I recently started playing PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale a.k.a. Sony Smash Bros. a.k.a. Are You Sure We Can’t Be Sued for This and I faced quite the dilemma. How was I to know if I liked it or not? Sure, I could listen to my own opinion like a chump, but I notoriously have terrible opinions on things. I hated Demon’s Souls, an opinion my game-playing friends have assured me is certifiably wrong, thus breaking the definition of an opinion. I can’t trust myself; it took me four seasons to realize Family Guy was written by a team of brain-damaged apes.
And I can’t trust professional journalists. Everyone knows they are all paid off by the big game companies and give all the games I love bad reviews simply to drive page views. I have no way to prove this (because it isn’t true), but as someone who uses the Internet, it is my duty to say whatever dumb thought comes into my mind as loudly and angrily as possible. Without it, online communities would wither and die and we’d be left with well-reasoned, rational arguments. Nobody wants that; it’s why C-SPAN is so boring. Who wants to listen to actual gaming journalists when we can listen to any crazy person with a computer and an Internet connection? It’s why I use newspapers to line my birdcage and get all my real news from tinfoilhatsimacrazyperson.com. Where else would I find the truth behind how the government is using stray cats to steal my freedom?
With sites like GameFAQs, Metacritic, and Steam all allowing for user reviews, we can finally get the pulse of the general public playing these games. And one thing becomes immediately obvious once you start reading them: the general public is insane. Say what you will about the state of gaming journalism; at least they know how to put two sentences together without spell check breaking out in tears and begging for you to just kill it. Come with me as we explore GameFAQs to find the answer I’ve been searching for: is PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale any good?
The first review I decided to check out was “The New Super Smash Bros.” by the famed reviewer OhshaMan on the site GameFAQs. GameFAQs gave it a starred review, which means enough people recommended it as worth reading that GameFAQs gave it its official seal of approval. So obviously, we’re in for a treat.
“This game is unique. It is unique in its own special way.”
Yeah, that is usually what unique means, random GameFAQs reviewer. Saying something is unique in its own way is like saying someone is fat in a fat way. It is redundant, and the fact that he separated out “it is unique” and “it is unique in its own way” into two lines makes it seem like he is just padding to reach some arbitrary word limit he doesn’t even need to hit. At least we can already tell he likes the game, I guess, as he has already called it unique and special.
“I didn’t say unique in a good way.”
AAAH HE’S IN MY HEAD. Who is he even arguing with here? I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOOD NNNGH. All right, so it took a couple sentences to get there, but he doesn’t like the game?
“I find it hard to stop playing.”
I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. It’s like this review was written by Gollum. “We loves the game. HATES IT. It is unique. BADLY UNIQUE. We can’t stops playing. GOLLUM GOLLUM.” The entire review reads like it was written by a recently thawed caveman, and it’s like he didn’t realize you could express more than one thought in a sentence. I’m also not positive he ever played the game, as he spends most of the rest of the review just reading out of the instructional manual detailing how you play the game.
“The Arcade mode is when you choose a character and mainly play against other characters in the game.”
This is completely true, at least. You play mainly against other characters in the game, although sometimes you play against other characters not in the game. Those are by far the toughest matches, as I find it quite difficult to defeat an opponent that isn’t even in the game you’re playing. It is sort of like going bowling and throwing your ball down another person’s lane, which has gotten me banned from more bowling alleys than I can count.
“Online play is fun and addicting. It only takes about 10-20 seconds to find a match to play in. Online play consists of seasons. There is a new season about every month. The boards change every season. The boards are big. There are tens of thousands of players. There is an online mode called ranked modes. They challenge your board status. Matches that aren’t ranked are played for fun. Once a season begins many people play ranked matches. As the season comes to an end more people play the game mode that doesn’t rank. Online play never has glitches. Online play is always smooth and fun.”
I think this entire paragraph is just recapping what the manual says about online play, but honestly I never made it to the end because reading it puts me to sleep. Also, online play never has glitches? Now I know this guy never played the game. My first online match consisted of the game glitching immediately and the announcer repeatedly saying “READY R-READY READY?” over and over again while the level played itself out in the background and all the players couldn’t do anything but duck. Saying PlayStation All-Stars online doesn’t have any glitches is like saying Super Mario World doesn’t have any Mario. It is clearly untrue and anyone that played for more than two minutes would know it.
“Thank you all for reading! Please recommend this review.”
Is this all it took? It is impossible that people actually thought this was well written, as it reads like it was authored by a malfunctioning robot. The power of suggestion is apparently very strong. Hey everyone, thanks for reading this article! Please like it, give it a high rating, and bring me all of your money in a burlap sack with a big dollar sign drawn on it.
Our second review is not a starred review, so somehow this is supposed to be worse than the first one. It probably means this is just a link to a computer virus, but I’ve gone too far now to not click on it. I’m not even sure what the title is trying to tell us. Apparently there is a group of people out there who are looking for fun games but don’t want them to be habit forming. “Yeah, I’m looking for a good game, but not, like, TOO good, man. I just got out of rehab for Candy Crush Saga.” This sounds like its going to be a review of a new recreational drug and not a game.
“This game is unique.”
