Going into All-Stars, i was only expecting exactly what was to be expected. What was expected? well..anything officially announced. This is generally a good attitude to have, seeing as if they DIDNT include anything more, your not phased since you expected it. But if they included MORE, then you are pleasantly surprised.
First thing i did was hop into Arcade mode with my boy Kratos, and having expected the still frames and voice overs as opposed to something more..animated, i wasnt dissapointed in it. In his "story". they decided to have his take place at the end of GoW 2 (which makes sense since his model is based on GoW 2 as well). I will say taht for him, and the characters ive done Arcade mode with soo far, they dont really explain HOW they meet the other people. Granted in Kratos they gave reasons as to WHY he went to fight them, but not how. I was definatly saddened by his "rival" battle. I put "Rival" in quotations because to be honest, the "reason" behind the fighting was just.. absurd at best. Completely didnt fit Kratos' personality in the slightest, and im surprised SSM even let the go along with it. I know Omar stated that "The game doesnt take itself seriously", but if that was the case they shouldnt have made the into soo serious for his arcade story.
Moving on to another character, (simply addressing, not stating that i played his story after Kratos') When i played Big Daddy's story mode, i was excited for what to expect. Omar has stated himself that BD's story was written by Irrational employees themselves, but it surely doesnt show. I reccomend turning on subtitles before playing it, because its incredibly hard to understand Little Sister (she does the talking, of course). The rival battle was...well about as much as id expect for a rivalry between Sackboy and BD. I was a tad saddened by the animations played by BD during the cutscene, but i digress.
After tating the story mode, i took a bite of the trials. Granted their are alot to do when it comes to 100% completion, i didnt see much variation. more along the lines of "do this list of objectives", but they were the same for each character. Not really fun, but a good way to practice with a character. After that, i jumped right into online. The belt system, while not exactly descriptive of HOW it works, can be vaguely put as "win matches, your rank goes up. when you hit 100, you go up to the next belt and start at 50 for that belt. losing can bring you down, but you have to go down to 1 before it goes back a belt" An..interesting system. It work for what it does. I used Kratos up until about lvl 130, then wanted a change of place. Currently im maining BD, at over 300 right now and still enjoying usnig him. Although he is harder to win with than the higher tier people, i win constantly now that i have, in all honesty, mastered him. I do believe im the best BD player currently out there, but for only being out for 2 days thats not a big (teehee) statement. Moving on.
Bugs were to be expected (although i should HAVE to, they must have pushed the release back for SOME reason). The big ones i see have been posted in another thread by me, and they are..
- unstable party connections, when me and my party member play 2v2 we constantly would have to re join the party because of DC's. We foudn a temp fix by restarting the game at the XMB. for now..
- Multiple times in 2v2 would we join the match, and on my side i couldnt see 1 of the members of the other team. They were still there, since my teamate could fight them both, but for me (and hearing him on his side, him as well) i couldnt see or hit him in anyway. An...interesting new mode in a way, haha.
-Still encountering the bg where you pick one person, and it assigns you another come the battle.
- Delayed spawn time, i could understand maybe a second or two, bu its lasted upwards of 10 to 15 seconds.
-When Ratchet uses his lvl 1, or when someone is charging the fish (perhaps other items, untested), another player can "push" them along. this isnt a big deal except for Ratchets lvl 1, who alrady has an unbalanced lvl 1 super as it is.
1One time soo far, Raiden's lvl 2 simply didnt end, and for a minute or so he one hit killed eveyone he touched. he of course had a huge score in the end. It also tends to last longer than usual sometimes.
Thesebugs have put a damper on the enjoyment, but hasnt really killed it for me. just an annoyance. The balancing of the game came close to perfect, but.. still some work needs done. Their are obviously going to be easy characters to use (Kratos, Raiden, Sly, Ratchet) and the harder to use ones (Big Daddy, Sir Dan, Jak), however their are some that are in desperate need of nerfing. Some examples are
Kratos - His combat grapple has too long an arc and range for what its purpose is. becomes spammable.
Sly - Lvl 1 has too low a AP demand, becomes spammable (along with many other of his attacks), and simply is too effective for how effective his lvl 2 and 3 are.
Ratchet - I can appreciate how the stayed true to the character in that he has MANY weapons and gadgets, but he simply has too large an advantage. His lvl 1 is the most unbalanced super in the meta game right now
Raiden - Overused way too much, primarily due to his long combos, and outright speed. I can dig a fast character, but his speed is enough mobility, He doesnt need a move that zips him across the screen on top of that.
Rather simply hotfixes could balance the game, but for now your just going to have to learn how to counter these. It is entirely possible, but the fact is that these imbalances lead to character choice online prettty predictable. "Oh, a Kratos and a Raiden, surprising."
A few things i would like other than bug fixes would be the option to choose your own backround. I liek the whole randomized thing they have going on, and i dig the remix of the anthem to fit the character of display, but id really like to have MY character on there all the time. perhaps a reward for lvl 500? 300? 999? On top of that, rewards seem to stop after hitting 300. Its more of a "time played" than anything past 300.
All in all, i will definalty be playing this game for years to come now, training with my clan and 2v2 has been incredibly fun for me.
Final Rating, 4.5/5