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PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale Cross-Play Preview (PS3 & Vita)

June 6, 2012 Written by Anthony Severino

PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale is one of Sony’s biggest releases of this year, and for good reason—it features key characters from some of Sony’s most well-known franchises and emulates the charming fighting style of Super Smash Bros., all while remaining unique enough to stand on its own. New characters like Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Big Daddy from Bioshock were announced, but another shining achievement for the team at SuperBot Entertainment revealed during E3 was the fact that both the PlayStation Vita and PS3 version of the game play nice together.

Cross-Play. It’s becoming a theme for PlayStation Vita titles. If it’s on the Vita and the PS3, chances are the creative minds behind the games have figured out a way to make the games run so similarly, that you can literally play on your home console, and when you’re done pick up where you left off on the Vita on the go. PlayStation All-Stars is a little different with its usage of Cross-Play. Being a fighting game, there is little reason for that pick up and go continuity that Cross-Play usually offers. Here, however, the Vita and the PS3 can play simultaneously in perfect harmony.

For more details on the gameplay, see our original PSASBR preview. For the sake of this preview, the focus is on Cross-Play.

At Sony’s E3 booth, I played a couple rounds of the satisfying brawler—one round on the PS3, the other on the Vita. During the PS3′s selection screen, the game searches for PlayStation Vita’s loaded up with that version of the game. The Vita player then selects a character…that’s it—it’s that easy.

The two versions of the game run at 60fps, and there is absolutely zero lag or difference in the gameplay across the two platforms. I kept watching the Vita screen in the developer’s hand to see if it was slower, or choppy, or hindered him in any way. Not at all the case. In fact, he kicked my ass all around the Ratchet & Clank-themed metropolis.

Then we swapped. Even with the massive arena the fights take place in, it never felt confined within the Vita’s 5-inch OLED screen compared to the PS3 version. Even the interactive backgrounds looked just as pretty and fluid, much like the combat itself. It helps to make for an experience that translates flawlessly back and forth on either platform, without sacrifice.

It didn’t click initially as to what the appeal was with PSASBR‘s style of Cross-Play since fighting games don’t have stories so engaging that they need to be saved and picked up when you’re on the go. But it’s great to know that if you prefer to have the PlayStation Vita version so you can play on the go, you can still play versus a friend who owns the PS3 version back at his home, as the Vita essentially acts as another PS3 controller, just equipped with a screen. Truthfully, though, if you’re playing on the PS3 with the Vita, you won’t even be looking at the Vita’s screen, because the experience is so seamless, you might as well keep your focus on the big TV screen instead. You won’t miss a beat(ing).