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There's been lots of anticipation and skepticism mounting as the release day for Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale gets closer, and many in the community are getting their first real taste of gameplay as the beta opened up to to the public. Folks have been chastising it as a Smash Bros. clone while others have praised it for the same reasons. The beta sheds some light on these allegations.
If you were hoping to play Smash Bros. with Playstation characters, you'll be sorely disappointed. While the general concept is there, the game as a whole is far from a carbon copy, which may be a good or bad thing.
If you've ever played Smash Bros. in your life, be prepared to relearn everything you've ever known. Controls feel unresponsive compared to the quickness of a Smash Bros. match, items are few and far between, and grabbing an opponent won't come naturally anytime soon. It'll take some time to get these down and adjust to a new style of play.
If you didn't already know, each stage is fully enclosed. You won't get kills from knocking opponents off stage or into the sky. Instead, each attack will earn you AP which builds to three levels. Each level corresponds with a super move that, should it make contact with an opponent, will kill them instantly. That is to say it's like they've stripped away everything about Smash Bros. except the Smash Ball, which didn't do much to elevate Brawl beyond Melee as far as anyone I've talked to was concerned. You generate your own Smash Ball, and it can't be knocked out of you, so players hide in the corner when someone gets a level 3 super attack.
This is going to take away some of the party aspect of PASBR. Where one could pick up Smash Bros. and probably get a couple of kills on those unlucky enough to wander into a stray smash attack with 100%+ damage, players who don't play enough to master a super attack will likely come out of matches with nothing to show for it. The game will definitely find its market among more dedicated fans.
It's exciting to see legitimately violent characters in the game. We only get six for the beta, but there's something about crushing opponents with Kratos that just feels right.
So I mean to pass no judgement. This is still a beta, for one thing (though a rather late one – we'll likely only see bug fixes between now and release), but it's also important to consider that Sony never promised a Smash Bros. clone. Of course, they must've seen the comparisons coming, and it will be interesting to see how the game is received considering Nintendo's staunch history with the brawler formula.
Until release, Sony did release a live-action commercial. So watch, play the beta for yourself, and drop comments below!