Have you ever wondered what would happen if “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka faced off against Triple H? What about if The Ultimate Warrior went one-on-one with Sheamus? How about if Eddie Guerrero had one last match against C.M. Punk? Wonder no more, wrestling fans, because WWE All Stars is out to answer those burning questions. How does WWE All Stars measure up? Here’s the New Gamer Nation review.
Two Generations, One Ring
15 WWE Legends and 15 current WWE Superstars (not including DLC superstars) make up the roster. The first thing you’ll notice about the visuals of this game is that they are nothing like the WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw series. WWE SvR is more of a simulation, whereas WWE All Stars is more of an arcade-style fighting game. Everything looks and feels over-the-top. The superstars represented in the game are not so much scanned replicas, but more caricatures of their overall look, with exaggerated figures and facial features.
Arenas have, for the most part, been made from scratch, drawing some inspiration from their real-life counterparts. Audience members remain the same handful of models with the same animations spread throughout the arena. The superstars’ entrances have been cut down, giving the ring announcer, Howard Finkel, enough time to give a proper introduction.
Business is about to pick up
Gameplay is vastly different from the Smackdown vs Raw series. Whereas SvR is more of a simulation of the televised product, WWE All Stars is an arcade-style button masher for the most part. Attacks range from regular strikes and grapples to strong strikes and grapples. Every superstar in the game uses one of four styles: Acrobat, Big Man, Brawler and Grappler. The acrobats rely heavily on the ropes and running moves, big men rely on sheer power to juggle their opponents, brawlers rely on strikes, and grapplers can chain multiple grapples in a row for a combo.
Be prepared to press the face buttons a lot. At it’s core, this game is indeed a button-masher. The biggest key to really being good in this game is working on your timing for countering. There is a prompt that comes up when you have the opportunity, but ignore it as it will not help you at all. The best way is to try to counter right before contact is made. The game itself is easy to learn, but very difficult to master.
The irresistible force meets the immovable object
Along with the standard exhibition, triple-threat, four-way, and cage matches, WWE All Stars offers up a series of one-on-one matches under different rules between WWE Legends and current superstars in Fantasy Warfare. Each match has a video set-up produced by the WWE’s own TV people.
Path of Champions is the closest thing to a “story” mode that this game offers. You have 3 different choices: Randy Orton, The Undertaker, and Degeneration X. Each path is ten matches leading into the superstar(s) you chose to face. This mode features cut-scenes voiced by the WWE Superstars themselves.
The bread and butter to most wrestling game fans is the creation mode. Not as deep as its SvR counterpart, WWE All Stars has a very basic creation mode. Players choose a pre-set entrance, pre-set moves from other superstars in the game, and a finishing move. The available looks for a created superstar aren’t all that deep, but can still be altered to fit the feel of the game.
OOOH YEAH, DIG IT!!!
The lack of depth in the creation department, though understandable, is one of the few drawbacks to this game. The button-mashing nature hurts gameplay simply because once you have a strategy for a certain wrestler it will be hard to apply real strategy for some others. Finally, the unforgiving AI makes this game almost impossible to approach, as the sheer difficulty of winning matches can be frustrating. This is especially true for steel-cage matches.
Fantasy Warfare is fun to play and has great videos with high production levels, even rivalling what television has to offer. This game offers up the combination of a fighting game and a wrestling game. It turns it up to eleven and delivers an enjoyable experience for wrestling fans of both the past and present. Its over-the-top nature adds to the fun of WWE All Stars.
In the end, WWE All Stars does a great job for a game that doesn’t necessarily need to have a series. Most people were satisfied with just the SvR series but this game was a great addition. It does a very good job creating an experience that is worth buying for every wrestling fan.
WWE All Stars gets 8 flying elbow-drops off the top rope out of 10.
This review is based on a review copy of the PlayStation 3 version of WWE All-Stars publshed by THQ