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April O'Neil and CatDog join Nickelodeon All-Stars Brawl for some nostalgic cartoon mayhem

By Justin Carter

Nickelodeon All-Stars Brawl, the licensed fighting game revealed last month to equal parts bewilderment and excitement, announced another pair of characters set to join its launch roster: April O'Neil from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesand CatDog from the titular 'toon CatDog. Revealed at Gamescom earlier in the week, the journalist and weird house pet hybrid will join a lineup that currently boasts beloved fan-favorite characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Danny Phantom, as well as some you may have forgotten like Power Toast Man. 

Looking like her classic version from the 1987–1996 cartoon, April has at her disposal both the martial arts she's picked up from hanging with the Turtles, and objects from her day job like her microphone and accompanying stand. She can even use the weapons of her reptilian friends. If you've ever wanted to ram a camera into the face of Invader Zim, she'll happily provide your weirdly specific dreams. It's worth noting that this is the second game this week to announce April's inclusion –– TMNT: Shredder's Revengea retro beat-em-up in the vein of the old arcade games, features her as a playable character as well, complete with a mic drop. 

CatDog, meanwhile, makes the most of their unique body setup. Cat can hurl Dog into enemies or strangle him, which can also hit anyone close by. Dog can briefly have bulging muscles and hit enemies with his brute strength, or just whack them with his hammer. Moves may depend on which of the two takes the "lead," i.e. who's facing the right side of the screen. Either way, the two gain airtime by Dog either briefly inflating himself or by both pets trying to stretch themselves apart. It's a weird setup to anyone who didn't watch or remember the 1998 series featuring the conjoined brothers, but it fits with the show.

While the full roster is still taking its sweet time being revealed, it's worth noting that in both trailers for April and CatDog, they're seen fighting in settings specific to Avatar: The Last Airbender. You can see a stage set during Harmonic Convergence from Season 2 of Legend of Korra, along with one level that has cabbages in the background, calling back to a long running gag in the original Avatar. Fans have been speculating since the start that Aang and Korra would join the cast of fighters, so don't be surprised if we get trailers for the two benders in the near future. 

Nickelodeon All-Stars Brawl hits PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Switch later this year.