Nickelodeon All Star Brawl Assessment – Destructoid



Now we look ahead to Garfield
I really feel considerably sorry for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Following its massive 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 number of the reveals most of us grew up with. Folks have been genuinely enthusiastic about it. After which, on the day it launched, Nintendo determined to do its closing 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 chances, it’s really a reasonably good fighter.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Swap [reviewed], Xbox One, Xbox Sequence X|S)Developer: Ludosity, Honest Play LabsPublisher: GameMill EntertainmentReleased: October 5, 2021MSRP: $49.99
In a approach, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl defies the chances. 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 20 years. Everybody desires 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 may 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 taking note of.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl brings collectively 20 characters from about 30 years of Nickelodeon historical past to battle 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 aim isn’t to whittle down your opponent’s well being bar however moderately to do sufficient harm with the intention to blast them off the display.
The precise combating mechanics listed below are very simple to be taught. Every character has weak, sturdy, and particular assaults that modify relying on when you’re urgent up or down — leaping is mapped to the X button, appropriately — in addition to in case you are operating, leaping, or standing nonetheless. In whole, each character has about 17 totally different assault inputs, in addition to block, taunt, seize, and air sprint capabilities. One massive distinction from Smash is you aren’t assured a simple combo together with your normal weak assault. Some characters, like Sandy, do have a brief combo when you maintain urgent the button. Others, like Patrick and Danny Phantom, don’t.

I discovered that the onerous approach, instantly enjoying by the arcade mode on its second-highest problem pondering I might 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 in a position to mesh with but (Danny Phantom, Zim). With 20 obtainable characters, most gamers ought to have the ability to discover one which matches their play fashion. When you like ‘em sturdy and sluggish, Reptar is a advantageous alternative. When you favor ’em lean and limber, Aang is your man. Or, when you simply wish to be low-cost like most people I fought on-line, choose Catdog.
When you actually get into the combating and wish to take your expertise to the following stage, there are alternatives at your disposal to get you there. Whereas there isn’t tutorial to point out you every character’s transfer set exterior of a scrollable listing, 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 actual fact, 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 worry of Nintendo sending within the legal professionals to close it down. And I believe that’s an admirable aim 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.

Don’t overlook, it doesn’t matter what Smash is at present, it was a celebration recreation again on the Nintendo 64. It was the combating model of Mario Kart. Whereas I do know there may be the stereotype that Smash gamers are all “No objects, Fox solely, Closing Vacation spot,” each time I’ve individuals over to play, we’re turning on all objects and enjoying on essentially the most ridiculously massive phases obtainable. It’s simply how we roll.
All-Star Brawl has a couple of massive phases and you’ll play with as much as three different individuals regionally, however that’s the extent that it reaches when it comes to being a celebration recreation. There are not any objects 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 in opposition to a large Nigel Thornberry or metallic Powdered Toast Man or something of the type that may add some selection to the package deal. There are additionally no further single-player challenges right here, so combating is actually all you’re going to be doing. You possibly can play the sports activities mode, the place you compete in opposition to different gamers to hit or throw a ball by a aim, however you in all probability received’t after the primary few occasions.
With such combating system in place, it’s disgrace that all the things 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 lower, like with the shortage of voice appearing, one thing that didn’t develop into an issue for me till the sport insisted on having the characters chat earlier than every battle. Among the different omissions are fairly questionable. As an example, there are not any alternate colours for when multiple particular person picks the identical character. All you’ve gotten is the icon above the opponent’s head that you just’re anticipated to maintain observe of.

I additionally should 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 primary weak assault even when placing in the wrong way. I do know there are some characters with strikes which are speculated to hit to their left and proper, however I don’t suppose a ahead jab ought to hit any person 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 phases in whole, one for every character, and some of them are deep cuts. Seeing Showdown at Teeter Totter Gulch make the listing for Reptar was an absolute delight for this lifelong Rugrats fan. I even love the format of Powdered Toast Hassle with its frying pan stage hazard and milk bowl deaths. Among the stage layouts are straight rips from what you will discover in Smash Final, however I believe the builders did a advantageous job forging their very own path for many of them.
Aside from Area Insanity. That one’s simply terrible.

If there may be 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’ve 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 phases 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, bear in mind, is the one possibility for individuals enjoying this on a Swap Lite — I’d wager about 85% of my on-line matches have been extremely clean and responsive. Sure, I did have some sputtering periods when enjoying in opposition to individuals with terrible connections, however general, All-Star Brawl’s on-line works higher than something I’ve ever skilled with the Smash sequence.
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 doable 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.]