Developer: THQ San Diego
Rating Guide: How I Review Games
I grew up on WWE wrestling or rather wrestling period. All of my favorite wrestlers were bigger than life back in the days. The Von Erichs. The Ultimate Warrior. The Junkyard Dog. King Kong Bundy. Hulk Hogan. Mr. Perfect. Rowdy Roddy Piper. The Honky Tonk Man. Andre The Giant. They were Legends of the game. I’ve always wanted to have a game that gave me the chance to relive those days in the single most over-the-top way. But most of all I wanted to see them go against the Superstars of today in ways they never did. WWE All Stars brings the Legends and Superstars to life in a big way!
Pay attention because I’m about to wrap this review up, shine it up real nice, turn this sumbitch sideways and stick it straight up your candy asses!
Gameplay, Graphics and Sound
WWE All Stars has a simple enough purpose for fans out there. Take control of your favorite Legend or Superstar and kick ass doing all kinds of over-exaggerated moves. If you’ve ever dreamed of Rey Mysterio leaping hundreds of feet into the air and pulling off some super acrobatic move, then you can live that dream in this game. Even if you’re not a fan of the WWE series, you can pick up and play it like a normal action game. It’s that crazy and fun.
Some of the controls will take some time to get used to but they’re easy enough to learn. You have your basic action buttons and grapple buttons. Pulling off different moves is a simple press of the analog stick in any direction and any action button. You can even pull off the high flying Signature moves by pressing a combo of the X/A button or Y/B button. It’s easy. The Finishing moves are done with both top shoulder buttons (LB/RB). I’m telling you this because there is no tutorial in the game and quite frankly, most of you will just jump right into it without reading the manual.
That’s the one thing I wish the game had…a tutorial or training ground. But I guess you can’t ask for everything in the first of a series. As you can imagine, each wrestler has his own style of fighting. The high flyers (Acrobats) will jump all around and the big Brawlers will overwhelm you with their strength. I didn’t pay much attention to the different classes though. I just picked my favorites and went at it which is what most of you will do.
There are several modes and match types for you to enjoy. You can do a variety of 1 vs 1 matches, Tornado Tag Team, Elimination, Cage, Handicap or Fatal Four Way matches. There are a decent amount of choices. There’s also the story mode in the game called Path of Champions. You can fight your way to SummerSlam against The Undertaker, Wrestlemania against Randy Orton or do a Tag Team path against DX. One of the strangest things in the Tag Team Path is that you can’t team up with a buddy to do it. What’s up with that THQ?
The most exciting mode though is Fantasy Warfare. THQ did a great job of selling the idea that Legends and Superstars are about to collide. In this mode you go on a series of matches that put Legends against Superstars like The Ultimate Warrior against the Celtic Warrior to determine who the greatest “warrior” in WWE history is. Each match has a series of clips and dialogue play out that you just have to see. It was great! This is also the mode where you’ll unlock the rest of the roster.
The Create-A-Wrestler option left much to be desired though. You don’t really get to put your stamp on your Superstar the way that you’d probably like. You don’t get any option to create your own moveset or your own entrance but I suppose you can’t have it all.
Visually, all of the moves and wrestlers look absolutely stunning. The wrestlers are all bigger than life with vivid colors and detail. When you pull off a Signature move or Finisher, the ring shakes and gives you that “I just layeth a serious smack down” feeling. The action is nothing short of electric. With the wrestlers all looking like they injected massive amounts of steroids, it was quite impressive that THQ got the level of detail into each character as they did.
It wasn’t all good though as the entrances left a lot to be desired. They aren’t the full intros and I’m not sure why but I suppose if you’ve seen them before in SvR, it’s not totally necessary to see them play out in All Stars. And the load times definitely didn’t benefit from it because they are still a second too long when you’re trying to get into a new match. It got to a point that I simply opted to turn intros off. Maybe installing to the hard drive is an option to explore for those of you who do that…perhaps it’ll cut down on the load times.
I want to go on record though and say that WWE All Stars is near perfect in its recreation of the Superstars and Legends. I saw Jake “The Snake” Roberts again…I saw Sgt. Slaughter again…The Ultimate Warrior…it was wrestling euphoria man!
Xbox LIVE Extras
WWE All Stars thankfully has online play. I didn’t experience much lag when I put the beat down so that was a good thing. You can go up against players in normal or ranked matches. You can even take your own created Superstar online to do battle. Nothing groundbreaking here but for those who like competition, it’s something to dig into.
WWE All Stars is the perfect ying to Smackdown vs. Raw’s yang. It’s the type of WWE game that lets you use your favorite Superstar or Legend the way that we all think they should be used…as muscle bound super heroes who pull off the most amazing moves. In a game like this you simply throw physics out of the door, sit back and have fun!
I just have one question … where’s Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake?