‘PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale’: Chan Park talks classics

Nov. 20, 2012 | 6:30 a.m.

The full character lineup from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

Sweet Tooth from the "Twisted Metal" series unleashes his level three super attack in this screenshot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

Sweet Tooth of "Twisted Metal," Kratos of "God of War," Fat Princess of "Fat Princess" and Radec of "Killzone" battle in "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

PaRappa from "PaRappa the Rapper," Sweet Tooth from "Twisted Metal," Sly Cooper from the "Sly Cooper" series and Kratos from "God of War" battle in "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

Evil Cole McGrath from "InFamous" flies at PaRappa from "PaRappa the Rapper" in this screenshot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

Spike from "Ape Escape" attempts to attack Sackboy from "LittleBigPlanet" in this screenshot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

From left to right, Nathan Drake from "Uncharted," Col. Radec from "Killzone," Jak from "Jak and Daxter" and Cole McGrath from "InFamous" in this screenshot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

Sackboy from "LittleBigPlanet" headbutts Dante from "Devil May Cry" in this screenshot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

Nariko, left, from "Heavenly Sword" and Sir Daniel Fortesque from the "MediEvil" series battle in this screenshot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

From left to right, Nathan Drake from "Uncharted," Heihachi Mishima from "Tekken," Japanese Sony mascot Toro and PaRappa from "PaRappa the Rapper" battle in this screenshot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

From left to right, Big Daddy from "BioShock," Dante from "Devil May Cry," Sly Cooper from the "Sly Cooper" series and Spike from "Ape Escape" fight each other in this screenshot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

Nariko from "Heavenly Sword" and Raiden from the "Metal Gear Solid" series duke it out in this screenshot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

From left to right, Jak from "Jak and Daxter," Kratos from "God of War," Dante from "Devil May Cry" and Ratchet from "Ratchet and Clank" battle in this screen shot from "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale." (Sony / Superbot Entertainment)

For the first time in its history, Sony is bringing together its well-known — and not so well-known — video game characters into a multiplayer experience.

“PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale,” which was made with SuperBot Entertainment and comes out Tuesday on the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, is Sony’s attempt to encapsulate its gaming history with a crazy, combat-driven brawler.

Hero Complex contributor Aaron Williams caught up with SuperBot Entertainment President Chan Park to talk about “All-Stars” and how the game came to be.

HC: What’s the feeling at SuperBot Entertainment on the eve of the “All-Stars” release?

CP: It’s a relief and a tremendous amount of excitement. We’ve just revealed our opening cinematic and it’s gotten a ton of response. Some people are saying it’s the best cinematic they’ve seen all year.

Chan Park, president of Superbot Entertainment

Chan Park, president and executive producer of SuperBot Entertainment (Sony)

HC: Who came up with concept of “All-Stars”?

CP: The idea has been kicked around by numerous people [at Sony] throughout the years. And it’s even been a topic online where people have said, “Gosh, why doesn’t Sony do a game that features all of their characters?”

HC: Did you always want to make a multi-character fighting game or did you have other ideas?

CP: When we started out, we were exploring a lot of different gameplay models: different multiplayer-type experiences, single screen, multiple screen. There were a lot of different ideas in terms of what’s the best way to deliver a unique game experience with all of these different characters.

Originally the company [name] was Broodworks and the thing that we were prototyping at the time kind of got scrubbed and we decided “Hey, let’s move on to something else.” That was when we resurrected this idea of an all-star type of game. And so based off a couple of different prototypes that we did, that’s where the idea of a brawler type of game and having a strong multiplayer component happened.

HC: While the game features many characters from Sony’s history, different blogs and forums have commented that key characters like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro are missing.

CP: When you create a [game], that’s your kid, you know? You don’t want your kid to be apart of a half-ass product [laughs]. Not to say it like that, but I understand that [SuperBot] is a start-up company and with that stands reservations. That’s natural.

I understand that, the team understands that, but it also creates a set of challenges. We’re not allowed to just do whatever we want with these properties. They have to fit and stay true to what’s been established and what the IP holders are comfortable with and still have them fit in the same universe and fit within the constraints that are specific to our game.

