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The most fun game I played at E3 2012: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

13 June 2012

I feel the need to get this off my chest immediately: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is not a rip-off of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros., so please, please stop going off about that. Are they similar? Yes. Heck, is Sony totally going for the Smash Bros. vibe? Yes! But why is that a bad thing?

What game isn’t inspired by another game nowadays? Wasn’t Smash Bros. kind of like Power Stone? Aren’t Call of Duty and Battlefield the same game? Don’t you wish more superhero games were exactly like Batman: Arkham City? You buy and love these games, so please, lay off the “rip-off” comments. As far as I’m concerned, Nintendo dropped the ball with Smash Bros. Brawl, so that should make us all even more supportive of Sony and SuperBot to pick up right where Nintendo left off.

I played it on the show floor, I played it at Sony’s meeting room, I played it on the Vita, and I played it again upstairs at the VIP section of Sony’s massive PlayStation booth. I literally ran to an appointment--which I was late for--due to spending too much time playing Battle Royale. But what does this mean? Why does this matter? Well, because about two weeks ago, I was so skeptical that PlayStation All-Stars wouldn’t hit the right notes with me.

SuperBot Entertainment didn’t only prove me wrong; they managed to completely sell me on the game and make me wish I was playing it with my buddies right now.

I played a lot of great games during E3 2012 last week. Some of them were even my most anticipated games: Assassin’s Creed 3, Dust 514, Borderlands 2, and even The Unfinished Swan. But there was only one game that I literally had to walk away from because I was spending too much time playing it: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

Which brings me back to my point: Super Smash Bros. was an awesome game, and no company has done that “genre” justice – or even successfully tried – since. When you played Smash Bros., didn’t you ask yourself: “why doesn’t every company do this? This is such an awesome idea.” Well now SuperBot steps up to the plate, shows the internet that it’s not only possible to capture that same fun and intensity that Smash Bros. did, but perhaps go a step further and build on it, and they immediately get criticized for “ripping off Nintendo”? Sorry – and mind my language – but that’s bullshit.

I’m a big Smash Bros. fan, trust me. Heck, I even bought my Wii the day Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out. And to be honest, that’s part of the reason why I was so skeptical towards PS All-Stars. I didn’t know if SuperBot could capture that competitive, skill-based action that pulled me into Smash Brothers. Initial trailers showed me that you couldn’t smash opponents off-stage, and there was no edge-guarding. I wondered if your opponents would have health bars instead, and that worried me.

Watch the video above if you would like a better understanding, but in order to win a round in All-Stars, you need to score more points than every other player by the end of a match. In order to score points, you must defeat other players by using your “supers” – which are essentially character-specific special attacks – on them. This is where things get really fun.

The brilliant part is that you’re constantly trying to land attacks to build you super meter – not wither down a health bar. Once you fill your super meter, you can pull off your level 1, 2, or 3 special moves, depending on how much meter you have saved up. This is the only way to “kill” enemies and score points, so you’ll want to make sure that when you hit R2 (to imitate your super attack), it counts.

I can’t tell you how much fun I was having watching some of these supers. When a player initiates a level 3 super, you get a full-on mid-fight cut-scene (think Super Street Fighter 4 “ultras”) before it unleashes chaos on your opponents. Level 3 supers are just brutal, and what’s even cooler is that every character has their own unique supers that you’ll have to master and learn to use in each respective stage you’re playing on.

What surprised me even more is that Sony announced Big Daddy coming to the game. That means that it won’t necessarily have to include Sony-owned characters. If that doesn’t excite you, you’re probably dead. I even threw together a top-ten list of Sony-owned characters that I’d love to see included in Battle Royale, and now they’re telling me that there might be more non-PlayStation fan-favorite characters?

Instant erection.

So anyway, do I sound like I’m overly-excited for the game? If I do, just remember what I said in my opening: until last week, I was just as skeptical as some of the harshest critics out there. What’s more is that SuperBot Entertainment hasn’t even shown us the single-player component to the game, which they promise will have character-specific cut-scenes and stories.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale might not be perfect; it might not even be very good. But the fact remains: it’s the most fun game I played at E3, and I find myself counting down the days until I can play more.


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