Last week, without much fanfare at all, a game titled Playstation All-Star Battle Royale was announced for the PS3. Once you struggle past the exceptionally longwinded title, the game at its core is Super Smash Bros. using Playstation exclusive characters.
The comparisons to Nintendo’s version are obvious once you watch the game in action (below). It’s the same concept, the same style and I’m guessing it plays pretty similar as well. As such, people are calling it a shameless rip-off, attempting to capitalize on the success of another game.
To that I say, poppycock. Yes, poppycock.
The industry is all about building on ideas from past games. Should we have killed the FPS genre to ensure no one ripped off Doom? Should we have left platformers to Mario alone? So long as you’re not Zynga and cloning entire games line for line, there is nothing wrong with taking a good concept for game and making it your own.
In fact, I’ve previously wondered out loud why it was that no one had ever attempted a fighting game in the style of Smash Bros. Practically everyone will admit that each of the three installments has been one of the best titles for each of their respective systems, and I’m shocked it’s taken this long for someone to follow suit.
Yeah, it looks familiar, but so what?
I applaud Sony for finally organizing a title like this. For as much as I used to mock them for a relatively lackluster selection of exclusive titles, now that I own the system, there really are a lot to choose from. The character revealed so far are Kratos (duh), Parappa the Rapper, Sly Cooper, Fat Princess, Sweet Tooth and Mael Radec from Killzone. Obvious additions that should be announced at some point hopefully would be Jak, Ratchet, Crash Bandicoot, Sackboy, Spyro, Nathan Drake and Cole McGrath from Infamous. Those names alone would be all you needed for an effective roster. Rumor has it a few third party characters might join up as well.
Simply put, this is awesome. At least in theory. Smash Bros. games work because their mechanics are phenomenal, not just because there are a lot of recognizable characters onscreen. The game still has to function as an effective fighter. I’m a bit worried because they do seem to be using the traditional “lifebar” style, rather than Smash Bros. “get them off the edges of the screen” system. If they adopted that, maybe they were afraid the “ripoff” cries would have been louder, but that’s the one mechanic that I think made Smash Bros. the great game it was, and I’m not sure you can lose it altogether.
I’m pretty surprised this wasn’t announced at E3, but more information is supposedly going to be revealed there. Hopefully that includes a new name because “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Even just cutting the “all-stars” would be a vast improvement if you ask me.
Heavenly Sword! I forgot about that game.
So no, I don’t think this is a rip-off, and anyone who knows anything about game development history should realize that nearly every game released is inspired by something else. Just because Nintendo did an all-star fighting game first, Sony can’t?
Your turn Microsoft. Though I vote you make yours a multiplayer shooter so we can have Master Chief vs. Marcus Fenix vs. uhhh, hm. Maybe Microsoft is the one lacking viable exclusives for a game like this.
Good work Sony, I hope this lives up to its promise.