A surreal yet promising platform fighter to look forward to

Earlier today Nickelodeon announced Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, a platform fighter similar to Super Smash Bros. and Brawlhalla. It’s been hinted for a while now that Nickelodeon were up to something due to various rumors and leaks.

But Nickelodeon has sort of developed a reputation for imitating Nintendo’s cross-over styled games with Nickelodeon Kart Racers. And there is already a crossover Nickelodeon fighting game on mobile called Super Brawl Universe that seems to play similar to NetherRealm’s mobile fighters.

Despite sounding like a distasteful attempt the media giant is making to cash in on the video game industry, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is perhaps the most exciting fighter in recent years and appears to be incredibly promising given the circumstances.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl: A surreal yet promising platform fighter to look forward to

It’s important to note that despite the failures of many TV media giants to cash in on the video game industry with third-rate video games, Nickelodeon has a much more colorful reputation and has proved to be far more competent with their video games.

During the 3D platformer race of the 90s and the early 2000s, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom was one of the finest games to come out and has developed the reputation of being a cult classic and recently was even remastered (and the remaster was fantastic too).

Nickelodeon even seems to be experimenting more than its peers, and has spawned some pretty obscure games across multiple genres and platforms like Nicktoons Unite!, and a myriad of Spongebob games.

So to say that they lack experience in game production would simply be false.

Ludosity: The underdogs amongst platform fighter developers

Nickelodeon seems to have shown the same quality decision making for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl by letting Ludosity, a very talented and acclaimed indie studio, handle the development of the game.

Ludosity rose to fame in 2020 when they released a “Smash Clone” by the name of Slap City, which was a tribute of sorts to characters in Ludosity’s past games. But inside what was seemingly just a love-letter to Smash and Ludosity’s legacy, was a brilliantly fun and polished fighter that is even now a sanctuary for platform-fighter fans.

Slap City has been featured in side events in multiple tournaments since, and the developers have garnered an immense amount of respect from the community for their talent and dedication to their games.

So the very fact that these developers have been granted the resources and opportunity to make another platform fighter is exciting in itself.

But why should platform-fighter fans care?

To some degree, it seems that Nickelodeon and Ludosity are aware of exactly who their market is. In 2021, to say that Nickelodeon can depend on the popularity of their TV shows alone to sell Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, would be wrong.

Many of the characters in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl besides Spongebob Squarepants, are not exactly popular with today’s youth (to be fair, most viewers of Spongebob aren’t even kids at this point).

Rugrats, Invader Zim, are all shows that kids from the early 2000s grew up with.

And to bet everything on the nostalgia of a few adults would be an over-optimistic strategy to sell the game. It’s for this reason that the game appears to be designed at a fundamental level with competition in mind.

There appears to be some pretty interesting mechanics and character depth just to reward players of higher skill levels.

To name a few of the said mechanics:

  • Wave dashing
  • Edge hogging
  • Shield cross-ups

In general it seems as though Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has some pretty advanced maneuverability options, which is reminiscent of Super Smash Bros. Melee. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, in all honesty, seems to ironically want to build a place amongst competitive play.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl will have rollback netcode on supported platforms

Rollback netcode has been confirmed by the developers on their discord server. Unfortunately like most of the information above, this too seems to lack weight seeing as it originates from the messages of the developers on their discord server.

The elephant in the room: why the lack of communication?

One of the most important things the developers of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl must do at this point, especially considering they are going head-to-toe with the fighting game community, is to make use of more official channels to release information on the game.

Currently, the announcement of Nickelodeon’s All-Star brawl has been outsourced to IGN, and Nickelodeon’s own official social media handles appear to be completely out of the loop and defunct.

The developers and publishers also don’t seem to be using any official form of communication either.

The main reason for this is probably to retain the appearance of being a “kids” game. If it were to come out that an E rated game had been marketed against its very nature, to appeal to competitive players probably in their mid 20s, it’s easy to see where the problem is.

So perhaps Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl will suffer the same fate as Super Smash Bros, to have a heavily polarized community and image. And one can only hope that Nickelodeon doesn’t try to interfere with the development of the game to push the image it’s trying to create.

Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul

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