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Feelings Check: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Posted on October 18, 2012 AT 06:00am

By now, you’re probably sick of hearing about all of the features that have been included with the PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale beta.  With that in mind, I’m going to take a second and just talk about my feelings.  By that, I mean I would like to take all the different perspectives I can come from and discuss how this game makes me feel.

As a PlayStation Fan:

With the formula they’ve set out with here, it’s really hard to go wrong with pleasing the PlayStation fans.  That’s really what this game is mainly setting out to do when you think about it.  With around twenty announced characters thus far, there’s going to be someone you can be excited about.  Personally, I can’t wait to see how Nariko from Heavenly Sword plays and I already have a giggle-fit whenever Nathan Drake hides behind cover.  The stages being mashups of multiple universes is a brilliant idea and can lead to some hilarious background content going down while you play.  The only issue on that front so far is not having time to pay much attention to it during the fast-paced battles.

I do wish the items were a bit more recognizable.  I haven’t really payed a huge amount of attention to them, but it would be a lot more fun if they were more recognizable and iconic.  I’m sure there will end up being more in the final version, but I’d like to see a big improvement from what I’m seeing in the beta.

As a Super Smash Bros Fan:

I still can’t, with a straight face, tell anyone that PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is not the same formula as Super Smash Bros.  Finally getting a chance to play more than just a couple of quick matches, I can say that it does feel very different match-to-match.  The smash attacks, executed by holding down the attack button and a direction, have been replaced by a varying attack depending on the direction and button used to attack.  With no edges, and death not meaning very much, I’ve been playing a bit more haphazardly than perhaps I would with a more apparent consequence of taking damage.

The lack of an onscreen display of the score is something that people have been hoping for, but if you think back to Smash Bros, there are certain modes where even that game isn’t keeping track of the score onscreen.  In the time limit battles, you can see visually when you gain or lose points, but the current tally is nowhere to be found.  I think that as long as they include more modes, like having a limited number of lives, this won’t end up being an issue.  Seeing how the beta is put together and comparing it with the Smash Bros series in some ways, I can really see the potential for a lot of great content.

As a Vita Owner:

Let’s not kid ourselves here, the PlayStation Vita is a powerful little handheld.  The PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale beta is a great example of how this can work in their favor.  Going from PS3 to Vita and back again, there is very little discernible difference between the two versions graphically.  I never found myself struggling to see what was going on and the OLED screen makes the game look great.  Controls, on the other hand, are a different beast.

With the lack of R2 and L2 buttons on the Vita, some of the controls have been relegated to the touch screen.  Picking up items, by touching them on the screen, feels a lot more awkward than it should and hampers that part of the experience.  The remaining controls work well and feel very similar to those of their console counterpart.

The idea of being able to carry your save from your PS3 to your Vita was already exciting for this title.  With the added bonus of getting the Vita version for free along with your PS3 copy makes me one happy Vita owner.

Let’s Wrap this Up:

The beta is certainly not perfect.  The fighters feel a bit unbalanced and in one match it didn’t give me the character I selected.  I still do feel as though this game has the potential to be a really great addition to both my PS3 and Vita libraries.  At this point, the only thing that could make it perfect would be the inclusion of Kat from Gravity Rush.  No, seriously, that needs to happen.  Do it Sony!

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