WWE All Stars is an attempt at reviving the Arcade Wrestling/Fighting game experience from all the way back to the days of WrestleMania: The Arcade Game. Back in the days where it actually took skill and combos to fulfill max damage and where moves were over exaggerated and very flashy to get ooh’s and ahh’s out of every match.
C-c-c-combo Breaker - The combo system in this game is seriously on par with some of the top 3D fighters out there. It’s simple enough for a novice but has the depth and options to keep the fighting veterans constantly finding new ways to improve combos. Combos in WWE All Stars always seem to deliver the satisfaction for a well-placed link into a grapple and even strike into a juggle…yes, this wrestling game allows you to juggle an opponent into the air and even earn extra damage by grappling a foe that’s been tossed.
I’m the Star of This Show - Another huge factor for this game is the more simplified Create-A-Superstar mode that allows you to create the most wildest looking wrestler you can imagine. The only true simplified part of this mode has got to be the move list, to keep it all balanced out, you select your favorite superstar’s move set giving your star the same amazing moves as The Undertaker or Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Sounds Like a Dream - Every wrestler has his original theme music and entrance, and seeing them brings back memories from watching Monday Night RAW. The commentary is pretty good at following the action and doesn’t distract from the gameplay. Hearing the slam of a body hitting the mat or a foot stomping the ground or a combo of punches landing to an opponents chest or face makes the All Stars a really authentic experience.
WHAT A JABRONI
Lacking Single-Player - There are two single-player modes: Path of Champions and Fantasy Warfare. Both lack as satisfying experiences as they appear to be simply a hidden form of exhibition mode. Path of Champions is the least pleasing mode, it has you select between three stars: Undertaker, Randy Orton, and D-Generation X, they then pit you up against 10 or so opponents offering minimal cut-scenes and leads to a quick case of boredom. Fantasy Warfare has a high point where it pits two All Stars that are closely related in the character they portray. They give you a 5 min video showing highlights of both their careers. After this the same basic thing happens where you in a one-on-one match although the computer difficulty level has increased to make a more entertaining and exciting match. Once you finish this mode once it lacks replay value and then all you’re left with is multiplayer and achievements.
Where’s Owen? - The selection of All Star’s is bountiful yet lacking. I like the selection, but I feel more stars could have been provided on-disc. However, they did announce that some of the DLC characters will be free so that is a great plus. My biggest concern however is: WHERE THE HELL IS OWEN HART? I feel this game could have been a great chance to pay tribute to this man of great talent, and have his alternate costume be the Blue Blazer. Owen was possibly the best of his era. This isn’t a truly huge problem but it’s something that was an issue for me from the beginning.
Online is Great but Needs Work - This game is highly based on the multiplayer aspect and interactions with other players. One of the problems stopping this from being a serious fighting game is that the online component has absolutely no lobby system, even for creating a match with friends. You have to constantly recreate a room and re-invite. This does not take away from the overall experience, but it is a setback for the game.
This happens to be my favorite wrestling game since Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain. WWE All Stars has the potential to be a great series and may even reboot wrestling games. WWE All Stars keeps me coming back every night even if it is just to play a few simple rounds with a friend online. The minor flaws in this game after easily overlooked thanks to the great gameplay and the sheer enjoyment you will have while participating in matches. I cannot wait to see what is in store for the upcoming DLC and new installments of this game as long as THQ keeps up the strong work. My final words are: “Buy this game because Stone Cold said so!!!”