For a game that would have otherwise been dismissed as shallow shovelware, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl was surprisingly anticipated. Although the roster lacked representation of iconic series such as The Fairly OddParents and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius because of copyright issues, the developers clearly put as much love and care into the game as possible. Shows that Nickelodeon’s old days seldom referenced such as Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, CatDog, and The Wild Thornberrys are represented for the older fans, and there was an attempt at putting intricate mechanics to attract the competitive crowd, especially professional Smash Bros. players.
Now that Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has been released, the reception has been mostly positive. However, that did not stop people from criticizing the game for flaws like an empty single-player mode and the lack of voice acting. Another prominent criticism was the lack of alternate costumes, which the developers have addressed by putting free skins into All-Star Brawl. While that shows that the people behind the game will listen to the fans, the existence of competitors like MultiVersus demonstrates that Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is behind in the realm of platform fighters. The game needs to catch up before rivals can outdo it.
What is MultiVersus?
Although the game’s director affirmed that the idea was conceived two years ago, MultiVersus seems to already outdo Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl despite looking like to be a cynical attempt to cash in on what Nick All-Stars tried doing at first glance. Indeed, it is a platform fighter using a plethora of characters from various franchises owned by a particular company. With the aforementioned company in this case being Warner Bros., the game is currently confirmed to have Game of Thrones, DC Superheroes, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, and Tom and Jerry representatives in the roster. With the obvious exception of Game of Thrones, all of the represented franchises either started as cartoons or have well-known animated entries.
This is not a coincidence. Warner Bros. is not as associated with its animated properties as Nickelodeon, but it definitely owns some of the most iconic and successful characters in American animation. MultiVersus' character roster aims to emulate the spirit of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. The presence of classics such as Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, and Tom & Jerry, a pop-culture juggernaut like Batman, and modern Cartoon Network staples like Adventure Time and Steven Universe was calculated.
As of now, MultiVersus clearly aims to replicate Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl’s method of combining staples, modern icons, and nostalgic characters for its roster. MultiVersus' teamwork-oriented gameplay separates it from the average platform fighter, which already differentiates it from Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Additionally, it is free-to-play and will feature cross-play. While the online mode’s effectiveness and how the inevitable microtransactions will play out remain to be seen, the game’s marketing is clearly trying to usurp whatever glory its Nickelodeon counterpart currently has.
What Can Nick All-Stars Do?
While perfectly functional, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is lacking in content. There is no voice acting, nor are there alternate costumes. DLC characters have been confirmed, but no one has been announced yet. The online also has connectivity issues and the single-player consists of a streamlined arcade mode for all the characters. While it is great that new skins are coming, they are part of the bare minimum for a platform fighter. Granted, the developers can hardly be blamed for the game seeming a bit unfinished due to the limited budget. This all depends on Nickelodeon’s willingness to not be stingy with the game’s updates.
If the big bosses give their employees enough money to please the fans and tweak the game properly, then said game will have a healthy life. The plans to give MultiVersus updates, new characters, and new modes on a regular basis are ambitious. If they are true, it shows that Warner Bros. has faith in the project, whether the reasons are creative or financial. The future of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl’s ability to flourish lies on Nickelodeon itself, because the people that actually make the game clearly want to make the best work possible.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.
Despite this film's many trespasses, it does contain one scene so clever, it could've and should've been the basis of the entire film.