Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a new fighting game with a ton of your favorite characters on PS4. Learn more in our Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl review!
What if Super Smash Bros. but with Nickelodeon characters? That’s what Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl from Ludosity, Fair Play Labs, and GameMill sets out to answer on PlayStation 4. You’ll be fighting it out in 20 stages, with 20 characters from Nickelodeon’s universe with a system that feels close to Nintendo’s excellent fighter while also managing to do its own thing. Each character feels different, and the developers have managed to bring these 2D characters to life in 3D, which is not an easy thing to do!
The fighters right now include 20 Nickelodeon characters, with more on the way either as standalone DLC or perhaps as part of a Season Pass of sorts, as has been the case for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Who’s included in the base game for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl? Here’s the list of series – and characters from said series – currently in the game:
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
Avatar: The Last Airbender
– Toph Beifong
– Danny Phantom
– Helga Pataki
The Legend of Korra
The Loud House
– Lincoln Loud
– Lucy Loud
The Ren & Stimpy Show
– Ren & Stimpy
– Powdered Toast Man
– SpongeBob SquarePants
– Patrick Star
– Sandy Cheeks
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
– April O’Neil
The Wild Thornberrys
– Nigel Thornberry
With titular characters Danny Phantom, SpongeBob SquarePants, Ren & Stimpy, Korra, Zim, and CatDog, it’s a bit weird to see that instead of us getting Arnold from Hey Arnold!, the team has selected Helga. Mind you, representation matters, so more female characters is never a bad thing. It is odd, however, that we all know and love all four of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gang, but we’re only getting two turtles this time around. At least April O’Neil is part of the base game! Rugrats also only has Reptar in here, so I’m sure we’ll see other characters from the series as DLC.
You can take on Stock or Timed battles or go into Sports battles. For Stock battles, you have a limited number of lives and must KO other players to be the last one standing. For Timed Battles, you must KO the most opponents possible before time runs out. As for Sports Battles, you must take the ball into the opposing teams’ goal. At the end of the match, the team that has the highest score will win! The soccer ball can’t be grabbed, so you’ll have to hit it towards the goal to score. The Tommy ball can be worth three points when it lands in the goal from far away. The football can only be grabbed and thrown, so you can’t hit it to move it around. And then there’s the yarn ball, which can be used to attack when thrown. Oh, and if there’s a plankton ball in play, it’s going to be a heavy one to move around.
Arcade Mode is what we’d usually call Story Mode. It will feature cutscenes between characters as you go on a tour through each stage, proving to all that you’re the more powerful Nickelodeon fighter out there. You will have some battles that you have to take on, while for others, you’ll be able to select between two different battles. Once you reach the final battle – which, no, is not against a giant glove – you’ll have completed that character’s Arcade run and will be ready for the next character to take on this journey.
You can move your character with the left analog stick. If you want to move without changing direction, you can do so by press the L2 button. If you press the Triangle button, you’ll do a hop. Hold down the Triangle button, and you can jump higher. Press the button again while in the air, and you’ll double jump. The X button is for quick attacks. The Circle button is for powerful attacks. You can also run and press the X or Circle for a running attack. Strong attacks have a rock-paper-scissors dynamic going on, so up beats down, down beats middle and middle beats up. Hold the R2 button, and you’ll be able to block. When up in the air, pressing the R2 button will activate an air dash.
Pressing the R2 and X buttons at the same time will allow you to do a grab. After this, press the X button to throw. Do be aware of how when you’re grabbing something, you can’t double jump. The Square button is for special moves. You can also press up or down to activate different moves, so be sure to experiment with each character! The more damage a character receives, the further it flies away when it’s hit. Whenever a character exits the screen, then it will be KOd. Projectiles can be sent back with a properly timed powerful attack. And if you press the L1 button, you can taunt your opponents.
If you want to learn how each of the characters behaves in action, you might want to first dive into the Extras section before you get into any fights. Why? Because the Extras is where you can find the Moves section, where you can see how each character attacks with light and strong attacks, attacks while running, and attacks while up in the air. You can also review each character’s special attacks. For example, SpongeBob Squarepants will blow bubbles with his special attack. Pressing up and special attack button will make him quickly soar upwards as he spins his spatula. Press down and his special attack button, and he will take a big bite – an attack which you can also charge.
The stages so far include Jellyfish Fields, The Flying Dutchman’s Ship, Glove World, Western Air Temple, Omashu, Harmonic Convergence, The Loud House, Royal Woods Cemetery, Rooftop Rumble, Sewers Slam, Technodrome Takedown, Space Madness, Powdered Toast Trouble, Irken Armada Invasion, CatDog’s House, Showdown at Teeter Totter Gulch, Wild Waterfall, Traffic Jam, Ghost zone, and The Dump. If characters from other series are added at a later date, then there’s already space in the selection screen.
Trophy-wise, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl includes a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy, split into six Bronze trophies, eleven Silver trophies, and seven Gold trophies. You’ll have to clear the Arcade Mode with every single fighter, complete an Arcade Mode run without losing a single stock, completing your first local battle, winning a Sports match with the soccer ball with a ten score lead, completing an online quick match – and then doing that again for 10 and 50 matches, or beating an opponent in an online match without losing a single stock.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl does a great job of showing us what a fun Super Smash Bros.-like release can do with the right gameplay system and the right cast of characters to help it stand out. Sure, it doesn’t have the huge roster that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has to offer, but it does have a varied cast of beloved cartoon characters that will continue to grow as new DLC is released. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is out on PlayStation 4 with a $49.99 price.
This Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by GameMill.