The Event:- PlayStation Access Live: Christmas All-Stars Party

‘Tis the season, and the games industry likes to party just as much (if not more) than the rest of us. As such the generous folk over at Playstation Access recently threw us a party to coincide with the release of PlayStation All-Stars, the upcoming beat-em up from Sony. A number of the team were crafty enough to get themselves invited, including yours truly, and what proceeds is a general account of what we saw.

The party took place at the 24 Club, a trendy looking place in London with neon lights everywhere, projectors turning the walls into cinematics from Playstation All-Stars, monolithic TV’s and of course lots and lots of games. The lineup included hot upcoming titles such as God of War Ascension, Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, Injustice: Gods Among Us and Ni No Kuni, with an eager crowd ready to pit themselves against each other.

The most striking thing about the event was the fact that there was a really friendly and positive atmosphere, attendees were mingling like bees pollinating flowers, there was a big community vibe and everyone was more than eager to introduce themselves to their prospective opponents. Of course the free food and drink and great music from Sony’s Music Unlimited service didn’t hinder things.

The special guest of honor was Seth Killian, the lead designer on Playstation All-Stars at Sony Santa Monica’s external group, who is internationally renowned as one of the best players of fighting games in history. He was challenged many a time and won many a time.

Our writer Jason (right) with All-Stars’ lead designer Seth Killian.

For those attendees who walked away from consoles defeated, such as my self, still had a chance to win some nice goodies in the form of competitions with a PS Vita console being the main prize. As a consolation prize everyone that took the time to play All-Stars was given a cute little Sackboy key ring.

Of the other games at the event, highlights included Tokyo Jungle, which seemed to perplex people with it’s gameplay, and the PS3 exclusive JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) Ni No Kuni wowed the party goers with its striking visuals courtesy of Studio Ghibly. Surprisingly, Call of Duty Black Ops 2 seemed to take a back seat to more interesting games like Injustice: Gods Among Men to play, which proved to be the most popular choice, second only to All-Stars. From what little time I spent playing the game, Injustice’s gameplay has been , looking more fast pasted and more chaotic that earlier gameplay footage seemed to represent.  Meanwhile Far Cry 3 impressed many with its vast environments, rich with wildlife and flora.

However, All-Stars was the main event and, as the host of the party, it was running on the greatest number of TVs; you literally couldn’t move anywhere without being confronted and encouraged to play the game. It certainly proved to be a spectator sport, the game is a spectacle to watch and the party attendees couldn’t get enough. Initially some players seemed to struggle to keep with frenzied action but they soon got into the swing of things.

Attendees could dress up as famous Sony characters

As alluded to previously, I tried (and failed) many a time to beat Kratos, who was easily the most popular character. I felt that if you were a slow moving character like Radec or Sweetooth (or simply lacked the dexterity to dodge or block) then you really didn’t stand a chance. However, one thing is apparent, each character has their own specialities, so efficiently using their strengths is the key to winning.

Speaking of Kratos, and this could be sour grapes speaking, but Kratos seems to be over powered in many ways. I had heard that, following the recent beta, he had been nerfed slightly but still, when he is winning every match, it made the roster feel unbalanced. Given enough time with the game, and a finding the right character to suit my individual play style and I may very well be able to best the Ghost of Sparta. My personal favourite is Fat Princess, her close range melee abilities just gel together really well with my preferred play style… plus she uses a giant chicken in one of her super moves, which is nothing but win as far as I am concerned.

One thing that this event made clear to me is that PlayStation All-Stars iss the kind of game that really needs to be played in a party atmosphere, which PSAccess provided. If you decide to pick it up later this week when it is release I would suggest that you get your gamer friends together and exchange some knuckle sandwiches with the characters on the roster that you hate. That certainly seemed to be a popular course of action with the attendees!

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is due to be released on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on 23rd November in the UK. As the first major Cross Buy title, if you pick up the PS3 version of the game you will be entitled to a free digital copy of the Vita version of the game.

- Adam Radcliffe

Mon, November 19 2012 » Articles

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