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PlayStation All-Star Battle Royale: Really, though? (preview)

This week, Sony announced a new title for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation All-Star Battle Royale, in which classic PlayStation characters (Radec from Killzone, Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal, Sly Cooper, Fat Princess, and Parappa are the ones they showcased in the demo) duke it out for the ultimate all-star title.

This concept may remind gamers of a certain game (pretend you’re saying it with me even though you’re not): Super Smash Bros. The demo bares more than a slight similarity to the Nintendo hit. The camera is side-scroller-esque, the characters each carry their own quirky abilities, and the maps are dynamic in ways very similar to Super Smash Bros. Brawl (SSBB).

PlayStation All-Star Battle Royale is not a direct rip-off of SSBB; while the game borrows heavily from Nintendo’s game, it also boasts a few different features. First off is “Super”: At the bottom of the screen, each character has his or her own Super meter, which fills up throughout the battle and hits three different levels. Each level is a different attack — you can use your Level 1 Super or wait for your meter to hit Level 3 to use a significantly more powerful assault.

Each character’s attacks are personal to him. For instance, Fat Princess’ Supers involve summoning villagers to fight for her. And this personalization extends as far as replacing Sly Cooper’s normal block with his ability to become invisible.

The maps are pretty adorable in their own right. The favorite seems to be Hades from God of War, who is under siege by Patapon. The other three maps they introduced were all mash-ups as well, including Metropolis (Ratchet and Clank/God of War), Dreamscape (Little Big Planet/Buzz), and Sandover (Jak and Daxter/Hot Shot).

However, the developer seems to be ignoring the giant elephant in the room: Are the PlayStation characters featured actually classic enough to warrant a game where its success is based on gamers’ nostalgia for the characters?

For instance, how does our love for Fat Princess compare at all to our love of Princess Peach or Princess Zelda? It doesn’t. You could be the biggest Twisted Metal fan in the world, and Battle Royale would probably not be nearly as fun as the car-exploding excitement of the actual game. This button-masher, scheduled for release sometime during the holidays, seems like it will end up a novelty for collectors and, unfortunately for Sony, a dust-collector.

Watch the full video outlining the game below:


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