[NYCC 2012] Preview: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale leaves a lasting impression
I've been excited about PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for quite a while now, but with no official hands-on time I've been a little skeptical about gameplay. With the roster already completely revealed, there's really no sense in me discussing the characters, so I'll just skip right to my first impressions of the game.
From the videos and demos I've seen, combat appeared somewhat slow. Additionally, I was somewhat concerned with how the characters seemed to blend in with the stage background. At New York Comic Con, I finally had a chance to go hands-on with PlayStation All-Stars and I have to say, I came out quite impressed.
Combat was fast-paced and fluid, but not to the point where it seems like you have no control of your character. Most importantly, it's not overwhelming. In my demo I played against Seth Killian, a Sony community manager, and a fellow GameZone writer. I'm proud to say I won one of the two matches - in just my first time playing the game.
That's not to say the game is simplistic, by any means. Each move is mapped to a simple button and directional movement, the careful planning of your next move is always on your mind. Of course, if you're like me you can find a couple of moves that you feel comfortable with and spam them while you build up your Super. That's actually the advice I was given by Mr. Killian.
Speaking of Supers, I was a little hesitant with them in PlayStation All-Stars. For those unfamiliar, PlayStation All-Stars takes a unique approach to fighting games. In this game, you aren't really aiming to do damage to the enemies. In fact, nobody really has a health bar. Instead, you are fighting to increase your character's Super meter. By performing moves and hurting your opponent, you gain points towards your Super. By performing your Super you have a chance to eliminate the opponents and score points. You gain points for eliminating others, and lose points for being eliminated. The person with the most points at the end of the time limit wins. Simple as that.
Although there are three levels of Supers for each character, each more powerful than the next, you only need the first level to really wreak some havoc. For instance, with Sweet Tooth I used only my level one Super and managed to score six points by killing enemies. Of course, they do say that you have a better chance of eliminating more opponents with your higher level Supers. For me, however, it was easier to just grind that first level Super and then use it. To each their own, I suppose.
As with any fighting game, every player has their own style so I don't want to mislead anyone with my experience with the two characters I played: Sweet Tooth and Nathan Drake. I will say, however, that both characters seemed fairly balanced while offering two unique playstyles. With that being said, they did have comparable move sets. Although I'm still not 100% happy with the roster, there are more than enough characters to appeal to every type of player. I suggest finding a character your comfortable with and then expanding. By the way, it's perfectly ok to spam the same move over and over (Sweet tooth shoulder thrust for the win!).
Overall, my first hands-on with PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was definitely an memorable one. In addition to answering any concerns I had about the game, it also left a lasting impression that made me continuously want to go back to the game even after I was done playing. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is set to release on November 20, 2012 for PS3 and PS Vita. For any PlayStation owner, it should definitely be on your "must have" list.