Mini-Impressions of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and LittleBigPlanet Karting

So long as I was at the PlayStation Campus Tour, I opted to check out two of the games there, which just so happen to be two I was curious about. My time with them was brief, however (there were people legitimately competing, after all), but here are my relatively brief thoughts on PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and LittleBigPlanet Karting.

For PlayStation All-Stars, there wasn’t a full roster available, and so I wasn’t able to go with my first pick: Ratchet, from the Ratchet & Clank series. Instead, I decided to go with Needles Kane from Twisted Metal in the hopes of getting him to transform into his “Sweet Tooth” ice cream truck-turned-robot mode. Unfortunately, that never quite happened; perhaps I should have gone with Big Daddy from BioShock.

All said, I guess I didn’t do too badly for myself; I came in third among the four of us playing, which means I at least did better than someone. Playing this kind of game on the PlayStation 3’s DualShock 3 controller took a bit of getting used to, though, as it felt like there was more room between the analog stick and its outer limit.

Still, despite the change in layout and feel, my Super Smash Bros. skills helped me get used to it a bit. Unfortunately, the objective doesn’t seem quite as straightforward as Nintendo’s version; here, you’re supposed to acquire energy to perform super moves to score points. I’m not sure how successful I was at it, and I never figured out how to get the super move to activate. Perhaps I didn’t have enough energy for it?

I only got to play for one round, and it was fun– similar enough to Super Smash Bros. to feel familiar, but with its own charms. I don’t think it’s quite as easy to pick up and play, but spending a little bit of time playing it and getting to know its nuances will surely help. Overall, despite my troubles, it left me wanting more, and that’s definitely a good thing.

The other game I got to play was, as noted, LittleBigPlanet Karting. I was thrown off a little by this, as I was hoping for the shoulder-trigger to be the accelerator, but that wasn’t the case– it was the X button. I have no idea whether it’s customizable or not, but playing Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing on Xbox 360 and ModNation Racers on PlayStation Vita (if only briefly) has spoiled me.

The course I found myself racing on was a sort of beach-like track, with sand, bumps, and some watery areas spread throughout. Simply put, it felt like a kart racer, like Sonic or Mario Kart, complete with weapons like giant boxing gloves, a fast-forward button, and some other things I didn’t get to see the results of. Even so it does have some unique touches. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about it just feels a little different, even though the usual tropes all seem to be in place.

One feature which did catch my attention, though, is that some jumps feature something hanging overhead. In order to complete the jump, you need to use the L1 button to grab on to it and swing, allowing you to cross safely. I don’t know whether there are other touches like this or not, but if there are, it should help set the game apart from its contemporaries.

Unlike PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, however, LittleBigPlanet Karting‘s main attraction was not on display (in what I played, at least): The ability to customize to your heart’s content. That, more than anything, is what will probably make or break this one.

And those are my thoughts. Both are strong-looking titles for Sony’s holiday portfolio, and I hope I get the chance to see more of them– PlayStation All-Stars especially– in the future.

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.