PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

aka: Title Fight
Moby ID: 59522

[ All ] [ PlayStation 3 ] [ PS Vita ]

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 73% (based on 15 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 15 ratings with 1 reviews)

All-Stars? Not really, more like the A.T.M. B-list. Where's Crash, Abe, or Lara?

The Good

  • Characters play differently, but share a common control layout that makes it easy to specialize with one, but also easy to play as another in a pinch.
  • The 'kill count' mechanic allows you to play all-out and not worry about health bars - this game plays very frantically most of the time.
  • The background changes, attacks you, and is a a big factor in the match.
  • Control is very tight - it avoids the problem of having 'special moves' requiring complicated controls, and instead uses combinations of directions and buttons to achieve a good range of moves for each character.
  • It's a bit like 'hungry-hungry-hippos' in that you are constantly trying to build up your special meter by pummeling and stealing energy from the other characters - with the balance of having each 'level' of attack have a greater change of success, but taking a longer time to build to.
  • The third level moves are great homages to the games - Sweet Tooth gets his mecha-truck for the duration of his, Dante hits his devil trigger, Raiden's makes all of the enemies stuck under cardboard boxes that you slice up with a sword - well done.

  • The character sizing was done very well, especially since they were dealing with SD characters and anthropomorphic characters interacting with realistic humans.
  • The art style makes a good compromise that results in a look that's both unified and distinct for each character and setting. The realistic looking settings get a treatment similar to cell shading to help them blend better.
  • The frame rate is very solid, even with large amounts of particle effects, rain, active backgrounds, etc. Some special moves even kick in a slow-motion effect that is done well.
  • The opening scene does a good job of illustrating the concept.

  • The character introductions are told over paintings that are well done, probably by the original art designers.
  • There IS some attempt to incorporate limited story arcs within the character rivalries.
  • The voice acting is well done, I'm sure the more recent characters (Fat Princess, Raiden, Cole, etc) are done by the same actors, while the older characters (Sir Daniel) are done well.
  • The sound effects are well designed.
  • The music (most of it) is fitting.

**The Bad**
  • There should have been more or different characters, see my summary below.
  • The character balancing is a little off; some characters are pretty inoffensive while others are problematic to fight.
  • The 'kill moves' are not created equally.
  • The backgrounds can interfere with your match, you will definitely have favorites.
  • For a game that has a lot of drop offs on the side of the arenas, and 'blast' moves that shoot enemies away - the lack of penalty for 'ring-out' is annoying, just a minor daze effect - it should be chocked up as a death.
  • The double-jump mechanics can slow things down.
  • I'm not big into 'online tournament' play, so the idea of needing to play through with a character dozens of times to 'unlock' different banners is pointless to me.
  • The fact that you have to pay to unlock the third outfit for a character when the outfit is already in the game (usable by the computer) is annoying. As is having to pay to unlock the four additional characters - if it was 'pay to get them now, or unlock them via play' I'd be fine with it.

  • I don't really have any complaints here.

  • It took me about 5 minutes on the toilet to come up with a better story for this game, complete with better motivations for the 'boss' as well as the player characters. That's not good. See my summary to see what I came up with.
  • Some of the character 'rivalries' are insultingly insipid. Sweet Tooth fights Kratos because he knocks his ice cream cone on the ground. Which he was going to eat with his mask on, somehow.
  • While the main theme 'brace yourself' is pretty decent, the remix that plays during the menu screen is grating, especially considering the amount of menu flipping you have to do to 'customize' your profile banner, minion, etc.

**The Bottom Line**
This was a good idea, but it missed its potential by a long shot. Let me clarify something - I was 10 when the Playstation came to North America - I AM the Playstation generation. And this game contains very few 'All Stars' in my opinion. While I applaud the inclusion of Sir Daniel and Parappa, there is a whole stable of other characters that defined the console in the 90's, some of whom even featured in games in the last 5 years. Here's my 'missing' main roster by era, including the publisher that holds rights:

