Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Nintendo Switch Cover.jpeg
Cover art
Developer(s)Ludosity
Fair Play Labs
Publisher(s)
Director(s)Diego Rodriguez
Sergio Chacon
Designer(s)Elias Forslind[2]
Artist(s)Diego Hernández Cruz
Tanja Waimer
Composer(s)Mattias Hakulinen
Carlos Aguilar
SeriesNickelodeon Super Brawl
EngineUnity[3]
Platform(s)
ReleaseOctober 5, 2021[1]
Genre(s)Fighting
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a crossover fighting game developed by Swedish developer Ludosity and Costa Rican developer Fair Play Labs, and published by GameMill Entertainment. It is the first console game in the Nickelodeon Super Brawl series of browser games and mobile games.[6] Featuring characters from various Nickelodeon shows, the game was released on October 5, 2021 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows.

Gameplay

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a platform fighter, with players battling on different stages and attempting to knock their opponents outside the boundaries of the arena.[7] Movement takes place on a two-dimensional plane, with characters able to move around by running, jumping, double-jumping, or performing a mid-air dash in any of eight directions. Characters have three different types of attacks: light attacks, which are weak but quick and can be used to perform combos; strong attacks, which are slower but do more damage and knock opponents back further; and special attacks, the properties of which vary by character. Different attacks can be performed by pushing up or down or running in combination with one of the three attack buttons. Players can also grab and throw opponents or enemy projectiles, even in the air, and guard against attacks without penalty, though they will be pushed back in doing so. Unique to the game is the "strafe" function, where players can hold a button to prevent their character from turning around while moving in different directions; this can be used to continue attacking an opponent while actively retreating from them. As characters take damage, the amount of knockback caused by opponents' attacks will increase, making them easier to knock off the stage. Each stage offers a different layout, with some also having additional hazards that can cause damage to the characters. An update in June 2022 added 16 items to the game, which can be toggled in the match options. These items will spawn intermittently on the battlefield and can be grabbed and thrown to inflict damage on opponents in different ways.[8]

The game supports local and online multiplayer for up to four players, with the game's online functionality utilizing rollback netcode on supported platforms.[4] The game also features a single-player arcade mode and a "Sports" mode, based on the "Slap Ball" game type from the developer's previous fighting game Slap City. In Sports mode, players must knock a ball into an opponent's goal, with different types of balls having different properties, such as soccer balls being unable to be grabbed.[1] Players are able to unlock images displayed in an in-game gallery, music for the game's sound test, and online profile icons.[9]

Playable characters

The game currently features 24 playable characters from 16 Nickelodeon franchises, consisting of 20 characters in the base roster, two additional characters added via free updates and two paid downloadable content characters. One additional DLC character is announced for future release. Each character also has their own stage usually based on their series of origin.[1]

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
Avatar: The Last Airbender
CatDog
Danny Phantom
Garfield
Hey Arnold!
Invader Zim
Jimmy Neutron
The Legend of Korra
The Loud House
My Life as a Teenage Robot
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Rocko's Modern Life
Rugrats
SpongeBob SquarePants
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Wild Thornberrys

Notes

  1. ^ a b Added via a free update
  2. ^ a b c Downloadable content

Development

Following the success of Swedish independent studio Ludosity's fighting game Slap City, Nickelodeon approached the game's developers and laid out their plans for a platform fighter. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl entered production by early 2020, being developed by Ludosity with assistance from Costa Rican studio Fair Play Labs.[2][4] The game was designed with competitive play in mind from its inception, with Ludosity seeking to simplify the controls for newer players without sacrificing the gameplay depth sought by competitive players.[1] The character roster was decided collaboratively between GameMill and Ludosity; according to Ludosity, only a few of their character choices were rejected by Nickelodeon due to global licensing issues.[1] Prior to its announcement, the existence of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl was leaked by GameFly on July 10, 2021.[17] The game was officially announced three days later on July 13, via a trailer on IGN.[9] It is the first console game in the long-running Nickelodeon Super Brawl series, with previous entries having been online browser games and mobile games.[6] Like Nickelodeon Kart Racers and Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix, the previous two Nickelodeon games published by GameMill Entertainment, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl did not launch with voice acting for any of the playable characters. Ludosity CEO Joel Nyström stated that "as we continue to build the Nick All-Star Brawl franchise, we will be reviewing all options, which may include adding VO down the road."[1] Maximum Games distributed physical copies of the game in most of Europe, while French publisher Just For Games distributed physical copies in France due to the publisher's partnership with GameMill Entertainment.[18]

Within the game's first week of release, players created several extensive mods for the PC version, including implementing gameplay changes, alternate costumes, and voice acting for all characters.[19][20] In November 2021, the official Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Twitter account confirmed that alternate costumes would be added to the game via a free update.[21] Ludosity confirmed that two additional playable characters would be added to the game via free post-launch updates;[1] the first of these characters, Garfield, was released on December 9, 2021, while the second, Shredder, was released on February 3, 2022, alongside a stage based on Double Dare.[13][16] In December 2021, art director Diego Hernández Cruz confirmed that cross-platform play would be added to the game via an update in Q1 2022, with voice acting planned for a later update.[22] On May 13, 2022, Ludosity announced the first wave of paid downloadable content characters: Jenny Wakeman, released simultaneously with the announcement, and Hugh Neutron and Rocko, scheduled for release over the following months.[14] An update in June 2022 added English voice acting for all characters, along with items that can be enabled during gameplay.[8]

