Will PlayStation All-Stars be a true Smash Bros. rival?

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale has a lot of PlayStation 3 owners rather excited, giving them access to a host of classic Sony characters with which to pummel each other. Thing is, this game forces a comparison to Nintendo's own Super Smash Bros., a longstanding franchise which helped popularize this type of four player brawl. The question then is whether PlayStation All-Stars can truly rival the famous series, or if this Sony-themed take on the formula is destined to get knocked out of the ring.

We asked the GameZone crew what they thought:

Vito Gesualdi

Though a Sony-themed Smash Bros. ripoff has been rumored for years now, the horribly titled "Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale" is finally on its way. Thing is, I can't think of any reason to get excited for this game, as Sony's roster of proposed characters is a stark reminder of how little star power Sony commands.
The real problem is that Sony has always positioned the PlayStation brand as a more mature experience than Nintendo. This means that the bulk of the proposed characters are brooding dark anti-heroes like Kratos, or outright villains like Sweet Tooth. Even the proposed kid friendly characters like Parappa the Rappa or Ratchet still have that annoying "edgy" feel to them, while joke characters like Fat Princess seem… well, stupid.
Compare this to Nintendo's roster, mostly comprised of classic "good guy" heroes: Mario, Link, Samus, Fox, etc. The villians meanwhile aren't traditionally evil, but evil in a cartoon sense, eternal screw-ups like King Dedede or Bowser. Nintendo's whole universe seems to revolve around very classic (if simplistic) cartoon themes of good vs. evil, and as a result all the characters seem to mesh together perfectly. Not to mention that these are characters with some real legacy to them, with even throwaways like Mr. Game & Watch paying tribute to the company's legacy. 
Point is, of the proposed characters so far, I can name maybe two which seem like true "All-Stars," while the mature tones of the PlayStation brand just don't work for the kind of fun colorful romp which Smash Bros. pioneered. 
Verdict: Smash Bros. reigns supreme

Matt Liebl

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale will appeal to PlayStation fans. That's it. So in that sense, yes, it'll be the PS3's rival to Super Smash Bros. Will people go out and buy a PlayStation 3 to play it? Very doubtful.

Why? Because outside of the PlayStation community, very few people care about the PlayStation brand, or the characters in those universes. I think that's the important thing to note – the PlayStation brand has nothing on Nintendo. The entire roster hasn't been revealed yet, so I will withhold my final judgement, but so far I just don't see anyone caring about the roster outside of PlayStation fans.

I agree with Vito; the Nintendo characters have legacy to them.  PlayStation has some recognizable faces, but can you really say Sweet Tooth can compete with Mario, or Link, or Kirby (ok, well maybe not Kirby)? I mean, some of the characters seen in Super Smash have been with us since the beginning of gaming. 

Like I said though, I can definitely understand the appeal. I mean, this is what PlayStation fans have been waiting for. I am, however, a little let down with what I've seen of the game so far – particularly the overall presentation. To put it simply, it's ugly. It's very dull looking and the dark, grayish scheme is just unappealing to look at.  But it's not Sony's fault. This is mostly due to the darker tones of most PlayStation games. God of War, Twisted Metal, I mean, those aren't exactly your most cheerful games.

Verdict: Sony fans have every reason to be excited for this game, but it's got nothing on Super Smash Bros.

Michael Splechta

While I am fairly excited for the prospect of being able to pummel the likes of Kratos with Sly Cooper (as ridiculous as it sounds) I can't say that the entire roster has me jumping up and down for joy. 

Case in point; before Brawl was released, Nintendo was steadily releasing character reveals on the official site. I found myself checking on a daily basis, just to see if my favorite character finally made it into the game. Unfortunately, I can't really see myself doing the same thing with PlayStation All-Stars. In fact, I'm already not super excited for the characters that are already announced. Fat Princess? I know who it is, and what game she's from, but is she memorable enough to be an All-Star. Doubtful.

Am I the target audience for the game however? I would think so. Though I'm not admittedly a Sony die-hard, I absolutely enjoy the games that these characters appear in, but pitting them against each other in a fighting match was never really a dream of mine.

Brawl was also one of the reasons I wanted a Wii, mostly thankful to its amazing predecessor. PS All-Stars doesn't seem like the game that people will be rushing to the stores, to be a PS3 for. If I had to pick one over another, solely based on characters and the levels, it would be Super Smash Bros. I mean come on, PS All-Stars has a level based on the Buzz games… Yeah I'll let that sink in.

Verdict: Memorable will always win over bad-ass, and that's why my vote goes to Super Smash Bros.

Andrew Clouther

Will PlayStation All-Stars be a true rival to Smash Bros? No. Not at all. In my opinion, Smash Bros is its own gaming genre, "‘brawler" rather than a "fighter." I recall the game downloadable game Small Arms, where I couldn't even talk about the game without being forced to mention Smash Bros. From what I’ve seen of PlayStation All Stars, I'll be making the same comparisons.

Everything about All-Stars looks exactly like Smash Bros, from concept to overall style. Nintendo's own game was novel for the time, taking franchise characters and throwing them together in a massive brawling free-for-all  – great idea.  Years later it seems Sony has looked at the success of Smash Bros and realized that they finally have enough franchise characters to do the same. If you ask me there are rip offs, there are blatant rip offs, and then there is PlayStation All-Stars. 

With all that said, I still love Smash Bros.  For this reason, PlayStation All-Stars will probably be fun. There, I said it. Although I do think that the allure of this kind of mash-up brawling game may be dissipating  I can see All-Stars being fun, but definitely don't expect it to have the kind of success that Smash Bros had.  

Verdict: My vote goes for the original – Smash Bros.  PlayStation All-Stars will likely be fun, but won’t inspire the kind of legendary fanaticism that Nintendo's own brawler sparked.

Lance Liebl

*Sigh*  This is tough for me because I'm not the biggest Smash Bros. fan to begin with. Maybe it's just me sucking at the game, but it frustrates me when a kid in Kindergarten can pick up the game, mash on a few buttons, and have a 50/50 chance at winning. As far as PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale goes, the concept is obviously a blatant rip-off of Smash Bros., though everything is a rip-off nowadays. I think it will be a fun fighting game with some unique things to it, but there's not much of a chance at it being considered a better game than Smash Bros..

Also, who the heck is Fat Princess? Is this the best you could come up with, Sony? "Yeah, it's gonna be awesome. You can play as Nathan Drake, and Cole MacGrath, and… Fat Princess!"

The levels sound really cool, though.

Verdict: I can't believe this is a question. Everyone knows the answer. But yeah, I'll buy it, and I'll play it, and I'll suck at it. Still, I'm sure it'll be fun.

Final Verdict: Smash Bros. Reigns Supreme! Flawless Victory!

Do you agree? Got an idea for a future GameZone Roundtable?  Let us know in the comments!