In a recent tweet, Sid Shuman revealed that the launch lineup of PS All-stars has been entirely revealed. Given that the tweet is still located on Sid Shuman’s twitter home page, this does not appear to be a marketing mistake nor a lie. From this, we can assume that he’s telling the truth–the entire cast has been revealed, and we’ll have to use the cards we’ve been dealt. However, this cast of characters hardly lives up to the hype surrounding the game, and combined with the mixed reception surrounding the Super Smash Bros look-alike, the announcement could sound a pre-emptive death toll for PS All-stars.
The cast of characters isn’t small–featuring notable characters such as Sweet Tooth, Kratos, Nathan Drake, and Jak and Daxter. However, it is lacking something that its Nintendo counterpart actually has–a few third-party characters to liven up the crowd. Many of the more appropriate battle-oriented characters accessible to a Sony company are still strangely absent from the game. I refuse to believe that major companies like Square Enix and Ubisoft would sit out a game like this, unless they saw the game as garbage from their more advantageous vantage point.
Of course, that’s assuming that the launch characters are the only characters available on the disc. They could still pull a fast-one and have unlockable characters, but let’s be honest: any new characters will probably pop up in the form of DLC. Many of the top fan picks are oddly absent from the launch lineup, so it would make sense that they would use DLC to charge fans for access to these characters. It’s guaranteed to be successful since everyone wants those characters, right? While the quality members of the current cast can’t be denied their spot, some of the more prominent Playstation exclusive characters are missing from the roster.
The worst part is that the roster of characters was the only thing keeping the game from divulging into a knock-off of Super Smash Bros. Like its Nintendo counterpart, each character has their own unique set of melee or ranged attacks, drawing from the games they appear in. However, unlike Super Smash Bros, you must conserve your energy in order to make more powerful attacks. This means that you won’t always have access to special moves, leading me to believe that Smash Bros has more diverse gameplay. While it’s interesting that you can charge up to deal more attacks, how often will you really be able to do that in a game that centers around your character dying? If someone manages to gain the advantage, they will likely keep it as the game goes on.
Ultimately PS All-stars is an imitation, and the current cast of characters doesn’t live up to the hype. It doesn’t have the all-out melee charm of the game that inspired it, and the locations that were previewed in its trailers and gameplay videos were lacking, to say the least. The graphics difference between the different games that appear in PS All-stars gives it a jarring feel–and I’m not talking about the appearance of the different characters from different series, but the way the same characters appear across two titles. The hydra from the God of War stage looked like a plastic mess compared to the original game, showing that the developers couldn’t capture the game’s aura despite massive funding from Sony. This game appears to be building up into one great, big disappointment. Although its initial announcement set off hype across the internet, we know there’s nothing to be excited about anymore. Oh well, perhaps the inevitable sequel will serve up a better plate?