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PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale Review

Combining characters such as Kratos, Nathan Drake, Sackboy and Sly Cooper probably sounds like a recipe for a win in anyone's book. Who wouldn't want to take some of PlayStation's most iconic characters and beat seven shades out of each other with them? Well Superbot Entertainment's PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale gives you the chance to do just that and whether you are new to fighting games or are a button bashing veteran I am pretty sure you are going to love every minute of this.

I have to admit to being pretty sceptical going into PS All-Stars, I'm not really a fighting fan and to be honest it all looked a little manic to me. Given this lack of experience I thought it best to learn the ropes by starting off with the single player campaign. As you'd expect, you are able to choose between a huge amount of characters and work your way through each of their stories, so choosing which one I'd play through with first was not an easy choice, especially when there are so many which hold a place in my gaming hall of fame. Eventually I opted for the God of War, Kratos, who it seems, was a pretty spot on choice for a beginner like me.

PlayStation All-Stars story mode is fairly straight forward really, you are given a small background story which is told with a mixture of artwork with voiceovers and cut scenes. Each character has their own story and obviously the style in which this is told will vary greatly; Sackboy for instance has a background story which is voiced by Stephen Fry.

The action in story mode is identical for all; you'll start off in a one vs one match before moving on to fight a greater number of opponents and then eventually take on the end of story boss and his minions (which are made up once again of characters from the game). Generally in story mode matches will be made up of four player free-for-all, which are decided on who has the most kills when the timer runs out or if you're good, by killing everyone else and not being killed yourself.

One of the interesting things about PS All-Stars is that you actually need to use a Super Attack in order to earn a kill. Super Attacks are earned by attacking opponents, which in turn will build up your attack meter. Once your meter fills you will then gain your first Super, although you can actually do this again twice over, giving you access to even more powerful attacks. What's interesting about Super Attacks is that they can actually take out more than one opponent if utilised correctly. These attacks obviously change from character to character; Kratos for instance has a level one fury attack which can kill up to four opponents if he is positioned correctly, while his level two attack creates a large vortex around him. Stepping things up to level three makes things happening on the screen even more crazy, although at least opponents can dodge Kratos' level three attack, which is more than can be said of some of the other characters level three's.?

To mix things up even more and make it easier to gain Super Attacks, each character has their special moves which are utilised by a combination of buttons. This will see characters such as Sackboy using his Grabinator, Slap Attack or Cakeinator , while Cole from inFamous can make use of lightning and frost to build up to those Super Attacks. In addition to these standard moves, players can also defend by dodging and throwing opponents, the latter of which is a great way to counter level one Supers. Whenever you see someone getting ready to pull off a Super move, you just need to be close enough to throw them, therefore countering it. Obviously it takes skill to counter an opponent's Super Attack, but its well worth trying.

It's not just the opponents that you'll need to be wary of in PlayStation All-Stars but the environment too. The levels you play in can be both a help and a hindrance, for instance, during each match you'll generally come across power ups, these are based on items from the PlayStation universe and are split into two categories, Normal and Epic. These items provide all manner of match changing effects, from the ability to run faster, grenade or slash your opponents or even cause confusion. Obviously the Epic power ups are quite rare, however these are the most useful if you are first to grab them. Another thing to be wary of is that the actual levels will also play a part in your chances of winning a match. As you no doubt know by now, each level is made up of two environments based on famous PlayStation games such as God of War; Uncharted; Sly Cooper, LittleBigPlanet and a lot more besides. During your fight these levels will morph into each other and before you know it, you'll be worrying about more than your opponents as rockets aim in your direction and creatures try to eat you. This is obviously just the tip of the iceberg, but I don't want to spoil anything really because it's well worth exploring all of the levels for yourself.

The single player mode is full of character unlocks (clothing, mascots, intros, outros and more) should you stick with it and I have to say that despite by reservations I did. At first I was a little worried that there was just a little too much going on at once, however once you settle down and concentrate on your own character, there is a whole lot of fun to be had here.

So far I've only mention the single player modes, but taking things online adds even more value to this fun fighting mash-up. Matches online include the likes of Versus, where the host sets whatever rules he chooses from standard games such as Free-For-All (just as it sounds) and Teams, which can see 2vs2 or if you are brave 3vs1 in a match to the death. Online also includes Tournaments, Ranked Matches and Leaderboards and even better, if you have a PS Vita then you can also join in the fun thanks to Cross-Play.

