PlayStation All-Stars & Building a Good Smash Clone

What are your thoughts on Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale?

I played it a long time ago, so I’m going off memory now.

It’s competently made, but it doesn’t copy enough from smash or do enough of its own thing to really work.

All the stages with moving parts only go through their transitions once. No looping. So if the match is longer than a certain duration, the stage will end its routine long before that. At least there’s an option to turn off hazards, I wish Smash Bros implemented that without completely shitting the bed like in Smash 4.

Naturally the system for gaining points seems screwed up. You can only kill opponents by using supers, which you gain meter for by hitting them a lot. So you need to hit each other until one of you has meter, then land the super for a point. Strategically it all checks out, you want to hit them, you don’t want to get hit, but something feels really wrong about it, like how you can hit them a ton, but you won’t gain any points without using a super, and you can miss that super, lose your whole meter, and be really far behind.

It’s possible to combo into super with combos resembling something between smash 64 and street fighter alpha 3 juggles, so you can confirm into supers rather than just doing it raw. There’s no DI of any kind, which is why I compared it to smash 64, and knockback angles are a lot more standardized, which is why I compare it to SFA3.

Blocking is possible, but it’s implemented in a way where you don’t really gain advantage out of blocking, so it seemed kind of pointless, though I guess it’s still kind of useful since it’s a block? Also I think that pressing left or right while blocking would change your facing direction instead of triggering a dodge roll. Throws also seem to be implemented weirdly too, but I can’t really remember how.

It has the brawl air dodge because yay, we love the brawl air dodge, don’t we?

The roster wasn’t particularly inspiring. I can’t remember enough about the game to comment on any particular character. What was cool though was they used 3 different face buttons for attacks, so they had 2 special attack buttons effectively, allowing for a wider range of moves on each character.

I think the game overall goes to show that there’s a lot of detail that goes into smash bros that its competitors just don’t take the time to notice or if they do notice it, don’t bother to question why it’s there.

And here’s tournament footage with Juicebox on commentary:

I think the lesson to learn from all the Smash Clones out there is, Nintendo put a ludicrous amount of detail into building Smash Bros. If you want to build a game that is that good, you either gotta sit down and pay attention to every little thing they did right, or strike out on your own path and create as many good game dynamics as they did in your own way. You can’t half-ass it and go inbetween (Brawlout, Rivals, PSASBR). You need to implement as many systems as they did, same or different.

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