Previews// WWE All Stars

Posted 26 Jul 2010 17:26 by
Games: WWE All Stars
The glitzy, glamorous world of wrestling is also a crazy, larger-than-life one. Yes, we all know that every fight is scripted and that most 'rasslers' have the personality of a soggy toilet brush, but it still makes for fun entertainment. THQ aims to focus on this wacky, absurd side of the sport with WWE All Stars.

While the publisher already has a popular WWE game series in its portfolio, All Stars guns for a more accessible arcade-style experience, rather than the more complete simulation of the sport that Smackdown vs RAW offers. In the latter, rings and fighters are painfully recreated in virtual form, and the controls allow for complex manoeuvres.

All Stars differs in this respect by removing most of that complexity and replacing it with disproportionate, cartoon-esque superstars, slamming each other onto the canvas with the force of a nuclear weapon. It's the first licensed wrestling title created in-house by THQ's San Diego studio, and during my hands-on time with the game I found it incredibly fun.

The only playable fighters that were available in this demo ? or have even been announced ? were John Cena and The Rock. Both have chests that look like they've been chiseled out of mountains, and their signature moves and animations were comically exaggerated as well.

Playing as The Rock, in setting Cena up for the Rock Bottom resulted in the crowd screaming as my opponent was meteor-slammed onto the canvas and rebounded five feet in the air as shockwaves rippled throughout the ring. The light-hearted presentation here is definitely most welcome.

As is the relatively simplistic combat controls. The face buttons are split into grab and attack functions ? two for high grab and low grab, and the other two for high attack and low attack. Pressing the Left Bumper allows you to evade a grab, while the Right Bumper has you dodging attacks. Time it right, you can even pull of reversals in this way. Right Trigger runs, and Left Trigger pins. It's refreshingly straightforward stuff.

Other than that, it's WWE gameplay as you know it. The matches I played were your standard 'smack opponent about a bit to get them pinned down' affair. Each player has two meters ? one is the character's stamina, which goes down the more you get epically smashed about. The lower it is, the more likely you'll be able to get pinned down to the count of three. To aid you along the way, you can power up the special meter using successful attacks, and when filled can allow you to unleash a signature move that becomes quite the spectacle to see.

Although I have only seen a small portion of the game through an exhibition match, I'm sure this will be just what a lot of casual wrestling fans will want to buy into when it's released early next year. While Smackdown vs RAW is still the flagship game series, its emphasis on serious simulation and realism has turned me off over the years. Playing one match of All Stars made me feel like the sport was somewhat more fun again.

My only concern is that many studios these days, when tasked with making something of a more 'accessible' game for more casual fans, tend to think it's okay to completely dumb down the experience. Hopefully I'll get to see more of this game in the coming months, and that the options and modes on offer a lot of depth. But so far, if you like wrestling for its scripted, ridiculous nature, WWE All Stars is a game you should keep an eye on.
Games: WWE All Stars

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Daniel Bryan 30 Jul 2010 23:53
This has nothing to do with this page, but all Mickie James fans who want her back in WWE, please sign this petition:

And call WWE at 203-352-8600 and tell them you want Mickie back.

Here's something else you can do. Go to this site and leave a comment about Mickie's release.
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