Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review – Almost Ready For Slime Time

It isn’t an exaggeration to say Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has been fighting an uphill struggle. While it has its Super Smash Bros. roots on its sleeves by gathering a variety of favorite characters together in a platform fight, Nick Brawl doesn’t do that with the show. It is an excellent fighting game and has heart. However, All-Star Brawl lacks the wonder and magic that Smash Bros. brings and it is lacking in casual appeal.

All-Star Brawl unites different generations of Nickelodeon cartoons and allows them to battle on stages that are based on various Nicktoon scenes. Although the roster does not include all 20 characters, it’s comprehensive enough to cover many notable eras. Ren, Stimpy and other familiar faces are Rugrats’ Reptar mix it up with Nigel Thornberry, Zim, and Danny Phantom. Lincoln and Lucy Loud, current favorites, continue to be the anchor for younger cast members. There are a few big stars in the cast: Spongebob Squarepants with his friends, some Ninja Turtles, as well as Spongebob Squarepants. The duo of Avatars Aang, Korra and Korra bring star power to this show.

Nick Brawl’s best feature is the way it plays. There are buttons to jump, attack, block, throws and special moves. The goal of the game is to throw at your opponent and make their damage more frequent. If they’re hit with an attack, it will increase their chances of flying off. Characters move quickly, which made me worry that I wouldn’t always feel in control, but the snappy and responsive inputs alleviated those worries in practice. Wavedashing is an advanced technique that’s easy to master, with the speed of the tempo making it possible to perform combos quickly.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is enjoyable because of its fighting basics. However, there aren’t many other things to fight aside from those basic elements. There is no single-player content, aside from a basic arcade mode that doesn’t have a story or training. While arcade mode offers unlockable art and music for the Jukebox to enjoy, it didn’t provide any meaningful rewards. There are also custom-timed matches where you can challenge up to 3 CPU opponents. Each player gets a fixed number of life.

The biggest problem with Nick Brawl is the lack of party content. There are no weapons and items that you can use here. Since its gameplay heavily emphasizes fast reflexes and masterful, character-controlling skill, I sorely missed having some outrageous gadgets to level the playing field for new or casual players. The Nickelodeon licences give stage names and help to create a sense of humor. Each stage can be found in Nicktoon’s world. It contains various platforms and obstacles that will keep you on your toes. They are beautiful and add a lot of flavor. My favorites are the Hey ArnoldTraffic Jam, which is a saxy and chilling tune featuring a great melody by The Flying Dutchman’s Ship. Spongebob

All-Star Brawl has a unique party mode called Sports Mode. It divides the competitors into two teams and allows them to throw or smack a ball through the various goals on the stage. Soccer balls only reacts to attacks, the Plankton-themed ball is heavier and moves slower, and a football with a hat on it – a cute nod to the lead of Hey Arnold – interacts exclusively with grab and throw moves. Sports mode isn’t a very exciting diversion from the regular fisticuff fare, but it’s there if you want to try something different.

It is possible to fight online, in both 1v1 and quick match formats. You also have 12-player lobbies which allow you to split up into individual matches for 2-4 players. The spectator seat is great for tournament organizers, or anyone who just wants to enjoy watching their friends fight for a bit. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl uses rollback netcode to improve animation quality during online gaming. This implementation can be quite rough. One-on-one matches I had experienced more freezes than normal and many stutters beyond the standard range of rollback frames. Rematches with someone who has a strong connection can sometimes result in a jittery and slow-down situation. This happened several times online. Online play can be a nightmare with four-player brawls that cause more connection and freezing issues. I was able to play a lot of good matches online with very few problems. However, your results may differ.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl can be a complex package. While the core combat and attention given to character details are excellent, everything else is very dry. Playing as these lovable Nicktoons may interest some, but I didn’t want to stick around for the no-frills matches. Hopefully, Ludosity and Fair Play Labs can keep adding to Nick Brawl post-launch and flesh out what’s missing while getting Nickelodeon’s full backing to make it a better product for the fans.

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