One day, I was thinking to myself. I was thinking how neat it would be if there was a “Super Smash Bros.”-like game for the PlayStation. Then, I could have Ratchet beat up Jak. I could have Jak beat up Ratchet. And that’s really the only combinations I could think of, as I’m actually pretty limited on my knowledge of PlayStation characters. But, it would still be pretty cool. And then, a completely different day, I found out there was indeed such a game. “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” for the PS3.
So I ended up having to buy this game. It’s not often something I’ve pondered about has turned out to be real. When I got it, I found that this game is a lot like “SSB”. As you’d expect, there are a good number of characters (20, I believe) from a variety of PlayStation games, such as “Ratchet and Clank”, “Jak and Daxter”, “Little Big Planet”, and “Infamous”. And there are stages that take place in locations from those games, though some games get rather ignored, though I don’t care because the “Ratchet and Clank” and “Jak and Daxter” series got stages. So I’m good with that. The gameplay is pretty similar, as well. Just like in “SSB”, attacks are done by pressing a combination of a button and tilting the control stick. One thing I like is that this game has more attacks than “SSB”, as you can use Square, Triangle, and Circle to attack rather than just A and B. You can also throw people and dodge attacks and such. And double jump, despite being against all laws of physics. I wish I could double jump.
There is one main feature of the game that makes it a little different from “SSB”, which is how you defeat your opponent. You don’t simply get their damage counter really high and then knock them off the stage. You can actually attack the other character for an hour if you want and never defeat them. Don’t know why you’d want to, but it’s your life. Anyway, in this game, you attack your opponent until your meter gets high enough, and then you unleash a super move on them that, if it hits them, always kills them. (It’s a lot like those Final Smash attacks in “Super Smash Bros. Brawl”.) You can even wait for the meter to get extra high for a level 2 or level 3 super move. Some of these are pretty cool, as you sometimes get multiple attempts to attack people when you use them.
Another thing I find fun is that characters also go up in rank the more you use them. This doesn’t affect the character at all, but it does unlock different icons (these little pictures that show up under your character on the loading screen that shows who’s fighting, which is kind of pointless, but okay), costumes for the character, “minions’ (these are little stubby versions of characters from the various games that sometimes cheer you on), and other such things. I am disappointed that there are no characters or stages to unlock, though. They’re all there from the start. It was fun unlocking them in “SSB”. But, I hear you can download two characters and a stage. I probably won’t. But, you can.
Some of the stages can be pretty interesting, as well. One thing I like about this game is that all stages have two parts to them. They start off with a location from one game, and then they change and incorporate things from another game. This makes them a bit more interesting. For example, in Hades, there is this creepy monster in the background that sometimes tries to attack the players. Then, halfway through the stage, these cute, little dudes with spears show up in the background behind the monster, while adorable music plays, which is very out of place.
I ended up having fun with this game. I just really enjoy getting the opportunity to play as a wide variety of characters and maul (or get mauled by) said characters. That’s why I love the “SSB” series. Though, while this game is a lot like “SSB”, it is lacking in one area, a variety of things to do. There just isn’t a lot to do in this game. Not really. Like, this game has a story mode for every character, but it’s all really the same. And calling it story mode may be pushing things a bit. I think to call something story mode, an actual story should show up in there somewhere.
These little “no-story” modes really just involve a little cut scene (well, more like a picture of the character(s), with dialogue) with the character(s) on some small, little quest. (“Hey, Dax, let’s find a new kind of Eco.” “Okay.” Or “Hey, Clank, let’s find some gold bolts.” “Okay.”) Then, they fight a lot of battles that seem unrelated to anything. There is then a real cut scene thrown in later, where they get into a fight with some other character, usually for some absurd reason (are video game characters really that sensitive that they’ll attack someone for the slightest perceived insult?). Then, at the end, you fight this floating head guy called Polygon Man (which I think of as kind of this game’s version of Master Hand from “SSB”).
In addition to “no-story” mode, there are also combat trials where you are supposed to do certain things, like defeat people a certain number of times with your level 1 super move or only attack with the square button and such. There are some general ones, and there are a bunch for each specific character, too. These started out fun, but then they get a bit boring, and I gave up. Like I said, I found parts of this game disappointing. While it will take a long time to do everything in it, a lot of it is really the same, so it will get boring if you try to do it all. I think “SSB” games have a lot to do, but there is enough variety that it stays interesting.
Despite a few things that disappointed me in the game, I did have fun playing it, and I’d like to talk just a little more on my favorite parts of this kind of game, the characters and stages. My favorite characters were Jak and Ratchet from “Jak and Daxter” and “Ratchet and Clank” respectively. Not only were they some of the only characters I actually knew, but they both came from games I loved and were a lot of fun to play as. Playing as Jak feels a lot like controlling him in the actual “Jak and Daxter” games, plus his level 3 super move allows you to control Light Jak for a limited time. Ratchet was fun, too. You could have Mr. Zurkon (my all time favorite weapon from the “R&C” series) help you fight for short periods of time, complete with his usual insults and taunts (“Yoohoo! Mr. Zurkon’s looking to kill you!”) I also like that with his level 2 super move, you can use Clank to attack people. I like watching people run in terror from cute, little Clank.
Other characters I liked were Big Daddy and Sir Daniel. I have never played their games, but I thought they were fun characters to play as. Big Daddy is just awesome. He wears a diving suit and has a big drill. What is not great about that? And Sir Daniel is a goofy, mumbling skeleton that is almost impossible to understand. I have gotten attached to him. Least favorite characters include Sweet Tooth the clown and that rapper dude.
When it comes to stages I liked, my absolute favorite was San Francisco, for the simple fact that Dr. Nefarious (my favorite character from the “R&C” series) shows up in the second half, along with his silly space station from “A Crack in Time” that resembles a giant version of his head. There’s also an “Uncharted 3” stage I think is pretty cool. It’s the part of the game where Drake’s on the plane (hey, that sounds like a movie title, “Drake’s on a Plane”…), and the back opens up and the cargo starts to fly out. It was awesome in “Uncharted 3”, and it’s awesome now.
I also both like and get overly upset by Sandover Village from “Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy”. This stage brings back lots of “Jak and Daxter” nostalgia and makes me wish all the more they’d make another game, that’s actually good. It made me happy and depressed all at the same time. Then, halfway through the battle, this stage’s transformation saw Sandover Village get turned into a golf course, which peeved me quite a bit. Don’t desecrate a location from one of the greatest games ever made, you sons of…! Swear words to you all! Swear words!
So this game, like the Sandover Village stage, managed to make me glad and sad at the same time. The game could be fun. I loved playing as my favorite PlayStation characters, along with new ones. It has more variety in terms of the number of moves characters have. I also liked how the stages change. But, I thought that, after the initial excitement wears off and I’m done checking out all the new characters and stages, the game gets a bit boring. All the extra things you can do are too similar. I don’t feel there was as much variety as the “SSB” series. I enjoyed it, but in no way can it compete with “SSB”. At least, not for me. And seriously, I just like sending people flying off the screen.
PlayStation All-Ducks Battle Royale, the Fighting Game Where You Only Play as Ducks