A lot of people make movesets for this game, if you go to the original forums chances are you will find one on the front page. The problem here is that a lot of them just not good, people will just decide to make one and mash all their favourite moves into something that sounds vaguely like an acceptable moveset. Anyway here is my take on how to create a moveset which actually portrays a character properly and may provoke decent discussion beyond “Wow I like this character, they should implement this” or “OMG [insert character name] is so cool but I prefer Goku!!”.
This is just a small introduction to the basics of what thoughts you should put into your moveset before starting.
1. Start with a concept:
It’s better to think of what your character can do for the game over what you can do for your character. If you can think of a niche not filled out on the roster, go for it, even if it isn’t totally respectful to the source material. A character built with full respect to the source material has a far higher chance of being generic than a character built with a specific fighting-style in mind. [Negimafan]
Think about the current roster and how each character tends to fill a specific role within the game, the clearest example of this is probably Zeus where it was stated that he was implemented to fit the heavy brawler (Ganondorf) type character in All Stars. If you think less about how your character will fit into the experience you will end up with an overly generic uninteresting moveset, think about how many sword wielders exist within all stars yet all somehow play completely differently. The same can be said of gun users. By no means does this mean “Pick a character from Smash Brothers and adapt their moves for all stars”, there is no reason you cant make up your own roles here.
2. Start with strengths; create weaknesses
In turn with the above point, after you figure out what kind of edge on the competition your character is going to have, you need to then start whittling down and generally poking holes in those strengths until you’ve refined them into something still viable. Doing the opposite is the fastest way to end up with an overpowered character. In the end it shows more respect for your character to give them weaknesses, because that shows your faith that despite those weaknesses, they can still push the advantages you started with, and stay competitive.[Negimafan]
A lot of people who post to the forums with under-thought movesets often make their ideas completely un-viable in this way. Think about the current roster and how many characters are toned down to give them weaknesses which wouldnt have existed given their appearance in their original games. A very good example of this is Jak & Daxter, I heavily recommend watching this video for some perspective on how their moveset has been fitted to All stars (Full credit to Bobthepetferret from the forums). Thinking about how the current roster interacts is often a good starting point for creating a balanced character but if you are going for something more unique this part is essential.
3. Know when to limit yourself:
When making a move-set, it’s not that uncommon for people to want to squeeze every attack available to the character into the build, either because they love the original that much or they want to show how much fan-love they’ve put into it. Don’t do this: you’re better off thinking in terms of what attacks most benefit the gameplay style you’re going for. Picking and choosing the best possible move for the job can be just as effective for creating an interest in the original game: people see the how this character works with only a sample of their abilities, and that in turn makes them curious to see what else they can do in their own game. [Negimafan]
This is another common problem movesets will have, sometimes people will cram multiple iconic moves into their movesets because they didn’t want to leave things out. This is a terrible way to go about creating a moveset. A very good example of how Superbot did this is Drake, think about how you would have gone about implementing drake into all stars. The obvious missing elements of his character is a lack of weaponry representing uncharted (Sniper rifle, Shotgun, Others) but then consider how any of these implementations would have broken his current playstyles. This is also evident in most other gun characters.
4. Gameplay before loyalty:
“Translation is like a women: if she is faithful, she is not beautiful;
if she is beautiful, she is not faithful.” – Russian Proverb [Negimafan]
There comes a time when you have to recognize that a certain signature attack your character uses to tear through scores of enemies in their own universe simply wouldn’t be feasible when translated to fighting game terms. It’s never a bad idea to consider scaling down an ability. If necessary, you may have to take some liberty with the attacks in the character’s library, or even invent a new attack if it contributes to your gameplay goals. In a real battle, Ratchet or Jak wouldn’t aim their Peace Maker or Warmonger exclusively upward, but this approach made the most sense for what Superbot were going for. The best way to show your loyalty is to show other people how cool or interesting your character can be within the confines of maintaining the flavour of the series they come from.[Negimafan]
Just because your favourite character can fly or turn back time this doesn’t mean to say that said move fits into a brawler like All Stars. The desire to try and work things like this in is generally visible in movesets posted on the forums. The issue however is that rather than downscale these moves people will try and justify them in the context of other moves. Once again as Negimafan has stated Jak is a good example of this, refer to the peace maker in Bobthepetferret‘s video for reference. Here is 2 examples of loyalty over gameplay as implemented in movesets.
“My character can fly, but this isn’t overpowered because during flight he cant attack” – In the context of brawlers no form of permanent flight has been implemented to my knowledge. There is a reason we confine our fighters to gliding. Imagine someone launches a super and the player chooses to fly away, how fair is it that such a move would allow unparalleled mobility during this phase?
“My character can turn back time, but this isn’t overpowered because he requires x scenario to do this” – No possible scenario could justify turning back the clock in a fighting game, such a move would give a ridiculous advantage to any player in any scenario. Got killed, Why not just turn back time to undo your death then dodge the incoming super?.
5. Stay inside the box:
Try to keep in mind the conventions Superbot created with the roster; for instance, aerial ⇓ + square is usually a ground drop attack,⇑ + square is often the launching move, counters tend to be neutral circle and ⇑ + triangle is almost always an anti-air/aerial approach denial. While shaking these up a bit can seem innocent at the time, you’d likely find it incredibly awkward in execution. Further-more, try not to change attacks between aerial and ground inputs by very much, as this can become confusing. Keep in mind things like area-covered, mobility, attack-range and AP-levels, as knowing the peak for what Superbot considers powerful is the easiest way to know what you can get away with.[Negimafan]
I personally look at the movesets currently in-game and see a pattern in how they have been developed.
