At the beginning of last week, PlayStation All-Star Battle Royal Beta became available for us PlayStation Plus users. I have been pretty excited about this title, so I downloaded it right away and hopped on. I have been playing it all weekend, so without wasting anymore of your time. Let me give my opinion on the PlayStation All-Star Battle Royal Beta.
First things first, lets talk about the characters in the game. There are 6 playable characters available in the beta: Kratos, Sweet Tooth, Fat Princess, Sly Cooper, Radec, and Parappa. I don’t want to complain too much about balance issues because beta is beta; however there are clearly some balance issues that need to be taken care of before this game comes out in 21 days. That is all I will say about the balance issues. Moving on, I do like how they are bringing a lot of characters from all sorts of popular PlayStation games into the game. I loved the Sly Cooper games so much, and getting to play as Sly Cooper again makes me very happy. The character’s animations are done really well. It seems like they have just picked up the characters from their games and dropped them right into this one. Kratos is beating up on Fat Princess just like he beats up on the gods in his own game. I do have some complaints about the characters though. For example, a lot of the special moves that the character’s have are almost the exact same as other characters. Fat princess and Parappa have almost the exact same level 2 special. The only difference is that Fat Princess rides on a chicken, and Parappa rides on a skateboard. It even controls very similarly. Another example is, Sly Cooper’s and Radec’s level 3 specials are almost exactly the same as well. Their level 3 specials are, a target comes over the screen and the player gets to shoot at his enemy’s to kill him. The only difference in their level 3 specials are that Sly Cooper’s special is a sniper whereas Radec’s special is a machine gun. This disheartens me because I would like to see each character’s special be unique. This also makes me really scared that they are going to copy and paste more specials. The beta only has 6 characters. So, if they are copying specials on the 6 characters that they decided to release for beta, are there going to be even more copy cat specials? I just want the characters to feel as unique as they really are.
Enough about the characters, lets go into game play! I want to address the elephant in the room. Yes, It is a lot like Super Smash Brothers. All the normal fighting moves are performed by hitting square, triangle, and circle. You guessed it. Hitting up, down, left, or right makes you perform a different move just like in Super Smash Brothers. There are even items to pick up like in Smash Bros, but there aren’t nearly as many. To be honest, the only difference it that there are 3 levels of special moves that each character has, and that is the only way that you can kill someone. The player charges up the special meter by hitting people with their normal moves. The winner is determined by whoever has the most kills and least deaths at the end. Now, lets talk about why I do not like this. Having a system where the player has to build up a special meter in order to kill someone encourages spamming random moves. Really the only winning strategy in the game is spam all of your moves until you get your special then kill as many people as you can with it. I do not like this. It makes the game play as shallow as my ex-girlfriend. Yes, the player can definitely choose to play a different way than this, but it is clearly the winning strategy. It doesn’t even matter if you get hit because the only thing you have to worry about dodging is other people’s special. You are invincible until someone hits you with their special. This literally makes it a spam fest. Yes, if you spam the same move over and over it does reduce the amount in which your special meter charges up, but it is not enough. The player can still charge up his or her special meter fairly quick by just spamming one move, and that is what most people do. I have gotten several characters past level 40, and it is the same strategy of spamming your moves to win even at that level of play. I know that beta is beta and the game play could change, but this game is less than a month away. This is the core of the game play, and I don’t see it changing.
I would also like to talk a little about the levels in the beta. There are two levels available in the beta. One you are in hell with Hades, and the other one you are in some Racket and Clank city. I really like the Hades level. Hades is a jerk sometimes and makes a shock wave go across the level, which you have to dodge or you will get stunned. That stops the spam fest for a little bit. The level where you are in the Racket and Crank city is really bland, and only changes a little as the level goes on. I can’t really say anything about the levels overall because I have only seen two of them. This is just what I think so far.
In conclusion, I will have to say that I am disappointed in this game. I knew it was going to be a Super Smash Brothers clone, but I didn’t think it was going to be a lot worse than Super Smash Bros. I know this is just beta, but I do not like the core game play of this game, and I doubt they would redo the core of the game play when we are just 21 days from release. I am praying for the game to get better. I wish it was good I really do, but it isn’t. There are still 2 days left in the beta if you would like to try it for yourself. I will keep following this game, and I will be praying for change. I just don’t think this game is headed in the right direction so far.