Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Game Review: 'Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2'

 A sequel that manages to make up for nearly every shortcoming of its predecessor, 'Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2" revitalizes the franchise, making it a top contender for the throne held by "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" and challenged by the likes of "MultiVersus."

Loaded with characters, backgrounds, move sets and costumes that considerably ratchet up the intensity after the middling 2021 original, "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2" manages to climb to the top tier of the party fighter genre. Crossplay includes all platforms, widening the player base and making sure there's always a game to be found. It also helps that a generous and engaging, single-player rogue-lite campaign is also included. 

Accessible, forgiving controls allow experienced gamers to play along with newer players with ease. The initial character roster provides a solid mix of fighters that appeal to kids and adults, including the likes of Squidward Tentacles, Jimmy Neutron, the Angry Beavers and Azula.

Developer Fair Play Labs, publishing under the banner of GameMill Entertainment, manages to check all the boxes and react to player feedback, ensuring the sequel is a wholesale improvement over the original. There are some cringey choices, such as free-to-play trappings including a $20 costume pack, a $25 season pass that includes four lackluster fighters and a $7 price set for future DLC fighters.

Luckily, there is more than enough in the base game to keep players who don't want to be nickel-and-dimed from enjoying themselves. There's a bright future in store for the genre as a whole, as well as this particular franchise.

Publisher provided review code.

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