Posted by: Junahu | January 6, 2013

Playstation All Stars Battle Royale: An Overview

psasslogo

This article aims to give MYMers a solid adequate understanding of the game; Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale, so that they can feel more confident in theorising movesets for the game’s engine, without having to play the game itself.

For those who aren’t in the know, Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale (PSA:BR) is a mascot fighter much in the same vein of the Super Smash Bros. Up to 4 combatants roam around varied stages, attacking one another in Timed, Stock or Kill Count matches. It’s similar to Smash, but makes a number of alterations (and plenty of cuts) to the engine MYMers are already familiar with.

AP and KOs

The obvious difference, attacks do not damage the opponent, and there are no blast boundaries to be KOed through. Instead, each attack has its own AP gain, landing the attack gives the attacker AP. Once a player’s AP count passes certain thresholds (which differ for each character), they gain access to Super Attacks which KO the opponent instantly should they hit. Every character has three different supers, each one requiring a different amount of AP to use and each being vastly different in range, duration, and KO potential. Pressing the Super button whilst on the ground (default is R2 Trigger) will trigger the highest level Super that the player can currently afford.

AP can be knocked out of an opponent by performing a throw on them, or by hitting them with an item, or if they are struck by a stage hazard. AP released in this way lies on the stage as glowing orbs that can be collected by touching them.

The default match type is a 4 player 3 minute Free-For-All, and all stages are designed with this in mind. Over the three minutes, each stage goes through some manner of transformation, usually altering its physical shape and adding a stage hazard to the background that periodically attacks the stage. After the three minutes, the stage simply remains in its final form until the match concludes (any background hazards will still perform occasional attacks)

In a score match, KOs are worth 2 points, and being KO’d is worth -1 point.

Inputs

While similar to Smash, the attacks each player can perform have a slightly different arrangement in terms of control. There are no “smash” inputs (i.e. tapping the stick quickly in a direction), which means no dashing, no tap jump, no smash attacks, no dash attack, and to drop through a platform the player needs to press down and jump. Grabs (performed by tilting the right analogue stick in the direction of the throw you want to use) do not hold the foe, but rather throw them immediately, so there are no pummels. There is also no back throw, you cannot throw an opponent behind you. There are no ranged grabs, but there are ranged attacks that grab and hold the foe while the player slingshots into them.

There are three attack buttons, Square, Triangle and Circle, and for each button there are 4 attacks (e.g. Square, Side-Square, Up-Square, Down-Square). Every attack can also be performed in midair, some behaving differently when used there, so there are no “aerials” per se. Square inputs are typically melee focused weak attacks. Triangle attacks either correlate with “smash attacks” or they have “special” attacks that couldn’t fit on the Circle inputs. And Circle attacks, as just stated, are most akin to “Specials”. Combos are possible, though the opponent is automatically ejected into the air with invulnerability frames if the combo racks up too much AP.

Items are picked up and dropped via the Item button. While holding an item, the player cannot use any of his normal moves, pressing any attack button uses the item.

Things not in PSA:BR

Because the engine feels similar to Super Smash Bros, MYMers making movesets for PSA:BR may accidentally refer to concepts and systems that don’t exist in the game.

  • There is no bubble shield. Blocks can be held out for as long as the player wishes.
  • There is no Stale move negation. AP gain remains a constant, regardless of how often the move is used
  • Knockback is not variable. Each attack deals a certain amount of knockback, which is not affected by AP or Weight
  • There is no ledge grabbing
  • There is no Spotdodge
  • There are no prone attacks
  • There is no priority or clanking
  • There is no dashing
  • Items cannot be tossed up or down
  • Shooting/Bludgeoning items cannot be thrown.
  • While every character has multiple taunts, only one is accessible during a fight.
  • While characters can drown, this does not KO them. The player respawns at a specific part of the stage, and becomes dazed.

Example

PSA:BR1

Say hello to pre-nerf Sackboy ladies and gentlemen. He and Big Daddy will be demonstrating a few aspects of PSA:BR for us. As you can see, the training room they are in is helpfully divided up into a small grid. For simplicity’s sake, I will be using “Training room cube” as a standardized unit of measurement.

PSA:BR2Obviously attacks have many different ranges and arcs, but for those without weapons, their attacks don’t reach especially far. This btw is Sackboy’s jab, the first hit gives him 5 AP, whilst the second gains 20 AP.

PSA:BR3This grappling hook (which does attach to objects and drag Sackboy to them) is about as far as you can ever expect an upwardly inclined attack to reach. Almost invariably, attacks do not have lingering hitboxes, so as soon as the hook reaches its apex, it ceases to be a threat, forcing Sackboy to deal with end lag.

PSA:BR4This is the size of the typical trap in PSA:BR. Or rather, this is the size of the typical trap’s activation radius. It is possible for foes to activate traps by attacking them. After activation, traps vanish, but they will not vanish beforehand (unless a second of the same trap is summoned)

PSA:BR5Difficult to see, but that purple splodge is a projectile. Projectiles have various maximum ranges, usually in the ballpark of 5-10 training room cubes. This one however, is special. It follows the laws of physics as it bounces around, vanishing after landing for the third time. This image shows how far the projectile can travel if summoned normally.

