The Spectacular Review for Nick All Star Brawl 2

By Brandon Williams / November 16, 2023

Nick Brawl 2 exposed roster

Nick All-Star Brawl was a promising platform fighter made by Ludosity and Fair Play Labs on October 5, 2021. It was a home for Nicktoon characters to duke out in wacky battles, though some issues held back the NASB ambitions. These problems (such as low character diversity, little fun content, and unfinished game design) diminished the player base dramatically. 

The devs were very open with supporting fans, trying to learn what hindered the game overall. Gaining enough support let the devs make NASB stand a second time in a more polished, brand-new entry.

Gameplay with Nick Slime

The major addition to the gameplay is the slime meter. slime builds up to three bars maxed during battles. There are four uses for the slime meter, which adds depth to a player’s fighting style: move enhancement, slime cancel, slime burst, and slime supers.

Nick Brawl 2 Slime meter

Slime can enhance every special move. When enhancing a move, it activates different effects, such as increased range, damage, armor, attack coverage, and more. Each move enhancement costs a bar of slime.

Nick Brawl 2 slime cancel

Slime cancel lets players disrupt any action to link with a different move. This helps create true combos or deviously quick mixups. It costs one bar for each slime cancel.

Nick Brawl 2 slime burst

Slime burst is used when a player gets hurt during an opponent’s combo. It stops the harmed player’s momentum before pushing any nearby foe away. It’s an emergency tool that can’t be used often due to its high cost of two slime bars. 

Additionally, it can also be baited and blocked by a wary opponent. Only use it when necessary, especially when getting knocked too far off stage.

Nick Brawl 2 slime ultimate

Slime Ultimate is a super move that significantly damages at least one opponent. To hit the super, the user must face their opponent(s) at close range on the same ground level. Performing the move casts a bolt of lighting along the user to signify its range. If it hits, an animation will play out. If it doesn’t, the user is forced into recovery lag for a punish.

This is simplified for every character, giving them the same attack range. The Slime Ultimate costs three whole slime bars, though the heavy knockback is worth it. It is similar to the Final Smash in Smash Bros Ultimate, though it is blockable.  

Approaching Nick Representation

Nick Brawl 2 roster

Compared to the prequel, the whole roster has been designed with more in-depth movesets. There are unique buffs, debuffs, and special mechanics to differentiate each character. These include burn, sauce, poison, sugar rush, encore, and more. 

Even returning characters have been refreshed and updated to bring more of an expressed Nick feel. For example, Spongebob is a veteran character that was redesigned with more references, such as Goofy Goober, Reef Blower, and Anchor Arms. 

Of course, the roster includes new characters, such as Grandma Gertie, Azula, El Tigre, Angry Beavers, and more. Though there are only two new show representations, each character addition brings their unique fighting style and references. 

Nick Brawl 2 fighting in dam

While the character’s complexity gives depth to interactions, it also raises the character’s mastery. The game isn’t easy to play at first, and the game’s difficulty rises drastically when the fight is taken off stage.

It requires players to know which move is used to recover back to the stage. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough for characters to just use their Up specials since many of them have little verticality and air drift. 

Other aerial moves let each character move and linger offstage, such as Plankton’s strong forward aerial and weak up aerial. Each recovery method is different for each character, making it challenging for beginning players to jump into more easily.

This also encourages players to use the slime meter to recover on stage more effectively. Using slime can raise a move’s range great enough to fly back or cancel a move to air dodge back to the stage.

Currently, there are still a few buggy annoyances that ruin player immersion in NASB 2. The most frequent problems are missing hitboxes, small-range recognitions, loss of audio, and phasing through stages. It’s frustrating when losing the advantage or stock due to the game’s minimal polish. 

All-Star Single Player Content

The most hyped inclusion for the game is its story campaign. Instead of being any regular story mode, it features randomly generated rogue-like runs.

The story starts with Spongebob and Patrick hanging together in their homely neighborhood. During their fun, a dimensional portal opens up before vacuuming Patrick away. 

Spongebob could only watch in horror until a ghost named Clockwork calls him from another portal. It seems Vlad Plasmias is behind creating portals and mind-controlling everyone for his unknown mischievous schemes. Because of this, Spongebob agrees to travel through dimensions to save the brainwashed characters and take down Vlad.

Nick Brawl rogue runs

When starting a run, players will follow a path that ultimately leads to a boss at the end of the journey. There will be fork roads that allow players to decide which dimension to go to. Each dimension can include platforming levels, enemy waves, character battles, and power-ups. 

