Oddly, in spite of the depth offered by the game's combat, the only way you can score kills is by building up your super meter and performing a super move. The decision to make everything else--environmental hazards and items, for example--only affect a character's AP is certainly bold. You're constantly forced to think about risk and reward. Do you attack or avoid a character that has enough AP for a super? Do you perform a level 1 super or do you save up for a level 2 or 3? Performing a level 1 super that kills three opponents at once becomes incredibly satisfying; killing
The mash-up levels are all hilarious
While multiplayer is clearly the focus of the game, it's disappointing to see how little else the game has to offer beyond that. All-Stars could have benefited greatly from taking a few more pages from Nintendo's book. What elevated Smash Bros into such a beloved property wasn't just the characters, or the frantic fighting gameplay. A lot of passion could be found in every aspect of the game, from a story mode filled with surprises, to an encyclopedic trophy system that had Nintendo fans addicted to collect 'em all.
All-Stars offers very little in terms of PlayStation fanfare. The included arcade mode feels thoroughly phoned in. While Sony promised a unique "story" for each character, what they apparently meant was a generic one-minute voice over accompanied by a still image. From there, you get a series of completely random, disconnected fights culminating in a final "boss" that has you simply fighting the regular roster, but in a different color palette. Compare that to the epic story mode of Smash Bros Brawl penned by Final Fantasy 7's
The game is best experienced with four players