Game Reviews

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review

Want a Smash Bros.-type brawler that is not exclusive to a Nintendo platform? Enter Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.

This type of game is nothing new: a tier-based multiplayer brawler where your goal is to defeat your opponents by either dealing damage or making them fly off the edge of a platform. In the past, many have come and gone, and outside of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series, very few have ever made it home. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, however, does a good job of incorporating familiar characters and addicting gameplay, and it just might be the best brawler that isn’t Smash Bros.

There’s an interesting list of characters here who bring familiar faces from a number of Nickelodeon traits. However, some are weird choices that lack main characters. from Rugrats there are only Reptars – but at least here omitting babies makes sense; Letting babies fight each other is likely to be in bad taste. But for example there is only Helga von Hey arnold and Oblina out Aaahh !!! Real monsters. As nice as it is to see these franchises, more characters would have been welcome. I suppose we can keep our fingers crossed for some DLC character packs if the game proves successful.

The gameplay itself. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has several modes available which include single player, local multiplayer, and online multiplayer. In the single player “campaign” you work your way through a series of one-on-one fights of various levels of difficulty. But a game like this relies on multiplayer to be really successful. Luckily we never had a problem finding a game while playing on PS5, but time will tell how lively the community will stay. You can choose to play casual or ranked games, or just create a lobby to hang out with friends (or make new ones).

Each character has their own moves, and surprisingly, they’re pretty deep. When you press the face buttons, your character makes light, heavy, and ranged attacks, but combos and more complex keystrokes allow you to make more fancy moves. It is the type of game that is very easy to learn regardless of your skill level, but only those who take the time to master it will truly be victorious. It’s a depth that I’m pleasantly surprised at.

Each character plays a little differently too, so you’ll undoubtedly find your favorite characters pretty quickly. Michelangelo and Leonardo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are fun to use with their sword skills, while Reptar’s ranged fire-breathing attacks – and firesurfing – make him a pretty powerful fighter. Even Oblina, the black and white tubular monster Aaahh !!! Real monsters for its small size, performs well if you take the time to learn its movements.

Playing on PS5 looks pretty good too. Character models are pleasantly detailed, and while their 3D renderings distinguish them slightly from their 2D cartoon counterparts, they’re all instantly recognizable (and adorable). There is also a decent selection of tiers, all of which are based on the same franchises as the character list. I’m disappointed that Tommy Pickles’ playpen doesn’t show up, but since Reptar is the only one Rugrats Character available, we have a reptilian-themed location instead.

Ultimately, the success of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl lies in how vibrant its online community is. So far we’ve found players easily, but who knows if they’ll stick with it. It would be a shame if they don’t because this is a competent racket. Its pleasant graphics, varied list of popular characters, and surprisingly deep combat make it one of the better smash games out there. But if there is no one online to play with, your offline content quickly becomes unhappy.


Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review: Score

This rating of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl based on the PS5 version, via publisher-provided code. It’s available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch, and PC.
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