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review

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

There are good clones and evil clones. Let's find out what category Battle Royale falls into...

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Super Smash Bros. I need to get it out of the way as that's what all the talk has been about. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale is so much like Nintendo's original that it's the first thing mentioned in the gameplay paragraph on Battle Royale's Wikipedia page. And it's easy to see why. The game has essentially replaced the Nintendo characters with characters from various Playstation games and added a handful of guest characters. The rules have been somewhat modified, but largely it offers the same experience and it comes across as a shameless rip off.

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With that said we can focus on what Sony shouldn't be ashamed of - and that's the fun factor. At its best Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale entertains and offers frantic party fighting. And regardless of whether it's a clone or not, that is the most important factor to consider.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

Right at the start you're given a brief introduction to the basics of the game. Simple stuff: you have three different attacks at your disposal that can be performed in all directions, you can block, use the right analogue stick to throw, and perform super attacks with your right shoulder button once the meter has filled up.

No further information is required and I pick Fat Princess and go on to beat up that douchebag Nathan Drake, as well as Parappa the Rapper, and Tekken's dead serious Heihachi Mishima on a level taken from the Killzone franchise. I'm immediately struck by how beautiful the game looks.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

I've mainly played the game on PS Vita, and even on the smaller screen you can see how incredibly detailed the characters and levels are and the effort that has been put into this piece of fan service. During the back and forth match the level changes gradually. From duking it out mid-air, we're soon battling on the ground until finally everything is turned into an Ape Escape world as simians overflowing the place.

I'm impressed, and as you recognise nods and recall all those glorious moments they refer to, I'm reminded that Sony has been in the console business for almost two decades.

Sure, they lack some of the star power Nintendo sports, Nathan Drake isn't much compared to Link, Parappa gets flattened by Donkey Kong, and Kratos is a complete unknown next to Mario, and what's some Helghast colonel compared to Fox McCloud - but that almost makes it more special in some ways.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

Because you realise what Nintendo fans get from Smash Bros. You feel more special if you're a longtime Playstation gamer as you recognise all the characters.

And while Super Smash Bros is more designed to offer something for all tastes - this is more targeted towards older core gamers. Not that it is overly violent in any way, but picking up a broadsword with the realistically designed amazon Nariko from Heavenly Sword and chopping the cocky Dante from DMC Devil May Cry repeatedly doesn't come across as quite as cheerful as what Super Smash Bros. offers.

The fact that you actually destroy your enemies in Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale rather than just push them off the level also adds to this. Beating up your opponents fills up your super meter, as it's only with a super attack that you can score. And when you activate your super attack the idea is to eliminate as many players as possible.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

The super meter can be charged to three levels, each granting a stronger attack. The final level unleashes a special character-specific animation and an incredibly powerful attack. For instance you get to man a massive cannon with Colonel Radec where you aim a cross hair and deal instant kill shots for a limited period of time. Since the standard setting is to play until you get three points, you can win by simply pulling off one super move, so it's important to pay attention to what your opponents are up to.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
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