Nickelodeon All-Stars Brawl 2 Review – Casting Nostalgia

    Title: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2
    Developer: Fair Play Labs
    Release Date: November 7, 2023
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: GameMill Entertainment
    Genre: Brawler

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is back with a new title and new characters, including some surprising additions and long-requested fighters from Nickelodeon shows. The game offers more content than its predecessor, some of which may be familiar to players who have experience with other fighting titles.

All-Star Brawl 2 Roster: New Characters and Familiar Favorites

In All-Star Brawl 2, the roster has undergone significant changes compared to the original game. Returning characters like Zim, Jenny Wakeman, Nigel Thornberry, Spongebob, and Patrick are joined by newcomers such as Jimmy Neutron, Squidward, Gerald Johanssen, Azula, the Angry Beavers, El Tigre, and even Grandma Gertie. Unfortunately, some characters like Helga Pataki, Catdog, Oblina, and Hugh Neutron have been relegated to NPC roles, background characters on stages or have been removed altogether. This could be disappointing for players who enjoyed playing as or with these characters in the previous game.

Nickelodeon All Star Brawl 2 2

Voice Acting Nostalgia and New Additions

Personally, I was disappointed that characters like Hugh battling Vlad Plasmius and other Nickelodeon villains will remain a dream for now, but I was looking forward to playing as my favorite Irken Invader again. Most characters are now fully voiced from the start, which adds a nostalgic touch for those who grew up watching these shows. Not all voices perfectly match the characters they portray, but the effort put into bringing them to life is commendable.

The game introduces some new features, including a “slime” meter that charges up as you battle opponents. Once the meter reaches its third level, your character can perform special moves. However, timing these finishers can be challenging, leading to missed opportunities and somewhat unstable gameplay.

“Most characters are now fully voiced from the start, adding a nostalgic touch for those who grew up watching these shows.

Some characters have new unique moves, like charged attacks that become more powerful as they deal more damage during battle. This adds depth to their movesets and encourages players to explore characters they haven’t used before.

In matches against computer players, there were some instances of wonky behavior, with computer-controlled opponents sometimes not responding until approached. Despite this, they put up a good fight when they did engage.

Campaign Mode: An Adventure Through Nickelodeon Worlds

One of the game’s new features is its campaign mode, where the story revolves around Danny Phantom’s villain Vlad Plasmius attempting to brainwash characters from various Nickelodeon universes. Players start in the campaign hub world, which features landmarks and characters from different Nickelodeon shows. Engaging with characters related to their franchises can trigger unique and humorous dialogues, making these interactions interesting.

Despite some enjoyable elements, the game feels somewhat derivative, lacking a unique identity.

The main focus of the campaign mode is an arcade-style arena where players must cross to the other side without dying a certain number of times. At the end of each area, there’s a boss battle against a Nickelodeon villain. To help players survive these encounters, characters like Mrs. Puff, Powdered Toast Man, Frida Suárez, and Hugh Neutron can provide perks and power-ups. Nora Wakeman offers badges for permanent power-ups in a run. The randomly generated runs keep the experience fresh.

The campaign mode takes players on an adventure through various Nickelodeon worlds, featuring unique interactions and engaging challenges.

The campaign also includes levels involving breaking robotic dummies and balloons, fighting brainwashed minions, and finding chests containing in-game currency. While these diversions are fun, taking down the tough minions can be a challenge. Finishing a campaign or arcade run rewards players with cosmetics, trophies, and images in the game’s gallery.

Nickelodeon All Star Brawl 2 1

Despite these enjoyable elements, the game feels somewhat derivative, lacking a unique identity. It resembles modes found in other fighting games, making it feel less original. It’s essentially a familiar experience of duking it out with Nickelodeon characters.

Final Verdict: A Worthy but Familiar Fighter

Although Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 makes some improvements over its predecessor, including new characters and a campaign mode, it still falls short of offering a truly distinct gaming experience. The absence of certain characters from the first game is also a disappointment. The upcoming DLC characters may address some of these concerns, but time will tell. It serves as a decent alternative to games like Smash Brothers or Multiverses while players wait for other releases or seek a nostalgic trip down memory lane to battle their favorite Nickelodeon characters in four-person versus matches.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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