New Nick All-Star Brawl Video Shows How Close It is to Smash Brothers


by in Fighting Game News | Sep, 9th 2021

The fact that Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is real is something that a lot of fans are still trying to process. With a competitive title like Smash Brothers, it’s been one of a kind for a while now, and no other game has been able to stand up to it. However, the general absurdity of something like Nickelodeon being the company to make the one title come close to Smash is what’s tripping fans up. However, that is the case, and the one thing that has had players skeptical is the gameplay.

Sony was the first company to try their hand at Smash Brothers, but they decided to change the mechanics up in an effort to distance themselves from Nintendo’s series. However, the game that came out was nowhere near as fun as Super Smash Brothers. Indie titles like Rivals of Aether and Brawlhalla have also been in niche communities for a while now, with little support from the greater fighting game community. Now, though, the genre of platform fighters could be upon us.

Despite promises of a different approach, fans were skeptical about the gameplay surrounding Nick All-Star Brawl, but when it was revealed that indie developer Ludosity was working on the title, the light at the end of the tunnel got a little brighter. Now, the moment of truth has come for the patient players wanting to know how the game plays, as Ludosity posted a breakdown of the gameplay on YouTube. So, how does the gameplay stack up to Smash Brothers?

Nick All-Star Brawl Vs. Smash Bros


The video is only five minutes, but it covers everything players need to know about the game’s gameplay style, and how fighting is going to go down. Its base form is similar to Smash, but it has its differences.

The General Rules


The general rules for the game are basically the same for Smash Brothers: fight against one another until the percentage on a player is high enough and then try to send them flying off the screen. The higher the percentage, the higher the knockback. The other gameplay videos provided by IGN and Ludosity show that the matches are played on 3 Stock rules, with each player getting 3 lives.

The Moves


The Moves are where the differences start to appear. Like Smash Brothers, each character gets a set of light and heavy moves. While this is similar to Smash’s Regular and Smash Moves, the difference comes from the way that they’re used. While heavy and light moves can be used on the ground, in Smash, there’s only one set of aerial moves. This isn’t the case in All-Star Brawl. Both light and heavy moves can be used in the air.

However, something that All-Star Brawl does that Smash doesn’t is the way that certain heavy moves interact with other heavy moves. If two players use the same heavy move at the same time, they’ll bounce off one another, and nobody will take damage.

In All-Star Brawl, this is different. Each strong attack interacts with one another in a specific way, much like a game of rock paper scissors. However, instead of both characters negating damage, these attacks will impair one of the players, allowing the winner of this small scuffle a free hit if they’re fast enough.

As shown in the trailer, down will beat the middle, and the loser will stagger. Mid beats up and causes the character to turn around, facing their back to the other player. Lastly, up beats down, and will cause the character to spin out and fall on the floor.

Dash Attacks also come in light and strong forms. However, they have an extra form that Smash doesn’t have, and these attacks can cancel into any other move, making it easier to chain attacks together.

There are still special moves in the game, as each character’s move is a reference to a clip from the show they’re in. In the video, Spongebob’s heavy down attack is the imagination rainbow, from the Episode “Idiot Box.” One of Patrick’s attacks is a reference to “No, This is Patrick” from the episode “Big Pink Loser.”

Grabs, Guards, and Throws


The grabbing mechanics in All-Star Brawl are also different from Smash Bros, with characters able to grab at all times. This means that grabbing in the air and chaining attacks together is possible. Grabbing will also work while in a double jump, while throws also work in the air as well, increasing combo potential.

On top of this, all players can move and jump once while they’re holding someone. This mechanic was originally used in Smash Brothers with Donkey Kong, but all characters can do this in Nick All-Star Brawl.

Guarding in the game works differently from Smash as well, as players can guard infinitely without worrying about being punished. However, the guard doesn’t keep players still. Instead, they’ll be pushed back with each attack, and once they reach the edge of the stage, they enter “teeter” which will force them out of the guarding phase. While characters are in teeter, they can be punished with a swift attack afterward.

There are two ways that the guard can become more effective. This is similar to the way that perfect guards work in Smash. Pressing the guard button on the instant that the attack connects to the player, half of the perfect guard will be performed. To finish the perfect guard, the player must push the stick in the direction of the incoming attack, as to deflect it. Completing both of these requirements will then have the player perform the perfect guard. This guard can be chained into any attack, rewarding the player for performing the perfect guard.

Throws can be done in any direction, and follow the same rules as Smash Brothers. However, there are more than just players that are up for grabs. Projectiles thrown by players can be grabbed out of the air, and then used to be thrown back at one another.

If grabbing projectiles isn’t what a player wants to do, they can deflect it back with any of the attacks. However, this will increase the speed of the projectile. The faster the projectile goes, the harder the projectile hits when it’s finally missed by another player.

The Biggest Change from Smash


The final change that will seal the deal when it comes to Nick All-Star Brawl is the strafing mechanic. In Smash Brothers, playing against one another will have players face the way they’re moving in the game, in 1 v 1 fights, facing an opponent is an important part of playing the game. However, only a few characters will do this by default, meaning that attacks are going to be specific to the direction a player is looking.

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