When PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was formally announced after dozens of rumors noting the existence of the game, gaming sites went into crazy mode, and not for good reasons. No, instead the battles between console/company zealots over whether Battle Royale was a shameless Super Smash Bros. clone was the hot topic. But the idea of a party fighter is not new. It was never exclusive to Smash Bros. Obviously one can argue that if not for the success of Smash, Sony would have never had Superbot develop Battle Royale. That makes perfect sense. However, the actual mechanics of the games and how they are scored are entirely different. In Smash, the goal is to deal damage to your opponent to weaken them enough/accumulate enough damage for them to be hit out of the stage. Battle Royale's gameplay premise is to attack foes to build up a Super Meter (can grow up to three times). Opponents unleash their supers on their adversaries to score points. The concepts to scoring are miles apart in similarity.
|There are some similarities, but these |
two titles are quite different.
With the Wii, few could predict that the platform would sell so astonishingly well. It was inherently fun to swing the Wii remote like a bat, tennis racket, or golf club, and have fun with friends and families. Caught with their pants down, Sony and Microsoft, after deriding the platform in multiple interviews, finally turned the other cheek and decided to develop their own motion-controlled solutions. Sony pulled out an incredibly similar Wii-like product with the Move (ironically looking like a lollipop) while Microsoft pulled out a totally unique product with the Kinect. Kinect skyrocketed Xbox 360 sales while Move hardly moved units. It does show that sometimes pure imitation won't drive sales and that innovation matters. Why settle for an imitation when you can get the original with much better support? That said, Nintendo was immensely flattered, and if new motion control products meant for new ways to play and new people entering our hobby, that is just sensational, then. Why are some of the most vocal gamers so quick to always devolve discussions into console wars? The implementation of new devices and new people in the gaming hobby was something I consider to be splendid.
|Nintendo's competition entered the motion control |
market with their own brand of devices.
|It has the shape of the Xbox 360 controller,|
but there are some new features to be found.
|Now PlayStation fans can enjoy the genre Nintendo |
fans have for over a decade! What's wrong with that?
In no way am I saying that wholly original (or as wholly original as they can realistically be) ideas shouldn't be created. No, they are just as an important part of the industry, no doubt. But even these are influenced by other titles in even the smallest regards. So if you see a game that is similar to one you like and get ill-willed towards it, step back and realize that perhaps the "copycat" game in question is pushing the genre forward or giving it more spotlight. Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, but it is also quite necessary for genres and the gaming industry itself to grow, evolve and get the attention they so richly deserve.
Do you agree with the concept of this article? What do you think about games drawing inspiration from other titles? What are some of your favorite games that have a clear influence from other games? While you're thinking about that, don't forget to read other articles by yours truly in the SPC Feature Catalog.