kbaily / Member

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Why PS All Stars failed...

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So it's official that Sony will no longer be supporting new content for PS All Stars, namely those who hoped for new characters and stages as DLC, that's done.


Playstation All Stars Battle Royale was a game that fascinated me in that I was surprised it didn't come out sooner. When you look at the amazing amount of Mario Kart clones out there and how popular Smash Bros. is, it's a wonder everyone isn't making Smash Bros. knockoffs. Sure there's stuff like TMNT Smash Up, Punch Time Explosion, Shrek Super Slam and some anime based ones but they're not as omipresent as other knockoffs.

When PS All Stars was announced I was curious, mainly to see if Sony could pull this off. Nintendo fans cried foul from the start but honestly it's not the first game to "borrow" from a popular series. Die hard Sony fans were convinced it would be the Smash Bros. "killer" and be 100 times better and in the end, that didn't happen.

It's really a shame because as someone who loves SSB, I felt like PS All Stars had a lot of potential that was wasted and the final product seemed more like a quickie cash grab than a loving homage to the Playstation. Here's what I think went wrong.

The battle system: PS All Star's "AP system" was unique forgoing health and damage meters in favor of building up power to KO opponents. You can't go into PS All Stars and play like you do Smash Bros. You learn that within the first five minutes. This was a mixed bag for a lot. Some loved it and saw it as a more "Hardcore" fighting mechanic, others felt like it might have been better off just copying Smash's damage meter gameplay. I couldn't help but feel like the game was unbalanced as some fighter's level 3 attacks required no work like Spike's laser or Parappa's singing where others like Nathan Drake's zombification required him to run around to KO everyone and it doesn't take long to figure out which attacks build up the most AP the fastest and you end up spamming those as much as you can. It also makes the stage hazards and items, pretty pointless which is fine if you're one of those who plays Smash Bros. with "Final Destination. No items" all the time. I personally play Smash Bros. to have fun.

Meager offerings: Like Smash, PS All Stars is best played with friends but that doesn't excuse the measly single player offerings. You could play through each character's story, or do the trials but not much else outside of that. Now I'm not shedding a tear over the new Smash Bros. dropping the story mode but that aside SSBB had event matches, unlockable character trophies, music, stickers and challenge modes. PS All Stars didn't have much for solo players and half the unlockables had to be purchased. One one hand it was nice all the fighters were there from the get go, but then one of the funnest parts of SSB is seeing that "Challenger Approaching" screen and unlocking someone else which brings me to....

Lackluster Roster: People love to complain about Smash Bros. adding and cutting characters but in the end, Nintendo tries to get in at least some characters we want. We wanted Sonic. We got Sonic. We wanted Mega Man, we're getting Mega Man. Smash could have a roster of 100 that included all Sonic characters, Master Chief and Sora and fans would still whine that Steve from Minecraft should be in it. Meanwhile when PS All Stars was announced, fans begged for Crash and Spyro, Activision was on board with the idea and what did Sony do? Zeus and Issac from Dead Space because the game didn't have enough white guys. You want a fighting game with a disappointing roster, PS All Stars delivers that. Even more annoying was the number of things in the game being nothing more than an advertisement like Raiden in his Revengence attire or including dark haired Emo Dante no one liked just to promote DMC. And fine Crash, Spyro, Lara Croft and Cloud are third party, I know a number of PS fans who could name a ton of actual Sony first party characters that were left out like Tomba. If Nintendo will drege up characters like Ice Climbers and ROB, then I think Sony could've dug Tomba out of the grave.

And while PS All Stars had a much more reliable online component than SSBB (not like it was hard), I've heard rumors of issues with leaderboards and belts being incorrectly awarded.

The saddest part is, there was potential for this to be something great. It could've been to Smash Bros. what Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed was to Mario Kart, a knockoff but a good knockoff. But Sony cut ties with Superbot and seems uninterested in making Playstation All Stars 2 and maybe improving these things like getting characters we wanted, adding more single player content but nope seems they'd rather cut their loses and move on.

In the end, I honestly saw some things in PS All Stars that I'd like Smash Bros. 4 to incorporate like the alternate costumes (free of course), the 2 in one stages and the little rivalry cutscenes.

What a shame and what a lot of wasted potential.