Now that Club Nintendo is closing its doors, it's safe to wonder if this will be the end of the physical reward system. We go over a brief history of some of the rewards granted to gamers from Nintendo Power strategy guides to soundtracks and weigh it against the digitized reward systems.
Does No One Remember These Super Smash Clones?
Early this morning, G4TV unveiled PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. A character mash up game very much in the same likeness of Super Smash Bros. from Nintendo. It took no time at all for people to start raving against the game calling it a blatant rip-off and that Sony should be ashamed. Thing is, All-Stars isn’t the first game to utilize the Super Smash formula nor its play style. When it comes down to brass taxes, throwing a bunch of fan favorite characters in an arena and giving the gamers control over them is just something that works and is highly wanted. Nintendo’s Smash Bros. was a huge deal back on the Nintendo 64 that blew up into a phenomenon. Where else were you going to find Link fighting against Pikachu or Browser taking on Captain Falcon? Nintendo franchises and characters aren’t the only established crew in the world of entertainment. Plenty of people took to forums and sites to come up with their favorite rosters of PlayStation characters, Xbox characters, TV personas, cartoons, anime, and the list goes on. What some of you may not know or remember is that some of those mediums have Super Smash-like games already.
Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion
If you grew up in the 90’s and even somewhat into the early 2000’s you’ll remember the smash hits that Cartoon Network had airing. You had classic cartoon such as Courage the Cowardly Dog, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Lab, 2 Stupid Dogs, Secret Squirrel, and so much more. Take all the characters from that era in Cartoon Network’s history and some of the modern ones like Ben 10 and throw them in an arena. That was Punch Time Explosion. This game had a story mode and plenty of character colors and costumes to keep fans interested.
Battle Stadium D.O.N.
Featuring characters from DragonBall Z, Naruto, and One Piece this game from Bandai saw players tackle mission-based battles and multiplayer for up to four people. The roster wasn’t very defined and limited to only three shows but they hit up some of the best characters from those series. There was plenty to unlock and the missions got pretty difficult. This is just the beginning of the titles on this list that unfortunately did not make it overseas.
Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble
Capcom’s Viewtiful Joe series was just pure fun. The story may have been stupid but that was the point. The art style and near chibi-like characters were fun and interesting. Red Hot Rumble took the cast of the series and some outside inclusions like Dante and gave us a beat ‘em up that resembled Power Stone and Super Smash. I had a blast with this game ticking off my friends as I spammed Devil Trigger with Dante. The roster was around 13 strong but each had costumes and other unlockables.
DreamMix TV World Fighters
Sadly, this is another Japan-only game. This game featured some characters that gamers would die for over here in the States (or even Europe!). This was very Smash Bros. centered but featured characters like Solid Snake, Simon Belmont, Optimus Prime, and Megatron. Hudson Soft has a slice of the roster with their quirky characters but Konami and Takara took center stage here. Still, the roster wasn’t that big and battles got boring soon after unlocking everything and seeing the same people all the time. Once you got your fill of Prime and the other heavy hitters, TV World Fighters just became another shelf sitter.
Jump Superstars and Ultimate Stars
Take 27 characters from hit series found in Jump! magazine, put them in Super Smash fighting conditions and you have this game. It was absolutely awesome! Total shame it never hit outside of Japan but I did import it way back when for the DS. I couldn’t pass up the chance to play as Kenshin or Don Patch. Gameplay was very similar to Super Smash but you’d have manga-style slides on the touch screen which when pressed would activate a character to come in and either help you fight, support you, or defend. Ultimate Stars brought the roster up to 305 character with over 50 of them playable and the rest featured as slide summons.
So as we all can see, Sony isn’t doing anything that hasn’t been done before. If anything, All-Stars is the best representation outside of Super Smash for this character mash-up arena fighting genre. Gamers just want to see their favorite characters in these scenarios. Remember how many different characters would be brought up for inclusion in Super Smash games. Most of them would never be found on the roster. These games allow for many fan favorites to be played and battled against others who could never be in Super Smash Bros. I, for one, am glad that Sony is doing this. I wrote an earlier piece about how a Microsoft vs. Sony fighting game would and it was damn near one-sided if you looked at who Sony would be fielding. All-Stars Battle Royale should be one giant joy ride once it comes out this holiday. We’ll look forward to more character reveals and possible hands-on at E3 2012. I’ll make sure to shuffle Jason over to the Sony booth! To end this article, I’ll include a look at PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Enjoy!