Speaking of the Vita version, you do get this for free if you buy the PS3 version and what a bonus this is, because it's identical. Sure you have a smaller screen, however you are not at a disadvantage at all as the only control differences are that you press [R] to perform Supers, SELECT to Taunt, and tap the touchscreen to pick up or drop Items. To be honest I found this second nature anyway and love the fact that when I wasn't kicking PlayStation butt on the big screen that I could do it on the small screen instead.

As mentioned I'm not the biggest fighting game buff, but there is just something so much fun about seeing all these iconic PlayStation characters together in one place and being able to use them against each other. PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale was a game that I was quite on the fence about, however it knocked me off and beat me into submission faster than I ever could have imagined. This game's a winner.

(Version Tested: PS3 | PS Vita)


- Packed full of iconic characters
- Fantastic presentation
- Great Fun
- Brilliant fast paced action
- PS Vita version is wonderful


- Can sometimes lose track of character
- Story mode could have added a little more variety

Edited On 20 Nov, 2012

( 16 )
rjc's avatar
rjc 4 years ago
'I have to admit to being pretty sceptical going into PS All-Stars, I'm not really a fighting fan and to be honest it all looked a little manic to me.' Snap. Until I tried the beta. Loved the beta and will definitely get this. However, they'll probably be a decent amount of DLC so will probably wait for a complete edition.
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
For me, fight games begin and end with Mortal Kombat. But I played this at Eurogamer with the wife and we both loved it. And it's got enough characters that even she, as a non-gamer, recognises. Add to that that it comes with a code for a downloaded version for the Vita means that me and her can play together even when I'm on the road makes this game all kinds of awesome!
shiny miller's avatar
shiny miller 4 years ago
Looks pretty good, wonder how long until Nintendo respond with an update to Smash Bros?
PrometheusFan's avatar
Believe it or not, Nintendo aren't actually making the new Smash Bros game, they've outsourced development to Namco-Bandai for it, and it's not likely to come out until 2014. Apparently they're also releasing a Wii U and 3DS version simultaneously... but I wouldn't bet on getting both versions for the price of one as you do with PS All Stars given Nintendo's track record with pricing.
PrometheusFan 4 years ago
Robichoico's avatar
Nintendo are still in control of Smash Bros. Sakurai and his development team are working alongside Namco-Bandai to develop it.
Robichoico 4 years ago
Skiba's avatar
Skiba 4 years ago
waiting for shopto to send it to me great review.
Anonymous user's avatar
IAIN 4 years ago
I think its slightly unfair that this game will no doubt be in direct comparison with the SSB series. I love nintendo's series but this should be given a chance to stand on its own to find it's strengths and weaknesses before we do a proper comparison.
rjc's avatar
People like to compare things, unfortunately sometimes. FIFA and PES both play very different games of football, but inevitably are compared. CoD and Battlefield.

Just like anything really.
rjc 4 years ago
adwan's avatar
adwan 4 years ago
I'm plesently surprised by all the good reviews for this game. The only reason I was interested was because of the cross-buy promotion but that alone wasn't enough to warrant a purchase. The good reviews however are a good start! Will wait to see what gamers think of it after a few weeks to see if the fun factor holds up.
Kizzy's avatar
Kizzy 4 years ago
Really loved playing the beta of this and can not wait to play this. Going to be using Spike because hes a badass :D
Anonymous user's avatar
Kelly-Marie 4 years ago
never played super smash bros so would like to play a demo beforehand
Anonymous user's avatar
Kelly-Marie 4 years ago
never played super smash bros so would like to play a demo beforehand
Barada's avatar
Barada 4 years ago
Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the best version of these games. I'm sure the Wii U will remake this crazy fighter, again - but did they really have to, the Wii version is good enough.
Scatigno's avatar
Scatigno 4 years ago
I wasn't blown away by the beta on Vita. I think I will wait for it to drop in price.
Skiba's avatar
Skiba 4 years ago
what a great game loving it Vita version at no extra cost great deal by Sony.
Shnoorum's avatar
Shnoorum 4 years ago
Definately on my to buy list. My to buy list is faaaar too big at the moment

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