Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
In what feels like a weird (yet delightful) mishmash of Super Smash Bros meets Nicktoons Unite comes Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl which is… pretty self explanatory, actually! For no narrative reason, all your favorite Nicktoons, both new and old, are pitted against each other for some good ol’ fighting. There’s really no build-up to these fights or trajectory of difficulty that I could gather while playing the game, but just a lot of fun to be had from having Spongebob smack Nigel Thornberry off a building. Sometimes simplicity truly goes a long way!
There isn’t a lot of variety when it comes to the fighting locations and the characters are limited to headliners such as Spongebob, Patrick Star, Aang, Reptar (my personal favorite character to play as) etc – but the game does a good job at utilizing each character as you play as them and giving them unique fighting moves that are specific to their characters. I can’t properly articulate how delightful it is to play as Reptar and shoot fireballs at a character like Danny Phantom or Catdog.
The game doesn’t try to do anything too visually impressive in terms of scope or even just character designs, but honestly, considering that the game is going for nothing more than a nostalgic, Nickelodeon arcade riff on Super Smash, Tekken, Mortal Kombat, etc. it makes sense to keep everything simplistic and not overextend the concept further than it has to go.
Even with that being said, and how I think the game is a whole lot of fun within the context of what it is – there is a certain ceiling for this game and it isn’t super high by design. Yes, it is really fun to play as these characters and see these wacky character meetups – but there isn’t much more under the surface to make you wanna pick up your Switch to play it again over something else. Once you’ve finished a majority of the fights, played as a majority of the characters, and unlocked some of the secret extras, it might just have you moving on to the next game instead of playing through for a second or third time.
It all depends on what you’re expecting from your brawl games. If you want nothing more than recognizable characters from your childhood to pit against each other, you’ll have a good time and it’ll be a fun addition to your collection. Just don’t expect anything much more than the general concept you’re being sold.