Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a fighter developed by Ludosity and Fair Play Labs. It was published by GameMill Entertainment and released for PC and Consoles in October 2021.
Have you ever wanted to play as Patrick and beat up a Ninja Turtle? See Helga from Hey Arnold beat up Garfield? Well now you can! Is it as fun as it sounds? Well that depends on who you ask. But we have one of the largest licensed Nickelodeon crossovers here and I was excited to fight characters as my favourite, but what I was left with was nothing but disappointment at the end of the day.
There is no story in this game. It’s all about gameplay. When you start up the game, you get your choice of options to choose from. Battle mode which is basically just QuickPlay, Arcade mode which has you going through a series of fights as whoever you choose to play as, and online. Which just speaks for itself.
So we’re gonna go gamemode by gamemode. In Battle, you get to choose pre-set rules or make your own. You can choose between lives or see who can get the most eliminations in the allotted amount of time. This was basically your standard game mode of party brawler games. Then you had sports mode, which sees you throwing a ball through the other team’s goal. You could at least change the variation of the ball. Soccer ball, football. My favourite was Plankton Ball, which was Plankton from Spongebob, made into a giant ball.
Then there was the disappointing Arcade mode. There was no story, there was no big bad to fight, like Master Hand at the end of Smash Bros on the N64, you just get tossed into a randomized set of 7 battles, where you get to choose your opponent every second fight, between the two options given. A story run didn’t last longer than five minutes, except for when I decided to do a run on Very Hard. It took 40 minutes because the AI was such a cheater, I had to restart a billion times.
If you’ve ever played a Smash Bros game, you sort of already have a feel of what to expect in this game. You have your basic attack, everyone has a special attack, then their set of heavy attacks. Except the one big thing, that I can’t emphasize enough, was that none of them felt good to use. Everything felt clunky and heavy. Or if the character wasn’t heavy feeling, they were slippery. The amount of times while I played as Lincoln Loud, that I’d end up sliding past my opponent when I went to hit them, was ridiculous. Or if I’d start getting hit, there was no way to stop it. I’d just get comboed until the enemy stopped. There’s a guard feature, but it just makes you stand still and lower damage, as opposed to moving out of the way, or rolling behind your opponent.
Earlier I said on higher difficulties the AI cheats. Anytime I fought the AI on a higher difficulty, there were many times where they should’ve lost a life, but they would just use their recovery move as many times as they wanted until they were back in the arena. Now every character has a recovery move to get back in the arena if you’re knocked off, but the thing is, you’re only allowed to use yours ONCE. That’s it!
Unfortunately there was nothing to unlock in the game, as everything was already there. No new characters or maps. No new modifiers or minigames. There was nothing. At the point of this review, the developers had just added items and voice acting, but I never bothered trying a fight with items. Heck the weirdest thing to me about the game was the roster. You have two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles instead of all 4 as various skins. You have April O’Neil instead of Casey Jones. You have random shows like The Loud House, but no Jimmy Neutron or Fairly Odd Parents. For every good character there was, there was another character that left me going “why?”. But I still spent my time playing as everyone at least once through the Arcade mode. Though it would’ve been better if there was a big bad boss at the end and not just a random fight.
At least the maps were mostly fun. You had a bit of everything littered in. From Jellyfish Fields, to Flying Dutchman’s ship, to Ren And Stimpy’s Kitchen. I was excited to take my time to try them all out. In all honesty I can’t pick a favourite map because I honestly enjoyed them all.
- Fun Maps
- Beating Up Some Favourite Nickelodeon Character
- Stiff Controls
- Boring Arcade
- A Weird Roster
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl feels like someone just wanted to cash in on a character brawler but didn’t put any real work into it. It was boring, the controls sucked, and it felt like it was missing a bigger cast of characters. With only 22 available at the time and more coming soon, it still wasn’t enough. If there’s ever a second one, I hope they do more with it instead of this bare bones experience that really has no reason to play it.
Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Ludosity / Fair Play Labs
Developer Socials: Twitter / Twitter
Publisher Website: GameMill Entertainment
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £44.99/€49.99 Europe / $49.99 North America
Trophy Information: 25. 1 / 7 / 11 / 6