One thing I didn’t like about All-Stars, and I mentioned it in our review, was its cut-scenes. In the game you simply get images of the characters with voice overs narrating parts of the story. This feels unfinished in many regards, and the game deserves actual cut scenes in order to tell the story. In the middle of arcade mode you come across another character, and they talk with each other and have some interactions. Developing this further would have helped the fluency of the scenes, as well as making things a lot more interesting. We’re not necessarily saying they need big, vibrant cut scenes (although that would be neat, and is a point I explore later), having more than just static images would have felt more polished.
This leads us nicely to our second point. Why did the premise of the story fail to go beyond the ‘I want power’ motive for each character? You have what could easily be the absolute best villain in gaming history (Polygon Man), but fail to capitalize on making it work. The cutscenes explain some random power that everyone wants, but doesn’t further the idea. It doesn’t explain how they heard about the power, where the power came from, where the hell Polygon man came from, or how they got stuck in this new world of characters. I guess somewhere along their adventure the characters came across their ‘rival’ and are now fighting them too; but we shouldn’t have to make these assumptions.
This is where the bigger, more expansive cutscenes could come into play. Something along the lines of Mortal Kombat, where the characters get sent to this universe, find out about the power, and then getting it for themselves would make more sense. Explain more of the story along the way, allowing scope for better understanding of their rivals. Perhaps the Naughty Dog characters are bumping heads because they feel more loved than one another? Then create a team-up scene where they all destroy Polygon man, but restrict the power to one character, whereupon they go on to do good or evil.
Okay, so I’m getting a little over-excited but you have my idea of a story, and you get my point. The game could have depth in all areas beyond the aforementioned too. Unlocking more than costumes or odd figures that cheer you on, maybe more special combo’s or levels and characters etc…
More Characters, less promotions
One thing that really pushed people into wanting a “Super Smash Bros” for Sony was the fact they have so many great characters at their disposal. Whether they are third party or not, Sony commands many characters synonymous with the PlayStation brand. Yet we got hardly any of them, and got stuck with “promotion pieces” for new games. We understand you want to push new products, but are we buying a game here or paying for advertisements?
I think the concept worked, and it worked well. I personally love Metal Gear, but really had no interest in Raiden as a stand alone character until playing All-Stars with him. Now I’m a big fan. That said, there needs to be a good mix between “promotion” and icons. Why was Snake not included at all? If its due to legal issues, then come out and say it. Why did we get stuck with the new Dante when we wanted the old? Couldn’t you include skins or something to nod at the old Dante? Why was Disgaea completely left out when NIS had shown interest in being included in the game?
It doesn’t stack up when you look at it, and the game shouldn’t have been announced until a good majority of these icons were either confirmed or at least being worked on being included. No matter how you paint it, you shouldn’t have the same character for two slots (looking at you Cole McGrath).
Whether you love trophies or not, they are a big part of the gaming world now. They offer a challenge, or something to do to keep the game going on for most people. I love trophies, and because of that I know that fighting games normally come with an insane collection. Yet PS All Stars is probably one of the easiest platinum trophies you will ever earn. You basically just need to play through the game on single player, then get lucky a few times online and you’re done. Simple as that.
Why not add in more complicated trophies, or something that takes a little effort to do? Add length through trophies if your core game is so simplistic.
More Game modes
I personally think the “super” perk adds a whole different twist to things, and above all makes it different from other brawling games. The issue is that some people still want to play ‘the other game’ and can’t. I think having new game modes would add a whole new level of fun to it, and make it more arcade friendly and relate to the other fans. While they did do a great job of perfecting the fighting, there are some levels that can get annoying. People sitting on the edge of maps and shooting across the entire time for example. It would be a lot of fun to be able to jump down and knock them off the map for a point. Or have a health bar when you wanted to. The game is going to be compared to Smash Bros no matter how hard you try to say otherwise, so why not just offer the ability to ‘be similar.’
Overall, I loved PlayStation All-Stars. Personally I haven’t quit playing it since I got it, and can’t wait for future DLC (if it isn’t already canned), but the game can improve. So we want to hear what you think. When Playstation All-Stars 2 releases, what would you like improved?
Perhaps a shorter name to start?