HomeTrending GamesNickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review: Nostalgia With A Purpose

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review: Nostalgia With A Purpose

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Within 5 minutes of enjoying Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, I’m making an attempt to wavedash round Jellyfish Fields as Patrick. I’m out of the blue interrupted by a Catdog important, who spikes me off the map. It must be crushing; match after match I’m three stocked on-line, however I simply can not cease bloody smiling the entire time. I really feel like I’m eight years outdated once more, enjoying Super Smash Bros. Melee with my brothers, shedding each single match and having the time of my life.

Right from the primary trailer, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl introduced again recollections of binging SpongeBob video games on the GameCube after college. It feels lovingly crafted by devs who had this childhood too, nevertheless it places its gameplay first, and nostalgia second.

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Related: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Has Forgotten Nick’s Core Audience

The memes had me terrified: everybody anticipated developer Ludosity to come back out with the “Smash Killer”. No game may ever be that. But in some way, this small studio that was thrown into the highlight simply weeks in the past has introduced out a preventing game that no less than offers Smash Ultimate some competitors. While latest Smash titles introduced closing smashes, extra gadgets, and total simply slower gameplay, All-Star Brawl gives the fast-paced aggressive play many people have been dying for since Melee all these years in the past.

And rattling, do these devs love Melee. The respect it has for the second Smash game is bashing you within the face in each struggle. Everything is lightning quick and each transfer counts. There aren’t any gadgets, no closing smashes, no gimmicks alongside the preventing – All-Star Brawl trusts its gamers sufficient to search out enjoyable in zipping throughout the map and beating the hell out of one another as cartoon characters. It doesn’t have to be a celebration game, it’s assured that preventing video games will be simply as enjoyable on their very own.


april-oneil-powdered-toast-man-nickelodeon-all-star-brawl

A huge a part of what makes All-Star Brawl so enjoyable, even within the face of defeat, is how approachable it may be. Sure, the controls suck at first – I’ll die on the hill that up must be ‘jump’ – however after getting it found out, you can begin pulling off tech with the perfect of them. I’ve most likely carried out round three wavedashes in my many hours of Melee, however in All-Star Brawl I’ve acquired April O’Neil gliding throughout the map prefer it’s nothing, feeling like I’ve gained Evo once I race over to Powdered Toastman and smack him with a microphone stand. I’d even go on to lose the match, however that fast style of glory retains me coming again.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl admittedly doesn’t include a whole lot of methods to play. Everything I’ve simply spoken about comes from my time within the on-line lobbies – which run fantastically – as a result of single participant, whereas enjoyable, is extremely barebones. This is definitely considered one of its main failings as a Smash clone.

There are the two-to-four participant battles, which might both be with shares or timed. There’s additionally an arcade mode, which is serviceable sufficient, however doesn’t inject sufficient attraction into its design, when there’s no cause it couldn’t be just like the reference-filled arcade in Melee. There is zero narrative in arcade mode, or wherever else for that matter. Characters don’t even work together with one another in any of the game modes outdoors of a few one-liners in a textual content field, that are random quotes quite than precise conversations. There aren’t any Injustice-style taunts right here. That appears like an enormous miss when there are some splendidly daft methods they’ll create rivalries among the many solid.


catdog-april-oneil-nickelodeon-all-star-brawl

The solely selection you possibly can add to the combo in any other case is available in sports activities mode. But capturing footballs into targets simply slows down what’s meant to be a quick game, and doesn’t meaningfully pad out the only participant choices. It’s all saved by how ridiculously properly designed the fight is, however Smash’s extra informal parts are missing.

Few others will probably be shopping for the game the place SpongeBob fights Nigel Thornberry and Reptar for the fight although. There’s a cause why we’ve been following each announcement from the game’s improvement: the cartoons themselves. Unfortunately, that is one other space Smash has it beat, and by fairly a margin – however not for an absence of making an attempt.

On the one hand, you possibly can really feel Ludosity wringing as a lot out of those IPs as potential, painstakingly making an attempt to showcase these characters we love. Yet equally, you are feeling that one thing – both time constraints or copyright points – is holding Ludosity again. There’s no voice strains, no music, and no alternate costumes. It appears like someone with cash and choice making energy didn’t consider on this game. All issues thought-about, it speaks to the devs’ expertise that we acquired an excellent attraction out of the game with out these items, nearly solely by way of its improbable movesets, and taunts that reference iconic moments or well-known memes. But it is a ridiculous tug-of-war that ought to by no means have occurred.



Nigel Thornberry in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Not all of its failings come all the way down to the shortage of homage paid to the supply materials both. While the game performs brilliantly on PS4, one other author at TheGamer didn’t fare as properly on Xbox Series X, reporting fixed efficiency drops and tearing. Having had considered one of us on each platform up to now, this appears very Xbox particular, with each PS4 and PS5 holding up, in order that’s possible the one to keep away from.

All issues thought-about, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a Melee fan undertaking, before everything. It’s acquired the lovable Nick paint thrown on it, however the preventing is what you need to come right here for, even when the cartoon characters had you hooked within the first place.

And that’s the humorous factor about all of this. As the Smash Bros. comparisons saved pouring in all through improvement, I believed the devs can be terrified that the gameplay wouldn’t reside as much as the hype.


catdog-powdered-toastman-nickelodeon-all-star-brawl

But that wasn’t the case in any respect. Ludosity has actually created a preventing game to rival Smash Ultimate so far as gameplay is anxious. It fell brief on the additional trimmings – we bloody love listening to characters yell out generic preventing dialogue, don’t we? If you have been welling up over Sora getting in Smash, the tears most likely began falling whenever you heard Haley Joel Osment’s voice. And once we get new DLC packs, we’re nearly as hyped concerning the new soundtrack as we’re concerning the characters. So when each stage right here has one music monitor, and none of them are from the reveals, you actually really feel its absence.


With DLC on the best way, there’s (hopefully) no cause why Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl couldn’t get these items. But there’s no assure.

Right now, All-Star Brawl stands by itself two ft, not making an attempt to be Smash Ultimate now that its DLC has dried up, however making an attempt to indicate us an excellent ‘ol nostalgic time. It lulls you in with its lightning flash fights and accessible fight, protecting a smile in your face all through.

Basically, don’t come right here as a result of the latest Battle for Bikini Bottom remaster acquired you within the temper for some SpongeBob humour. Come right here since you need to see SpongeBob beat the crap out of Nigel Thornberry, and discover your personal humour in that.


NICK BRAWL

Score 4/5. A PlayStation 4 code was offered by the writer.


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