Wait. Wait. Wait. Why does this sound familiar?
“It is unique in its own special way. I didn’t say unique in a good way. I find it hard to stop playing.”
OhshaMan, you sneaky son of a bitch.
All right, so two things. First off, the title of this review includes “its not addicting” and the fourth line is, “I find it hard to stop playing.” That’s the definition of addicting, you moron. “This burger is not tasty. I think it tastes good, though.” Either OhshaMan never learned the definition of addicting (which is very possible) or he is a PlayStation All-Stars junkie in denial. No, man, I can totally quit playing whenever I want; it isn’t addicting at all! I…I just need one more match, man. JUST ONE MORE AND I’LL QUIT I NEED THIS. This is always how it plays out, sadly. First, you just want to try PlayStation All-Stars because you’re in college and, hey, everyone is doing it. You start off playing just with friends, but before long you’re just playing it by yourself on the weekend and then you start missing classes. Before you know it, you’re in the alley behind Denny’s having sex with some homeless guy in exchange for the Zeus DLC. If I’ve heard the story once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.
Secondly, this entire review is copy/pasted from his original review and just re-posted a month later. He just changed the title, and somehow the fact that this guy posted the same review twice for the same game slipped by the GameFAQs editorial staff. It’s like they don’t even actually read all of the awful reader-submitted reviews the site receives on a daily basis! Who would’ve guessed? I’m curious now how many times I can submit the same review with a different title for the same game before someone on GameFAQs notices. If my job were reading reviews like OhshaMan’s every day, I guarantee by the third day I would just make sure there weren’t any racial slurs before accepting it, because the human brain can only take so much of this.
What I can’t figure out is why OhshaMan would resubmit the same review in the first place. Boost the composite score? He only gave it an 8, so if he was trying to game the system, you think he would do it for a game he was more passionate about. To get more people to read his review? I don’t see how a second review would help when he first one was already getting promoted by the GameFAQs staff. My theory is he is actually Guy Pearce’s character from Memento and he is living the same day over and over again in his mind. I’m hoping if I check back next year there will be eight more reviews up by OhshaMan and he will finally have figured out what happened to his wife.
I double-checked on this one to make sure it wasn’t also written by OhshaMan. I couldn’t take another one. Two reviews in and I had already forgotten all of the words I learned in college. Luckily, this review wasn’t written by OhshaMan, which happened to be the only qualification I was looking for. Here is a pro tip for all you aspiring reviewers out there: Make sure you know how to spell the name of the game you’re reviewing. Jaron here manages to wrongly format both PlayStation and All-Stars, which makes him 0/2 out of the words in this game’s title he spelled correctly. If you can’t spell something that is right in front of you on the website, there is going to be a good chance the review is going to read like you just mashed your fist on the keyboard. Oh well, maybe he’ll surprise me.
“This game is unique.”
“It is unique in its own special way.”
No. No no no no no.
“I didn’t say unique in a good way. I find it hard to stop playing.”
Why? Why is this happening? What IS this? What cosmic deity did I anger to be cursed in such a way? How is every review here the same? I feel like I’m Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, and every time I click on a review, “I Got You Babe” is going to start playing, and the words “This game is unique” will appear on my screen written in goat’s blood. Damn you, OhshaMan! Why must you haunt me wherever I go? Isn’t one poorly written review enough for you, you monster? To be fair, though, this isn’t exactly the same review, as the ending is totally different.
“This game definitely beats any other game like it. I guarantee it! This in my second review. Thank you all for reading. If you enjoyed this review please recommend it by clicking below. Thank you from the review creator.”
I like how this guy calls himself a review creator because he never learned the word for writer. He also thanks us twice here, because even he realizes that if someone made it all the way to the end of this, one thank-you was simply not enough. The weird thing is this guy actually posted his review two days before the first OhshaMan review, meaning he switched accounts to re-post it almost immediately after the first one went up. The other option is OhshaMan just plagiarized this review (twice), but I refuse to believe that of all the reviews on all the Internet, OhshaMan looked at this one and thought, “I need this to have my name on it. No. No, that isn’t enough. I need this to have my name on it twice. Someday, I will show both of these to my illiterate children and prove to them that one time, long ago, daddy knew how to write words.” I prefer to believe Jaron suffered some sort of tragic head injury, making him forget he wrote this review, and was reborn as OhshaMan, doomed forever to wander the pages of GameFAQs and re-post reviews he has already posted.
What I Learned About PlayStation All-Stars:
Well, first off, this game is unique. Also, it is unique in its own special way. However, don’t be mistaken here. I never said it was unique in a good way. Oh no. I never said that. You can check my first two sentences as much as you would like and I promise you I never said that. I never said it. I DIDN’T. DON’T ACCUSE ME OF THINGS I DIDN’T SAY. Oh, and it is hard to stop playing this game.
Of all the reviews I read on GameFAQs, the reviewers were in 100% agreement about this. And pretty much everything else. PlayStation All-Stars has actually only ever been played by one person, according to my very scientific sample. It explains why the studio was forced to close down, in retrospect. If you think you played this game in the past, there are only two explanations for this. Either you haven’t, or you are also OhshaMan. Which means…
I was OhshaMan all along.