Nukezilla Review: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (Vita)
Circle Punch. Cross Jump+Triangle Flying Kick. Back-Triangle Roundhouse. Cross Jump+Up-Triangle Grenade. Square Juggle, Square Juggle, Square Juggle, Square Juggle, Cross Jump+Down-Circle Cement Slam.
Circle Sentry Gun. Back Square Sniper Shot. Triangle Stun. Cross Jump+Down Triangle Scissor Kick. Square Punch. Square Punch. Select Taunt.
[Touch] Square Spear of Destiny, [Touch] Square RPG, [Touch] Square Murder of Crows, [Touch] Square Sackbot.
R Level 3 Super, Square Kill, Square Kill, Square Win.
Yes, fighting games, especially arena fighters like Super Smash Brothers or Power Stone should be simple to play, while difficult to master. The fun in these games is playing with a small group of friends and, if your age and the situation allows, alcohol or other recreational aides can further enhance the experience. SSB titles prove themselves with lengthy solo campaigns that teach players how to experiment with the entire roster of characters, unlocking new modes, arenas, items or even characters along the way. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is pure fan service, which isn’t a death sentence if the game behind the facade is in service of deep experience, and while I applaud the quality of the presentation (easily the most gorgeous visuals on the system-to-date), there isn’t enough meat on the bones to satisfy my hunger for a obsession worthy fighter.
For my money (and in the interests of full disclosure this was a Black Friday freebie obtained as part of a PS Vita Bundle on Amazon) I expect a game of this type to be infinitely replayable, as long as you’ve got friends to play with, online access or hours to spare there should be enough of a juicy carrot to pull you through until the last unlock clicks open and the platinum trophy is yours, however, this has not been my experience thus far. Granted, I am a new Vita owner with only 40 or so hours logged on the system, but PSASBR‘s greatest assets (the high quality player models and move sets) can be experienced in a handful of hours. Once you’ve wiped the board as Light (Angel) Jak, zombified your foes as Nate Drake and eviscerated Parappa The Rapper as the God of War’s 50-foot form you have seen everything there is to see here. The moves are extraordinarily easy to pull off (see above) and racing through your first match as a new character will bring grins to your face if you are like me, a longtime PlayStation franchise tourist and occasional resident.
Maybe it’s equally a failing of an early life portable system as none of my local circle of friends own or play this game on a regular basis and I’m loathe to take the battle online nearly a month after it has gone public (and after weeks of public beta testing) has probably crafted an army of monstrous Big Daddies and Sweet Tooths (*giggle*). I’ve completed multiple story arcs with Drake, Jak & Daxter, Kratos and Sly, but unless a genuine evangelist lands in my office or introduces themselves mid-BART ride this may remain a lonely, guilty pleasure on my memory stick while I’m busy playing the hell out of more soulful enterprises such as Gravity Rush and Persona 4 Golden.
This review is day twenty-seven of the December 2012 Nukestravaganza