Review: SkyScrappers (PS4)

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Title: SkyScrappers
Format: PlayStation Network Download (226 MB)
Release Date: October 21, 2015 (EU) / TBD (US)
Publisher: Ground Shatter Ltd.
Developer: Ground Shatter Ltd.
Original MSRP: $12.99 (US), €12.99 (EU), £9.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 12
SkyScrappers is also available on PC.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

SkyScrappers is a bizarre brawler where you fight each other against the backdrop of a crumbling building. I wrangle a few people together for a blast on this local multiplayer game to see if it holds up for an evening of party gaming.

Gameplay:
There are two ways to win in this crazy brawler, the first is to attack your opponents until their health has been fully depleted, alternatively you can try to reach the top of the crumbling building before anyone else.

You have to run and jump up the side of the building with the help of narrow ledges, falling furniture and beams to gain altitude, falling off the bottom of the screen and being hit by burning debris hurts the player. This is where a small degree of strategy comes into play, continually trying to ascend the building before your opponents and attacking them if they get too close.

The more vertical a beam is the higher the jump from the end of it. Jumping onto one end of a beam causes it to spin, raising the other end up. This means you can climb the building very quickly, as long as your timing is good and nothing gets in your way.

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An attack from another player or being hit by debris halts your jump so you always have to be aware and ready to attack. Hitting that debris will send it hurtling away from you and if aim well, into another player.

Slamming into a platform will send a small shockwave across it and any players caught in its path will be injured. Climbing the building will fill the energy bar which allows you to perform the aforementioned attack and if full will allow for a special move that’s different for each character.

With up to four local players the mayhem can be insane and some people may resort to button mashing. It’s a viable option but success is dealt to whomever has the keenest eye and quickest reflexes.

… can be a very enjoyable little party brawler …
There is a very brief single player campaign for each of the four characters with a little throw-away story between each round but the entire thing is over really quickly. On my first go it took about ten minutes to reach the end and witness the individual little ending for my character.

I amassed almost half of the available trophies and shouldn’t think it would take that long to get the other ten, which surprisingly includes a Platinum. The only trophy with a degree of difficulty is one that requires you to complete a four-player match with all human players.

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SkyScrappers is easy to master and if you have enough people and controllers it can be a very enjoyable little party brawler. Little is the key word as there isn’t enough substance to keep it going for more than an hour at most. It isn’t on any other PlayStation consoles where Cross-Buy and Cross-Play would have definitely given it more appeal.

Thanks to the very simple two button controls this game plays great on the Vita with Remote Play and cements the need for a portable Cross-Play version. SkyScrappers just doesn’t feel like you get enough bang for your buck which is a real shame as it’s a great idea and well executed but there just isn’t enough of it for my liking.

… doesn’t have enough to keep it going for long …
Visuals:
Tom Waterhouse created the visuals in this game and his love for SNK and other classic 2D games inspired the sharp and crisp look of this title. I like the distinctive look and bold colors for each fighter but wish there had been more.

A couple of unlockable outfits or even some more characters would have been great. Just like the game itself the visual quality is great but there isn’t enough of it. Some of us did find it hard to keep track of what was happening, the bright colors of each player helped but there were times when one of us lost their little player.

Audio:
With the music, I’m reminded of the classic Street Fighter and Streets of Rage games, even down to the ‘Round One’ speech FX. All of the audio, including the speech was created by the talented Chris Randle, who has also worked on several other games that I recently reviewed.

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Online/Multiplayer:
It seems absurd to write this but sadly SkyScrappers features no online component. The game is at its very best with three other local players, but it isn’t often I can get a group of people together in the same room to play. The A.I. does a commendable job but it just isn’t the same as a real person.

Without the online or even a Vita version with Cross-Buy and Cross-Play support this game will quickly die, and that is a shame as I had fun playing it with friends who are just too busy to always be huddled round my TV.

Conclusion:
SkyScrappers is a fun and unique brawler that plays great and is brilliant with a group of friends sat round the screen, but sadly doesn’t have enough to keep it going for long. Without any other human players the fun comes crashing to the ground even quicker than one of the buildings in the game.

Score:
6.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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