A PS5 code was provided to GamingPizza for this review. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 is available now for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
When Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl first hit the shelves in 2021, I steered clear, worried that it would tarnish or cheapen my cherished childhood memories of Nickelodeon’s iconic characters. However, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 quelled those fears with a colorful, respectful homage to the Nickelodeon legacy.
It’s a game that not only entertains but also celebrates the characters we’ve grown up loving, all while positioning itself in the upper echelons of fighting games released this year, like Mortal Kombat 1 and Street Fighter 6.
Nostalgia and new twists in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2’s roster
The roster in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 is a delightful blend of nostalgia and novelty. While the departure of characters like CatDog and Oblina leaves a void that I was hoping to fill, the inclusion of new faces like El Tigre and Angry Beavers infuses fresh energy into the game. The game’s attention to detail in character portrayal is commendable.
Each character, from SpongeBob SquarePants to Aang, is meticulously crafted, staying true to their original animations and personalities. It’s not just a fighting game — and it feels like that’s kind of the point. It’s a trip down memory lane for those of us who grew up watching Nick (Nick Nick Nick Na-Nick Nick Nick … try and read that without singing), replete with the quirks and capers that defined these characters.
Slime Time meets fight time
The gameplay mechanics are where Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 really shines. The introduction of the Slime Gauge adds a layer of strategy, allowing players to enhance or cancel moves. This feature provides a tactical edge that can be the difference between a triumphant win or a comedic loss.
Comparatively, while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel like Street Fighter 6 or have the raw intensity of Mortal Kombat 1, it brings its own unique flavor to the table, making it stand out in the crowded fighting game arena. Not to mention one that is a bit better suited for younger players.
When stacked against this year’s heavy hitters in the fighting genre, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 holds its ground with a playful, character-driven approach. Beyond fighting, it brings something equally important to the table – a sense of fun and nostalgia.
It’s a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet offers enough complexity to keep fighting game aficionados engaged.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 Campaign Mode: A new adventure
The Campaign Mode embraces a rogue-like structure that keeps each playthrough fresh and engaging. The semi-random maps and varied challenges offer a delightful change of pace from the traditional fighting setup.
The mode, however, does tend to feel repetitive after multiple runs. More stage diversity and thematic depth would have been the cherry on top of this already pretty delicious sundae.
A visual and auditory feast
Visually, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 is very impressive. The stages are vibrant and full of details that pay homage to the original shows. The characters themselves are animated and expressive, making each battle feel like a mini-episode of your favorite cartoon.
The soundtrack, with its catchy tunes, complements the visuals perfectly, creating an immersive Nickelodeon universe.
While the user interface improvements are fine, with dynamic menus and thoughtfully placed elements, there’s still room for growth. The arcade and campaign map layouts feel a bit basic, and some functionality quirks, like saving mid-battle in Campaign Mode, can be a bit off-putting. The extra modes and mini-games, although fun, feel more like side attractions rather than core components of the game.
To brawl or not to brawl?
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 is a delightful surprise — a game that not only meets expectations but exceeds them in many ways. The game offers a robust and enjoyable experience for both Nickelodeon fans and fighting game enthusiasts. While it has its flaws, the game ultimately succeeds in delivering a fun, engaging experience that pays homage to the Nickelodeon universe.
Overall, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 earns a solid 8 out of 10. It’s a game that celebrates the whimsical world of Nickelodeon with a punch, kick, and a hearty dose of slime. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the network or just looking for a fun, quirky fighter, this game is sure to bring a smile to your face.