Nickelodeon broke the internet yesterday with the reveal of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, a Smash-like fighting game featuring faces from the cartoon channel’s past and present. Hype is so high for this game that folks are looking for information everywhere, like a piece of placeholder art that may in fact reveal a highly requested Nickelodeon character with a penchant for elemental beatdowns.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl’s placeholder art is what you’d expect from a game that’s still months away from release. It features the logo, a plain background, and some basic silhouettes for confirmed roster inclusions like SpongeBob Squarepants, Ren & Stimpy’s Powdered Toast Man, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters’ Oblina. But, as first spotted by Twitter user El Blitzy, there appears to be a number of unannounced fighters hiding in the shadows, including Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Korra.
Korra has made several video game appearances in the past, most recently 2020’s Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix. Her show also received two solo adaptations (a PlatinumGames-developed beat-em-up and a Nintendo 3DS strategy game, both released in 2014) and she’s even available as a skin in mythology-based MOBA Smite.
Apart from Korra, characters like Ren, Stimpy, and CatDog can also be clearly spotted among the mass of bodies. Some folks have also argued that Aang, another Avatar protagonist, is somewhere in there too. I’m having trouble making him out, but it’s certainly possible. The artwork was previously available on United States retail chain Target’s website before being replaced with a silhouette-less version sometime between yesterday afternoon and now. The images still exist on Target’s servers, however, which is how Kotaku was able to obtain them.
And herein lies the power of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Many of us who grew up watching these cartoons would love to see our favorites make it into the game. This desire is further magnified by the fact that, despite its licensed nature, the platform fighter might actually be good. Development is being handled in part by Ludosity, a studio previously known for making its own popular Smash-like, Slap City. The game is going to have rollback netcode, for crying out loud. This feels like more than just another cheap crossover cash grab.
We’ll find out if that’s the case when Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl launches this fall for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC.
Update, 10/1/2021, 4:17 p.m. ET: After lots more leaks, Nickelodeon finally officially confirmed Korra and Aang as part of the game’s starting roster on Twitter today: