Game Review

WWE All Stars Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Zach Kaplan

Oooh yeaahh!

There's something undeniably special about a wrestling match. Combining colourful characters, high-flying acrobatics and riveting rivalries, it's an exciting spectacle that too often gets the shaft for being a fake sport than a real piece of theatre. At least, that's the sentiment you might share at a live event, your enthusiasm and energy mixing with that of hundreds of fans around you, young and old, cheering, booing and waving homemade signs. But from the comfort of your couch, the veneer rubs off much more easily and the hype feels less justified. Until now, most video game adaptations have met wrestling somewhere in the middle, painting the pastime with the more realistic brush of a simulation. WWE All Stars opts for the bombastic approach, bringing to your television a depiction of the sport that shines as brightly as witnessing a live show.

The roster features 30 wrestlers, many of which start out locked, split between contemporary Superstars and classic Legends. It's a step down from Smackdown vs. RAW, though the selection still feels satisfying. The fighters are divided into four classes – Acrobat, Big Man, Brawler and Grappler – each of which fights differently and feels unique to control. Beyond that, individual characters come with a smattering of exclusive moves, though none drastically stand out from the rest. There's also a fairly basic character creator that gets the job done well, even if it's not terribly robust.

The style implemented in All Stars is outright fantastic. Monstrously muscular men flip ten feet into the air and agilely soar from a turnbuckle to the opposite side of the ring, while lumbering colossi toss their opponents and juggle them above their heads. They're all easy to control, and whether you choose the Remote + Nunchuk, Classic Controller or GameCube Controller is really up to personal preference, though we found the Classic method the easiest to pick up. The gameplay overall feels smooth and fun, based mostly on timing, grappling and reversals with a touch of combo-chaining and defensive strategy, and features three difficulty settings to help suit each player's needs.

It looks great too, with vivid colours, relatively detailed textures and replay-esque slow-downs during the biggest, hardest-hitting moves. The game also features fun little touches, like authentic, stylised entrances and the way that when you change focus to another opponent, your character briefly points at them with a threatening "You're next" glare.

The modes available include Exhibition, Path of Champions and Fantasy Warfare. The first is the good old-fashioned one- to four-player fight featuring standard, tornado tag team, steel cage, extreme rules (the biggest rule broken being the inclusion of weapons) and elimination matches. "Tornado" means that all four competitors will go at it at once – the halting, turn-based original tag team battle might have felt out of place here, though it's still a bit confusing why it wasn't included.

Path of Champions features three storylines through which you can take any wrestler to the top via ten matches, the current champion taunting you with hilarious, over-the-top videos along the way. It's the closest thing here to a Career mode, and still satisfies albeit not being as in-depth or expansive. Still, something long-lasting like this would have been welcome, but All Stars does just fine with this more accessible story mode-esque feature.

Fantasy Warfare feels like the heart of this game, pitting two generally similar wrestlers of different eras against each other over 15 matches that you unlock as you progress. Beforehand you'll view lovingly-crafted video reels that show you exactly why you should be excited about these matches, how important the two competitors are and why you should care that they're finally facing off. It's enough to get anyone pumped and make the fight feel special.

The announcers do a pretty good job with the commentary, though you'll hear some remarks a bit too frequently. They can be pretty hard on you if you use the same move repeatedly as well, which can get frustrating, but in the end encourages you to explore your character all the more fully. Additionally, cries of "somebody stop this match! Where's security?!" simply never get old. The sound effects, however, are just awful, the movement and collision of human bodies sounding more like bags of gravel being tossed around the back of a truck, grunting and "oh no!"-ing with as much realism and clarity as the voicebox of an action figure.

The game is incredibly easy to pick up and play and feels fluid in execution, despite a few moves that don't transition quite so smoothly into one another, and this combined with the incredible presentation makes WWE All-Stars an accessible and very fun arcade-style fix of a fighter. It may feel a bit bare if you're looking for an extensive career mode or even a training option, but that's not the type of game that this tries to be. What it sets out to do, it accomplishes and does so quite well.


WWE All Stars executes fun, arcade-style action well, with accessible controls and exhilarating presentation. The lack of a career mode and online features will disappoint some, but it's a small dent in a very fun package. It's created with a real fondness for the fight and the spectacle, and there's such a fantastic sense of fun that you'll find yourself wondering how much tickets to the next Wrestlemania cost, and whether you're too old to sign up for the Hulk Hogan fan club. Make sure to take your vitamins and give this one a go.

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User Comments (35)



PSICOffee said:

A WWE game with a good score for the Wii? How many April Fools pages are there going to be today? I dont know how much laughter my heart can take!



LordJumpMad said:

Great Review Zach
I haven't seen to many great wrestling games lately but,
I'm indeed a Hulk Hogan fan



Bass_X0 said:

Get the two kids from Mr. Nanny in the ring - then Hulk Hogan will meet his match.



Roo said:

Thanks to still having some leftover HMV gift cards (from buying a 3DS last week), I bought this earlier for a very reasonable £0.00. First impressions (after two singles matches) are good, but those in-match sound effects are absolutely tragic. I can't emphasise that enough. They are just the weediest, weakest sound effects I've ever heard. If I'm giving someone a running powerslam that drives us both up in the air, then at least I want a big 'THUD!!' when we hit the ground, and not the sound of someone walking in a musuem. Honestly, that's what it sounds like. How could they muck that up so badly?



