Oh this is guff!
There, I had to say it right from the offset, none of my usual pre-amble, history, or deliriously wonderful anecdotes, just straight in, no messing about.
Is Post-amble a thing? I mean, you have pre-amble and amble, so it stands to reason that post-amble is something real right? Well, no matter.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, a crossover fighter, similar to Super Smash Bros. by Nintendo, but featuring video game characters synonymous with Sony and the PlayStation brand. It has received some fairly decent write ups, but gameplay-wise, it doesn’t match the excellence of Super Smash Bros.
Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, which looked after the game, earlier this month, announced that there will be no further DLC for the game thanks, in part, to the low, low sales of their current available content.
However, fans of All-Stars needn’t fret, for it seems that Sony isn’t quite done with All-Stars yet, following the recent release of the iOS and Android game PlayStation All-Stars Island.
I should apologise. When I said that fans needn’t fret I meant that fans should fret all they can, as it appears that, not only is Sony not giving you any more DLC, but they seem to have gone out of their way to pour crap all over the IP.
All-Stars Island is a free to play advert, sorry, I meant game, that is heavily, and I mean HEAVILY, sponsored by Coke Zero.
Coke Zero? You know? It’s the drink that has so much to do with video games and in particular video game fighters. As a matter of fact, as I understand it, Chun Li chugs it in between bouts instead of sucking down protein shakes.
Man. Coke Zero… It isn’t even the best Coke. If you’re going to plaster your carbonated beverage logo all over a video game, then full fat coke would have been the better choice.
The game, such as it is, will consist of four different modes – each featuring a character from a major Sony franchise. As of time of writing, the only character available is Nathan Drake from the spectacular Uncharted series, but, we can look out for Sackboy from LittleBigPlanet, Kat from Gravity Rush, and Cole McGrath from Infamous in the near future.
Each mini-game will, according to the interweb, will take the form of one of the current gaming flavours today, that of the endless runner.
The Endless Runner
Endless runners are everywhere, Temple Run, Temple Run 2, Temple Run: Brave, erm, okay, I seem to be stuck on Temple Run, but there’s also Run’n’Gun, Pitfall! (iOS) and Despicable Me: Minion Rush. Some are better than others, but, to me, they’re variations of the exact same game – swipe left or right or tilt the screen to move left or right, swipe down to roll/duck, swipe up to jump, and along the way you can collect coins, bananas, or time limited upgrades such as shields.
Unfortunately, PlayStation All-Stars Island falls into the not better than others category…
In Uncharted: Drake’s Pursuit, like all endless runners before it, you run (as Drake) you move left or right, you jump, you duck, and you collect things. All tried and tested elements for the genre, except that, in this game, you can collect Coke Zero droplets to fill up your Coke Zero bottle to access bonus challenges and characters, such as Ratchet and Clank, Sackgirl, or Jak and Daxter.
Apparently, users can unlock additional content by scanning the QR codes on bottles of Coke Zero, however, not being a drinker of this I can’t tell you about this.
To be fair, the mechanics of the game aren’t too bad, being similar, if not, identical to other games of the same ilk, but there is some slow-down and some jarring graphical anomalies, but generally the game is ok, just not a patch on Temple Run, which is much smoother to play as well as faster and more fun.
However, what isn’t ok is the in-your-face advertising of Coke Zero (that’s Coke Zero in case you weren’t sure) in this game is grating and bordering on offensive. Yes, the game is free, and yes, I understand the game is probably free because of all the advertising that is plastered all over the place, but this isn’t product placement, it is product REplacement of what could have been a decent game. Okay, that joke didn’t quite work, but you know what I mean…
Of course blatant advertising has been seen in video games many times before, McDonaldland on the NES, Cool Spot starring the 7 Up Spot on various platforms including the Megadrive, and, more recently, Halo 4: King of the Hill Fueled by Mountain Dew on iOS and Android, to name but a few. So maybe I am being a little unfair in dismissing this game because of the advertising, but it really does grate when the Coke ads outnumber the PlayStation characters.
Overall, I should probably reserve final judgment for the full game, once all the parts are available for download, they might not be endless runners or packed full of adverts, but the online buzz says otherwise. What I can tell you that the current game, Drake’s Pursuit, is a horrible misuse of the character and the Uncharted franchise and having Sony sell-out like this doesn’t sit easy.
By all means, download the game and see what you think for yourself, but there are far better endless runners out there and without copious amounts of advertisement.