Review: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale doesn’t miss a punch on the Vita

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale on VitaPlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. The game takes 20-plus iconic characters (mostly from Sony exclusive franchises) and pits them all together in a fighting game. For Sony fans, it’s a must have on PlayStation 3. But what about the Vita?

PlayStation All-Stars features the Cross-Play option, allowing Vita and PS3 owners to play together in these rumbles. And thanks to Sony’s Cross-Buy promotion, it doesn’t cost a bit of extra to own it on Vita. That’s right, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is free on the Vita once you purchase it on the PS3; so why not give it a shot?

That’s exactly what I did, and I am happy to report that the game is just as enjoyable on the Vita as it is on the PS3. Whether playing in local AdHoc or through Wi-Fi, the same fast-paced excitement is present as you duke it out in a rush to fill your Super meter.

For those unfamiliar, PlayStation All-Stars differs from Smash Bros. in that you don’t actually deal out damage to hurt the other player. Rather, the damage you do to the opponent goes into a Super meter bar. Once filled, you can cast your Super, which basically functions as a special move to eliminate the enemies. Using your Super is the ONLY way you can eliminate them. Each character has three different types of Super, scaling in power the higher you go (though it takes longer to get to the second or third level). This creates a sort of mini-meta game as you must decide whether to blow your Level-1 Super or continue saving.

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Supers are a neat little tweak on PlayStation All-Star‘s gameplay, but it’s hardly revolutionary. In fact, I’d argue that the system is somewhat flawed as it encourages just an all-out offensive brawl. There’s no real penalty for getting hit a lot, except that you add to their Super meter (which they can even miss when casting). This removes any real sense of hesitation and instead leads to chaotic brawling. If that’s your style, then you might enjoy it, but I prefer the back and forth between offense and defense.

Needless to say, combat on the Vita holds up well when compared to the console. It’s just as fluid and quick as you’d expect and maintains the 60 frames per second speed through most matches. It also handles the interactive, changing environments smoothly with little or no lag. Furthermore, the Vita’s controls are just fine for the fighter. There’s no real loss by not playing with a controller in hand.

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The graphics aren’t quite as crisp as its console counterpart, but they are still damn good. I still remain disappointed in the characters individual stories, as they are mostly told through still images instead of animated cinemas. Then again, the stories exist just to loosely tie together the fact that all these characters from different franchises are somehow in a fighting tournament.

All in all, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is a solid fighter for the Vita. If you already own it for the PS3, then there should really be no hesitation in you trying it out. After all, it’s free! For those who only own a Vita, you won’t be disappointed with PlayStation All-Stars. The fast-paced, frantic gameplay is just as fun on-the-go as it is sitting on your couch at home.

Final Score: 8/10

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