Playstation All Stars Battle Royale – Who Should Be On The Roster?

Yesterday, Evolution 2012 kicked off in all its glory at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. For those of you who may be unaware, Evolution is an annual tournament bringing together the greatest players of fighting games in the world, who contest over a variety of titles for big cash prizes. In amongst footage of some scarily good Street Fighter 4 players, there was a demonstration of Sony’s upcoming Playstation All Stars Battle Royale, which is now set for release on October 26th 2012. The headline news from this demonstration was the announcement of two new characters for the roster – Heihachi (from the Tekken series) and Toro (Sony’s mascot cat which is most popular in Japan). This brings the total announced roster thus far to 10 characters; and while there is still time for further announcements, some people found last nights reveals to be a bit underwhelming. This begs the question then – who is left to make the cut?

To answer this question, I have once again asked for the help of a guest writer. Therefore taking the reins for a record breaking second time is Mr Stephen Jackman, a fellow part time games jorunalist and all round fan of all things Sony and fighting. Enjoy!

Playstation All Stars Battle Royale Remaining Roster Speculation

With leaks of characters and reveals popping up here, there and everywhere, it’s hard not to speculate about the cast of characters that are going to appear in a big crossover fighter such as Playstation All Stars Battle Royale. Maybe we are leading ourselves to disappointment or forgetting some memorable names leading to genuine surprise and excitement. Regardless, the process of putting together lists with friends has been fun, and my own views on the matter can be seen below. The way I have structured my character choices puts them into a ‘one or the other’ scenario; I see it possible in some situations that some if not all the characters are included but I think at least one will make it in to represent that field.  There are ten fields that I believe will be filled by one of each at least (a cheeky way of avoiding narrowing it down to a top ten list). It is a sort of top ten list but clearly not.

1) A Mascot From The Past

In the era of the Playstation, PSX or whatever you want to call it, consoles still had mascots – big names that drew gamers to that console, and these are ones I think may be heading for All Stars Battle Royale. My only worry is that the companies who own the characters now won’t want old iterations they had no part of included.

Lara Croft

Personally, I never got on too well with the old Tomb Raider games; my clearest memory of them is struggling to fight a giant chunk of meat at the end of the first game. I played bits and bobs here and there of the later iterations. I do recognise the heroine of the series, Lara Croft, as a huge name for the PS1 back then. Although I feel she may be too similar to other characters ala Nathan Drake and Radec in play style, she is fairly probable and will up the females on the roster. Classic Lara of course seeing as she is from that era and Sony don’t want a lawsuit for new Lara being raped by Kratos or something.

Fanatic Longing 35%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 55%

Spyro the Dragon

A character I have fonder memories of would be Spyro, PS1 Spyro and nothing else mind you. I am sure the other games are ok for some but not for me. Whether I was getting annoyed at the speed of Gnasty Gnorc as he fled, following a river of honey with Hunter or busting some badass skateboarding moves it was all fantastic and should somehow be incorporated into a move-set. He would be a unique character on the roster being able to fly, well glide and being four legged. Classic Spyro of course – Skylanders and post PS1 which went multi platform are not linked heavily to Sony.

Fanatic Longing 65%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 65%

Crash Bandicoot

The biggest mascot of the PSX era in my opinion is Crash Bandicoot (anything post Twinsanity gives me immense pain; Wrath of Cortex is great to play but had terrible loading times). Anyway Crash was pretty much the face of PS1 back in the day with fantastic music setting the scene, many colourful characters and a likeable speechless protagonist excluding the occasional WOAH! He would fit right in on the All Stars Roster, as with the last two characters in his classic appearance, his games have given him a great arsenal of moves to use from spin dashes and belly flops to riding wild boars/polar bears/dinosaurs/jet packs and wumpa cannons. Out of the three old mascots I see Crash as a front runner.

Fanatic Longing 85%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 75%

2) Tactical Espionage Action

After Cole McGrath’s voice actor basically outed he was working with Nolan North(the voice of Nathan Drake) and David Hayter (the voice of Solid Snake), he all but confirmed all those characters. However it does not narrow it ascertain one thing: Which Snake?

Solid Snake

Snake has been around with Playstation from 1 to 3 with his own unique gameplay in Metal Gear Solid. He has many appearances all from the Sony console including Old Snake in MGS4 that could be used for a very different character. In terms of working in a brawler he appeared in Super Smash Bros Brawl to everyone’s surprise and worked fantastically. He is almost a guarantee with his history with Sony and thanks to a leak over twitter but it could be him or…..

