All-Star Optimism

Sony is a notoriously leaky ship before E3, and this year the company opted to jump the gun with a pre-E3 announcement — which also leaked. Still, unsurprising as it was, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale became officially a thing today. The Internet reaction seems a bit cynical, and I think there’s already plenty of that going around. So in an effort to be optimistic on a Friday night, I thought I’d go through some reasons why it might actually be very good.

1. Sony Santa Monica – Sony isn’t the internal powerhouse that Nintendo is, but if one studio has proven its mettle it’s Santa Monica. This studio was behind recent God of War games, but more than that, it has a knack for spotting talent. It’s been the house to nurture talent from the Q Games (Pixeljunk series) and Thatgamecompany (Journey), so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing.

2. Third-party characters – Nintendo only recently started using third-party characters in its Smash Bros franchise, but for Sony it’s a no-brainer. The company has its share of mascots, but it made its name on third-party properties too. Sealing deals with partners means this could be a nice diverse sampling of characters to play with.

3. Establishing a PlayStation “family” – Sony hasn’t really tied its properties together under the PlayStation umbrella, but this may be the first tentative step in that direction. (Technically, the “Michael” commercial did that, but I mean in terms of gameplay). These characters might not fit as neatly together as Nintendo’s properties, but creating a kind of internal consistency opens the door to other cross-overs.

4. Room for variety – One thing that Sony has a leg up on is variety. While Nintendo’s characters are generally bubbly and colorful, and Microsoft’s err on the side of space marines, Sony runs the gamut. We could have Chimera appearing right next to Clank, which means diverse characterization and play options.

5. Real online play – I know Brawl had online play, but it never felt quite natural to the system. On a Sony system, we’re much more likely to get online play done right.

6. Sly Cooper – I already know my first go-to character. He can disappear at will and steal other people’s power gauge! Tell me that isn’t awesome.

It may flop spectacularly, but for the time being, I’m going to hope for the best.

  • I don’t see how anyone could have possibly missed this around the Twitters and such today, but if you haven’t yet, Google “zerg rush.”
  • Sometimes I read about EVE Online, and half-suspect it’s a giant economic petri dish. Want to attack a major economic hub to shake up the balance of power? Sure, go nuts.
  • Funny how BigPark got put on Kinect duty, and now are going straight back to its original plan for Joy Ride.

4 thoughts on “All-Star Optimism

  1. Maverick-jin8 says:

    “Third-party characters”
    This is the only thing I am optimistic about, considering I never played Sly and don’t care about junk like Fat Princess (seriously, that is the worst kind of character you use for an initial announcement).

    Just waiting for Cole and the eventual 3rd party stuff like say… Cloud or Lightning, and Snake or Raiden.

    Not sure how I feel about the “No HP and only Supers kill” gameplay, but then again Dissidia did something similar.

    Even so just watching the videos and you can see the copy and pasted animations from Brawl.

  2. nytetrayn says:

    3: What about PlayStation Move Heroes?

    • sporkyreeve says:

      Good point! I never got much into Heroes, but that was the first tentative step in this direction. Still, it felt like more of a half-step, and this one seems to be throwing the full Sony weight behind it.

      • nytetrayn says:

        One site I saw, which was reporting on this game back in November, said the “Michael” commercial was also intended as a precursor to the game. Don’t know whether that’s true or not, but if so, it seems they’re laying the groundwork…

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