In October 2017, Goku, the main character of Dragon Ball, achieved a form called Ultra Instinct. The ability to basically dodge an attack allowed him. It looked really cool. In the weeks following the reveal, fans created memes of characters from other franchises that were edited to look like they’re activating Ultra Instinct. Early entries included some fun tricks like Spider-Man from Tobey McGuire and Faker and Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.
While Ultra Instinct Shaggy was a meme for some, MultiVersus saw it as a call to action. Warner Bros.’ new Smash-like platform fighter, MultiVersus, treats Shaggy’s Dragon Ball-inspired transformation as an essential part of his character. It’s touching to know that the developers are looking at the same memes that fans love. In a way that became the basis of an entire video game.
With MultiVersus, licensing is valued above all else. The characters are the mascot first and the fighting game characters second. Hell, how did LeBron James get into the game? He is a real human! Part of Super Smash Bros. ‘Magic is how integrated universes feel. In Smash Bros., Street Fighter’s Ryu produces stronger attacks when you maneuver the joystick, just as he does in his own game. There are a bunch of examples like this – you can even play an episode in Sonic’s Green Hill Zone! Smash is like playing with a toy box, while MultiVersus is more like the FYC Emmy campaign than a game.
But what we’re missing is not just the characters; The stages are bare. It’s full of minimal embellishments and is positioned largely symmetrically with one or two platforms. Scooby-Doo gets a general haunted house with some framed pictures of former villains, and the Batcave includes a large computer, souvenirs, and two bat carts. This is it. There’s a lot you can do with any of the spaces, but in MultiVersus, you can also run in an empty chest.
Despite all this, both skins and broadcaster packs are amazing customizations that will instantly spark joy. It’s fun to hear Batman from Kevin Conroy say things like “Match Point,” or to fight like Jake from her female counterpart in Adventure Time as a skin – Cake Skin even includes an all-new soundtrack. While both are tangibly fun add-ons, they are hidden behind paywalls.
At the end of the day, MultiVersus feels like a Twitter brand — a game made by someone who enjoys the generic vibe of each franchise involved while not necessarily enjoying any of it. And when you do that a little bit toward letting in fun, the game instantly puts that fun behind a firewall.
If you want the cool stuff, you need Gleemium, the MultiVersus token to buy the most thought-provoking stuff in the game. Gleemium cannot be won by enjoying battles with your boys or logging hours of quick gameplay; You need to buy it for real, cold cash. Sounds like “excellent” but I guess… with more jellies, whatever that means.
MultiVersus fuels you with promises to be a whimsical but polished fighting game. Somehow the Warner Bros. catalog is available. fully. Even characters from shows produced by Warner Bros. Like Ted Lasso could join. Hell, maybe even Larry David! this is funy. You can easily share a screenshot from MultiVersus with a caption like “How is this possible?” Which is, after all, half the battle for a match like this.
But while the weirdness might make you enter the door, once you arrive, the game feels like it’s doing everything possible to get the last dollar out of your wallet. First with Nickelodeon’s All-Star Brawl, and now with MultiVersus, video game developers – that is, as media conglomerates – are learning in real time that the appeal of Smash Bros. has always been that the game is really fun to play.