Fanatic Longing 95%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 90%

Naked Snake/Big Boss

The original Snake was cloned from, Big Boss. Starting his playable appearances on the Playstation 2 he has had his own few games on the PSP in Portable Ops and the fantastic Peace Walker. His supporting cast could provide him with different moves than what Snake may have and it would make for an interesting choice since Solid Snake would be assumed over him. I personally would prefer to see Big Boss and how he would be implemented. Solid Snake seems a little more likely but for a swerve I would like to see the Boss, or both of them!

Fanatic Longing 100%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 85%

3) Mr Twitter Leak

As said before, his voice actor basically announced it on Twitter before it got removed

Cole McGrath

I keep meaning to play Infamous but I never get round to it. I played as him in Street Fighter X Tekken so he seems to work in a fighter. Not much else to say but enjoy his electric powers.

Fanatic Longing 40%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 90%

4) Square Enix…Well, Actually Squaresoft

Ever since Squaresoft appeared on Playstation 1 all those years ago the games have sold a fair bit. Final Fantasy VII through to X and XII were all Sony console exclusives. The following characters I include in hope that it’s not FF XIII being shoved down our throats with Lightning as a character. No offence XIII fans but there is a richer, relevant history out there.

Cloud Strife

When Final Fantasy came to Playstation, this man was the protagonist so it makes some sense. I remember fans longing for him in Smash Bros but to no avail. FF7 is the most ranted and raved about entry in the series and to many like myself it was an early if not first RPG experience. With massive limit breaks ready to be super moves he is ready to be part of a fighting roster. Not to mention his continuous appearance in Kingdom Hearts titles found on the Playstation 2 and the Dissidia fighters on the PSP. Hey, he worked in the fighter Ehrgeiz too! Either his PS1 appearance or Kingdom Hearts getup would work – with Kingdom Hearts he could fly, which offers the chance for an even more interesting move-set.

Fanatic Longing 65%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 70%

Sephiroth

Ok, so take Cloud from above and put all the same points here for Sephiroth. He is also in all those games you would just get to play as a villain instead. They have already put one villain in over the hero with Radec in Killzone 2 so why not again?

Fanatic Longing 70%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 65%

5) Capcom In Sony

Already adept at fighters themselves and with Seth Killian heading over to work for Sony, hopefully on good terms, why would they not get some of the legendary names that graced Sony consoles into an All Star Battle Royale too?

Dante

Featured in several games outside the Devil May Cry universe, Dante is a very liked character. He has appeared in a fighter before in Marvel vs Capcom 3 and appeared in an Atlus title too, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. He has many appearances to choose from with a huge roster of weapons from each game. With a new game out next year it would make sense to get the Devil May Cry name out there again. The first three games in the series were all PS2 titles so it seems possible if anyone from Capcom appears it will be the demon hunter Dante.

Fanatic Longing 80%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 60%

 Samanosuke Akechi

Not seen for some time in the video game world is the hero of Onimusha 1 and 3, Samanosuke. If you delve into Playstation past he was quite happy on the PS2. Only the first game appeared on another console otherwise it was exclusive. If Capcom wanted to hand over a character to use with the title but not one already featured in a recent fighter it would work.  He has appeared in a Smash Bros style clone before, in Onimusha Blade Warriors! Different elemental magic and a variety of weapons make him work in the game too.

Fanatic Longing 75%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 40%

Masamune Date

Another Capcom character, the most popular from the game series yet to be utilised in a crossover fighter is Masamune Date from the Sengoku Basara series (which is getting a HD rerelease soon so publicity always helps).He is a character I personally would love to see in a title like All Stars; Basara is a hack and slash title with over the top moves and on top of that he wields six swords so would make for a unique fighter. With characters more familiar in Japan like Toro in the game why not the one eyed dragon too! At least we knew who he was before he appeared in a crossover fighter…

Fanatic Longing 85%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 45%

6) The Lesser Known Past

A lot of people probably know these characters, but those who weren’t playing games in the PS1 era might not. They are unlikely to make it to the roster in comparison to others but I feel they would be wonderful throwbacks and celebrate Playstation history as the game is meant to.

Croc

Unlike Crash and Spyro not every platforming adventure character went on to live forever and gradually fall into mediocrity. There were some who got a few titles back on the PS1. Croc was a favourite of mine and even though the controls were not fantastic he was very likable little crocodile and he was saving adorable little fuzz balls. I don’t see him appearing but a niche character like him would be very welcome. He could have the Gobbos help him as he fights with his tail and bite.