Splat said:

I give it a 7 my self do to the lack of depth with it comes to signal player that said a pretty fun game when you have people to play with.

And on a side note glad to see this game get reviewed I really didn't think it would be on this site.



Ryno said:

"Make sure to eat your vitamins and give this one a go."

Typically I just "take" my vitamins, not eat them but if that is what the Hulkster says, I will do it!



MasterGraveheart said:

Awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing Randy Savage drop an elbow on John Cena and Triple H. This will certainly be better than anything else the WWE's spat out since WrestleMania 23 (the last good WrestleMania in my book).



Tasuki said:

Nice Review Zach. I am debating on getting this one on the Wii or 360. I have played the demo on the 360 and I gotta say it does remind me of the old WWF Arcade games.



Zach said:

Glad you're enjoying the review. @Tasuki, I'd recommend the 360 for the online features, HD graphics and improved sound. @Roo I totally agree. I actually checked my Wii hookups, having moved it recently to a different TV, to see if I had the audio hooked up right as it just didn't make sense that it could be so bad.



Tasuki said:

@Zach: Ok thanks maybe I might rent both to see for myself. The HD doesnt matter to me since I dont have an HD TV. (Yes I know and I use a mammoth to shower with lol) But the online play does interest me.



Incognito_D said:

I'm quite interested in this since I could never wrap my head around the Smackdown vs Raw controls. The last wrestling game I enjoyed was Day of Reckoning 2 on the Gamecube, and in the absence of a DoR 3, I should maybe check this out. I do have some Gamestation store credit lying around... Is it significantly inferior to the PS3/ 360 versions? This would be my only concern



FluttershyGuy said:

I think at least one point should be deducted for no Ric Flair. How do you have any wrestling games with legends without the greatest ever, the Nature Boy (at least I've not heard of him in it)?
Cena: U can't C me
Me: Um, yes I can, you're right in front of me.



Tasuki said:

@BetelgeuseWC77: I saw a making of video for All Stars and THQ said that there were alot more legends that they wanted to include but for various legal reasons they couldnt perhaps Ric Flair is in that boat. They also said that they will be adding DLC to the game (probably not for the Wii but for the PS3 and Xbox) so theres still might be a chance that Ric Flair will be added.



Splat said:

Speaking of cage the cage matches on this game can be kinda of a pain do to your opponent not staying down...



Zach said:

@Ryno Thanks, I fixed it.
@Tasuki I think you misunderstood me. @Incognito, I haven't played the PS3 or XBox versions, but I would pick one of those over this one if you had the option. There don't seem to be any significant differences besides online capabilities, HD graphics and better sound effects, but I haven't done significant research into either version. So, I'm not saying those are the only differences between the three versions, but as a consumer, those are the differences that would matter the most to me personally.



Splat said:

I hate how on the Wii version there mouths have no movement like when Hulk comes out and rips his shirt like in the review pick that doesn't happen in the game.



gblock said:

Yeah, I couldn't believe how bad the sound was. But other than that, this is as close to a N64 WWF/E game that we have gotten in the states, not too bad.



Gameday said:

great score , i thought the game looked pretty fun different but fun. and indeed as close to old skoo days or wcw vs nwo / wwf console and arcade style games



Vinsanity said:

This game is awesome. I got it for PS3 because I care about the DLC (they're going to add something like 8 wrestlers in the coming weeks, including my favorite Chris Jericho), but it's awesome regardless of platform. Great, responsive animation (with FANTASTIC animation blending for reversals), awesome pacing for matches, killer super moves - this thing is a cool, accessible, competitive fighting game. Not a sluggish, unfun, overly mo-capped wrestling/MMA/boxing disappointment of a game.



MeloMan said:

The game looks too arcady for my tastes. I'd give it a go, but this NBA Jam-meets-WWE style of high body flopping is a put off for me, I'd MUCH rather have a DoR3 as DoR2 was stupendous.



Incognito_D said:

@Zack Wii is my only current-gen console. I just don't like having to settle for an inferior version, but as long as the differences aren't too stark it's not an issue - thanks for the info



gblock said:

29. Mugen United States 03 Apr 2011, 23:23 EDT

@Gameday: It's reminiscent of WCW/NWO Revenge? That's all I need to hear, I'll definitely be buying this game eventually...

The basic controls are just like WCW/nWo Revenge--WWF No Mercy--Virtual Pro Wrestling 2--

Hopefully for the next one they go back to that control scheme with a couple of minor tweeks instead of the semi-complicated reversal system and not being able to interupt your own taunts when someone is coming at you.

Good stuff overall though



SigourneyBeaver said:

I got this today. The sound effects are indeed awful, but is there supposed to be no music during matches?



amh said:

I am a huge wrestling fan, but ive only owned Wrestlemania x8, Day of Reckoning,and Day of Reckoning 2 for GCN,SVR 2009 for DS, and SVR 2011 for wii. I want to buy it ASAP!



Gameday said:

I wish it was only though.? And i salute all the wcw / nwo revenge era fans thats whats up

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