PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale may live or die by its character roster. Fans wait in fervor to hear what Nintendo staples will be included in each Super Smash Bros. game, and players interested in Sony‘s upcoming mascot brawler are certainly anticipating the slow roll out of information. Since the announcement of Big Daddy and Nathan Drake at E3 (who are both a blast to play as you can read in my E3 preview), Sony has remained mute on more characters. A recent slip, however, suggests we may know the next two combatants to be revealed.
IGN is reporting a possible leak claiming that Jak from the Jak & Daxter franchise and Toro Inoue, a popular PlayStation character in Japan will join the fray this fall. Though there is not much evidence to support the claim, both characters are logical inclusions in the upcoming title. All-Stars‘ Sandover Village stage already represents Jak’s series, so to not see the beloved PlayStation 2 protagonist included would be a surprise.
Toro Inoue, a white cat who has represented Sony frequently throughout the years, may give gamers outside of Japan pause at first, but his inclusion may be similarly unsurprising. Toro is quite well-known in Sony’s homeland, but he has already made an appearance in a fighting game as a playable character in Street Fighter X Tekken.
Sony has not confirmed these two as entrants in the frantic battle game, but there is precedent for characters from the game leaking, as Big Daddy and Drake were both accidentally revealed on Facebook before the E3 announcement. If Sony plans information wisely, they’ll likely dole out a character or two every few weeks, so an announcement before the summer ends would not be unexpected.
I’m certainly excited for Jak, and the roster thus far is varied and enjoyable enough, but Sony needs to tap into every portion of its market. Sadly the company has no core set of characters as iconic as Mario, Link and Donkey Kong who have been around for decades. The PlayStation’s earliest mascots, Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, have gone multi platform, only to lose popularity thanks to lower quality offerings in recent years. Still, either or both of these characters would not be shocking inclusions and would signify Sony’s attempt to mine every point of its history to attract curious eyes to the game.
Toro has existed for years, and there has not been a current generation Jak & Daxter title, so I can only hope Sony is exploring their history and including as many memorable characters as possible. From Metal Gear Solid to Infamous to Final Fantasy VII, PlayStation has been home to a number of first and third party exclusives that need to be represented. Battle Royale‘s survival may depend on what non-Sony exclusive characters join in the mayhem. Ezio/Connor, Sora, Isaac Clarke, Solid Snake, Cloud – these and many more should all be available players when the game finally releases.
And while some of those names can be found on other consoles as well, the recent showings of Assassin’s Creed III and the Dead Space franchise indicate their respective publishers are willing to highlight these titles on the PlayStation 3. I see no reason why these marquee names cannot be part of the fighting, and to deliver anything less may disappoint many Sony fans. Though I hope some characters are kept secret for players to discover, Sony should aggressively be pushing these names during promotional opportunities in the upcoming months. Otherwise, I will have no problem returning to countless rounds of Super Smash Bros.