What an odd thing this PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale has become. Here we have something that on appearances seems to be a Smash Bros. clone (even if the developers refuse to acknowledge it). It is an interesting game to look at on paper and analyze how it will affect the market, but the question remains whether it can live up to it’s inspiration.
Sony has by far the most diverse portfolio of games in this business. So when a game like Battle Royale comes along and doesn’t seem to get the attention that the Sony brand can bring, then something just isn’t right. With the game coming only a few short months from now, I’m not sure there is much to do to boost confidence in the game, but conjecture is fun anyway.
With such a small list of characters revealed so far, there is so much potential in what new characters could spice the game up with. Here are some ideas on who could help sell Battle Royale.
I understand that female representation in video games is hard to come by. The first and only female character in this game however shouldn’t be Fat Princess. If there is anything that Sony has showcased, it’s that they are proactive with females in games and game development through their G.I.R.L. scholarship. To sit behind and have Fat Princess as the default female is a little ridiculous.
Lest anyone forget, Sony is the one that debuted one of gaming’s strongest females in Lara Croft. Sony has time and time again promoted strong female protagonists like Nariko from Heavenly Sword and Firiona Vie from Everquest and still does so with upcoming games like Beyond: Two Souls. Seriously, no love for Kat from Gravity Rush right now?
There are a great number of excellent female representatives in Sony’s backlog. Hand picking a character like Fat Princess to showcase over one like Jeanne d’Arc is a bit silly to me.
More 3rd Party
Two 3rd party characters have been revealed for Battle Royale. Heihachi Mishima of Tekken fame and Big Daddy of Bioshock fame. You have the strongest cross promotional 3rd Party Sony character the company has ever had and Xbox 360’s 2007 game of the year representing the 3rd party so far.
Unfortunately, Heihachi is an old trick used in Soul Calibur II and the crossover game Street Fighter X Tekken. Sure Tekken has had their toes in Sony’s sandbox since the beginning, but there are plenty of colorful Tekken characters that could have made the journey. Ones with more impact.
Really though this is only the beginning. Sony made their name with courting 3rd party development studios from Nintendo. Studios like Squaresoft, Konami, Enix and many many others. I’m not saying the game has to include Cloud or Tidus from Final Fantasy, but I know a lot of people would support that. Mostly because those characters have been representative of quality Sony products.
Bringing in Sony Santa Monica studios did a lot to give this game credibility in the name, however there is still some doubts newbie developer SuperBot Entertainment can’t live down. Bringing in outside development studios with a long history of excellence only adds to this game.
More Cross Promotion
When Solid Snake appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I had an issue with it. Here we had a character who hasn’t made a fresh appearance on a Nintendo console since the Game Boy, being added to the one Nintendo title that was a true love letter to Nintendo consoles. It irked me because Sony has been the home console for the entirety of the Metal Gear Solid franchise.
It is with this train of thought that I wondered if the Nintendo could have Snake, ideally Sony should have Raiden. Raiden’s Rising will be coming to PS3’s soon and that would be a great way to highlight the character. As would any number of newer titles like the Last Guardian, Final Fantasy X HD’s Tidus, Teddy from Persona’s upcoming games and even Dante from DMC. These are all big games for 2012 and 2013 that could do for some cross promotion.
Sony has many titles in the pipeline from 3rd party and 1st party studios. Showcasing the games might not be such a bad idea.
Simply put, Sony’s Japan Studio is one of the most interesting production studios in the world. These are the guys who have made or are responsible for Demon’s Souls, Shadow of the Colossus, Patapon, Gravity Rush, Ape Escape, Rogue Galaxy and Siren. Lots of great games without any representation above. In fact, only two characters so far from the Battle Royale list were created by Japanese developers. Three if you can stretch to count Mainichi Issho as a game. Just like Heihachi before, Toro’s surprise had already been ruined by the crossover title Street Fighter X Tekken.
So that leaves a long list of titles that Sony owns that are completely left out of this equation. That doesn’t even include the great number of exclusive developers like Nippon Ichi that develop for the company. Katamari Damacy has always been a PlayStation darling. To have a Japanese company create an all-star list of characters without many Japanese names is really hard to see.
A western developer is creating PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and it really feels like it.
How many of you recognize that character above? Probably not many. For a lot of us older folks, this was one of the first games we ever owned for Sony’s PlayStation. Meet Robbit from a little game known as Jumping Flash!
When Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out 4 years ago, it was released as a love letter not only to current games, but to those of the past. Collectible trophies, stickers and levels from ages long past were represented throughout. So far we have seen very little of this. In fact, the most interesting thing that I have seen of this game comes from Parappa the Rapper. His stage is by far the coolest looking one I’ve seen and that is because it is an homage to what I grew up with. It looks different and this game needs that right now.
In official screenshots I can’t even see any difference between the Helghast and Nathan Drake. That’s because in all this brown and gray, there are few characters with any of the color that the previous generations produced. Crash Bandicoot or Spyro the Dragon never had these issues.
Many of the greatest franchises in gaming began on the PlayStation. Some aren’t as prevalent today, but many identify those characters as Sony games. Branch out and throw a little Wild Arms or Alundra to some of the more faithful PlayStation owners.
Punch is what PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale really needs. Yeah we all love those gritty anti-heroes Kratos and Cole Macgrath, but there is so much on this platter that this roster seems a bit shallow so far in its attempt. Shake things up with a character like Sir Daniel Fortesque for goodness sakes.
Of course this might be all on deaf ears. Right now this game is probably in fine tuning. However, a man can dream of the day when Gitaroo Man shows up out of nowhere to crack Sweet Tooth in the sweet tooth with his guitar. There are still 3 months until the title is released so there are plenty of dates to reveal more info.
Even if there is nothing more than Ratchet and Clank left to reveal, there is always the potential for DLC. Right?
I gotta believe!