Character battles can unlock the former brainwashed victims after defeating them. Some powerups can be given by friendly NPCs such as Mrs. Puff, Powdered Toastman, Hugh Neutron, and Frida. When the opportunity arises, players can switch between playable characters to witness unique interactions with certain NPCs.

The extra modes are arcade mode, minigames, and boss rush. Arcade mode is designed similarly to the campaign mode, but with included minigame levels. The minigames include Pop the Slime Balloons and Whack-A-Bot, both of which are fun to play. There are even team battles that let players fight with friendly A.I. characters. Boss Rush lets players speedrun through all the bosses in the game. The bosses provide a decent challenge with a menacing presence, though their A.I. sometimes stands around too long.

Less Restricted Customization

Nick Brawl 2 Vlad

Customization has improved significantly in NASB 2. In the predecessor, players were forced to set buttons for every command, including unnecessary taunts. Initially, the control scheme was simplified, limiting how players could comfortably play. The sequel fixes that issue, letting players customize without requiring them to set specific commands. The game even offers togglable options for short hop macro, inputs for dash/fastfall, secondary inputs for each action, and tap jump. 

Control customization has improved dramatically, though it still isn’t perfect. The game only allows action customization, such as jump, attack, and slime usage. However, NASB 2 doesn’t allow customization for movement keys and analog sticks. Players cannot change their keyboard controls for movement or change actions on a controller’s analog sticks. 

What’s also strange is how the game doesn’t allow control customization for the story campaign. Players must use the default controls to play the rogue runs.

Multiplayer Fun in Nick Platform Fighter

Like any other platform fighter, there is local play. Each match can hold up to four players. There are three types of battles: stamina, stocks, and timed. Stamina battle lets players fight with health, similar to a traditional fighting game. Stock battle is the conventional platform fighting style with percentage-based damage. Both Stamina and Stock end when one player is left standing or when time runs out. Timed battle lets players fight to gain the most stocks before time runs out.

Additionally, NASB 2 supports online play. There are two online modes: casual and ranked. Casual mode lets the players fight with items on any stage. Some areas have hazardous traps that hinder any potential victims. Ranked mode allows players to fight more competitively on tournament legal stages. This mode limits the number of available stages. However, some have multiple forms: battlefield (three platforms), small battlefield (two platforms), smashville (one platform), and final destination (a flat stage without platforms). The online setting has been significantly improved with its rollback netcode, updated private lobbies, and crossplay.

Something strange about casual play is the use of items. The game never mentions how to use each item properly. Unlike Smash Bros Ultimate, NASB 2 has no menu to showcase and explain each item. Players must use trial and error to determine each item’s best uses. Surprisingly, there isn’t even a menu to toggle which item can appear or not.

Poor console optimization

NASB 2 has some questionable optimization between different consoles. Where PS5, PC, and Xbox Series S/X versions are 60 fps, the other consoles are only 30 fps. 

What’s worse is that the Switch version has much slower loading times and lower graphical fidelity. This lack of parity is terrible for a console that is home to the greatest platform fighter series, Smash Bros. It seems like the newer console versions were a higher priority than the older console versions, which will greatly hurt the player experience. 

Overall Thoughts for Nick Brawl Sequel

Nick Brawl Chest

NASB 2 is a more refined game than the prequel. The campaign offers great replayability for single-player enjoyment. Its roster is filled with updated characters with expressive, in-depth fighting styles. The game system is more engaging due to the slime mechanic. This iteration is what the game should’ve been back on October 5, 2021.

 Despite such efforts, it is still held back by its glitchy game design. Many of its bugs and console optimization issues seriously hurt the player experience. There are still some restrictions to controller configurations, especially for the story campaign. Also, the interesting bosses aren’t unlockable characters to play. It’s a shame since one of them was an addition in the previous installment.

Nick Brawl 2 DLC

Another issue is the missed opportunity for more representation. The game features only two new Nick show reps within the multiple new characters. Future DLC support has been confirmed, but the current characters are already supporting the represented shows. There could’ve been more new show representations, such as Fairy Oddparents or Fanboy & Chum Chum. 

NASB 2 is fun to play, though its unpolished, wacky design hinders its promising worth. This game is worthwhile for players who enjoy platform fighters and /or playing as Nickelodeon characters. The devs were passionate about the prequel, which may carry over to NASB 2 with multiple game patches.

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