I don’t care about PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale. Not in the slightest. I have no interest in the game itself, on any platform or in any guise. I just don’t care. in fact, the only thing I find remotely interesting about it is that fact that I don’t find it interesting at all. Let me explain.
Normally, I’ll get quite excited about anything new, even if it’s not something that would usually interest me. I’ve got a Wii U pre-ordered and I can’t wait to try it, in spite of never being the Wii’s (or Nintendo’s) biggest fan. I bought a 3DS at a midnight launch and I imported a Vita from Japan as soon as it was possible, despite never being a great fan of handheld gaming – and letting my DS and especially my PSP gather dust for so long.
I can’t think of a single high profile game that’s been released in recent memory that I haven’t at least wanted to try. Usually, I’ll see a trailer, maybe watch a dev diary and look at some screenshots. It might be a game I don’t think I’ll like but I’ll still want to try it, just to know what everyone else is talking about.[drop]Sometimes, as with Killzone 3, this presents me with a little surprise in that I enjoy it very much. Sometimes, as with Gravity Rush, I expect to like something and find it a little underwhelming.
Either way, I’m usually keen to see it in action. And yet, Sony’s big release for this Christmas (outside of Wonderbook’s Book of Spells, which I’m perplexingly eager to try!) doesn’t connect with me at all.
I’ve spent weeks wondering why this might be. I’ve tried – tried – to watch various trailers and gameplay videos.
I’ve also read several reviews, including the enthusiastic coverage Blair gave it on this very website. I know loads of people who are excited about it. So why can’t I muster any enthusiasm for this coming together of so many treasured icons from my gaming history in one package?
“Just try it and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it” came the response from one of my Twitter friends when I mentioned my unrelenting apathy towards this game. Which is fine, usually that’s exactly how my head works for games that I’m not keen on. But Battle Royale isn’t a game I feel I won’t like, it’s a game for which I don’t feel at all.
It looks very much like multiplayer a brawler – like Smash Bros. Well firstly, I wasn’t very keen on Smash Bros. Secondly, it seems as though it’s not quite that simple. Battle Royale is being spoken about in terms that make it seem similar to a proper fighting game, like Street Fighter. Several references to balancing and online code make it seem to me as though this is something which could be played competitively, at tournaments. The problem with that is that I’m not a huge fan of fighting games, either. Well, not since Mortal Kombat 2 on the Mega Drive, at least.[drop2]So, already I don’t really know what Battle Royale is but neither of the things I think it is are very dear to me.
I find the focus of the game’s pre-release discussion quite confusing. It’s like Sony decided to rip off Nintendo’s Smash Bros. but then decided that they could make something that might appeal to traditional fighting fans instead.
It seems like a bit of a hybrid. Kratos throwing hands with PaRappa the Rapper is a juxtaposition too far for me. If it had been either of the two things I think it seems like, I would probably have wanted to try it. Kratos fighting against other muscle-bound rage monsters? Yeah, bring that on. PaRappa trading slaps with Sackboy? Yeah, that could be fun. But Battle Royale seems to not quite know what it is and without that cohesive anchor point, I can’t find anything to attach to.
I’m sure the single sale I lose Sony this holiday season won’t tip them over the edge into absolute economic meltdown. But I can’t be the only person that the marketing message hasn’t connected with, can I? Is this widespread? Will it damage the game’s sales figures?
Perhaps I’ve just (finally!) reached a point in my life where my subconscious is switching off my desire for things that I must know, deep down, are an unnecessary drain on my dwindling free time? Either way, I’ll be spending my holiday season playing games like Far Cry 3, Halo 4 and Black Ops II. I’ll be running around Nintendo Land with Mario and friends rather than slapping the cake out of Fat Princess’ mouth with Cole from inFamous. And I’ll be thankful for the abundant choice we all have in today’s selection of games.