Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is out today, and there is hope that it is perhaps an enormous hit within the aggressive combating recreation group. It’s not possible to have a look at gameplay of the most recent platform fighter starring the likes of SpongeBob, Nigel Thornberry, CatDog, and different Nicktoon stars with out drawing deep parallels to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. sequence.
The Melee group continues to be extremely energetic in the present day, bringing CRT televisions to tournaments and taking part in Melee on-line via modified variations of the sport. Despite Nintendo’s tendency to close down choose Smash-related group occasions, the Melee fanbase has endured resulting from a deep love of the sport.
But along with their long-term love affair with Melee, many gamers within the Smash group are hyped on the concept of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl: a brand new combating recreation with aggressive ambition, rollback netcode, and no Nintendo involvement. IGN spoke to a number of Smash professionals about their pleasure for this new fighter forward of its launch.
Another Platform Fighter Joins the Fray
Toph — the participant, not the character — began competing within the Melee scene over a decade in the past. Besides competing, he is additionally identified for commentating, streaming, and podcasting about aggressive Smash. He says he is excited for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl as a result of it is exploring a sort of recreation that also has a number of room to develop.
“It looks like a brand new style,” Toph says. “There aren’t actually that many large platform fighters that individuals have mastered. I feel it is cool to see one other one.”
Platform fighters differ from conventional fighters in that the aim is to knock the opponent off the stage, moderately than deplete all of their well being. Apart from Smash Bros., probably the most well-known platform fighters are Brawlhalla and Rivals of Aether, two indie hits that have not fairly managed to interrupt via to the mainstream. Toph thinks this recreation’s inclusion of recognizable characters might assist it go a great distance.
“I feel lots of people care extra about that stuff than they wish to admit. People are enthusiastic about SpongeBob and Patrick, the Ninja Turtles, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. People love these franchises,” he says.
In a video on our IGN Compete channel, Smash God Mango echoed the joy throughout the group.
“I’ve solely seen positives from everybody within the Melee group, and even within the Ultimate group,” Mango stated. “We all grew up with Nick, so it is simply so many issues we like clashing, we’re all out of this world excited.”
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Screenshots
Will Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Be Competitively Viable?
Of course, these feedback are simply pre-release hype. It stays to be seen how professional Smash gamers will react upon touching the sport for the primary time, however there are indicators that Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl will probably be successful with Smash followers.
Ludosity is the developer of All-Star Brawl. The studio beforehand labored on Slap City, one other platform fighter impressed by Smash Bros. The Smash group latched onto Slap City, and Zain, top-of-the-line Melee gamers on the facility rankings proper now, says the developer selection has individuals intrigued.
“When I heard that the creators of this recreation made Slap City, I used to be like, ‘oh that is gonna be legit,’ as a result of I do know a number of my friends in Melee actually beloved their expertise with Slap City as a aggressive outlet,” Zain says. “Listening to the builders speaking about it, it is apparent they’ve performed Smash at a aggressive stage and have an understanding of it. I’m actually curious to see what sort of issues are shared with Melee and different Smash video games, in addition to the distinctive issues it will likely be providing.”
As far as adjustments go, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is introducing a handful of latest mechanics to the style. Players can seize and throw their opponents in mid-air, they’ll flip round whereas within the air, and there is a rock-paper-scissors setup with up assaults, mid assaults, and down assaults that may shift the move of a battle. There’s no restrict to how lengthy you’ll be able to protect, both. Of all these adjustments, grabbing is the one getting probably the most consideration.
“Grabbing is loopy on this recreation,” Toph says. “I hope grabbing is not too sturdy.”
Zain additionally thinks grabbing has the potential to be an enormous game-changer.
“I feel lots of people are frightened by the prospect of what you are able to do [with grabs]. Are you gonna be capable to simply chain your opponent within the air and combo it? It’s thrilling for me as a result of it is utterly completely different,” Zain says. “It’s onerous to say with out truly taking part in the sport, I’m open for that type of change.”
And, in fact, wavedashing makes its grand return. For these unaware, wavedashing is a motion approach in Smash Bros. Melee carried out by air dodging diagonally into the bottom. To the bare eye, it appears like a wavedashing character is sliding across the stage at a excessive velocity. The approach was faraway from Smash sequels after Melee. After wavedashing was proven in considered one of Nick All-Star Brawl’s gameplay showcases, the Smash group caught wind of a viral tweet, and went nuts.
