The Game: Simply put, it’s Super Smash Bros. with Sony characters. Okay, there are some twists, such as the fact that each level mixes material from at least two dissimilar franchises. But really, this is an excuse to invite some friends over and then beat the crap out of each other — the very foundation of college dorm life. (Available this holiday season for PS3 and PS Vita)
What We Played: At a recent pre-E3 event, we extensively tried out the main four-player battle mode with the six initially announced characters — Kratos (God of War), Sweet Tooth (Twisted Metal), Sly Cooper, Mael Radec (Killzone 2), Fat Princess, and PaRappa the Rapper. (Sony announced Monday that Nathan Drake and Big Daddy will also be a part of the game.) We played four different maps: Metropolis (from Ratchet & Clank), Sandover Village (from Jak and Daxter), Dreamscape (from LittleBigPlanet), and Hades (from God of War).
The Good: The fundamental appeal of the Super Smash Bros. series — fast-paced fighting mayhem with your friends — remains intact here. Many of the characters’ Level 3 special powers, like PaRappa’s “death by rap song” execution move or Fat Princess’ Super Fat Chicken, are hilarious. And the levels themselves are cleverly designed. For instance, there’s a LittleBigPlanet map that, halfway through the match, will be interrupted by a Buzz! trivia question. You must navigate your character over to the correct multiple-choice answer and then defend your turf before the timer runs out.
The Not-So-Good: The controls aren’t quite as tight as we would have hoped for, though this doesn’t really hamper the experience. Also, if you’re not a fan of Super Smash Bros., you’ll almost certainly have the same opinion of Battle Royale.
Excitement Level: From 1 to 10, PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale gets a 7. Here’s hoping the rest of the game’s characters (and their special moves) live up to what we’ve seen so far.