Super Smash Bros. is one of those series that has been oft-imitated but never bettered. It's not just that it's an enormously fun game, but that Nintendo has a genuinely deep well of characters and games to draw from: even if you've never played a Metroid game, or F-Zero or Starfox, you'll recognise these fighters.
But as Smash itself loves to say—A New Challenger Approaches!
Developed by Ludosity and Fair Play Labs, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is the Smash Bros. concept with Nickelodeon characters. As you'll see from the trailer above, it's not trying to hide that, and knows its greatest strength is in the huge roster of characters it can draw from. The trailer shows SpongeBob SquarePants, two of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as characters from Hey Arnold!, Invader Zim, Danny Phantom, The Loud House, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rugrats, and more.
The main chatter among fans on Ludosity's Discord is about the prospects for one character in particular: Garfield. Nickelodeon owns the rights, so it is possible that we'll be whomping Leonardo into space with a lasagne tray.
Some Smash Bros. pro players are already going gaga at the news, including the appropriately named HungryBox. I no-showed an event once and this dude ate my steak (as well as his own) and posted a picture of his satisfied belly to social media, tagging me in, so I feel no guilt at vaguely ripping off his headline.
The press release for the game says there are 20 levels, including Jellyfish Fields from SpongeBob SquarePants and TMNT’s Technodrome. The game has singleplayer and multiplayer modes, with the latter offering both local and competitive online. The online has attracted considerable focus because it features rollback netcode. This is the preferred option among fighting game enthusiasts, and is basically a predictive algorithm that 'guesses' what players would do during minute connection lapses: and if it gets it wrong, will 'roll back' the game to the point before the connection dropped and resume play.
Also: this is a neat spot.
In 2019, the official Nickelodeon Animation Twitter account released a piece of art parodying artwork for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, depicting the playable roster as various Nicktoon characters.Norbert Beaver from Two Angry Beavers took the role of Sonic the Hedgehog. pic.twitter.com/dok3vLVAARJuly 13, 2021
Nickelodeon All-Stars Brawl, interestingly enough, isn't a new thing, but the latest in a series of Nickelodeon 'Super Brawl' games that began on the company's website over a decade ago (plus there was Super Brawl Universe on mobile, yes I have kids which is why I know this).
The game releases this fall, and though the trailer only announces it for console formats a Ludosity developer said on the studio's Discord this was an omission, and that the game's lead platform is PC. We've asked for official confirmation from the game's publisher, and will update with any response.
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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."