Sure, the similarities between Sony's upcoming brawler PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and Nintendo's beat 'em up Super Smash Bros. are obvious - the "all-star" (no pun intended) rosters and core mechanics behind the gameplay are identical. However, many have been quick to criticise PS All-Stars and label it as a Smash Bros. clone; it's interesting to note the lack of criticism following the abundance of different World War II-based FPS games released over the last five years. Here are five reasons why PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale will not live in the shadow of Nintendo's counterpart.
The largest way the game differentiates itself its through the unique "Super Meter" and the three levels of different "Super Moves" that can be performed once the meter is filled. Where Super Smash Bros. possesses the simplistic, damage-based gameplay, the introduction of the "Super Meter" to PS All-Stars has more of an affect on gameplay than one may initially presume. It adds a more tactical and intense element to the game - players are forced to play aggressively in order to fill up the meter and must then decide whether to take the quick kill with their Level 1 Super or bide their time until Level 3, where the risk may not always be worth the reward. You don't have to worry about running scared when your health hits 200% and the slightest touch from an opponent will knock you out of the arena - PS All-Stars puts the focus on you.
It's no secret that Sony and Nintendo both possess very different character rosters. Nintendo's characters in its most recent brawler, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, are undeniably cartoon-centric, with the majority hailing from the NES, SNES and N64 era. Sony's fighters, however, are extremely diverse. The PS1 era is represented greatly through the presence of icons such as PaRappa and Spike, PS2 through Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank, with the current generation represented by characters from various genres, such as Big Daddy and Dante. Nintendo's roster may be more nostalgically-inclined, however Sony differs by providing a wider variety of newer and more unique characters.
The stages in PS All-Stars differ greatly to those found in Super Smash Bros., being crossovers from two different games. Seven stages have been confirmed for the game at this time, with players being able to take battle on arenas such as "Stowaway", the combination of Unchartered and Bioshock Infinite, and "Metropolis", featuring elements from Ratchet and Clank and God of War. As is to be expected with Sony's graphical edge with its consoles, the arenas are much more vibrant and interesting than those found in SSB. The environment within each stage is said to play a more significant role in PS All-Stars, however we haven't been shown a whole lot on this as of yet.
No Ring Outs
As positive as this article may sound, I'm no fool and of course do realise that the game possesses many contentious points regarding gameplay. The main one being, no ring outs. It's certainly going to provide a different experience to that found in SSB, but with supers being the only way to effectively take out your opponents, one can only be left wondering if the game will grow stale quickly. I'm sure many of you could debate this one all day - there are many pros and cons regarding SuperBot's decision to not include ring outs in the game. On one hand, the frustration following the possibility of being cheaply knocked off the map by an opponent is removed, yet this also takes away from the franticness of the gameplay and means the tactic of positioning is almost non-existent. Whether this huge difference is a hit or miss, we'll find out soon enough.
Competition is good
What does it even matter that the game looks very similar to SSB? Critics of PS All-Stars act as if any idea that is not completely original should be frowned upon. If that is the case, any FPS released after Wolfenstein 3D and any fighter that isn't Street Fighter aren't worthy of being called games. SuperBot have clearly put a lot of time and effort into making the game as distinctive as possible, and in turn the game's release will mean Nintendo will have to work harder than ever on their next installment to the SSB series on the Wii U.
Just like the little girl in the Old El Paso ads says - why don't we have both? PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale will undoubtedly be a hit amongst Sony fans and the game has certainly shown enough original content to be able to stand on its own two feet against Super Smash Bros.
By Jake Galouzis