WWE All Stars pit’s the superstars of today, like Sheamus, Kofi Kingston and John Morrison against the Legends of back in the day. Sure, you get stuck with familiar Legends like The Rock, Steve Austin & Bret Hart, but you get some favorites that have been stashed away since OG Nintendo days, like The Ultimate Warrior and Randy “Macho Man” Savage, who haven’t been in a WWE/F game for a long ass time. Most of you are probably thinking that it’s just another Smackdown game, right? Wrong! THQ FINALLY changed it up and gave us wrestling gamers a nice change of pace. WWE All Stars plays more like an arcade game than a simulation and strategy type game. I love how this game changes it up from the usual Smackdown shit. Any of you that have played TNA Impact a few years back will sense quite a familiar presence in gameplay to TNA’s dope first try at a wrestling game, but like with its other products, WWE has the upper hand and comes through where TNA couldn’t quite cut it.
Fantasy Warfare is a dope ass mode that puts together great matches that have never happened between the two generations of superstars. Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena, The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sheamus and many more. I must say that my favorites have got to be Bret Hart vs. Edge and The Big Show vs. Andre the Giant. Although some of these matches seem pretty forced together just so that everyone is used, there are some pretty dope retrospective videos showcasing both superstars should they ever meet in the squared circle.
For those of you curious about the Championship Mode, you may be disappointed in Path of Champions. Nothing special here. Pretty much the same shit that Smackdown coughs up every year, in my opinion. Looks like you’ve got three options to go through; The Undertaker, Randy Orton & a tag team division headed by DX. Ten matches a piece, a couple of neat animated sequences and then you’re done.
The Cage match has been improved to MY own personal liking. I always hated that in other games, your opponent was pretty much free once he reached the top, even though a cage match typically ends when one guy reaches the floor. The newer mechanics allow for some last minute struggles atop the cage. Unlockables are a little better than I’d expect, with alternate attires for every character on the roster, but they still don’t seem rewarding enough. I vote for more obscure hidden characters.
Even though I praise this game to all hell, I still have my complaints. My main gripe is the downloadable content. THQ, you fucked up. Most times when you reserve a game at a Gamestop or even Walmart, you’re granted some exclusive downloads. Well no different here, as I was told about a Million Dollar Man pack for reserving at Gamestop. I pop in the game, enter the code and there it is, my downloadable content is downloaded. Only catch, you can’t use your content until a critical update goes through…towards the end of April. The game came out in March. What the fuck!?! I played this little All Stars App on Facebook which told me to “Click Here” to download The Honky Tonk Man for free…yeah, it’s free, but it won’t be available until sometime in April. So I boo ya’ll this time around. Another thing, which pissed me off, and with TNA Impact as well, are the reversal buttons. It seems that you have to predict when to press the button because the on-screen prompt really ain’t worth a shit. As far as Online Gameplay, I will never bullshit you. It may be my connection, but Smackdown games have always lagged badly, therefore, I didn’t bother with All Stars. Other people have bitched about it and I guess I can agree that there is no FREE PLAY or TUTORIAL mode where newbies can learn to play a little first. At the same time, there wasn’t a tutorial during my Mortal Kombat days, so fuck’em.
Very rarely is there ever a perfect game and WWE All Stars is no exception. THQ came up with a different formula for their wrestling fans and I, for one am hopeful that THQ hasn’t run out of tricks just yet. For years, I have eaten that same old crusty meatloaf called Smackdown vs. Raw, craving more flavor. If you’re a wrestling fan, WWE All Stars will definitely help wash the taste of Smackdown out of your mouth.