The Complex: PlayStation All-Stars and the Months After
Here we are, a whole bulk of months after the release of PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale with tons of DLC added to the mix and I barely see people play, watch, or talk about it. What happened?
Well a factor of things actually. From the get-go, the moment the game was announced it was already facing an uphill battle of being compared to Super Smash Bros. We live in a time where a lot of games go unnoticed or get extremely scrutinized for having element of games that are classics or make some change to how we play or like games. I have no doubt in my mind that Sony and the former studio that owned All-Stars, SuperBot Entertainment saw this coming. Yet they couldn’t properly prepare for the oncoming storm of comparisons. That was the first major blow to the impact of the game on the market. Especially since Nintendo announced an upcoming Super Smash Bros. U on it’s way.
Honestly though, a lot of games bounced back from such things and became massive successes. Another thing All-Stars was struggling with in terms of the fans and consumers eyes was the roster. Not only was the roster a mixed bag to some but other than Kratos, Sackboy, and a few others, it didn’t have the same impact and stride going for it like Nintendo’s heavyweight did. The lack of strong flagship characters was not all Sony’s fault though partly. The biggest characters people wanted were Spyro and Crash Bandicoot (both IPs which were sold off). Once IPs like that are sold off it’s really hard to get to use them back unless you have some forward agreement with the new holder. Not to mention that Nintendo was probably going to keep Solid Snake to themselves since he was in the roster in Brawl. Even families were struggling to get the game for kids since the roster leaned towards characters who have killed more people in a day that I have played games.
Then there was a small ray of hope for believers. A beta for the game was outed to certain people and then the public. It’s goals were to give people an early glimpse of the game and put people’s fears to rest, but did it? Not really. Constant connection problems, over powered characters and a limited list of people to play as crippled the excited for this game. I myself didn’t have any problems but many others did. It was terrible to see. Where there weren’t bugs , there were complaints about the game play. Some people thought it was a nice nod to map out the buttons similar to the character’s video game counterparts but made the game too complex as a whole. Other thought the games “Kills with Supers Only” approach was limited and could have been handled differently.
With the launch of the game though, it was great surprise to me that the game was greatly improved (with the exception of characters still being over powered). Still though, it launched with a lukewarm response. Some saying it was a great or good brawler and other saying it was still a sloppy and shameless knock off of Smash Bros. Marketing didn’t do much to help. With a little to no advertising campaign in the U.S. (though I have to hand it to them with that great advert from the creators of Robot Chicken) and a sloppy one in other regions, it left little to be desired and only lessened peoples interest in the game. It tried to kick things off with free DLC (ala Gravity Rush’s Kat and Starhawk’s Emmett Graves) which did boost it’s sales.
While we are on the topic of DLC, that’s another thing I think wasn’t handled properly. It was a good start with Kat and Emmett, but then it was a huge dry route of good character DLC. There might be a market for minions, maps, and costume DLC but with it already basically there in the campaign and multi-player (You can literally play on maps you don’t own in both campaign and online) whats the point at the end of the day? Also most the character didn’t vary much in terms of play styles other than Kat ( Both Issac Clarke and Emmett Graves are shooter type characters that are good if your a long range characters along with being slower characters like Zeus) and didn’t have that “classic” feel that would have pulled in more sales.
With these types of barriers, it’s no wonder many won’t pick up this gem. It’ a great fighter and the addition of same couch co-op should have made more of an impact. At the end of the day though, it’s ultimately the consumer who rules the popularity of your product.
Article writted by Acdramon