Nathan Drakes’ plane escape scene gets visited by the floating city from Bioshock Infinite. Throughout the levels there are hazards usually set up by the invading game’s characters. There are also pickups that players can equip to inflict damage on opponents and gain AP (the points you need to pull off special moves).

There’s not a whole lot of depth to PSASBR, but there is definitely some subtlety to how and when to execute moves. Frustration does set in when the camera zooms in and out constantly (in order to keep everyone in frame). This gets to be quite disorienting and shouts of “wait, where am I?” were common while we were playing.

Also, some characters special moves are much harder to pull off for not much gain. Radec from Killzone, for example, needs to take his time and aim his special move, even at level one; this means he is usually hit before he can get the shot off.

The further through the game you get with each character you gain points to level up with. Each level unlocks more customisation options. These can be extra costumes, taunts, and intros but also icons and avatars for online play.

Overall PSASBR is a fun little game that will give you hours of “just one more fight then so I can get even” entertainment.

PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale
"Hours of 'OK, just one more fight'"
- PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale
Follow Own it? Rating: PG   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 5 Min


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Comments Comments (17)

Posted by FlatPitch
On Wednesday 5 Dec 2012 4:52 PM
Better add this game to my list as well!
Posted by Timzone
On Wednesday 5 Dec 2012 5:33 PM
Looks like a must buy!
Posted by XDarkflowerX
On Wednesday 5 Dec 2012 5:53 PM
A short and sweet review.
I've had heaps of fun with this game and the 4 player local multiplayer is awesome.

To clear up the Kratos vs Sweet Tooth rivalry, they were both created by David Jaffe, similar to how Dante and Nariko are in games developed by Ninja Theory.

If you want to find out on the connections between the other rivalries, this link should be helpful
Posted by PunisherNZL
On Wednesday 5 Dec 2012 11:48 PM
as soon as full dlc list is announced ill be picking this up. still hope to see crash, spyro,lara croft & cloud or somebody else from final fantasy make the cut.
Posted by hadyngreen
On Thursday 6 Dec 2012 8:38 AM
5 December 2012, 05:53 PM Reply to XDarkflowerX
A short and sweet review.
I've had heaps of fun with this game and the 4 player local multiplayer is awesome.

To clear up the Kratos vs Sweet Tooth rivalry, they were both created by David Jaffe, similar to how Dante and Nariko are in games developed by Ninja Theory.

If you want to find out on the connections between the other rivalries, this link should be helpful
Oh that makes more sense now, thanks :)
Posted by MonkeyMan
On Thursday 6 Dec 2012 9:12 AM
Added to my wish list
Posted by Insanctity
On Thursday 6 Dec 2012 12:08 PM
If only I had a ps3 =*( There just aren't enough good local multiplayer games around anymore
Posted by grieving
On Saturday 8 Dec 2012 12:11 AM
NZGamer night please :)
Posted by sandrampage
On Saturday 8 Dec 2012 11:19 AM
This game is amazing! It supplied my first platinum, in 1 week, 19 hours. Its super fun even if you don't go online. These pre-order costumes I got are wicked too, hope they go on sale later because people need to get them!
Posted by psgamer16
On Sunday 9 Dec 2012 10:24 PM
this looks awesome :) i love my playstation
Posted by hadyngreen
On Monday 10 Dec 2012 11:48 AM
I just downloaded the latest patch and now the game keeps crashing on the title sequence. Too late to downgrade my review?
Posted by SwagKingCole
On Thursday 13 Dec 2012 1:59 PM
PS3 Equivalent to Super Smash Bros, Keen!!!
Posted by Coddfish
On Friday 14 Dec 2012 8:33 PM
Glad to hear a lot of good reviews coming out for this game. I've been curious but wary - I love Street Fighter and Guilty Gear type fighters, but have never played Smash Bros enough to know if I like this kind of take on the genre. Will have to check this out.

Bit disappointed about the lack of females in the cast, but glad this was picked up in the review :)
Posted by jzilla666
On Saturday 15 Dec 2012 6:46 PM
Bought this the other night for $39, at that price I thought it would be worth the risk. Seems like it could be a bit of fun over a few drinks with friends.
Posted by Timzone
On Tuesday 1 Jan 2013 2:07 PM
Opened the game for Christmas. Much prefer the PS3 version over the vita. I must be getting old because the screen on the vita looks too small for all the items being displayed.
Posted by skhar7
On Sunday 6 Jan 2013 8:05 PM
Super smash bros was epic, now this on ps3... EPIC
Posted by jordanruatoe
On Friday 18 Jan 2013 6:11 PM
who's the mightiest warrior in all of gaming