When MultiVersus was first announced it felt like it was following a trend that was established by Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl where, if you have a deep library of licenses, you can attempt to copy the success of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. by taking a bunch of well known properties, putting them in a platform fighter together, and letting it loose. However, where All-Star Brawl failed by feeling like a collection of characters without much else going for it, MultiVersus has a chance to succeed.
Part of what made Super Smash Bros. so fun and what made All-Star Brawl so underwhelming had to do with the soul of the game. In Super Smash Bros. when Mario does his Up B coins appear out of his fist and the iconic jumping sound plays, Pikachu yells his name when he uses thunderbolts, and Link screams out a loud HYAH when he spins. It really does feel like the characters have been pulled out of their games so they could fight one another. All-Star Brawl meanwhile does not have voice acting, the characters don’t really do anything that feels very specific to themselves or the show they’re from, and all of it feels like it’s lacking that level of detail that makes Super Smash Bros. feel so unique.
All of this is a really longwinded way of saying that the cinematic trailer for MultiVersus creates some hope that they see the mistakes of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl and are taking the steps to avoid it. For starters, it features actual voice acting from these characters’ actual voice actors such as Kevin Conroy once again reprising his iconic role as Batman. Voices aren’t the only way this trailer helps create excitement around the game’s potential, but in how it’s presented. Obviously, it’s a cinematic trailer so we have to take parts of it with a grain of salt, but Shaggy catching a Bugs Bunny pie out of the air so he could eat it, only for the overly serious Arya Stark to slice it out of the air is too funny. This trailer shows the kind of soul that a licensed platform fighting game needs.