Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

For several generations, youngsters have enjoyed watching shows on the Nickelodeon cable channel for kids.  Heck, even when I was little back in the 80’s, I enjoyed watching Nick shows such as You Can’t Do that on Television, Danger Mouse, and Double Dare.  Even more recently I’ve been known to watch shows on that channel like Invader ZIM and The Penguins of Madagascar.  My younger brothers would watch shows on Nickelodeon, too, such as Rugrats and SpongeBob Squarepants.  A couple of years ago we got a Smash Bros. clone featuring Nickelodeon characters from all generations, and now we get a sequel to that.  It’s available on nearly all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

If you’ve played Smash Bros., you’ll know what to expect here.  You hit opponents to make their damage meter go up, which knocks them back further the higher it is.  If you can knock another player off the stage borders, you’ll score a victory or point, depending on the rules.  You have a button for quick and strong attacks, plus one for ‘smash’ attacks and jumping.  You can also block, dodge, and taunt with the shoulder buttons.  There are items to pick up, mostly healing foods, but not as much as there is in Smash.  Fill up a slime meter and you can do a super move like the Final Smash ones.  Play control is also a bit looser, but it gets the job done.

There is quite a robust selection of games modes this time, too.  You can battle up to four players in couch co-op in Battle Mode, or go Online.  For single players, there is a lengthy campaign with a story and giant bosses like King Jellyfish and the Flying Dutchman.  Other single player modes include an Arcade mode where you go through a series of fights, a Boss Rush, Mini Games like popping balloons or platforming challenges, and a Dojo for practice and training.  So there is plenty to do.

Of course the most important thing in these types of games is what characters are in them, so I’m going to list all the initial lineup.  Of course there will probably be more with DLC later, but as of this writing, here’s who is included: SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Mecha Plankton, El Tigre, Rocko, Jimmy Neutron, Lucy Loud, Angry Beavers, Garfield, Ang, Korra, Azula, Raphael, Donatello, April O’Neil, Danny Phantom, Ember, Grandma Gertie, Gerald, Nigel Thornberry, Invader ZIM, Jenny, Reptar, and Ren & Stimpy.  I don’t even know who some of those characters are, like who is Ember and Grandma Gertie?  There are also lots of stages based on locations from the shows, too.  But the best part is that this game includes voices from all the characters, and there’s a lot of it!  In earlier Nickelodeon kart racers and the last Brawl game, they didn’t have voices at first.  The Brawl one got voices later with an update, but they’re here right from the start in the sequel, and it really makes a difference.  Makes the game feel more complete and polished.

The game still has some problems, though.  Aside from the looser controls, I also don’t like some of the design choices in the Campaign mode.  For instance, if you lose all your stock before beating the boss, you have to start the whole run over again, and it’s randomly generated every time.  And the way you buy power ups in it bogs the game down.  Of course it’s not as good as Smash Bros., but you shouldn’t expect it to be.  Despite the problems, I can really tell the development team was enthusiastic about making this game as detailed as possible.  For instance, I love how one of Garfield’s alternate outfits is his pirate costume from Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (I’m a big Garfield fan).  So if you enjoy Smash Bros. style games and like Nickelodeon characters, you’ll want to check this one out.

Kid Factor:

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 is rated E-10 With ESRB descriptors of Comic Mischief and Fantasy Violence.  You do hit other cartoon characters, but if you’re OK with your kids watching Nick shows, they’ll be OK with this game.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the menu and tutorial text, but not necessary just to play.  Even though there are multiple difficulty selections, younger gamers may need help with some of the tougher fights.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!