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‘Smash Bros.’ v. ‘Playstation All-Stars’

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 15:11

PSASBR vs Brawl

Sony, Nintendo

Friendships have been tested. Tears have been shed. Controllers have been thrown. It’s the tell-tale sign that a group of friends have gathered to play their beloved video games. One of these games series has been with most of us since middle school—“Super Smash Bros.”

Since 1999, Nintendo has had a successful run with the crossover fighting game genre with its “Super Smash Bros.” series. Its latest installment, “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” came out in 2008 for the Nintendo Wii.

With 39 characters from several Nintendo franchises such as Kirby, Link from “The Legend of Zelda” series and Mario & Luigi from the “Mario” series, players have quite a variety to choose from in terms of playing style, moves, etc. But on Nov. 20, Sony will step into the arena with its own crossover fighting game.

SuperBot Entertainment and SCE Santa Monica Studio have teamed up with Sony Computer Entertainment to develop and release this PS3/PS Vita exclusive, “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale.”

Boasting over 20 characters ranging from “LittleBigPlanet”’s Sackboy to “Infamous”’ Cole McGrath, players will be able to play with their friends or strangers online through Playstation Network.

What is unique about this game is that in the PS3 copy, the downloadable version for the PS Vita is also included. This capability is what Sony’s calling “Cross-Play”—“Pay Once, Play Twice.” This allows for PS Vita and PS3 players to compete against one another on the same stage in real time.

While some may claim Sony is trying to rip off Nintendo by stamping its name on a cloned game, different features hint that Sony has a different mindset for players in its game.

Both games essentially play the same—four players (either individually or on teams) duke it out on a stage until there’s one left standing.

In “All-Stars,” this means using ‘supers’ or special items to defeat opponents. Microphones are supported, as well as free online play through the PSN.

In “Brawl,” players knock opponents off the stage in any way possible. Players can play online by sharing their ‘friend code’ provided through their Nintendo console (in this case, a Nintendo Wii for “Brawl”), but cannot communicate to one another while in-game.

One big difference between the two games is the final move each character has, called ‘super attack’ in “All-Stars” and ‘final smash’ in “Brawl.”

In “All-Stars,” players must fill up their Super Meter by collecting orbs during the fight, which allow for their character to perform a character-specific attack that will do varying degrees of damage depending upon what level the player achieves: Level 1 could possibly defeat one enemy, Level 2 can strike multiple enemies with the right amount of skill and Level 3 will at the very least wipe the map of players and could possibly defeat them once they respawn. This component allows for players to strategize when and how to use their Supers.

When it comes to ‘final smashes’ in “Brawl,” gameplay can get repetitive when the same player grabs the Smash Ball over and over and defeats everyone single-handedly with no real thought behind it.

Playstation Plus members were able to test out the open beta on Oct. 16 through the Playstation Network, with non-subscribers jumping into the beta on Oct. 23 until the beta closed on Oct. 30.

The beta featured two crossover stages with six playable characters: Kratos from the “God of War” series, Sweet Tooth from the “Twisted Metal” series, Colonel Radec from “Killzone 2,” Fat Princess from the self-titled PSN game, PaRappa from “PaRappa the Rapper” and Sly Cooper from the self-titled series.

Overall, “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale” seems it will be a fun game that can be picked up by anyone. It is similar to “Brawl,” yet will still be distinct enough to satisfy Sony fans. That is, until their Nintendo-loving friends will wave a new “Super Smash Bros.” game in their face for them to play. But until that day comes, count me in for picking up a copy of “All-Stars.”


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