Playstation All Stars Battle Royale Beta Impressions

At this moment in time, the public beta on the Playstation Network is available for a limited time and I have downloaded and played a few rounds of it. So far, it’s shaping up to be a fun and unique experience. That’s right, I said unique. I am a huge fan of the Super Smash Bros. Series, and let me tell you, this isn’t just some Super Smash Bros. clone, it’s a fun party fighter with memorable characters that anybody who stuck with Sony will enjoy and an interesting key mechanic that I’ll get to in a moment. In the open beta, there are 6 available characters, Kratos, Sly Cooper, PaRappa the Rapper, Fat Princess, Radec from Killzone, and Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal, Sly Cooper being my personal favorite. Each character is unique and requires a different strategy to be skilled with, such as Sly being more maneuverable and evasion-based, while Kratos is ruthless and very “in your face.” There are also several stages from notable Sony Franchises, two of which include: Hades from God of War, and Metropolis from the Ratchet and Clank series. In each of these levels, iconic things from other Sony franchises will appear, such as the Hydra from God of War appearing in Metropolis and Captain Qwark fighting said Hydra. Now, as far as basic mechanics go, there are 4 basic attacks. Pressing the square, triangle, or circle button will each do a different attack. These basic attacks can be modified by being in the air, pressing up, down, left, and right, or leaving the direction neutral. Tilting the right analog stick up, down, left, or right, near an enemy will execute a grab attack unique to the direction that the stick was tilted in. You can block by pressing the L2 button, dodge roll by blocking and pressing a direction, and air dodge by blocking in the air. You can jump by pressing the X button and double jump by pressing the button again. There are also items that will appear on the map, such as a rocket launcher from the Uncharted series, or a spear from the God of War series.

Now it’s time to get into the really fun part of the game, the Super Attacks. The main goal of the game is to get KO’s by using your Super Attacks. These are performed using the R2 button when you have your super meter filled. This meter is filled by hitting your opponents and picking up the glowing orbs that appear on the stage from time to time. Each character has 3 Super Attacks. Which attack is used depends on how much of the meter you have filled. At level 1, you get a basic KO move that can take out one or two targets if used properly. At level 2, you get a more powerful Super Attack that usually allows you to take out two or three enemies at one time. At level 3, you get a devastating super attack that can easily take out everybody else on screen–possibly multiple times. When a Super Attack is executed, it consumes full meters equal to the level of the attack. For instance, if you have one and a half meters and use a Super Attack, you will be left with half of a meter filled. Now here’s where this aspect of the game really shines, the meter mechanics. You may be thinking, “Why would I bother with using the level one or level two attacks if the level three is so good?” Well, the game actually balances out the effort to get the meter filled with the reward. The meter takes a while to fill, even with the orbs, but the key factor is that meter can be knocked out of you. If you are approaching or have level three, people will notice and will begin to go after you to prevent you from using the devastating attack. From my experience playing, players tend to use level one Super Attacks very frequently, and those that attempt to use level three very rarely succeed. The key to victory is the ability to use these super moves to their greatest effect. With all of these mechanics in place, it is quite a satisfying gameplay experience. The only problem stems from the game’s feel and it is minor, but noticeable. There is a certain satisfaction from hitting people that is missing, and the controls are a little iffy at first, but they don’t take too long to adjust to. All in all, the game looks like it’s going to be truly fun with a very diverse cast of characters, fun mechanics, and a lot of personality. Don’t write this game off as some Smash Bros. clone, give it a chance and you’ll see there is plenty of fun to be had.





Side Note: The current roster is as follows:

Character Series/Game

Big Daddy BioShock

Cole MacGrath Infamous

Colonel Radec Killzone

Dante Devil May Cry

Evil Cole MacGrath Infamous

Fat Princess Fat Princess

Heihachi Mishima Tekken

Jak and Daxter Jak and Daxter

Kratos God of War

Nariko Heavenly Sword

Nathan Drake Uncharted

Parappa PaRappa the Rapper

Raiden Metal Gear

Ratchet and Clank Ratchet & Clank

Sackboy LittleBigPlanet

Sir Daniel Fortesque MediEvil

Sly Cooper Sly Cooper

Spike Ape Escape

Sweet Tooth Twisted Metal

Toro Inoue Together Everywhere

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