Fanatic Longing 75%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 25%

Abe

A little more likely than Croc and someone who could play very uniquely based on how the Oddworld games work. With word that a HD remake of the original Oddworld being in development too it would be a good way to get Abe’s name out there again. He fits in Sony past as both his adventures were console exclusive to the PS1.  I am sure a lot of people would be pleasantly surprised with Abe in the game.

Fanatic Longing 70%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 45%

Rayman

A character popular again after re-familiarising himself with platform gaming.  Although future titles and rereleases went multiplatform the original game was console exclusive to the PS1.  Probably a little more likely than the others in this category and a character with no limbs would be interesting to see in a fighter.

Fanatic Longing 60%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 50%

Sir Dan Fortesque

Another adventure title character with an array of move possibilities but a throwback who is a lot less likely to make it than others. All of the MediEvil titles he features in are on the Playstation 1 and one was rereleased on the PSP. Yet again part of the history of Sony and it has been too long for me to remember much more. Hopefully if he is in the game he can detach his head and attack as body and head separately.

Fanatic Longing 70%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 30%

7) Seeeeeeeega

Sonic the Hedgehog

It is fair bet to assume that if Snake has made it in that Sonic can too. It happened with Super Smash Bros Brawl. We know he works in a fighter from that and it’s not like Sonic has ever not been in a crossover when he can. I wouldn’t mind seeing it but personallyI would like some less likely heroes to venture out. We have not confirmation yet and he’s not a big Sony representative so I am not so sure yet.

Fanatic Longing 60%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 50%

Welkin Gunther

Now I have probably given this a higher rating for inclusion than it is likely to be but for some reason I think it is quite possible. Not maybe the one specific character but I needed to put one down. Valkyria Chronicles is a PS3 exclusive and the two sequels are PSP exclusive, even if one is not available outside of Japan. It would be good to have a lesser known new title up there with the Killzones and the God of Wars from more recent years. The protagonist from the first game is Welkin, who makes appearances in the other titles, and I feel he would make a more interesting pick as he is a lieutenant always in control of a squad in the game.  Valkyria is a tactical RPG and portraying that in a fighter would make a very unique character. Chances are it might be a valkyria instead with spears that shoot laser beams. Either would be cool but this is my particular choice. The series needs more praise and to be back on a home console!

Fanatic Longing 75%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 55%

8) Third Party Theories

Rather than all the characters that appear in the Sony “Michael” advert, I thought I would take a look at a few more third party characters that would be an interesting inclusion however unlikely.

Jade

A one off title that appeared on the PS2 and Gamecube that always has rumours swirling round about a sequel. It played like a Zelda title and Link works within Smash Bros so why not Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Perhaps some sort of photography mechanic akin to Frank West in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 or Tatsunoko vs Capcom.

Fanatic Longing 70%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 30%

Gex

Gex is a third party and as likely well known as the other characters from Sony’s past. I don’t see Gex making it into the game but a character that can jump into TV worlds would make an interesting fighter. With rumours swirling round that James Bond could be in the game as Sony are involved in the new movie I would rather Gex pretending to James Bond over Bond in the game. That would be odd. He is part of my Playstation past anyway.

Fanatic Longing 70%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 25%

9) Sony

This is a special section for one man who represents the Sony name.

Kevin Butler

Rumours keep swirling round that the man who is basically the mascot for Sony America and Europe will be in the game. I am OK with this especially if Kevin Butler is in the game wielding Move Bow and Arrow, throwing ps3s or any of the amusing things he did on the ad campaign. That and summoning Jack Tretton to either play Modnation Racing with or go on about a Wonderbook. No, I hate Wonderbook so he can summon Kaz Hirai to say RIIIIIIIIIDGE RACER! Anyway Butler would be ace.

Fanatic Longing 70%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 75%

10) Demo Disc 1

If you know what Demo Disc 1 is then you should just love that this is here and agree and start a petition or something. At least in this area it is narrowed down to one character as the Manta Ray can’t do much on land. This will be my main character to play when he definitely gets in the game.

Demo Disc T-Rex

It’s a T-rex he stomps around and is damn awesome. He was there at the very beginning of Playstation and well the whole planet too, or close enough. He is a T-Rex so he’s been around for a while. He could bit people and summon a giant demo disc down to smite his enemies.

