PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
Post Reply
User avatar
raisinbman
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: September 8th, 2020, 12:22 am

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by raisinbman »

I know people look back on PSABR as a joke, but for me and in my life, it was special. Away at college, while there may have been events around, public transportation in North Carolina isn’t as robust as my home state, so I always had to consider that, and I ended up turning my love for fighting games into a tournament series, the ‘Wilson vs Everything’ (monthly?) event. I did a lot of the heavy lifting myself, which I did not mind, even making a pot of $20 out of my bank account. $10 for first, and 5/5 second and third. While my hope was to get people playing fighting games, it didn’t happen like how I thought it would in my head, but what else is new: people may have shown up, but not many. The majority of the game nights were quiet, but my spirit still burned. There were more successful nights that played on nostalgia, like Soul Caliber II which was offering (Soul Caliber V?) as a prize for first place, but that had the backing of the activity crew. I’m not sure I’ll ever forget immediately grabbing SCII off ebay, and trying to cram in as much practice as I could in order to win the whole thing. After all, I was really the only fighting game player on campus. I settled on Xianghua as she was responsive and supposedly high tier. I ended up facing one of my good friends in the finals, one of the only other competitive gamers on campus – I seriously figured he didn’t have an interest in SC and even if he did(I doubted he'd be practicing), and would be doing something else. He beat me pretty handily, but handed me the copy of SCV anyway. Odd thing, friendship is.



But in order to really bring in people, I would have to go with games that were popular enough or new enough, as much as I didn’t want to feature Smash(melee or the most current one). There’s a world of fighting games out there beyond smash, people! An entire, fully-formed, lovingly crafted world! But it brought in both the competitors and the viewers. And with that, a glimmer of hope eventually hit the horizon – PSABR. It was smash, but not – the prerelease footage led me to believe it was gonna be a game that’d attract that crowd, but look to elevate the gameplay beyond randomness. They actually WANTED you to do combos. And in order to score points, it wouldn’t be through random environmental hazards, hits, and other annoyances. This sounded like a dream – it would attract smash players with its iconic roster, and keep them there with its simplified gameplay, but most importantly, the game devs WANTED you to do well in this format. Seth Killian was there(in some capacity)! So it garnered my attention, and I set up the first tournament for it. And to my surprise, people actually came! Of course, not as many as smash bros, but they came, and I had fun! These tournament series caused my PS3 to get tripped over, which probably eventually killed my PS3(for the second time), so I never really got to delve much farther into the game, including its DLC.



It turns out the reception to the game, for most people including Sony, wasn’t good. I was none the wiser, but the balance was all over the place(Kratos can reach across the entire screen and build meter mindlessly), the character roster didn’t impress, and support for the game eventually died. There’s a number of documented requests and changes that could’ve been the difference between life and death for this game, mostly roster based. Although Sony reached far back to even revive a dead mascot to be its boss in this game, that wasn’t enough – by time this game was made, Sony’s flagship mascots had left the nest, and the industry itself was moving away from mascots being mandatory. The game clearly wasn’t meant to be a triple A front runner for Sony, but it’s production values weren’t there. At the time though, I saw it as slim and focused. Funny enough, we're starting to see fighting games not try to compete with the budget of a Nintendo or Bandai Namco now pretty frequently.



I still say PSABR tried things we haven’t seen from Smash bros proper – environmental hazards are annoying, but they aren’t the end of the world. In smash, this limits stage selection greatly, to the point they’ve come up with the omega system to have a ‘playable’ version of any stage, as necessary. Needing to build up your meter and land your ult – your level 1 would be fairly meager, but usually comboable, the level 2 would be more powerful and abusable, and level 3 would definitely score you some kills and usually envelop the screen. This, in theory, meant you needed to plan instead of just button mash. From what I gather, people ended up finding this fairly stale. But I think with a bit of refinement, it could be similar to some wrestling games in that, sure, you can deal all the damage you want with strikes and assaults, but you have to actually KO them with a hold to get the win. Another element I ended up really enjoying in this game was the stages – this is another element we still really haven’t seen from smash(I haven’t touched ultimate, so I could be wrong): This is a clashing of franchises and champions, yet all the smash bros stages are sterilized and separate from one another? The music also went into this as well. Some stages in smash did end up adopting other franchises, but their elements weren’t properly presented and such. We also got our first peeks at certain things like Bioshock Infinite. I think in some alternate universe, the series is still going, and content is introduced to tie in to new things as playstation partners and premiers with them. The other thing this game ended up doing was giving us more mature elements. Raiden effed people up, Radec actually had guns! Meanwhile, snake in smash can only have explosives(apparently Joker can use a gun with no problem now though? Talk about special treatment!), you could really feel that Sweet Tooth was a sick sonofa.



