April 4, 2011

Quick Review: WWE All Stars

So I played WWE All Stars at a friend's house last night.

That game is weird. I play wrestling games and I play fighting games, and it's like a sick little combination between the two genres. (Note: one could consider wrestling games fighting games, but I feel there's a difference between the two that justifies my separation of them... trust me, I've been playing wrestling games since like 2005 and fighting games since 1995 or something like that)

One thing I will say is that this game definitely has this old school game design feel to it. You can easily pick the game up and play it, press buttons (two strike attack buttons, two grab buttons, two reversal buttons), and hope to see some really cool stuff, and you will. However, I can feel some form of depth to this game. You can reverse reversals, you can toss characters up and juggle them (and then you can catch them into another toss mid-juggle to juggle them again... whether or not you can do this forever if the opponent doesn't reverse is something I don't know), I'm guessing you can do some kind of mix ups, you can press a given sequence of buttons to consistently perform the same combo... there is definitely a fighting system here that can be explored. Time will tell if it's deep, if it's good, if it's broken, etc.

The one thing that may keep the game from being too broken is reversals. You can reverse certain moves, but fear not; if you're good, you can reverse your opponent's reversal. That's pretty sick, as while the opponent may break up a potential big time combo with a reversal, you can still maintain control of the match with your own reversals.

So there's definitely going to be a tier list of some sort if people decide to take this game seriously like that: Andre the Giant is a big problem (literally and figuratively, powerful hits, lots of life, hard to knockdown), Edge has the quickest finisher by far in the game (finishers can and will end matches, so to have one that much faster than everyone else's...), and the combo potential right now seems huge... simply because I have no idea how to time reversals in this game yet.

So I totally skimped out on the bells and whistles that most players care about... the graphics are cool, the sound is awesome, although theme songs get cut short compared to other wrestling games so that the matches can begin, created characters is simple compared to other wrestling games, and the controls... well, the controls feel weird to me, but they are responsive during game play. There's a bit of lag on certain menus, but that's what you get when your console pretends its a computer anyway.

Overall, it's a fun game. I like its first impression, and I'm definitely willing to learn it if given the opportunity, which is more than I can say for MvC3. /cheapshot.

Still, I'd recommend that you tinker with it for a while before deciding to purchase it if you can... I can tell that eventually, I'm gonna have a lot of fun with this. :)

WWE All Stars feels like a "looser," more over the top version of Def Jam: Fight for NY. Okay, there's actually a number of significant differences between Fight for NY and All Stars upon second thought, but that's pretty much what kind of brand of fighting game you're dealing with here.

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