THQ San Diego Embraces Wrestling’s Most Over-The-Top Elements - WWE All-Stars - Xbox 360 -
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WWE All-Stars

THQ San Diego Embraces Wrestling’s Most Over-The-Top Elements

When Vince McMahon purchased WCW and ECW in 2001, the television product wasn’t the only thing he limited for wrestling fans. His massive takeover also drastically changed the video game landscape for the “sports entertainment” faithful. In the late ‘90s, fans could choose between THQ’s excellent WWF titles, EA’s WCW games, and Acclaim’s ECW attempts. For the last several years, however, Smackdown vs. Raw has been the only game in town (outside of mediocre TNA titles and the supremely disappointing Lucha Libre game from Konami). While it still operates under the banner of Vince McMahon’s juggernaut promotion, THQ is finally giving gamers a brand-new option with the promising WWE All Stars.

If we were to compare WWE games to sports titles, Smackdown vs. Raw would be NBA 2K11 and All Stars would be NBA Jam. That’s no accident, as Jam (and NFL Blitz) veteran Sal Divita is onboard as executive producer. As he did with the hardwood and the gridiron, Divita is bringing over-the-top moves, a ridiculous visual style, and a simplified but rewarding control scheme to the squared circle. It’s not just the SvR roster with new gameplay and a different look, however, as the roster features just as many legendary grapplers as current superstars.

THQ is planning on a “dream roster” consisting of superstars from your childhood and the top talent of today – including some faces that you wouldn’t expect to see. Macho Man Randy Savage has been on the outs with Vince for quite some time, and Hulk Hogan is currently employed by the struggling TNA promotion. Despite this, both legends are confirmed for All Stars.

Each superstar fits into one of four categories: Acrobat, Big Man, Brawler, or Grappler. Acrobats can perform high-flying springboard attacks and cover almost the entire ring with a top rope attack. Even better, they can access the top turnbuckle by propelling themselves off of an opponent. Playing as Rey Mysterio, I sprinted up the body of Andre the Giant, backflipped onto the turnbuckle, and proceeded to level the big man with a missile dropkick.

If you fall into the big man category, your character can charge up massive strikes that can send your opponent flying. When I played as Andre, I sent Mysterio rocketing into the ropes with a massive punch. Once he ricocheted off the ropes, I landed another blow that sent him cartoonishly flying outside of the ring.

Brawlers like Cena and The Rock are equipped with unblockable charged attacks, and grapplers like Bret Hart can string numerous grapple moves together into a combo. These two classes may not be flying around the ring like the acrobats or sending foes outside of it like the big men, but their moves are by no means subtle. Cena’s Attitude Adjustment isn’t just a modified fireman’s carry like it is on WWE programming; it’s now a superhero-like leaping slam that causes a shockwave in the mat when it connects.

Whereas the majority of wrestling games feature a momentum system for building up finishers, All Stars doesn’t rely on a rising-and-falling meter. As you perform big attacks, your finisher meter will rise without fear of it dropping back down. If your meter is half-full and you suddenly find yourself on the tail end of a severe beating, you don’t have to worry about restarting from square one.

  • I'm very interested in this game.  I'd just like to see some more gameplay.

  • I can't for for this game. Now if only I were any good at any wrestling game... ever.

  • Can't wait for this. Seems like only you enjoy wrestling in the entire office, Dan. That's sad.

  • I'm just so happy to get a descent wrestling game OTHER than SvR. its practically been the only wrestling game for 10 years...and even they dont hold a candle to No Mercy or WCW/NWO Revenge.

    Oh and BTW GI, why is it always a pain to load "next page"on your site? Trust me, I'm faithful becasue of the sites content, not its technical capabilities. If that were the case, I'd be better served by a facebook group.
  • This might be the first wrestling game I've played since...a long ass time. I stopped watching wrestling back in the early 2004 or 2005 but this seems a lot like the old school style (with some kick ass new thrown in) with the awesome old school wrestlers. I may have to give it a try.

  • maybe this will get me to see wrestling again, I saw RAW last monday and the end really made me smile. I can't wait to see more gameplay from the game.
  • This game looks like its going to be awesome. But I wonder if it could be better than Smackdown Vs. Raw.

  • I am eagerly anticipating this game.  I love the old days of wrestling, and am totally looking for a new experience when it comes to wrestling games.  This seems to be right up my alley.

  • @darkbatghost88: Did you catch that part of the Rock's promo where he mentioned a supposed "beef" with Cena? I can smell what the Rock is cooking, and it's...promoting a certain game that's coming out close to Wrestlemania where you can live out dream matches such as John Cena VS. The Rock;) *wink, wink*

    Eh. I don't care if they're manufacturing some promos to move this game off of shelves. I've been wanting THQ to do an NFL Blitz-style wrestling fighter since forever. I HATE Smackdown. It's too mocapped, and all the controls lack responsiveness. All the animations are also too stiff. And the models look bad by now; the stuff that THQ does for their UFC games look much better (they do the models for UFC in the 'states than send them to Yuke's in Japan so they can plug it into their game. Whereas Yuke's makes their Smackdown models from scratch).

    WWE All Stars may be the first game from THQ San Diego - although I suspect they might employ the ex-Midway team THQ bought awhile ago that was responsible for TNA Impact and MK: Shaolin Monks -, but it's clear that the fighting is more responsive. And the exaggerated animations help too;) This game looks fantastic and super-fun. Without a doubt, this is the most exciting wrestling game in forever. Since Saturday Night Slam Masters, Ultimate MUSCLE and Def Jam Vendetta definitely. All Stars can't come soon enough, as far as I'm concerned.
  • HAHA It was very easy to tell how excited Dan is for this title.

  • The Rock’s "swinging DDT"? I think you mean swinging neckbreaker.  

  • If Ya Smellllllllllllll What The Rock Is Cookin!  oh yea Ive been a fan since i saw my first match live at msg when i was 9(33 now) and still watch every RAW SD and ppv i am able to.  Monday night u shoulda seen me jumpin around and screaming in my room when his voice hit WOW.  Now yes I know what it all really is, and yes im falling into the hype that hes gona wrestle again and im ok with doing that cuz it really is exciting for me.  Oh yea the game.  Ive been craving this since I heard about it last year.  Gona be a FUN wrestling game, maybe not a better one if your used to Raw vs SD(ive never played them).  But yes it will be like the iconic HES ON FIRE NBA JAM BOOM SHOCKALACKA!


  • interested but worth buying?  

  • Mortal Kombat meets John Cena

  • if only i were still into wrestling games

  • This seems like a great break from smackdown Vs. raw. I look forward to what this game can do.

  • I miss WCW NWO I hate WWE