Obviously PSABR wasn’t the best first start, but neither was street fighter 1. Hear me out – let’s rename the series, make it a F2P game gifted to PS+ subscribers, and keep it updated!



PS: Fun Cane and Rinse Fact – Kat is top tier!

User avatar
Alex79uk
Member
Posts: 6899
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 12:36 pm
Location: Walsall, UK.
Contact:

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by Alex79uk »

It's great you got so much out of it. I tried it on Vita back when it was given away with PS+ and thought it was ok, but I'd never really been a fan of those arena fighter Smash type games.

Until, that is, fairly recently when my children became old enough to join in. I'd been playing them solely in single player, and in those sorts of games, there's just not that much fun to be had on your own I feel. But, the kids and I have been really enjoying Brawlhalla on the Switch over the last few months. Who'd have thought these games were more fun in multiplayer..? :lol:

So yeah, I could see us totally getting in to a relaunched All-Stars if that ever became such a thing. Sadly though, I can't see Sony ever resurrecting that one. I don't ever remember people talking about it even at the time, and I've got a feeling it probably tanked fairly hard, which is a shame, because it was actually a decent effort at 'one of those games'.

User avatar
ReprobateGamer
Member
Posts: 225
Joined: February 11th, 2017, 12:35 pm
Contact:

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by ReprobateGamer »

I played All-stars for about an hour a few years ago as part of a longer gaming session - I actually liked it (playing as Raiden). Even for someone just jumping in, I was able to start chaining combos and the different visuals and levels made for an interesting experience.

My children passed through a phase of loving Smash Bros Brawl recently so this may be something that I try them out on (thanks for the reminder!)

User avatar
Simonsloth
Member
Posts: 1450
Joined: November 22nd, 2017, 7:17 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by Simonsloth »

I actually really enjoyed this having played it at EGX many years ago. The main thing I found is that to newcomers the mechanic for winning isn’t as obvious compared to say Smash.

Was the PS3 version not on PlayStation plus a few years ago?

User avatar
Alex79uk
Member
Posts: 6899
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 12:36 pm
Location: Walsall, UK.
Contact:

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by Alex79uk »

Simonsloth wrote: September 19th, 2020, 11:31 am
Was the PS3 version not on PlayStation plus a few years ago?
Yeah, along with the Vita version.

User avatar
Simonsloth
Member
Posts: 1450
Joined: November 22nd, 2017, 7:17 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by Simonsloth »

Alex79uk wrote: September 19th, 2020, 12:06 pm
Simonsloth wrote: September 19th, 2020, 11:31 am
Was the PS3 version not on PlayStation plus a few years ago?
Yeah, along with the Vita version.
I forgot about cross play/cross buy. That was a really good idea.

User avatar
Alex79uk
Member
Posts: 6899
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 12:36 pm
Location: Walsall, UK.
Contact:

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by Alex79uk »

Simonsloth wrote: September 19th, 2020, 12:36 pm
Alex79uk wrote: September 19th, 2020, 12:06 pm
Simonsloth wrote: September 19th, 2020, 11:31 am
Was the PS3 version not on PlayStation plus a few years ago?
Yeah, along with the Vita version.
I forgot about cross play/cross buy. That was a really good idea.
It was, not least because it threw up a loophole in PS+. So, example, I got this particular game on PS3 via PS+, but it's cross buy so got the PS Vita game with it for free. Except, because it was the PS3 version on PS+, the Vita version was considered a 'legitimate' purchase. Meaning once my Plus sub had expired, I can still play the Vita version. Same with Resogun. I can still play Vita version without Plus. Don't know if it worked like this with every cross buy game given away on Plus, but it absolutely has for a few I've noticed.

