Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl feels like a fever dream. A super Smash Bros styled fighting game filled to the brim with Nickelodeon properties new and old. On paper that sounds like it should work really well, right?
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review | Spike Your Expectations
All-Star Brawl has a solid foundation, developers Ludosity certainly made an easy to pick up and play fighting game that has depth to it. All of the characters have their own unique moveset that is inspired by the various properties from which they came.
Nigel Thornberry’s moveset is based on the various animals he’s studied, like a jump that turns him into a flailing whale that hits like a truck. While you have other characters like Danny Phantom who can zip around the map using ghost-like abilities.
The maps are all from various Nickelodeon shows like the Ghost Ship from Spongebob or Harmonic Convergence from The Legend of Korra. Visually they look appealing and serve their purpose. Again, something about each stage just lacks charm and small attention to details that help it stand out from the rest of the pack in this genre.
It’s a game with good bones, but nothing else to offer. Characters lack voice-acting, the music is repetitive and often underwhelming, and once you get past the nostalgia for these characters, there’s not much there.
That being said, if you’re simply looking for a fighting game with solid online play and something that is clearly modeled after Super Smash Bros. Melee, then you will probably enjoy this game more than most.
Outside of online, there’s an arcade mode and local battling. Don’t expect a fun single-player story or any of the frills we’ve come to love about other games in the genre. As I said, it has good bones but is lacking any meat on them.
The online holds up surprisingly well. I played about 40 matches and only had one disconnect. All of the other matches sat at a ping of around 25 ms and there was very little noticeable latency. All-Star Brawl’s online is actually quite impressive, and certainly the highlight of the game.
The roster of characters includes fan favorites like Aang from The Last Airbender and Spongebob Squarepants. It’s fun to watch these characters duke it out for ultimate supremacy, but again, it’s eerie playing a match with no voice work or small details. It feels barren.
It’s hard to tell if this game lacks the proper budget or if Nickelodeon characters just aren’t at the level of charm as Nintendo characters, but that game feels incomplete as a whole.
It’s not all doom and gloom though if All-Star Brawl continues to update its roster, add new maps and modes, it can be something special. At its core the fighting mechanics are solid and I enjoy the one-on-one matches I’ve played. The game just does not have enough charm to keep me invested for more than ten to fifteen minutes at a time.
All-Star Brawl is a great family game though. Kids will love playing as their favorite characters and it's simple enough to pick up and learn. Just don't let them go online.
We’ve seen a lot of Smash clones come and go over the years, very few with any staying power. All-Star Brawl feels like another flash in the pan, very much like opening the biggest box under the Christmas tree only to find a pair of socks inside.
- Solid online with very few connection issues
- A good fighting game core with inspiration from Smash Melee
- No voice acting or attention to small details
- Not much to do outside of online battles
- Boring stage design