Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

MSRP $50.00

“Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a must-play for the hardcore, but doesn’t look after casual audiences.”


  • Strong fight mechanics
  • Tons of participant freedom
  • Great on-line
  • Good music and visuals


  • Lacking in content material
  • Very competitors targeted
  • Unpolished in lots of areas
  • No voice performing

With the announcement of the brand new Super Smash Bros.-inspired platform-fighter Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl got here limitless discussions of the sport changing into the “Smash killer.” While it doesn’t fairly reside as much as these lofty expectations, it positively delivers with a powerful aggressive expertise and a deep mechanical system that warmly welcomes hardcore gamers. But in my time with the sport, I discovered that could be all there may be to All-Star Brawl.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a brand new crossover combating sport by Ludosity, the staff behind the critically acclaimed platform-fighter Slap City. The sport stars a few of Nickelodeon’s most iconic and obscure characters, with the likes of SpongeBob SquarePants and Reptar thrown into an area to battle it out Smash Bros. model. 

While its essential declare to fame is being “Smash but with Nicktoons,” upon enjoying NAS,  I instantly noticed the sport has its personal distinctive id. The visuals are vibrant and cartoony, the gameplay is free-flowing with a excessive talent ceiling, and the characters are largely all very enjoyable to play. However, NASB has fairly just a few tough spots that consistently jogged my memory that this can be a finances title — and one which will have put too lots of its eggs in a single basket, at that.

Surprisingly advanced gameplay

A key piece of the combating sport expertise is seeing cool gameplay strikes occur and studying to do stated cool strikes, and NASB delivers there. While enjoying, I consistently discovered myself having “Wow I can do that?!” moments whereas exploring a few of the finest mechanics Ludosity carried out into the sport.

Similar to the Smash Bros. collection, NASB revolves round going to a battlefield with a number of opponents and duking it out to boost their harm share with a view to launch them offstage in an enormous explosion. Where it differs is within the instruments gamers have to finish this objective.

Leonardo fighting Sandy Cheeks in Jellyfish fields.

Allow me to get technical for a second to showcase simply how deceptively severe a fighter this sport is. In battle, there’s a commonplace jab, air and floor tilt/mild assaults, air and floor smash/heavy assaults, air and floor specials, mild and heavy sprint assaults that may cancel into different assaults, and grounded and aerial grabs. The distinctive inclusion of the aerial heavies, separate cancellable sprint assaults, and air grabs provides an superior layer to offense and protection in NASB that isn’t seen in Smash.

The fight actually shines, making this an particularly enjoyable combating sport.

NASB additionally offers gamers entry to an anime fighter-esque air sprint that may be completed to zoom by the air or canceled out of a low leap to wavedash (significantly, that is shockingly advanced). This needs to be my favourite characteristic within the sport, because it offers gamers freedom of motion in the case of spacing, combos, mix-ups, protection, and extra. 

Danny Phantom, Helga of Hey Arnold, and Ren and Stimpy fighting in a ghost portal.

I misplaced myself in a sea of concepts of what I could possibly be doing in my time enjoying. The sport presents so many nice instruments to gamers that provide other ways of enjoying that what you get is a title with what could possibly be an limitless studying pool for participant expression.

However, NASB has its tough spots with just a few technical oversights right here and there together with infinite combos and unbalanced strikes like Catdog’s overpowered aerial up-smash, lovingly dubbed by the neighborhood because the “Updog.” Despite this, the fight actually shines, making this an particularly enjoyable combating sport. And the superb rollback netcode normally permits Ethernet-wired gamers to play with these mechanics to one of the best of their capacity regardless of being nice distances aside.

The sport could be very naked 

While I may go on for days concerning the fight system in Nickelodeon All-Star Braw ,the identical can’t be stated about the remainder of the sport — most likely as a result of the fight actually is all there may be to it. If you’re in search of a one-to-one Smash Bros expertise, look elsewhere, as a result of this isn’t it.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl online modes.

NASB has 4 modes. The first is battle, a normal offline versus mode the place as much as 4 gamers can duke it out in inventory, timed, or sports activities matches (the latter being a sport of knocking a ball into the opponent’s objective). There are additionally commonplace coaching, arcade, and on-line, which has fast play, aggressive play, and on-line lobbies. Besides that, there’s nothing else to do within the sport.

Ironically, for a sport primarily based on kids’s cartoon characters, there simply isn’t a lot right here for that viewers.

Yes, the primary enchantment of a combating sport ought to be the combating, however different modes to sink time into for extra informal gamers have been style staples because the Dreamcast period. NASB appears to have forgotten about that. There’s no survival mode, no unlockables, no minigames, or anything of the kind.

Ironically, for a sport primarily based on kids’s cartoon characters, there simply isn’t a lot right here for that viewers, not to mention informal players who wish to play as their childhood favorites. While there’s a ton for the aggressive aspect to chew on, the plenty get left with scraps, and that simply feels misguided for a sport like this. I’m undecided if it was on account of budgeting or poor choices, however I feel this sport actually wants extra meat on its bones to face the check of time with somebody aside from the hardcore lot.

A masterpiece in want of polish

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl consistently lets that it isn’t a big-budget manufacturing. One of the large points that many individuals have with the sport is the shortage of voice performing. It’s exhausting to just accept {that a} sport starring cartoon characters from our childhoods doesn’t characteristic their iconic voices.

Spongebob, Korra, Invader Zim, and April O'Neil fighting on the Flying Dutchman's ship.

There are additionally just a few battle mechanics that might use extra polish: Untechable knockdowns changing into infinite combos, some characters having tough occasions snapping to stage ledges safely, and sure characters like Patrick merely feeling unfinished. 

Ludosity clearly plans to assist the sport after it launches, which places it ready to develop.

Thankfully, throughout Hungrybox’s Juice Box match, one of many builders acknowledged a number of occasions that these mechanical points can be resolved. In an interview with Game Informer, Ludosity’s CEO Joel Nyström stated voice actors are one thing that could be added down the road, together with different deliberate updates for the sport. Ludosity clearly plans to assist the sport after it launches, which places it ready to develop.

Our take

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a wildly enjoyable time should you’re coming to it for its aggressive potential. However, your mileage could range relying on should you’re an off-the-cuff or hardcore participant. The sport can be up to date sooner or later, so extra options could also be added, however solely time. Until then, it’s missing some key options that maintain it again as an off-the-cuff single-player expertise.

How lengthy will it final?

It depends upon who you might be. If you’re a aggressive participant, you’ll end up shedding observe of time with how a lot there may be to search out in NASB. If you’re simply in it for the celebration sport or single-player expertise, it’s possible you’ll wish to await a worth drop.

Is there an alternate?

If you don’t have already got it, there’s all the time Smash Bros. Ultimate and its large roster of fighters, although its on-line expertise is miles worse than NASB‘s. If you need a super-competitive time with simply as excessive a talent ceiling and as enjoyable motion choices as NASB you’ll be able to play Smash Bros. Melee, which now has on-line capabilities corresponding to NASB because of a brand new rollback consumer by Slippi.

Should you purchase it?

Yes, although it actually depends upon what you’re in search of. It’s not an ideal informal expertise, however should you’re a hardcore combating fan that wishes to get sweaty on-line, it’s a must-try. However, beware of buying on the Nintendo Switch, as it’s the solely model with out rollback netcode, which makes its on-line expertise considerably inferior to that of the opposite {hardware} decisions.

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