One great aspect of All-Star Brawl is how the game really wants to help new players adapt to its competitive nature. Not that it’s a hard game to learn, since it takes the Smash basics and rolls with them in their own special way. There’s a cool tutorial here that teaches you how the general mechanics work, from throws to punches to kicks to special moves. It’s easy to learn, hard to master, and surprisingly fun to play.
The mechanics are not overly complex – this feels like Smash through and through – but it’s nicely dialed in, though there are minor questions with balancing. Michelangelo, for example, seems a bit too over-powered at times, and there are other small issues too. In general, the fights are very well done, and jumping in is a snap, both with local play and against others online.
Speaking of online, the netcode provided in All-Star Brawl is very good. I had no trouble connecting to fights and kicking butts, though over-complex features like ping rate and crossplay are not really in the testing phase. At least, they are not yet, but, from what I tried out, the game is pretty solid. It is not amazing, mind you, but for a product that’s mostly about the license, it’s not bad at all.
Finally, the fighter variety is pretty good. There are some missing characters here, mainly two of the missing Ninja Turtles and – gasp! – there is no Rocko from Rocko’s Modern Life anywhere in sight. Even so, they have DLC combatants coming in and it should be a pretty good line-up based on what we’ve heard so far. I can not wait to dine on Turtle soup with Shredder.