Freshly announced fighting game Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has sent shockwaves around the Smash Bros community. Pro player Leonardo ‘MkLeo’ López responded to fresh plans for esports, announcing SpongeBob SquarePants character Patrick Star as his new ‘main’.
The announcement of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has split the Smash Bros community. While the initial response to the game was largely one of ridicule, many high-profile figures including Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel have voiced their frustrations with the current state of Smash’s online play.
And All-Star Brawl contains a key feature missing from Smash: rollback netcode. Rollback netcode simulates a LAN connection by predicting an opponent’s movement, before correcting if the movement is different to what is predicted. This normally allows for smoother gameplay, as there is less input lag for players.
This feature has seen key Smash pros such as William ‘Leffen’ Hjelte and Michael ‘Riddles’ Kim slam Nintendo for not implementing rollback netcode into Smash, labeling its absence from Ultimate as “embarrassing” for the community.
And in an interview with Kotaku, Joel Nystrom, CEO of All-Star Brawl developers Ludosity, revealed that Nickelodeon is “absolutely on board” with having the game set up to be played competitively.
“That’s been in the conversation from the start. That’s why they came to us,” he said.
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But chief designer Elias Forslind explained that he wanted a ‘balance’ between casual and competitive play. “When you make a game fun to play, anyone can have fun with it,” he said. “This is very good for me, since I don’t have the mad skills like competitive players, but I can still greatly enjoy casual free-for-all matches in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.”
The commitment to a competitive scene caught the eye of T1 Smash pro MkLeo, who said he will be at tournaments “tryharding with my Patrick”.
And ill be there tryharding with my patrick 😳 https://t.co/07yGW3392d
— T1 | MkLeo (@Mkleosb) July 17, 2021
While MkLeo is likely only joking, it would be interesting to see whether any high-profile Smash players make the switch to Nickelodeon Brawl – especially if the online matches players’ high expectations.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl drops late in 2021, and it will be fascinating to see whether it manages to live up to the hype.