    Playstation era:
  • Spyro (Spyro the Dragon, Sony)
  • Gex the Gecko (Gex 3: Undercover Gecko, Square Enix)
  • Lara Croft (Tomb Raider, Square Enix)
  • Gabe Logan (Syphon Filter, Sony )
  • Sofia (Battle Arena Toshinden, Sony)
  • Raziel (Legacy of Kain : Soul Reaver, Square Enix)
  • Abe (Oddworld: Abe's Odysee, EA)*
  • Crash (Crash Bandicoot, Sony)
  • Black Lotus -or- Kannuki (Bushido Blade, Sony)*
  • Sarge (Army Men, 3DO)*
  • Miyamoto Musashi (Brave Fencer Musashi, Square Enix)
  • Claire Redfield (Resident Evil 2, CAPCOM)*
  • Lenneth (Valkyrie Profile, Square Enix)*
Playstation 2 era:
  • Samanosuke (Onimusha, CAPCOM)
  • Number 47 (Hitman, Square Enix)
  • Dante (as seperate character)(Devil May Cry, CAPCOM)
  • Sora (Kindgom Hearts, Square Enix)*
  • Rau (Mark of Kri, Sony)*
  • Kite (.HACK//INFECTION, Bandai)*
  • Lara Croft (alt costume) (Tomb Raider: Legend, Square Enix)
  • Rayman (Rayman 3 : Hoodlum Havoc)
  • Lu Bu (Dynasty Warriors 4, Koei)
  • Kazuma Kiryu (Yakuza, Sega)
  • KOS-MOS (Xenosaga, Bandai)*
  • Gene (God-Hand, CAPCOM)
  • Wander (Shadow of the Colossus, Sony)
Playstation 3 era:
  • Lara Croft (as separate character) (Tomb Raider 2013, Square Enix)
*These games would also make great stages
I'm not naive, I do understand how publishing rights and intellectual property works, and that it is difficult, but look at how many of those properties are owned by Sony already - those would have been easy. EA signed for Isaac from Dead Space, same argument. Namco/Bandai signed for Heihachi, that sould have opened doors. CAPCOM already has a character in the game, same argument. I know Square Enix is a big damn deal, but they are not making money on Gex or the previous version of Lara Croft ATM. It couldn't hurt. I just feel like this game is MAINLY PS3 characters from games I haven't played. Gravity Rush? That's a PS Vita game! How many people have even played it? All-Star? Seriously?
As for the story - it sucks. The matte paintings of the characters with voice over are lazy Twisted Metal 2 era offerings. Their story is - Polygon Man, for some reason, sends out fliers (even though he's just a head) stating that there's a 'gathering of special people', and each individual in this game goes there to fight, or find cake, or to check it out, or gets lost. And then they fight to the death, and then go home with a 'special energy' if they win. And you get another matte painting with voice-over ending.
Here's my better version I thought of in 5 minutes - Polygon Man is angry at being deemed unworthy as being the mascot for the Playstation (which is true). It is established that the 'worlds' of the games in the Playstation library exist in a Reboot-esque network, and Polygon Man tears chunks of them along with the Playable Characters into his own server, with the intention of seeing if they are indeed superior mascots. They must fight and defeat the other characters to gather enough power restore themselves back to their own world, and depending on the character may restore the other characters, enslave them, or delete them. Each character intro shows the character in his own environment, and then an area being ripped out of that reality. Each ending shows them restored to their own reality using that games graphics or a close approximation of. Instead of having only one interaction with one 'rival' character, use an expanded roster to have an 'ally' character, have the single player story mode feature 2 on 2 fights instead of free-for-alls, create a 'teams' dynamic, make people who have been defeated into the Polygon Man slaves for the free-for-alls, do a doppelganger fight - so many easy things to give it more feeling and intrigue.
This isn't a bad game, but it's no Smash Brothers. I don't foresee a sequel happening in this case, because people won't be playing this one for years. A great idea, but only a good execution. If they had continued to introduce new characters over time it would have had great potential, but that doesn't seem to have happened. They dropped a few new arena's that should have shipped with the game, and have added 'mascots', and 'costumes'. These are not the improvements we need to see. I'm glad I got this one free as part of the 'Playstation Plus' membership. This is another game really geared towards online players, at the expense of having more polished content. The focus on unlocking banners and little mascot things is unwelcome with such established characters. What interaction there is (i.e. between Sly Cooper and Nathan Drake) comes across as very welcome, but ultimately limited.

PlayStation 3 · by Kyle Levesque (904) · 2014

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by lights out party, Big John WV, Alsy, Cavalary, Cantillon, Alaka, Patrick Bregger, Tim Janssen, Seth Newman.