User avatar
raisinbman
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: September 8th, 2020, 12:22 am

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by raisinbman »

Thats a very interesting angle y'all have presented about letting kids take these on!

User avatar
Jobobonobo
Member
Posts: 358
Joined: July 27th, 2016, 4:30 pm

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by Jobobonobo »

I never played this but it is a pity to hear it did not reach the heights it could have. Playstation had already built a pretty extensive history by the time this was released and I really wonder how this would have turned out if Sony had put as much time and money into this as Nintendo clearly does into Smash Bros. One of the things I always found baffling was some of the fighter choices. Picking the "new" Dante over the more iconic original turned out to be a very poorly aged decision that was influenced more by promotion than historical significance to the Playstation consoles. And I know Bioshock is popular but I would hardly say Big Daddy is the face of Sony. Original Dante, Spyro and Crash would probably have gotten more players, particularly Playstation fans into checking this out. But I can imagine Activision would ask for a very steep price for allowing the latter two an appearance. Would be interesting if they ever gave this a chance again, especially considering we are entering the 5th iteration of Playstation consoles. Enough time, love and an expanded roster that gives fans what they want could turn such a game into the Melee of this series and give Smash some real competition.

User avatar
raisinbman
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: September 8th, 2020, 12:22 am

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by raisinbman »

I kind of hinted at it in my initial post, but the cancelled or rejected character list is actually REALLY interesting and like u said Jo, could've really livened up the game. Ill see if I can find the links when I get home. New Lara croft(2013) was rejected by Crystal dynamics IIRC.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlaySta ... tle_Royale

"Both Abe from the Oddworld series and Dart from The Legend of Dragoon were planned for release as downloadable characters, along with a stage based on Gravity Rush and Journey; however, due to low sales of previous content, development on this content was cancelled."

User avatar
Jobobonobo
Member
Posts: 358
Joined: July 27th, 2016, 4:30 pm

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by Jobobonobo »

Oh, Lara and Abe would have been more than ideal, and characters like Dart would have probably been most player's introduction to him similar to Ness or Roy and Marth before Fire emblem became big in the West. What could have been.

User avatar
raisinbman
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: September 8th, 2020, 12:22 am

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by raisinbman »

wow, seems as if even more chars than I thought were known about to be considered/in development for this game:
-Lara Croft was in talks, but when asked for, Crystal Dynamics wanted to release the new 2013 reboot of the series before striking any such deal:
https://www.gamepur.com/news/10367-lara ... ystal.html
-In an interview, the developers revealed that the NISA were interested in seeing one or more Disgaea characters in the game:
https://juegosadn.eleconomista.es/los-p ... -no-58995/

and in the rumor category:
Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon were requested by SuperBot for the game's base roster, but the requests were denied by Activision.

-Chun-Li (Street Fighter) and Sub-Zero (Mortal Kombat) was just names that a former employee from Superbot saw on a white board possibly was considered, but never was planned for DLC.
https://playstationallstars.fandom.com/ ... LC_Content

Putting the probability of it aside, I think Netherrealm would've been game, yeah.

User avatar
Michiel K
Moderator
Posts: 1222
Joined: October 13th, 2015, 9:37 pm

Re: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Post by Michiel K »

I think the unfortunate design decisions to only make KOs possible via super moves is that you never really "feel" the damage done against your character as the only thing that matters about this is that it allows your opponents to build up their meters. It does not affect your own avatar otherwise, however. At least in most wrestling games, the increasing damage state of your character also increases the KO probability.

I could never escape the sense that things were missing from the game, but that direction in the core mechanics contributed to that feeling the most.

Post Reply