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Rivals Of Aether’s Mods Make It Better Than Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl may feature an epic assortment of different characters to fight with, but with the addition of mods, Rivals of Aether turns into the superior fighting game. All-Star Brawl has already drawn plaudits for its robust package inspired by Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series, and with Warner Bros. set to join in on the action with the rumored Multiversus, crossover fighting games are experiencing a resurgence. However, despite All-Star Brawl enabling players to pit their favorite Nickelodeon characters against each other, it can’t compete with Rivals of Aether’s mods when it comes to its roster.

Rivals of Aether is an independently developed game by Dan Fornace that had a pretty intuitive fighting system with completely original character designs. The game grew in popularity most likely due to its similarities to Smash Bros. and the ease of access with it being on PC and consoles. Over the years, the game has gotten free DLC which includes Ori from the Xbox and Switch game Ori and the Will of the Wisps as well as Shovel Knight from his self-titled game, and after receiving paid DLC as well, the game then opened itself up to the creativity of the community with Steam Workshop integration.

Related: Why Nick All-Star Brawl Succeeds Where PlayStation’s Smash Clone Failed

This of course led to wacky creations like Seinfeld’s George Costanza and Ronald Mcdonald, just to name a few, but that’s the power of Rivals’ newfound freedom. With this, endless possibilities to resolve “what if?” fighting game disputes are now a reality. Often dream fights between comic and video game characters can only exist in imagination due to copyright owners, but with Steam Workshop content continually referencing characters from across franchises, the game has more weight as a crossover fighter than many official contemporaries.

Rivals Of Aether Has More Crossover Potential Than All-Star Brawl

Of course, the Workshop allowing anyone to create their favorite video game character means that players can finally pit dead Nintendo franchises like Kid Icarus against Sony characters Crash Bandicoot. Plus, many indie characters such as Fall Guys, the Untitled Goose, Frisk, and Fancy Pants Man all can find representation in a major fighting release despite not having a giant publisher behind them.

One of the most fun things about the workshop is the ability for creators to separate different iterations of the same character and create different move-sets for them. Mario has many iterations, ranging from Paper Mario, to Super Mario World Mario, to Mario from Mario 64. Each of these characters plays wildly different and mimics the physics of their original games. Paper Mario even has a wheel of partners he can choose from which mirrors his ability to do the same in Super Paper Mario. Even beyond that, there are multiple designers who have all given their take on the same character, as is the case with the myriad of different Sonic designs and Kirby clones.

Internet And Gaming Memes Become Characters In Rivals Of Aether

Weegee and ASDFGuy on Windows XP

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has multiple characters, including Spongebob, Patrick, and more, and even has that memetic chicken move, but they can’t fight Weegee on the Windows XP background. Once Rivals of Aether opened its gates to modding, this and more absurd matchups were possible. Given the internet’s history with modding as a whole, it was only a matter of time before people began to design outrageous characters based on popular internet memes.

Related: Why Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Makes Ren & Stimpy A Single Fighter

One of the biggest memes currently going around in the game is “100 Percent Accurate” characters and custom designs based on the “Something About” series of YouTube videos by TerminalMontage. The characters, like Speedrunner Link, are meant to emphasize and satirize the technical skill needed to speedrun and play fighting games competitively. The way they do this is by having all their moves be rapid and quick, while also often integrating sounds from a GameCube controller. Even though Warner Bros. Multiversus will be like Smash Bros., making these kinds of characters would be near impossible without character creators.

Rivals Of Aether Lets People Design Impossible Characters

Uno versus Ori in Rivals

These characters are all built on the engine of Rivals of Aether, but their variety of move-sets means there’s a near-infinite amount of possibilities for created characters. From Uno to Tetris, many of these characters are obtuse and require a complete retooling of special systems and character animations. However, the outcome is often a heartfelt love letter to the uniqueness of the designer’s favorite character.

Many fans of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will remember the many different actions that Hero can take or the K.O bar created for Little Mac. Rivals of Aether takes it to a new level and lets players go wild with creative effects. Designers have made playable Tetris boards and have given characters move-sets reminiscent of Terry and Hero. Going beyond that, it’s possible to tweak the special moves so that characters can throw projectiles, give passive effects to other characters, and change their stats to make gameplay unique while still being a great entry point to fighting games for casual players.

Rivals Of Aether’s Custom Stages Can’t Be Beaten

The aforementioned stage based on Windows XP’s “Bliss” background image is only the beginning – there’s a multitude of user-created maps for players to brawl on in Rivals of Aether. Maps come in all varieties – from completely original kinds to those based on stages from Super Smash Bros. and other fighting games. These stages incorporate moving platforms and special events in order to make them feel unique, with the Miiverse copy even allowing players to add in their own messages and pictures.

Related: How Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Gameplay Is Different From Smash Bros.

Rivals of Aether still has a fairly active competitive scene but the game will most likely be remembered for letting players take the reigns and design their own fighters. The game has given designers enough tools to perfectly capture every mannerism of the iconic characters seen in All-Star Brawl and elsewhere and it’s all the better for it. This lets players come up with ideas others may not have even thought up before.

The community still updates Rivals of Aether’s Workshop regardless of the fact that it’s been available for almost three years now, which illustrates how strong it is. When Nickelodeon or Warner Bros. makes a fighting game it will likely be more polished and refined, but it won’t have the same chaotic and inventive charm that Rivals of Aether has developed. The game’s ever-expanding roster is built on the creativity of its community and is constantly evolving, giving it an inane yet charming quality that may resonate in a way All-Star Brawl cannot.

Next: Every Warner Bros. Multiversus Character Leaked

Source: SB2749, Steam Workshop

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