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Nickelodeon All Star Brawl Assessment – Destructoid

Now we watch for Garfield

I really feel considerably sorry for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Following its large reveal over the summer season, it had a number of stable weeks of anticipation and hype-building because the world obtained a glimpse of a platform fighter that regarded legitimately good, that includes characters from a few of the reveals most of us grew up with. Individuals had been genuinely enthusiastic about it. After which, on the day it launched, Nintendo determined to do its remaining Tremendous Smash Bros. Final tune and dance and reveal Kingdom Hearts’ Sora because the final DLC character for the sport. Following that, there was nary a peep about All-Star Brawl on social media.

It is a disgrace as a result of, regardless of all the percentages, it’s really a fairly good fighter.

Nickelodeon All Star Brawl review

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Swap [reviewed], Xbox One, Xbox Collection X|S)
Developer: Ludosity, Honest Play Labs
Writer: GameMill Leisure
Launched: October 5, 2021
MSRP: $49.99

In a method, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl defies the percentages. Here’s a licensed recreation, printed by GameMill Leisure, that’s of the platform fighter style, which has seen many titles come and go over the previous twenty years. Everybody needs a chunk of the Smash Bros. pie, however only a few have had the self-discipline and tenacity to really warrant a slice. With another developer, this might need been simply one other forgettable GameMill title your grandmum buys you for the vacations. However with Slap Metropolis developer Ludosity on the helm, assisted by Honest Play Labs, it’s price listening to.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl brings collectively 20 characters from about 30 years of Nickelodeon historical past to struggle it out on battlefields impressed by their respective reveals. It’s a dream come true for a sure subset of followers who lastly get to see Ren & Stimpy duke it out with Reptar, Sandy Cheeks, and whoever the hell Lincoln Loud is. As is the norm for the style, the purpose isn’t to whittle down your opponent’s well being bar however quite to do sufficient injury as a way to blast them off the display screen.

The precise combating mechanics listed here are very simple to be taught. Every character has weak, robust, and particular assaults that change relying on if you happen to’re urgent up or down — leaping is mapped to the X button, accurately — in addition to in case you are working, leaping, or standing nonetheless. In whole, each character has about 17 completely different assault inputs, in addition to block, taunt, seize, and air sprint capabilities. One large distinction from Smash is you aren’t assured a straightforward combo along with your normal weak assault. Some characters, like Sandy, do have a brief combo if you happen to maintain urgent the button. Others, like Patrick and Danny Phantom, don’t.

I discovered that the arduous method, instantly taking part in by way of the arcade mode on its second-highest problem considering I’d simply dominate this recreation with my 20+ years of Smash expertise. That wasn’t the case as I actually needed to get in there and examine these characters. I discovered ones I like (April O’Neil, Helga Pataki, Sandy Cheeks) and a few I simply haven’t been capable of mesh with but (Danny Phantom, Zim). With 20 obtainable characters, most gamers ought to be capable to discover one which matches their play fashion. When you like ‘em robust and gradual, Reptar is a wonderful selection. When you want ’em lean and limber, Aang is your man. Or, if you happen to simply wish to be low cost like the general public I fought on-line, decide Catdog.

When you actually get into the combating and wish to take your expertise to the subsequent stage, there are alternatives at your disposal to get you there. Whereas there isn’t a very good tutorial to point out you every character’s transfer set exterior of a scrollable record, you may go into the coaching mode right here and see the assaults in motion body by body. You possibly can even activate the hitbox indicator to point out you the attain and scale of every assault. If Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is to be an esport-worthy platform fighter, having a characteristic like that may assist get it there.

In truth, I can’t shake the sensation that All-Star Brawl is aiming to be some form of Melee different, one thing that may be performed at Evo with out damaged controllers or the concern of Nintendo sending within the legal professionals to close it down. And I believe that’s an admirable purpose if that’s the case right here. However in aiming for the extra aggressive aspect of the platform fighter neighborhood, All-Star Brawl has left the extra informal, party-game scene behind.

