Game

Review: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Is a Colorful, Competent Platform Fighter

Screenshot: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

It’s not a secret that Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a rip-off of Super Smash Bros.. It wouldn’t be the first, and it’s definitely not the last to take on the platform fighting genre with rumors of Warner Bros. entering into the fray. That’s not a bad thing, however, it’s hard to top the behemoth that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has become, especially when you include the heaps of DLC fighters that have been added.  However, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl takes an earnest stab at it

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a platform fighter that pits characters from across several different Nickelodeon IPs against each other in Super Smash Bros. style action. If you’ve ever wanted to have Toph fight Korra, or Invader Zim’s Zim face off against Ren and Stimpy, this is your chance. While All-Star Brawl might not have your favorite character, it represents a long range of Nickelodeon shows both past and present—there’s something here for everyone in its respectable 20 fighter roster.

Screenshot: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the new standard for platform fighters, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl holds its own. I have to admit, at first I thought the controls felt “cheap” but after playing for several hours, I got used to All-Star Brawl’s form of fighting.  If you’ve played Super Smash Bros., you’ll find All-Star Brawl familiar. Hitting your opponent causes a percentage meter to increase, and the higher that is, the easier it is for them to get knocked out of the stage. Conspicuously absent from All-Star Brawl are weapons or pick-ups. Unlike Super Smash Bros., there are no items that appear during fights to give you the upper hand.

Getting knocked off the stage isn’t the end of the match, however. There are several ways to play: stock matches, timed matches, and sports. Stock matches give you a finite amount of times you can be knocked off a stage, while timed matches are about getting a higher score in the allotted time. Sports mode has two teams of two attempt to outscore their opponent by knocking a ball through a goal.

Screenshot: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

There are 20 arenas to fight in, to mostly go along with the 20 available fighters. Each of these stages are exactly what you would expect—platforms to jump on with the occasional hazard to avoid. There are a good variety of stages for the roster of colorful Nickelodeon characters to knock each other around.

As far as production values, All-Star Brawl is really great—except for the lack of voice acting. It has a surprisingly good soundtrack. The characters all look good. The levels are all visually interesting. But the biggest issue is the complete lack of character voices.  Without voices to bring these characters to life, the entire game feels strangely flat and vitally lacking.

Screenshot: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

I’ve already noticed that Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has been popping up in the competitive scene, though I can’t for sure if it will have any staying power. While it can’t really compete against the juggernaut that is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it does provide a capable platform fighting experience. And while Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has a huge roster of favorite characters, but I can’t help but wish for voice acting to really bring the characters alive.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is available now on PC via Steam and on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox Series S|X and Nintendo Switch.

 

 

 

A Steam key was provided to us for this review.

 

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