Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (PS4) | $20 | GameStop
Super Smash Bros. has long dominated the platform fighter genre after first inventing it over 20 years ago. PlayStation tried to take the mantle with a middling fighter of their smaller cast of exclusives back on the PS3 with PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. More recently an indie title by the name of Rivals of Aether sought to rival Smash with its own cast of 2D fighters—gaining a small devout following primarily due to its ability to mod in community-created fan favorites. Though neither ever reached lasting or mainstream appeal.
Nickelodeon is now throwing their slime covered orange hat into the race. With a 30+ year rogue gallery of cartoon characters to select from, developer Ludosity and publisher GameMill Entertainment are setting out to do the impossible—bite off a chunk of the platform fighter competitive market that’s solely on Nintendo’s plate. The Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl roster is full of expected choices like SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but shockingly includes fringe characters such as Powdered Toast Man from Ren & Stimpy along with their titular characters.
Perhaps the biggest surprise showcasing that these devs mean business is fact that the damn game includes wave-dashing—a high-level movement technique found in Super Smash Bros. Melee which has since been left out of future installments. In a gameplay breakdown, we’ve also seen them bring some new ideas to the table like a rock, paper, scissors formula when it comes to low, mid, and high attacks as well as an infinite block with its own limitations and the ability to catch and throw back any projectile.
Strangely, and likely due to budgetary constraints, the game has no voiceover whatsoever. Not a word. I didn’t notice it until it was pointed out to me, but once you hear it (or don’t hear it) it’s quite jarring. Well, today’s the day we find out how important that is. The game is available on all platforms, but you can pick it up for $20 over at GameStop if you decide to get the game on any console.
This story was originally published by Joe Tilleli on 09/09/2021 and updated with new information on 05/16/2022.