Playstation All Stars: Battle Royal “beta” impressions

So the demo has been out for just over half a month now, they’re calling it the “Public Beta”, maybe because it’s unfinished or maybe they want to exclude some people. Not exactly sure why it’s called a “Beta”, but one thing I’m sure of is that this game isn’t what I expected at all, in terms of likability.

Whilst the complete game isn’t out for another week and a half, this demo/beta is a good taster of what is to come. To be brutally honest, expectations weren’t high and they were exceeded by just a little bit if at all. Currently all you can play on it is the multiplayer and a windy tutorial. It’s not amazing, but it’s not horrible. 

The “beta” offers playable characters from the PS3 exclusive titles such as God of War, Fat Princess, Sly Cooper, Killzone, PaRappa the Rapper and Twisted Metal. Each character has their own set of attacks allocated to the triangle and square, with their traditional long ranged and close ranged attacks. From the get go it looks and feels like a standard fighting game with perhaps a little bit of extra “spice”.

The thing that sets this apart from games like Tekken, Street Fighter, Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat is that it pits 4 players against each other in a random arena that’s based off one of the PS3 exclusive titles. Although this may seem innovative, it’s not, it’s been done before and in a much better sense in Super Smash Bros. That game was one of the ages, it was extremely fun and well done, I for one enjoyed the hell out of it.

One thing that commonly goes wrong in the heat of a these 4P battles is the indicater of whom you are character wise isn’t very fantastic at all. There is a heck of a lot of motion and commotion. At the bottom of the screen is your name and which player you are in miniature text and above the characters head is either “1P” or “3P” depending on which player you are, and this changes from game to game so you can easily get confused as to who you are because there can be multiple Sly Coopers. I feel like the players names or shortened versions could at least be above the characters heads.

There is the notion that All Star’s is online, which is something that Super Smash Bros didn’t have. But then again, SSB was a game on the gamecube, there’s a huge timeframe in between. This being a game that I was planning on solely playing with some buddies for a good old punch-out, the online factor pleased me just a little bit. It adds a little extra competitive and exciting taste to it.

However, the fact that the map layouts are almost identical, there is no multiple arenas in a single arena and the changes to the environment are below average, if even noticeable at all. The arenas are less than interesting and the background activity is amusing yet trivial and can sometimes be annoying. I’ve barely even noticed the way the environment shifts in games.

The power tiers that each character gets are interesting, with each player being able trigger their own special power by pressing the right trigger and depending on how much “power” they have saved up, they will unleash a variety of attacks. Each attack is unique to the character that you are playing, with Kratos going crazy with his sword, Sly Cooper taking deadly pictures and the Killzone guy just shooting the crap out of his opponents. These powers are insta-kill and will often frustrate you when you see someone launch it, theres no way to avoid it unless you have the Sly Cooper’s invisibility as a block (which is useless if someone is firing something at you, it still hits you!), these attacks are also the way you earn points in a game and help you proceed towards winning a game.

Whilst pitting characters from across PS3 titles against each other is a great idea, and a fun activity in itself, it’s not a game that I feel will be worth $59.99, and thus I don’t think I will be paying the price for it, maybe I’ll get a friend to buy it for Christmas or something.

Although the online aspect of it has me thinking that it would be a nice addition to the collection of “Lazy-sunday afternoon” games that require no real energy to play. It’s laid back and doesn’t feel that competitive in the sense that I feel like I could never get frustrated by this game.

Summation

I didn’t expect a whole lot from this game except a good button mashing and perhaps some nostalgic breezes of those PS3 titles. That’s exactly what I got, which I’m not disappointed by. I’m slightly disappointed that I wasn’t surprised or blindsided by anything in this game, I feel like with the epic hype that Sony Playstation has given their game, it would at least inspire something along the lines of “Wow!”. And the only thing I can think of that makes me go “Wow!” is the cross platform play between PS3 and PS Vita, and thats not a HUGE deal. It feels like more of an arcade game than a hardcore PS3 game. The full game will however be out on November 20th in NA for anyone who’s pockets are deep enough!

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