The folks behind upcoming platform fighter Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl released a glut of gameplay footage today, including a breakdown video that shows the cartoon channel’s mascot, Spongebob Squarepants, performing one of the genre’s most important movement techniques, the wavedash. And, oh my god, is it beautiful.
Wavedashing plays a huge role in high-level Super Smash Bros. Melee (and, to a lesser extent, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) competition. By repeatedly air-dodging into the ground, players can rapidly cover ground thanks to the Smash engine’s slide-y physics. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl’s devs were open about wavedashing being in the game when it was first announced this summer, but it’s still really fun to see in motion.
Even ignoring the excitement wavedashing, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl hews very close to its Super Smash Bros. roots. Matches revolve around raising your opponent’s damage percentage and knocking them off the screen. Every character’s arsenal is made up of a collection of normal attacks and special moves. Smash attack-like blows serve as some of the best tools for defeating players at high percentages.
But Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl also diverges from Smash in a few compelling ways. Holding the left trigger prevents characters from turning away from opponents, allowing for retreating attacks without trade-offs to movement. There’s a built-in rock-paper-scissors system that dictates how high, mid, and low attacks interact. All projectiles can be reflected multiple times, growing in strength and speed with each volley. You’re even able to grab projectiles out of the air and carry them around before throwing them back.
If this all sounds a little complicated for casual play, don’t worry: Ludosity is dedicated to making a game that shines outside of tournaments as well.
“My approach to the casual vs. competitive question is the same as with Slap City,” chief designer Elias Forslind told Kotaku in July, referring back to his studio’s previous fighter. “When you make a game fun to play, anyone can have fun with it. 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.”
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl comes to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC this fall. Cat Dog and April O’Neil are gonna be there. Korra and Aang, too. Should be swell.