Square : Melee – Triangle: Ranged – Circle: Ranged/Utility
– Zeus, Evil Cole, Good Cole, Spike, Jak, Ratchet, Radec, Sackboy, Isaac, Drake
Square: Melee – Triangle: Advanced Melee/Ranged – Circle: Utility
– Kat, Raiden, Dante, Sly, Nariko, Heihachi, Sweet Tooth, Big daddy, Parappa, Toro, Fat Princess, Kratos
- Melee refers to attacks which form the basic close range capability of a character.
- Advanced Melee refers to attacks of close range capability which are more powerful than other attacks on the characters (Think Heihachi Punches vs Kicks, also grapples and charges)
- Ranged refers to attacks which involve projectiles and decent range capability.
- Utility refers to moves that provide the character with some tech beyond the above categories. (The most common forms of utility are deployable’s, mines, counters, stuns etc)
All this really shows is that all of the cast can be fit into 1 of 2 categories, which you will notice separate the Ranged and Melee characters. It is good practise to keep your moveset in one of these categories because the end result will feel closer to the current roster. A common mistake I see is people attempting to get the most out of their character idea by stuffing random moves onto whatever buttons they haven’t filled, don’t expect people to take your seriously if you do this. Keep in mind the skies the limit with utility, you have all the freedom to think up completely new ways to use this to create a truly unique addition to the game. if anything utility may be the only move category where thinking outside the box is really appropriate Why not implement an RPG characters who uses Buffing or De-buffing or even Stacking Effects? Thats just my current idea, with all the unique characters out their Im sure you can all think of better ones.
Notable exceptions to the rule
- 1. Cole’s Triangle Sticky grenades – These could be considered a deployable but because Evil coles was not this move fit into Triangle, think Radec who has a similar attack in his Utility.
- 2. Nariko’s Triangle Grapple – This was most likely put on Triangle because as with all her other Triangle moves it is a ranged stance attack.
- 3. Sackboy’s Square Counter – This was most likely placed on Square because it unlike every other counter in the game hits on contact making it also a melee attack.
- 4. Drake’s Square grenade – Very few players use this in-game because a better version exists on Triangle, this was most likely placed on square due to no other melee attacks existing in his moveset.
- 5. Isaac’s Square Plasma Cutter – Most likely the same reasons as drake.
- 6. Nariko’s Triangle Counter – This counter reflects projectiles which may be why it was placed here, it is also a ranged stance attack in Heavenly sword.
- Pick your character – Chances are if you are thinking of making a moveset its because you have a certain character in-mind. Very few of us do it the other way round.
- Do your research – Before you start your moveset you need to think about what your working with. Often characters will come from a series of games which means that making a moveset from any particular game may not do them justice. An easy way to do this is to watch some gameplay on Youtube or skim through the game if you own it. Make some notes about what moves they have, costumes you see, phrases they use and anything else of relevance.
- Consider the basics as talked about above – Consider what you have noted down and think about how the moves will fit together into a viable Playstation all-stars characters. If you are following this as a guide consider the above ‘Basics’ section for reference.
- Draft your moveset – By this stage you probably know where things will fit into the moveset. Map down moves to each button, you should also consider adding detail to your moves as you go along. Detail could include information on basic combos, how moves fit together, linkers etc.
- Visualize your moveset – By now you should be able to see your character as you have described him. Reconsider the basics to make sure you haven’t gone overboard, think about how you adjust him to better fit All stars.
- Edit/Finalize moveset – Make any necessary adjustments to moves and details at this point. You may choose to repeat step 5 after this if you are unsure of how well your character is forming. Otherwise finalize your moveset and start on presentation.
The above is my process of creating a new moveset, this may seem time consuming but you can create a high quality moveset in less than 2 hours following these steps. If you are choosing to simply pick a character and start writing to the forum straight away the quality of your moveset will be mediocre at best.
This is one of the more important aspects when it comes to getting people to read your moveset, its also one of the most common issues I have with movesets posted on the forums. Dont expect people to take you seriously when you have mashed together lots of text with little to no formatting. Your ideas are only as good as the way they are presented. So first off here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Make use of Bold/Italics/Underline/New Line to ensure your moveset is readable.
- Spelling is important, a lot of spelling mistakes will make your posts seem childish.
- Avoid using the words OFFICIAL or Campaign within your title.
- Make use of pictures to space out or separate sections.
Besides these points there are a few ways to go about presenting your work. Some of us go into more detail whilst others prefer short less detailed posts. Personally when I read a moveset I look for a few things to determine whether its any good.
- A straight forward move mapping with detail to each move.
- An introduction to the character, resources and videos are a nice touch.
- Some form of summary as to how the character fits together.
- Usage of visual aids.
- Good spelling and formatting
This isn’t an exam or anything but there is a reason we are taught to do things this way. You are trying to sell people on your particular character idea and there are prerequisites which determine how seriously people will take your work.
- Dont expect the developers to take any movesets seriously, this is a way in which we show are support for the game whilst attempting to be creative.
- Some people are against the idea of movesets, this is mainly because of how many under-thought ones are posted to the forum regularly.
- If you wish to start a campaign of any kind wait to see if people are interested in supporting you.
- Dont put down other ideas given the logic that yours is better. Try and criticize constructively.
- Just because someone else has made a moveset for your favourite character that doesn’t mean that you cant make your own. If anything you can use their ideas as a starting point.
- It is essential that you take criticism when people comment on your movesets. This doesn’t mean that you simply chance things when people say they don’t like them.
I may add some more as time goes on, I hope you enjoyed this guide🙂