Round 1: Josh Miller on behalf of Vahn from Legend of Legaia
The original PlayStation was a fantastic place for japanese role-playing games. If one were to dive in, they may run across a Sony published game called Legend of Legaia. It is here where you can play as Vahn, my next suggestion for a PlayStation All-Stars character.
Vahn is a martial artist who has the power to absorb powers of creatures he fights in the world. It is with these powers and this fighting prowess that could make him a tough competitor. His typical move-set is built similarly to a fighting game in the first place with button combinations leading to skills being performed. So for example, pushing a combination such as left, right, left, punch could unleash his Hyper Elbow move or down, down, down, up, kick would land his Cross-Kick move. A number of these could be used for general moves while the big hitters could be used as special moves.
However, while he is primarily a melee fighter, he can use monster powers to his advantage as well. The Nighto creature could fly forward and swing its limbs as a multi-hit before disappearing, Gimard could be set on fire and blast forward, Swordie could swing its arms releasing blades that spin everywhere, or Freed could drop large ice shards from the sky. Much like Pokemon, these creatures each have special powers that can be used to Vahns advantage.
Finally his special moves could incorporate either of those things. Some of the summonable creatures attack all enemies using larger splashier effects. Whether this something like Ozma that shoots out strobe like lightning or Jedo which is grim reaper like and swings away at foes and could do 1 hit KOs. Even the physical special arts skills turn out impressive combos. Vahn’ Craze would need to either be a level 2 or 3 super, but the first could be something along the lines of his Tri-Somersault move. Plenty to choose from.
Vahn may not be the most popular or well recognized, but he comes from a great time of JRPGs and is one that stood out for its uniqueness among others. The skills at his disposal and the fact he would translate well makes me thoroughly believe that this Sony exclusive character would be a great fit for the roster.
Round 2: Emmett Watkins Jr on behalf of Kutaro from Puppeteer
One of the best things to come out of the last generation was PlayStation Plus, because it allowed broke teenage Emmett to get his hands on so many games he never would have tried otherwise. He’s fallen in love with many games thanks to this, such as Borderlands, Comet Crash, and Saints Row 2. But one game that I, quite frankly, didn’t know existed until I received it through PlayStation Plus was the gorgeous platformer from Sony’s Japan Studio, Puppeteer.
The game, as you can tell from the gifs, had an incredibly striking art style that was inspired by classical puppet shows, complete with the fact the game is played on an actual stage. But it incorporated the puppeteering aesthetic into gameplay as well with the player character, Kutaro. The silent hero could swap heads with his enemies during gameplay that would give him different abilities, much like Kirby. This mechanic could be a fascinating addition to the meta of a hypothetical PlayStation All-Stars, which means Kutaro would be an excellent edition to the roster.
Just how would this mechanic work exactly? Well, we could take the easy way out and have him switch between four heads that are consistently the same every time, much like Toro’s costumes in the original All-Stars. But I think it would be a disservice to the character to only include 4 of the 100+ heads found the game. So, I think it’d be best to go the route of the recently released Smash DLC character, Hero. Much like the game he’s from, Dragon Quest, Hero has a randomly selected list of commands to enter in the middle of a match that will cause him to send out different spells and actions. I’d want something similar with Kutaro, but instead of randomizing it, I think it’d be better for competitive play to have the player choose what heads to equip him with in the character select screen.
But that doesn’t even mention his iconic scissors! He could, of course, use them as a basic melee attack, but it’d add an interesting wrinkle into combat if he could use them to counter projectiles coming his way. He can snip the claws off of a tiger, why not the random grenades or electric bolts coming towards him? As a balancing feature, the scissors could snip the projectile in half, which would cause it to miss Kutaro, but leave the possibility of hitting two enemies for double the AP.
As for his supers, there’s immense potential there. For his level one, he could wear one of the Heads of the Four Heroes of the Moon. These gave Kutaro special abilities that completely altered gameplay, and those abilities, such as the Pirate’s Hook, Ninja’s Bombs, Knight’s Shield, or Wrestler’s Grapple could be selected pre-match for use as a level one super. Level two could incorporate scissors once again, but also have him step into the foreground to cut through the screen like the fabric found in the game. It would then be on the other player to make it to the top of the stage before Kutaro has the opportunity to cut them off at the bottom of the screen. And for his level three, Kutaro would, again, jump into the foreground as the stage everyone plays on flips to an actual stage, like in the Puppeteer. The stage flip would immediately kill everyone on the stage, and then once players respawn, they’d have to avoid one of the telegraphed performances of the game’s many memorable bosses. During which, Kutaro would use the powers from one of his selected heads to defeat the foe, and the battle would be quick time based, both as a reference to the game and to keep the super from going on too long.
So, that’s my pitch. Hopefully this one was elaborate enough to win some of you over. I know Kutaro isn’t the most well known character, but having him on the roster would be nothing short of an excellent choice.
Round 3: Fight!
So, who’s back you got? The Power absorbing martial artist, or the head swapping puppet? Vote in the Twitter poll embedded below, and follow @LosHarrowGames for the next match up!