Developer: Fair Play Labs
Publisher: GameMill Entertainment
Genre: Fighting, Party
Super Smash Bros clones certainly aren’t uncommon these days. With how successful the big Nintendo franchise is, it isn’t surprising either. Still, very few publishers have been able to create an engaging experience, let alone capture the same magic. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is the latest attempt at it, and tons of promise was behind what could easily just be a cheap cash-grab using a popular IP.
With the experienced team and varied roster, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl certainly has a lot going for it. Plenty of favorite Nickolodeon shows from the past and present have appearances here, insuring that there is a character for everyone. The 20 characters are also pretty diverse in the way they play, with each character having a star rating attached to them to show how difficult they are to play.
The fighting mechanics themselves are also solid. Every character has a lot of moves to play with. Some are a little too similar to others, but they each have different hitboxes and damage output for serious players to explore. This led to more depth than expected. Mechanically, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a solid fighter with more than one would think at a glance. It’s not as deep as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but is still as intricate as the earlier games in the series.
While Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a good enough fighter the presentation leaves a lot to be desired. This is surprising because you would think a game like this would be full of fanservice. Instead, the characters and the stages are the only parts of the game that have any personality. The most noticeable omission in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is the lack of any voice lines whatsoever. Every character just has their fun animations with no quirky lines to go along with them. Battles feel awkward and kind of empty, not because of the mechanics, but because of how dull this game is to the senses. The lack of modes to enjoy really emphasizes the lack of care outside of the solid gameplay. For a game with such iconic characters, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl just lacks personality.
2 player bouts feel like the best way to enjoy Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, but the mayhem in 4 players brawls feels chaotic and fun too. Whether players are offline or online, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl runs well enough, with only a few framerate and lag hiccups along the way. I was surprised that this game actually runs better online than Smash does.
For those who want some nostalgia in their Super Smash Bros clones, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a serviceable experience. The mechanics are crisp, but the love and care just isn’t there. Without voice lines, everything just feels hollow. Still, one can do much worse when looking for platform fighters.
For those who want some nostalgia in their Super Smash Bros clones, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a serviceable experience. The mechanics are crisp, but the love and care just isn't there. Without voice lines, everything just feels hollow. Still, one can do much worse when looking for platform fighters.