Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

What is Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl?

The aforementioned Nickelodeon game is a platform fighting game in the same vain as Super Smash Brothers. A colorful cast of characters from throughout Nickelodeons brief but impactful history are playable in up to 4-player battles. These characters include expected favorites such as SpongeBob SquarePants; cult darlings like Invader Zim; and modern hits like Lincoln Loud. Combat is pretty similar to Super Smash Brothers with each character having special moves, ’tilt attacks, and ‘smash attacks.’ The player will have to use a combination of these attack types to launch the opponent off the stage. As a character takes more damage, they become easier to launch, thus making them easier to eliminate from the battlefield. “Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl” differentiates itself from Smash Brothers in two notable ways. The first of which is by removing items from the game. This is a bit of a questionable decision being that the frantic nature of items is a big reason that Super Smash Brothers is so popular amongst casual gamers. The second way “Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl” mixes it up is by allowing for “smash attacks” to be used in the air, thus allowing for more variety in aerial combat. Unfortunately, this seems to open up a few too many options for the player resulting in almost any connected hit becoming a “touch of death” combo. For those unfamiliar with the lingo, a “touch of death” combo is a string of attacks that can immediately eliminate a player even if it is the first time they have been damaged.

The Experience

So how does the combat system lend it self to the the single player content of the game? Unfortunately, not great. Even on the hardest difficulty settings, the AI can be pretty easily pushed around due to the ludicrous amount of tools at the players disposal. The lack of items makes single player battles pretty repetitive as you will likely find a favorite tactic and just bully the AI with no fear of random items throwing a wrench in your plans. The single player mode is very basic and is overall lacking in content. The arcade mode is just a string of battles against the AI. There isn’t really anything that differentiates it from casual matches against CPU opponents. There are “branching paths” but these paths are really just of choice of fight character A or B. Really it isn’t branching either as the decision only affects the next stage and doesn’t change later battles in anyway. “Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl” was clearly targeting a competitive crowd but, a game must first build an audience based on it’s casual fun factor which “All-Star Brawl” is lacking.

All in all the experience isn’t actually as bad as I am making it seem. Honestly the game can be quite fun in small doses. Unfortunately, the game draws obvious parallels to Smash Brothers and therefore, people naturally want to compare the two. Which does “Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl” no favors, as it is clearly the inferior of the two. Still, the colorful cast of characters should be enough to leave most Nickelodeon fans somewhat happy.

The Ranking

“Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl” is a pretty good time but it lacks single player content and does nothing to make itself particularly memorable. As such I am placing it pretty close to the center of the fighting game list, ranking it at number 5. This places it above “Power Rangers Battle For The Grid” and below “Soul Calibur VI.”

Platform: Steam; Time To Beat: 0 hours 39 minutes 44 seconds (Most of which was spent mapping my GameCube controller to the PC)

Where to Play?

“Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl” is still a new game having just been released last month. As such it is available for purchase at most retailers that carry video games.

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