Nickelodeon All Star Brawl review

Don’t neglect, it doesn’t matter what Smash is as we speak, it was a celebration recreation again on the Nintendo 64. It was the combating model of Mario Kart. Whereas I do know there’s the stereotype that Smash gamers are all “No gadgets, Fox solely, Remaining Vacation spot,” each time I’ve individuals over to play, we’re turning on all gadgets and taking part in on probably the most ridiculously massive levels obtainable. It’s simply how we roll.

All-Star Brawl has a number of massive levels and you may play with as much as three different individuals domestically, however that’s the extent that it reaches when it comes to being a celebration recreation. There are not any gadgets or weapons right here, the collectibles you get are awful, and even the single-player arcade mode limits you to 1v1 fights. There are not any particular battles towards an enormous Nigel Thornberry or steel Powdered Toast Man or something of the kind that will add some selection to the package deal. There are additionally no extra single-player challenges right here, so combating is admittedly all you’re going to be doing. You possibly can play the sports activities mode, the place you compete towards different gamers to hit or throw a ball by way of a purpose, however you in all probability gained’t after the primary few instances.

With such a very good combating system in place, it’s disgrace that the whole lot round it’s holding the sport again from its true potential. And that’s one thing that shouldn’t shock us. In spite of everything, that is nonetheless a recreation funded by GameMill Leisure. There are going to be some corners reduce, like with the shortage of voice performing, one thing that didn’t turn out to be an issue for me till the sport insisted on having the characters chat earlier than every struggle. Among the different omissions are fairly questionable. As an illustration, there are not any alternate colours for when a couple of individual picks the identical character. All you may have is the icon above the opponent’s head that you just’re anticipated to maintain monitor of.

Nickelodeon All Star Brawl screenshot

I additionally need to query the hitboxes for a few of these characters. As I found proper out the gate, some fighters like April O’Neil and Patrick can hit individuals with their fundamental weak assault even when placing in the other way. I do know there are some characters with strikes which are speculated to hit to their left and proper, however I don’t assume a ahead jab ought to hit someone behind you simply because your foot steps again.

Whereas I hope that may get labored out with updates, one place the place I’m very happy with All-Star Brawl is with the stage choice. There are 20 levels in whole, one for every character, and some of them are deep cuts. Seeing Showdown at Teeter Totter Gulch make the record for Reptar was an absolute delight for this lifelong Rugrats fan. I even love the format of Powdered Toast Bother with its frying pan stage hazard and milk bowl deaths. Among the stage layouts are straight rips from what you could find in Smash Final, however I believe the builders did a wonderful job forging their very own path for many of them.

Apart from House Insanity. That one’s simply terrible.

Nickelodeon All Star Brawl screenshot

If there’s one space the place All-Star Brawl stands head and shoulders above Smash Final, it’s in its on-line play. Admittedly, there isn’t a lot right here when it comes to choices. You could have a fast play mode, ranked mode, and a customized foyer system that I nonetheless haven’t been capable of finding anybody in. Each fast play and ranked are 1v1, and in ranked mode, you may solely select from the 4 levels which are most “Smash-like” of their design. That latter level could also be disappointing, nevertheless it’s negligible when the web play is that this good.

Even with a wi-fi connection to my router — which, keep in mind, is the one possibility for individuals taking part in this on a Swap Lite — I’d wager about 85% of my on-line matches had been extremely clean and responsive. Sure, I did have some sputtering classes when taking part in towards individuals with terrible connections, however general, All-Star Brawl’s on-line works higher than something I’ve ever skilled with the Smash collection.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is clearly in no place to take the platform fighter throne proper now, however I believe the groups at Ludosity and Honest Play Labs have created an excellent blueprint for what might be a really nice franchise. If Tremendous Smash Bros. is a celebration of all issues Nintendo, I don’t see why an All-Star Brawl 2 couldn’t be a celebration of all issues Nickelodeon. I believe it’s attainable with the correct quantity of money and time, and I hope this recreation is profitable sufficient to persuade GameMill to spend money on a sequel that might be actually spectacular.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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