Coming right off the heels of Jalen’s WWE ’14 article, I present to you – What I Want to See in PlayStation All-Stars 2. Rumors have already been circulating that a sequel is in pre-production thanks to job ads at SuperBot pointing at some inside work being done. That being said, the original left a lot of room open for a sequel, not because of its “story,” but its overall quality. What do I want to see in the sequel? Quite a few things, actually.
Yup. Before all things that are truly more important, change the game’s title. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is unnecessarily long. Players, fans and even those who discuss the game on a general basis refer to the game as PlayStation All-Stars, which is a more suitable title for the game. That being said, more important manners need to be discusses aside from a title change.
First and foremost, the unlockables in PlayStation All-Stars is great. Titles, icons, intros, outros and the such are some neat additions for the core gamer. However, content still seems a tad lacking. The entire roster is unlocked from the get go, which is both a good and bad thing. For fans of the series who want to jump in and play as their favorite character, this is great. However, it does leave a lot to be desired in terms of reward. While I hate comparing it to the competition, the feel of facing off against a random opponent after achieving a certain goal was great. The mystery figure that shows up in the loading screen gives off a surprising vibe. The same can be said for the mystery fights in NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat, which has players achieve a certain Easter Egg-esque goal to unlock a secret fight. Imagine having to unlock Spike by earning a certain amount of AP from the caged monkey in the Invasion stage and winning the fight only using that AP. Difficult, achievable, creative and rewarding – all in one go. The same can be said for intros and outros. Instead of basic leveling up, throw different forms of unlockables based on aspects of the game to create a more rewarding system for those single player gamers who solely seek to complete the game to 100%.
A Developed Story
One of the biggest thing I love about games is a deep storyline. Sure, most great games don’t incorporate one, and I’ll often let it slide if the game is great. This is especially true with most fighting games. That being said, I wasn’t expecting a deep storyline with PlayStation All-Stars. For the most part, what I got was what I expected. It worked, yes, allowing for SuperBot to focus solely on the fantastic gameplay element. However, for a sequel to be even more successful, the team needs to put key focus on all single player aspects of the game. This, of course, includes story.
Seeing my favorite characters duke it out is great in itself. Seeing Ratchet and Clank in the same room talking with Jak and Daxter is even better. However, this is pretty much where all character interaction stops. Aside from these moments (which oddly never get any closure), the story line is pretty dead. Purpose for entry is odd, how these characters are coming together is never discussed and the final boss’ motive is nonexistant. Even as awesome as the rivalry stage is, it would have been nice to see characters invading each others’ homeworld. With the sequel, I hope to see this issue resolved. Again, I hate comparing it to Smash, but Brawl introduced an incredible story mode titled the ‘Subspace Emissary.’ This had players progressing, playing as all the characters in the roster as they move forward with an ultimate goal. Start off with one character, pass through some well-designed platforming levels and then face off against a boss or unlockable character. Imagine how this could work for PlayStation All-Stars. For starters, a lot of the characters in the game already have an established platforming history. Throw in some well-designed levels based on these IPs, and you have a great play field. Spectacular voice acting from each character, a true purpose and meaning behind this big crossover and the story for the sequel pretty much writes itself. Animated cutscenes and the such can help make PlayStation All-Stars both a multiplayer brawl and a single-player experience. Make it happen, SuperBot. We know you can!
More Ways to Play
Yes, we all love to duke it out in a free for all. Hell, we all like to have fun in some 2v2′s every now and then. The best way to play the game, at least in my opinion, is in 1v1 battles. However, where are the other, creative game modes? You know, the ones that leaked in the beta months before release. Gold Star Collected, King of the Hill, and Capture the Flag sound like they all could have been innovative ways to play in this huge, PlayStation crossover. Yet, somehow, they didn’t make the cut for the final release of the game. Why this happened is beyond my understanding, but it definitely leaves a big mark on the release of the game. More ways to play is always better than one way, especially if they are fleshed out in a way that works. Let’s hope the sequel brings a lot more to the table than the primary modes.
An Improved Roster
Since PlayStation All-Stars is still early in its release, we can all expect DLC to continue rolling out. The first two characters and new stage are already being prepped for release early next year – Kat, Emmett Graves and a new Heavenly Sword/WipEout stage. However, making the assumption all the DLC characters will be from IPs not represented in the on-disc roster, there is still a lot of ways to expand the roster for the better. The one way I can make up is to include multiple characters from a single IP. For a reason I will never understand, Cole MacGrath got this special treatment with 10% of the roster being Cole in two different forms (despite gameplay not being too much of a difference). Imagine the likes of Zeus, Nefarious or Calypso being added to the roster. A fact worth noting is the above characters I mentioned are all villains in their respective series. Villains are also something heavily missing from the roster. Also, make sure to include pretty much all the characters from the original release in the sequel, with (a very small) maybe in terms of bringing back the third-party characters. If some changes to movesets are to be made, so be it. However, missing characters that are so well-established is a huge hit. Lastly, more third party support is always welcome. This is a note to other developers and IP owners rather than SuperBot and Sony. Third-party studios need to get on the ball and help establish their series even more by including some of their iconic characters in a polished crossover such as PlayStation All-Stars.
Keep the Crossing, Add More
Cross buy, cross controller, cross saves. It all works in PlayStation All-Stars. Keep the Vita port concept going, as it is a blast to be able to play such a fun game on the go. However, let’s expand on the crossing beyond Sony’s powerful handheld. Cross-support DLC (if that exists). A big plus would be allowing PlayStation All-Stars DLC being released now and in the future to be compatible between both the original release and PlayStation All-Stars 2. Last thing we would want to do is pay for these characters, move forward with the sequel, and never being able to use them again. The same can be said for stages. Games like Rock Band (does anybody even care about this series anymore?) and LittleBigPlanet do it, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for this game to partake in the venture.
Not Only Next Gen!
Probably one of the most controversial points in this argument. Once rumors hit the fan of an All-Stars 2 being developed, speculation went straight towards next-gen. Yes, that would be really cool and adds more potential to both power capabilities, networking and even character roster, not all people are going to jump the gun and grab the next big PlayStation. Assuming the PlayStation 4/Orbis/Thebes is released during this time next year, All-Stars 2 won’t be too far away from release, with a possible Q1/Q2 2014 release schedule – or around the same time as its release this year. That being said, the PS4 will still be relatively early in its lifecycle, and not all gamers may have went out and purchased it. If it is exclusive to the PS4, current gen fans only option may be to purchase the PS Vita version, which would result in missing the opportunity of cross-buy. If PlayStation All-Stars 2 does make the cut for the PS4, perhaps a PS3 version could still be sold as well. Or Sony will keep it exclusive to Vita and PS4 to push gamers to purchase their newest console. Time can only tell with this one.
This is just what I want. What about all of you PlayStation fans out there? How do you want SuperBot to cater to you all? Leave your suggestions and ideas in the comments section below!