Average User Score: 7.3Mar 6, 2013Embarrassingly devoid of features, Playstation All-stars is just begging to be compared to the Super Smash Bros. series. And it comes acrossEmbarrassingly devoid of features, Playstation All-stars is just begging to be compared to the Super Smash Bros. series. And it comes across as mediocre on most accounts.
The Combat Mechanics are one-dimensional; build your super meter. The extent to which strategy really comes into play, is only whether or not you will try to save your Supers for level 2 or 3 attacks, with varying degrees of success. The characters are fairly balanced, but the lack of health or anything else besides connecting with a super feels stale.
Additionally, the gameplay mechanics that _are_ well conceived suffer from identity crisis. The regular attacks seem to be made for a different game in mind; not the that ensues during a 4-player free for all. And with no online 1-on-1 matching, this is painfully evident. Playstation All-Stars shines best when playing in 2-on-2 team matches; the weaknesses in design are most mitigated, and the strengths come through the most brightly.
The character roster is great (although Raiden standing in where Snake should be, and DmC's Dante standing in where the Classic Dante ought to be it's an opaque reminder that this game is standing beneath the shadows of Super Smash Bros and Marvel vs. Capcom). High notes go to Big Daddy, Kratos, Heihachi, Cole, and others, who fit in wonderfully into the game's theming. While there is some design issues with the juxtaposition between realistic and cartoonish characters (and especially_ backgrounds), the overall theme works well.
Where this game crumbles, for me, is the utter lack of features and incentives to continue playing. "unlockables" are limited to entirely meaningless pattern design options for your online "battle card." While these options are entirely welcome, they are at best a side dish. Yet they make up the majority of what you will be "unlocking." The other unlockables are alternate entrance/victory poses and music themes. These are also welcome; but lest we forget, Heihachi has been doing alternate entrance victory animations since 1994's Tekken. Each character does get an additional costume, which is the only really substantial unlockable. All of these are unlocked by simply _playing the game_. each character "ranks up" the more you play him. Adding insult to the injury, additional costumes have been released as paid dlc.
Playstation All-Stars is most noticeably lacking in game modes; online ranked/random matches, offline versus, Story, and tutorial. There are no "interesting" diversions among them. The greatest offender _by_far_ is the Story mode. A few still image panels act as the character's intro; a few still image panels act as the character's ending. The "writing" is atrocious, even by Fighting game standards. the opportunity to capitalize on character personality interaction is severely unfulfilled. Every match in the mode is uninspired and non-unique. Each character has one "rival match" with another; it amounts to a 20 second cutscene and meaningless dialogue. After the fight, there isn't even a "resolution" scene of meaningless dialogue. The final boss, while _arguably_ creative, in actual execution is literally just a few clone characters that resemble Smash Bros.'s Polygon team.
And speaking of Smash bros.; it is hard not to draw comparison. Specifically in features. The N64's 13 year old Super Smash Bros. has more more varied story mode (with target breaking, multiple kirby matches, etc). All-Stars has none of it. SSB: Melee has _considerably_ more variety and interesting things to do; a game more than a decade older than All-Stars.
It's alarming how quickly you will reach the "wait... That's it?" moment with this game. Unless you are type of gamer who enjoys repetitive online multiplayer battles _as_their_own_reward_, then rent this game to experience it for a time, and move on.
A _generous_ six out of ten.… Expand