Melee followers are shedding their shit proper now. pic.twitter.com/X0vS50MJoz
— Mitchell Saltzman (@JurassicRabbit) September 8, 2021
HugS, a Samus principal who has been energetic within the Melee group for nicely over a decade, agrees that the sport could possibly be successful within the aggressive group.
“The workforce behind it’s nice they usually’re giving the characters huge motion choices,” HugS stated. “It’s powerful to know the way it’ll play out now, however the truth that you will have a lot company over the way you play your character appears promising.”
Solid gameplay is not the one factor Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl must catch on. When we requested what else could be necessary for the sport’s success, on-line play was the largest reply.
Online Play Is the Key
Melee launched on the GameCube 20 years in the past, a console missing any on-line play. But since then, Melee gamers have taken issues into their very own palms. Project Slippi is an in-progress software that enables Melee gamers to compete on-line with rollback netcode. Rollback netcode is vital to easy on-line matches, particularly in combating video games the place each body counts.
Rollback netcode and on-line play have turn out to be much more necessary within the final 18 months, as in-person combating recreation occasions have been principally nonexistent because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Zain says Project Slippi and its rollback netcode helped preserve the scene alive.
“With Project Slippi and rollback netcode, it actually did save the scene. We had a bunch of tournaments that have been actually competitively viable,” Zain stated. “It’s loopy to see the longevity of Melee, and the way sturdy it’s to outlive a literal pandemic.”
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl will function rollback netcode, a function that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Switch lacks.
..apparently the Nickelodeon combating recreation HAS rollback netcode “on supported platforms” in response to a dev on the Discord
A PC model is seemingly coming as nicely https://t.co/oQPTzK8Zn4
— Nibel (@Nibellion) July 13, 2021
Toph says a easy on-line expertise might assist this recreation to catch on.
“Removing these obstacles of friction of with the ability to get right into a recreation, and with the ability to really feel such as you’re taking part in a very good recreation, it is gonna matter to individuals much more than they notice,” Toph says. “I feel lots of people accustomed to Smash Ultimate’s netplay expertise aren’t going to have the ability to put this recreation down, if it truly is the rollback netcode that they’ve type of marketed. It issues lots.”
A Rocky Relationship With Nintendo
The Smash group and Nintendo have shared a rocky relationship for a very long time. Nintendo has a history of taking action against competitive Smash. The divide turned even wider and complex final 12 months, after a misconduct scandal hit the Smash group.
Now, the prospect of a reliable platform fighter with out Nintendo’s involvement is certain to have some members of the Melee group considering leaping ship to Nick All-Star Brawl. Plus, Ludosity’s obvious aim is to foster a aggressive group makes the brand new recreation much more engaging.
“I feel the aggressive Smash group has felt at occasions fairly burned by Nintendo and their willingness to speak about aggressive options,” Toph says. “It looks like the builders of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl are very warmly receptive to that kind of factor.”
HugS, who has been very vocal pushing again in opposition to a few of Nintendo’s enterprise choices associated to Smash, says the mixture of recognizable characters and the group’s frustration with Nintendo might “make this the right storm for individuals to prioritize a recreation that may truly rival Smash within the platform combating style.” He says the primary downside is the obvious lack of voice performing in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.
However, Toph additionally says Smash gamers are so invested of their craft that there is nothing Nintendo might do to drive them away completely. While some gamers who really feel burned could find yourself transferring on, the gamers we spoke with agree that Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl will not have a destructive impression on Smash’s aggressive reputation.
“We love Smash. We love the sport. Whether you are a Melee participant or an Ultimate participant, they’re simply nice, nice aggressive video games,” Toph says. “We may not agree with a number of the choices Nintendo makes, however we see the video games they put out and their enterprise choices as completely different entities. I feel it is potential to like Nintendo video games with out essentially agreeing with their aggressive philosophy.”
So, it appears there’s room for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl to suit alongside Melee and Ultimate in Smash-lovers’ hearts.
“I do assume a number of Melee gamers will help the Nickelodeon recreation by competing in it and streaming it, alongside Melee,” Zain says.
Overall, the gamers we spoke to are feeling good about Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, and it will not be lengthy till we begin to see how the scene will shake out.
“When one thing like Nick All-Stars comes out, the place it appears superior gameplay-wise, it has superior characters, and it has higher on-line than Nintendo’s ever given to its video games, in addition to precise developer help into the aggressive scene, it is clearly only a no-brainer to funnel help into there,” Zain says. “I’ve by no means had this intention with something however Melee, however I wish to turn out to be the perfect on the earth at it, even when it is only for a bit of bit.”
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is out now on Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
Logan Plant is a freelancer author at IGN