Reception

Critical reception

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[26][23][24][25] Reviewers praised the gameplay but criticized the game's presentation and lack of content.[35][30][32]

Push Square called the game "the best Super Smash Bros. clone we have ever played", but criticized the lack of modes offered and lamented that the lack of voice acting made the game feel "a bit cheap overall".[35] IGN felt that the mechanical differences and good online play made the game a great alternative to similar fighting games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though noted it was far less polished or fully-featured than such other games.[30] Destructoid believed that the game provided a solid framework for a future franchise, and hoped GameMill would invest more time and money into a sequel.[27]

Accolades

The game was nominated for Best Fighting Game at The Game Awards 2021, but lost to Guilty Gear Strive.[40]

Award Year Category Result Ref.
The Game Awards 2021 Best Fighting Game Nominated [40]
D.I.C.E. Awards 2022 Fighting Game of the Year Nominated [41]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Carson, John (September 15, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Q&A With Ludocity CEO Joel Nyström". Game Informer. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Walker, Ian (July 16, 2021). "Nickelodeon Fighting Game Devs Have High Hopes, Competitive Dreams". Kotaku. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  3. ^ "Unity acquires Spider-Man, Hellblade character design company Ziva Dynamics". January 24, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Jarrard, Chris (July 13, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is from Slap City devs and may have rollback netcode". Shacknews. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Romano, Sal (August 26, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl adds playable CatDog and April O'Neil, PC version announced". Gematsu. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Stanton, Rich (July 14, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl may be the Smash Bros. killer". PC Gamer. Retrieved October 16, 2021. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, interestingly enough, isn't a new thing, but the latest in a series of Nickelodeon 'Super Brawl' games that began on the company's website over a decade ago
  7. ^ Goslin, Austen (July 13, 2021). "SpongeBob will smash in Nickelodeon's All-Star Brawl, which is exactly what you think it is". Polygon. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Yang, George (June 6, 2022). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Now Has Voice Acting and Items". IGN. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  9. ^ a b Skrebels, Joe (July 13, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Is a Smash Bros-alike Featuring SpongeBob, TMNT and More". IGN. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Spurlin, Brittany (July 13, 2021). "Every Character Confirmed For Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl". Screen Rant. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  11. ^ a b Gach, Ethan (September 2, 2021). "Nick Fighting Game Gets Roster Accidentally Leaked By Nintendo eShop". Kotaku. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  12. ^ Cooper, Dalton (September 15, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Leak Confirms Toph". Game Rant. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Bailey, Kat (December 7, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl's First DLC Character is Garfield". IGN. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c d Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (May 13, 2022). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl: Jenny Revealed (Plus Hugh Neutron & Rocko)". IGN. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  15. ^ Nyström, Joel (September 14, 2021). "Ren & Stimpy are coming to Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  16. ^ a b McCaffrey, Ryan (February 3, 2022). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl: Shredder Revealed as New Character". IGN. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  17. ^ Bevan, Rhiannon (July 10, 2021). "Listing For Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Appears Online". TheGamer. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
  18. ^ "Just For Games announces new partnership with GameMill Entertainment". Just For Games. May 31, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  19. ^ "11 Mods for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl You Can Get Now". IGN. October 13, 2021. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  20. ^ Kratky, Otto (October 7, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Is Being Modded To Play Like Super Smash Bros. Melee". GameSpot. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  21. ^ Young, Rory (November 20, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Is Getting Free Skins". Game Rant. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  22. ^ Lane, Gavin (December 16, 2021). "Veteran Smash Bros. Player Confirms Voice Acting For Nickelodeon All-Stars Brawl". Nintendo Life. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  23. ^ a b "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl for PlayStation 5 Reviews". Metacritic. October 5, 2021. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  25. ^ a b "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl for Xbox Series X Reviews". Metacritic. October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl for PC Reviews". Metacritic. October 5, 2021. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  27. ^ a b Andriessen, CJ (October 16, 2021). "Review: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl". Destructoid. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  28. ^ Carson, John (October 15, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review". Game Informer. GameStop Corp. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  29. ^ Kemps, Heidi (October 14, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review - Better Than Bad, It's Good!". GameSpot. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  30. ^ a b c Saltzman, Mitchell (October 7, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review". IGN. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  31. ^ Gregoire, Aubin (October 9, 2021). "Test Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl : Super Smash Bros. Ultimate a-t-il trouvé un concurrent sérieux ?". Jeuxvideo.com (in French). Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  32. ^ a b Olney, Alex (October 9, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Review (Switch)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  33. ^ Hilhorst, Willem (October 28, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (Switch) Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  34. ^ Minor, Jordan (October 8, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (for Nintendo Switch) Review". PCMag. Ziff Davis. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  35. ^ a b c Gipp, Stuart (October 6, 2021). "Mini Review: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (PS5) – Featuring Absolutely No Trace of Doug". Push Square. Gamer Network. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  36. ^ Erskine, Donovan (October 13, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl review: Slimy around the edges". Shacknews. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  37. ^ Musgrave, Shaun (October 13, 2021). "SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring 'Underland' and 'Antonball Deluxe', PLus the Latest News, Releases, and Sales". TouchArcade. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
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  39. ^ GameCentral (October 7, 2021). "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl review – SpongeBob SquarePants Melee". Metro. DMG Media. Retrieved January 9, 2022.
  40. ^ a b Morrow, Emily (December 9, 2021). "The Game Awards 2021: Here's the complete list of winners". Digital Trends. Designtechnica Corporation. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  41. ^ "25th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards Finalists Revealed". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved January 13, 2022.