To say Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is combating an uphill battle is an understatement. It wears its Tremendous Smash Bros. inspiration firmly on its sleeve by bringing collectively a number of beloved characters in a platform fighter, however Nick Brawl does so with out the spectacle. Whereas I believe it has numerous coronary heart and is an efficient combating recreation at its core, All-Star Brawl is lacking the magic and marvel that Smash Bros. embodies and lacks significant informal enchantment.
All-Star Brawl brings collectively totally different eras of Nickelodeon cartoons to battle on phases based mostly on scenes and areas from varied Nicktoons. The roster is just not complete, however it’s various sufficient and hits a number of notable eras throughout its 20 characters. Acquainted faces like Ren and Stimpy and Rugrats’ Reptar combine it up with Nigel Thornberry, Zim, and Danny Phantom. Present favorites reminiscent of Lincoln and Lucy Loud maintain down the fort for newer toons. Nonetheless, the solid additionally has a number of notable massive names: Spongebob Squarepants and mates, a handful of Ninja Turtles, and the duo of Avatars, Aang and Korra, carry some much-appreciated star energy to the combo.
My favourite a part of Nick Brawl is the way it performs. You’ve got buttons for leaping, attacking, particular strikes, throws, and blocking. Your objective is to slap round your opponents and enhance their harm share, making them extra prone to fly off the display screen when hit with a powerful assault. Characters transfer rapidly, which made me fear that I wouldn’t all the time really feel in management, however the snappy and responsive inputs alleviated these worries in apply. Superior strategies like wavedashing are surprisingly simple to drag off, and because of the sooner tempo, performing combos on the fly is a cinch.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl’s combating fundamentals make the expertise pleasurable, however there’s not a lot to fight except for the fundamentals. An ordinary story-free arcade mode and coaching are the one single-player content material readily available. Arcade mode rewards you with unlockable artwork and music to take heed to within the Jukebox, however unlocking that content material did not really feel significant. You too can tackle as much as three mates or CPU opponents in customized timed matches or bouts the place every participant has a set variety of lives.
These fights reveal Nick Brawl’s largest downside, and that is a scarcity of distinguished celebration content material; you will not discover objects or weapons to make use of in battle right here. Since its gameplay closely emphasizes quick reflexes and masterful, character-controlling ability, I sorely missed having some outrageous devices to stage the taking part in area for brand new or informal gamers. Levels present extra character from the Nickelodeon licenses and shake up battles. Every stage is about inside a Nicktoon’s world and incorporates a spread of platforms and transferring obstacles to maintain gamers on their toes. These areas look nice and supply some much-needed taste. A few of my favorites embody the Hey Arnold-inspired Site visitors Jam (which options an ideal, chill saxy tune) and The Flying Dutchman’s Ship from Spongebob.
All-Star Brawl’s closest celebration mechanic is a Sports activities mode, a mildly enjoyable characteristic that splits opponents into two groups the place the target is to smack or throw a ball via objectives positioned round on the stage. Soccer balls solely reacts to assaults, the Plankton-themed ball is heavier and strikes slower, and a soccer with a hat on it – a cute nod to the lead of Hey Arnold – interacts completely with seize and throw strikes. Sports activities mode isn’t a really thrilling diversion from the common fisticuff fare, however it’s there if you wish to strive one thing totally different.
You’ll be able to take fights on-line in 1v1 aggressive or fast match situations, and 12-player lobbies the place gamers can escape into particular person 2-4 participant matches. The seat for spectating fights is a incredible addition for event organizers or those that need to watch mates scuffle for some time. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl options rollback netcode, which is designed to easy out animation throughout on-line play. Nonetheless, this implementation is fairly tough. Half of my one-on-one matches had loads of freezes and stutters outdoors of the traditional vary of rollback frames. Generally rematches in opposition to somebody with an ideal connection resulted in a jittery, slowed-down mess; this occurred a number of occasions when taking part in on-line. 4-player brawls introduced out the worst of on-line play, with much more freezing and connection points. I managed to have fairly a number of good matches with little-to-no issues, however your mileage might differ on-line.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a sophisticated bundle. Its core fight and a spotlight to character element are nice, however all the pieces round that’s bone dry. Enjoying as these lovable Nicktoons might curiosity some, however I didn’t need to stick round for the no-frills matches. Hopefully, Ludosity and Truthful Play Labs can preserve including to Nick Brawl post-launch and flesh out what’s lacking whereas getting Nickelodeon’s full backing to make it a greater product for the followers.