Do you see it?
The problem with Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale isn’t the awful title, the obvious similarity to Nintendo’s Smash Brothers franchise, or the questionable depth of Sony’s roster of first-party mascots. That depth is there; the larger concern is whether or not anyone still cares about the characters Sony is digging up. It’s more of an illusion, some vaguely legendary history that only exists because it’s being forced to exist.
No, the real weakness with All-Stars isn’t the cast, but rather just how loose or nonexistent the connections are between that cast. That’s not so say that Mario was ever hanging out with Captain Falcon or that Princess Peach was fooling around with Link while the plumber was out on one of his “jobs”, but Nintendo’s ensemble at least shares a strong aesthetic similarity. Like the Disney princesses or Pixar’s bottomless menegerie of talking animals, you can buy those characters existing within the same world even if you know that they don’t.
Sony doesn’t have that advantage. At best, they have one foot out of the bed here: about half of the characters in that trailer could co-exist in the same manner as Nintendo’s cast, if it weren’t for that other half also being there. Parappa, the skeleton thing from MediEval, and Sack Boy? Sure! Those three plus Nathan Drake and the guy from the Killzone box? Now we have a problem.
Solid Snake worked in Smash Brothers Brawl because he was reworked just enough to fit in with Nintendo’s other human characters. In the case of All-Stars, it’s cute lil’ mascots versus “dudes with guns”. There’s a weird disconnect at work here, a style clash, and it makes Sony’s line-up of first-party franchises look even less cohesive than it already is. That’s the weakness.
When your anthology collection of historical characters falls behind Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing in terms of optics, you’re doing something wrong.
Source: Topless Robot.