So, it’s a tall task and it’s one of the biggest challenges of this title, and frankly, one of things I’m most proud of us overcoming.

HC: And how did you overcome those challenges?

CP: There were easier relationships [for some characters] because they were simply part of [Sony] Santa Monica studios, like “God of War” and “Twisted Metal.” So there was already a strong relationship with those [intellectual property] holders.

Certainly on our side when we first started, we created the wish list. One thing fans should realize is that as fans ourselves, we threw everything we wanted to see on the table. And then from there, we explored the possibilities with those IP holders and, the ones who wanted to participate, we certainly worked hard with them to include them in the game. The ones that weren’t ready yet, we gotta talk to and find a time when they are.

HC: So can Sony fans expect more content and characters once the game’s released?

CP:  I think it’s safe to say as long as the title does well in the marketplace that fans can expect to see some [downloadable content].

HC: I recognized a lot of voices from the games each character came from. Did you pull in the original voice actors?

CP: Wherever it was physically possible, we had the original voice actor doing all of the lines. It was awesome for us to meet people like Noland North [voice of Nathan Drake from "Uncharted"], [graphic artist] Rodney [Greenbelt] from “Parappa the Rapper,” and it was really exciting for us as fans also to have them lend their talents to the game.

The “Time Station” stage blends elements of the “Ape Escape” and “Resistance” game franchises. (Sony / SuperBot Entertainment)

HC: One of my favorite things in the game are the stage mash-ups where you incorporate scenery from two games and blend their music. How did those mash-ups come about?

CP: John King was the producer and composer we brought in. We really wanted to have the mash-up idea permeate the entire game, not just in terms of our levels, but also when these mash-ups happen, we have the individual themes of the games represented in the music and have those change as well. When we did an experiment with the Hades [from "God of War"] and “Patapon” first, just listening to the music itself brought such a smile to so many people so we knew we were on to something.

HC: I noticed how playing a character like Kratos felt incredibly close to how he played in the “God of War” games, but there are characters like Toro who have entirely different play styles. What were the challenges with creating character balance and combat mechanics?

CP: In a mascot fighting game like this, when you pick up your favorite character and he doesn’t remind you of the  character you know in love from the original franchise, that would completely destroy the experience for the players.

A lot of it was just trying to figure out: what are some of these characters’ signature moves from their games? And which one of those moves would translate into our fighting game experience? And then there are some characters that don’t have any signature moves and you have to envision them completely from scratch because “Fat Princess” [from the game of the same name] is a flag [laughs]. So, we had nothing to go on other than her personality. So in those cases, we wanted to be really creative and analyze what aspects of her game that we can bring into our game that would make her feel in character.

HC: What do you think is SuperBot’s greatest accomplishment with this game?

CP:  I think there were a lot of other development teams that wouldn’t be able to tackle a lot of the challenges [we did]. So it’s more than just the birth of a game — it’s the genesis of new development team, a new company, a new process.

– Aaron Williams, @aboutaaron

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Comments


4 Responses to ‘PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale’: Chan Park talks classics

  1. awesometopolis says:

    I have this game and spyro and crash were the first PSX games i fell in love with. I'm super butthurt they werent included….. make them DLC and take my money.

  2. SpyroMaster says:

    THEY NEED 2 MAKE SPYRO AND CRASH. The minion that u unlock with spyro is sparx i hope and spyro should be the model from the legend of spyro series thumbs if you agree with me!

  3. Spyro Master says:

    All I want is spyro, crash , and cynder as DLC by april 2013. srsly though this needs 2 happen otherwise im gonna flip im glad parappa is playable though :)

  4. SproMaster says:

    ps. I HATE THE SKYLANDERS SPYRO AND IF TLOS SPYRO WAS TO MAKE IT HIS SECCOND OUFFIT WOULD BE THE ARMOR U CAN GET IN TLOS DAWN OF THE DRAGON srry im a huge spyro fan but i like crash 2 :)

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