Fanatic Longing 110%

Roster Inclusion Possibility 0.5%

Overtime: A Second Opinion

A very big thank you to Mr Jackman for his picks and for writing up the article. For whats it worth, I also had a quick stab at predicting 10 people for the roster. I have tried to avoid characters who are all but confirmed such as Ratchet & Clank and Jak (they have stages in the game meaning an appearance would surely follow), and also tried to maintain a focus on characters that either started as an exclusive on Playstation consoles or have been on Playstation consoles for a long period before going multiplatform. The list is in no particular order, and sorry for any repitition from the list above

1)         Crash Bandicoot

The franchise has seen better days, but early Crash Bandicoot games were Playstaion sellers – he was the mascot fighting directly against Mario and Sonic The Hedgehog, and so his place in the roster should be an inevitability if the game wants to truly pay homage to Sony’s past. As far as moves are concerned, he can spin attack, belly flop and use a Wumpa Fruit Launcher, or call upon Aku Aku for super powers. The problem for me will be the choice of design; I would prefer to have the Naughty Dog era Crash then the current incarnation. Still, get Crash in the roster NOW.

2)         Something Or Someone From Wipeout

It is perhaps ironic that Sony have two great franchises in the form of Gran Turismo and Wipeout that can barely be used for this game…unless suddenly cars can fight. Super Smash Brothers somehow made something out of the F-Zero franchise by making Captain Falcon playable, and look how popular he became – maybe Sony can invent a character from Wipeout and pull the same trick

3)         Spike

Ape Escape was much beloved on the original Playstation, and remains the most famous game from the franchise. It would make sense therefore to include protagonist Spike as a playable character, and have him use his net and the monkeys to attack other players. Catching runaway monkeys would also fit nicely into the minigame scenarios Sony appear to be incorporating into levels, like the Buzz question mechanics already demonstrated.

4)         Cloud Strife

I fear that if Square Enix do allow a Final Fantasy character to get into All Stars, it will be Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII as they are trying to push her as the chief representative of the series. Fans have been crying out from day one to have Cloud on the roster however, which does make much more sense. The character and the game he represents are iconic to the early history of the Playstation, and he has been part of fighting games before (Dissidia on the PSP and the forgotten Ehrgeiz). Let him swing the Buster Sword around and have Omnislash as a Level 3 special, and watch fans go wild.

5)         Lara Croft

The other Playstation mascot – Lara became famous due to a series of excellent titles and her…feminine charms. Some people would probably criticise Lara being on the roster as obvious comparisons would be drawn between her and Nathan Drake of the Uncharted series, but I think they would be able to have a varied enough fighting style to be differentiated (Lara uses twin pistols for example rather than a machine gun). Again, classic design would be preferable to the more recent ‘gritty’ reboot Lara.

6)         Spyro The Dragon

Before Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac had a small purple dragon launching them toward success. Spyro established itself as one of the most popular unofficial mascots for the Playstation…before Insomniac left, and then the series went from being average to being turned into a cash cow under Activision’s Skylanders series. Still, to have Spyro involved in some way or another would be a popular move, and then he can charge around and set stuff on fire. Bringing back the skateboard would also be pretty cool, but I reckon Parappa will have dibs on that.

7)         Yu Narukami

Persona 4 has been getting a lot of vibe recently; the original game is being remade for the Vita and looks to be one of the standout games for the platform, while the characters of P4 are getting their own fighting game soon in the form of Persona 4: Arena. What better way to advertise then have the protagonist go kick arse in the All Stars roster? With an ever trusty katana, and the ability to use different Personas to attack, he could offer a more diverse style of attacks than other characters

8)         Sir Dan Fortesque

If Sony are really thinking outside the box for their roster, then Daniel Fortesque from MediEvil would surely be near the top of the list. The mumbling skeletal knight is a cult hero and considering the original games were made in-house by Sony Computer Entertainment, they have the rights to pop in him with no problems.

9)        Wanda & Aggro

The hero of Shadow Of The Colossus and his horse could act as a nice representation of Team ICO’s work on Playstation consoles. And aside from swinging his sword around, imagine the possibilities if he could make use of the colossuses from the game – he would wreck everything with ease!

10)         Amaterasu

With a HD glossover upcoming, having the star of Okami in the roster would do well to expose the game and highlight what was one of the freshest and most cherished PS2 titles. Like Dante, Amaterasu was featured in Marvel Vs Capcom 3, and so there shouldn’t be any problems in putting him into another fighting game scenario if they can get the rights off of Capcom.

After all that, I can only say thank you very much for reading. If there’s someone you reckon we missed out on, why not shout at us in the comments?

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