Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl gets surprise sequel that looks more like a do-over

Out of nowhere Ludosity and Fair Play Labs have announced an upcoming sequel for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, a fairly decent Smash-like that was only released in 2021. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 will release later this year and, going by the trailer, feels like more of a do-over than anything else: the key word is 'more'.

There are new characters, more stages, revamps of existing stages, a new campaign mode, more modes in general, crossplay on all platforms, a visual spit-shine to every existing character and new mini-games. As well as this  there are new Supers, which sound exactly like the ultimate attacks in Smash Bros.: basically insta-KO-ing anything you hit.

The trailer shows some of the characters being introduced in NASB2, which include the oft-requested Squidward and Jimmy Neutron. The TMNT cast is also complete, with Donatello and Raphael joining in. The singleplayer campaign will apparently focus on stopping Vlad Plasmius, the baddy from Danny Phantom, from taking over the Nickelodeon universe.

It's hard not to see this news in the context of NASB's closest competitor, Warner Bros.' Multiversus. For my money Multiversus was pretty great but, following a successful launch, player numbers tailed off so hard that the game's been withdrawn from the market until a 2024 relaunch.

We'll see what happens there but from the outside you wonder if something similar is going on here. To be clear an iterative sequel is not a problem, especially in fighting games, and NASB was a pretty good foundation. Making this a numbered sequel rather than just a huge DLC pack clearly makes sense from a sales perspective, though the fact it's arriving two years after the original is a pretty quick turnaround in this genre to say the least.

But if players had a problem with NASB, it's that there just wasn't an enormous amount of stuff in it: the fighting core was pretty good, and thanks to the license it has an amazing cast of characters to toy around with, but there wasn't much of a structure beyond fighting over and over. NASB2 does look like a bit of a second crack at the whip, then, but in this case that may be just what the game needs to shine.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."