PSA:BR6And this image shows how far the same projectile gets if Sackboy uses it just after jumping as high as he can. Since the ball has to fall further to reach the ground, it bounces higher, and thus reaches its third bounce later.

PSA:BR7This is as high as a full jump reaches, and its doesn’t change much regardless of the character used. The mid-air jump is about half this height. If struck in midair with enough force to “launch” the player, they regain their mid-air jump and access to attacks that move the player vertically, if applicable.

PSA:BR8This is Sackboy’s Down-Square, a good example of a launching attack. While even attacks with little knockback can give the opponent the “launched” status, foes automatically “flip” out of the state once their momentum slows to a certain point or enough time passes. Attacks that launch the foe away typically have AP gains between 30 and 40 AP and are usually difficult/impossible to combo out of.

PSA:BR9For reference’s sake, this is how far that attack launches an opponent. The foe is helpless up until this point. They also cannot control “when” they flip out of the knockback. Thankfully they’re invulnerable during the flip, and can airdodge immediately after the flip ends

PSA:BR10PSA:BR’s camera tracks not only players, but also certain objects for a limited time when they are first spawned. This is Sackboy’s Checkpoint, a MYM style Teleport-to-the-marker move. It can be destroyed by any attack that hits it. For some reason, teleport moves are usually Down-Triangle inputs.

PSA:BR11Sackboy’s fan produces a wind hitbox that pushes opponents and projectiles forward. Like other traps, the fan lasts until shortly after it finds something it can actually push. In the above screenshot, the fan will last forever, since the two traps cannot be pushed, and Big Daddy is outside of its range.

PSA:BR12Projectiles can be reflected, even the player’s own projectiles. Here, the cake has been reflected by Sackboy’s white Bouncepad.

PSA:BR12As previously stated, throws drain AP away from opponents, forcing them to drop a percentage of their current AP in the form of collectable orbs. Throws do not vary in the amount of AP they drain (which is something along the lines of 15%) but rather in the knockback they deal.

PSA:BR13Blocking does not have a limit, though there are fewer viable options out of a block, due to the lack of a spotdodge or blockgrab. Attacks on a blocking player push them away without giving the attacker any AP. Blocks also work even if the player is facing the wrong way, but they do not block Supers at all.

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Responses

  1. >pizzabrawl
    >relevant
    pick one faget

    • 0/10 try harder next time, anon

  2. >implying i am not a faget

  3. Actually being introduced to it, the PSABR engine seems interesting specifically because of the AP mechanic which governs how quickly a character can use their Super and kill the other characters. There are things I’d like to know though:

    – What’s the average amount of AP dropped from attacks?
    – What’s the average amount of AP required to use a Super?
    – Are the AP orbs knocked towards the character who landed the attack?
    – Are there really different weights in the game?
    – Can AP orbs be scattered from one character’s attack and be stolen by another?
    – Can multiple characters use their Super at the same time?

    The game seems like it has a little less depth than Brawl’s engine due to a lot of stuff not being in, or at least in a 1v1 fight. On the other hand, it feels like it’d have more potential in a FFA if sitting back and collecting AP orbs without attacking the other players could be called a legitimate strategy.

  4. AP is only “knocked out” of opponents via grabs/stage hazards and item attacks. Hitting with normal attacks simply gives the player AP directly, without reducing the opponent’s or having the AP drop in orb form. But for grabs and item attacks which do knock the AP out of the opponent, yes, the AP is knocked towards the player. This AP can indeed be collected by someone else

    As for how much AP is gained from attacks;
    The general range is 5-40 AP, based primarily on the amount of knockback the attack deals. So a hard hitting attack that’ll knock the foe out of range of follow up will deal 30-40 AP, while most other hits deal around 10-20 AP. Stun attacks and individual hits on multi-hit moves trend towards 3-5AP.
    All this applies to projectiles too, which deal roughly equal damage to direct attacks.

    Super costs obviously vary depending on the character and the super, with the costs being weighted based on how useful or efficient the super is, and how quickly the player can build AP. Usually you can get 3 level 1s for the same cost as a level 2, and 2 level 2s for the same cost as a level 3.
    A rough guestimate;
    100-200 AP for a level 1
    300-500 AP for a level 2
    600-900 AP for a level 3

    If characters have weights, I seriously haven’t noticed. The only “stat” I’ve noticed is movement speed

    Multiple level 1 and 2 supers can be used at the same time, and you can be KO’d during a super by someone else’s super. Level 3 supers lock the opponents out of their super bars, preventing them from using supers.

    PSABR does have less depth than smash in terms of its mechanics, though it is streamlined better for FFA politics, and the reduced complexity allows movesets to have crazier individual moves.

    • Good to know. Thanks for that.


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