I'm Back: A jakob187's Story

First off, fuck you if you said "We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story sucks". Fuck you hard in the ass with a cactus, good sir and/or madam.

Second, I have returned from my self-imposed hiatus from the forums/blogosphere/world of gaming. Why? Well, in all honesty, I caved and took my old job back. They say that hindsight is 20/20, and looking back on the five years that I worked here at Lansharx, I ended up realizing that I was a pissy asshole when I shouldn't have been to customers. Actually, that hindsight has brought me a newly discovered level of determination in this job.

The job deals with kids. Lots of kids. Some of them are young kids that don't know jack about video games. We've all seen and heard the complaints time and time again: casual gaming is bullshit. If you have stated that, then congratulations on being an elitest dick like I once was. I felt like those kids were beneath my time and effort, but in retrospect, they weren't. They are the future of gaming, and as someone who has been playing games since he was shitting in his Huggies (and no, that doesn't include last week, you sick fucks), it is my sworn duty to teach them of gaming history. It's my job to not just give them a customer experience that makes them want to keep coming into the store and playing video games, but it's a necessity that I show them there is a world outside of Call of Duty and Halo. You don't have to always be pointing a virtual gun at a virtual head and virtually shooting a virtual bullet to see a splatter of virtual blood. Virtually.

In turn, this all means that I will have long moments of sitting in front of a computer. It won't be as many long moments as before, as again, I'm determined to make shit better this time around. I'm not going through the paces, but rather I'm engaging the paces.

In the time that I've been absent, I've noticed the following things:

  1. I went from being the top poster on the forums to fifth. You fuckers have been busy. = D
  2. I pretty much have only played League of Legends and Diablo III Beta. Beyond that, I've played the occasional Xbox 360 game, namely still trying to finish off Bastion, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Gatling Gears, and now working through 4-player co-op on Gears of War 3. With all the games coming out, I picked a good time to jump back in the fold.
  3. Most of you aren't reading this blog anyways, but I feel self-important because this is the goddamn internet.
  4. If you are reading this blog, then it means that you are either Claude (HAI2U2!) or someone else from the old school. Sometimes, it feels good to be old, right?
  5. I'm just goddamn rambling now.

It's good to be back. My <3 belongs to Giant Bomb, muthafuckers.


Batty for Beta: LoL Dominion

One of the capture points. Once captured, it turns into a turret that will attack enemy players unless they begin to capture it themselves.

Betas have become a funny thing over the years. There was a time when they were a buggy mess that gave you, the player, a chance to offer feedback on a game before it shipped to make it better. In the last five years, thanks to an ever-expanding industry and the hunger for people to get their hands on a game they crave early, betas have become little more than demos. The betas rarely ever seem to feel unfinished and unpolished, and when they aren't...well, how many of you genuinely offer feedback beyond either "this kicks ass" or "this sucks ass"?

Luckily, some betas that give you a chance to offer that necessary feedback still exist, and I got to play both of them.

League of Legends: Dominion launched today (funny enough, given that it's also my brother's birthday...nice present from Riot, I'd say), so as some of you read this, many are already indulging in the MOBA fight. For those who haven't played League of Legends or have only watched some of the stuff around here on the site, the big deal about Dominion is that it changes up the formula that League of Legends and its predecessors Heroes of Newerth and DOTA quit significantly. Rather than just be a tower defense game with real-time strategy elements, Dominion features a new map (bringing the game's total up to 3...or 4 if you count the themed 5v5 map) that revolves more around a Battlefield-style capture-and-hold point game. There are five bases, all of which can be captured by either team, and the captured points will tick down "tickets" from a counter, thus damaging the other team's Nexus (their base) and winning the match. There are definitely some subtle things added to the mix in order to make the match more interesting, such as killing enemy opponents to deal more damage to the Nexus or pushing creeps in the lane to gain the advantage on capturing a point. The biggest thing that changes it up is the new items found in the match type, the fact that you level very rapidly, and how matches rarely ever last longer than 30 minutes tops. It's a quick, fast-paced game mode that defies much of what the MOBA genre has seen so far (unless you count Bloodline Champions, which is much quicker and fast-paced).

The map looks pretty big in pictures, but it's actually pretty small, meaning matches are incredibly quick.

During the beta time, the major difference you'll find in team compositions is that balanced teams (ranged AD carry, melee AD off-tank, main tank, ranged AP nuke, and a support) are typically not the best types of teams. A lot of Dominion relies on building a team of good 1v1 champs, as you will rarely have a big 5v5 team fight in the matches. In turn, Dominion has done something kind of brilliant: it's given champs which people rarely find worthwhile in 5v5 play (like Sivir, Kassadin, Akali, etc) a place to dominate and be worthwhile all over again. The beta time was more like a demo time, where everything felt pretty polished and they just needed to check out connectivity issues and things of that nature. The map itself feels much more alive, making the older maps look bland in comparison. My friends and I continually kept saying "now they need to go back and revamp the old maps, because this map is excellent".

With all that said, Dominion is also a very frustrating mode. Despite your level of skill, a lot of it will end up relying on factors you can't change much. AP champs have a distinct advantage since there is rarely any defensive build to characters in the game mode, and characters with global ultimate moves (devastating abilities that can be used from virtually anywhere on the map to affect someone nowhere close to them, like Gangplank or Ashe have) can make life a living hell for teams trying to capture a point. In all, my friends and I have compiled a list of close to 16 champs that should be banned in the draft mode at any given time because of how incredibly overpowered they can be in the mode. The problem with this happens to be knowing that Riot will only balance champs based on their performances in 5v5 Ranked play, so it's always going to be a "luck of the draw" scenario on whether your champs are going to be getting nerfed or buffed for the mode.

All in all, though, Riot continues to offer a really great package with League of Legends, and Dominion just adds to that value. They've done Free-2-Play gaming right for a while now, offering everything you actually need to play the game for free while offering a buy-in option IF YOU WANT TO as well as some bonus vanity stuff that...honestly...is difficult NOT to buy.


Thanks for reading, and next time, I'll be dropping some knowledge on the elusive Diablo III beta. Stay tuned for that


NES vs PS2: A Battle for Reverence

With the recent announcement of the Final Fantasy X HD remake coming to the Vita and the PlayStation 3, it would seem that Sony has learned from their previous HD collections what Nintendo has known for years now: people will pay top dollar all over again for the games that they have fond memories of. Nintendo recently threw a ton of free games at the "3DS Ambassadors" as their penance for the price drop debacle they've found themselves in.

This conundrum of sorts wakes a burning question for all gamers throughout the decades, a battle of the ages if you will. Which console holds more reverence in its designated decade: the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System or the PlayStation 2? Both are consoles that saw the mainstreaming of video games take center stage while also offering significant technical leaps in the technology that provided us the games we've come to know and love. With all this said, let's look at scientific breakdown of which made each console so great in a couple of categories, and in the end, comment on what YOU believe is the more revered of the two.

ROUND ONE - Characters and Mascots

Without doubt, it's easy for anyone in the gaming world...let alone the real world...to recognize the Nintendo mascots from a mile away. The faces of Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Samus Aran, and Kirby are unmistakable in both their designs as well as their unique gaming styles. If anything, it's almost a one-sided battle for us all. How can you side against this quintet of worldwide recognition and highly potent merchandising opportunities?

For Sony, it meant that they needed a wide variety of characters to appeal to multiple audiences. Unfortunately, many of their most memorable characters were not all necessary "in-house" characters. If you were to look at the heyday of the PS2, characters like Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper were developed by studios that were Sony exclusive but not actually owned by Sony. However, Sony had a secret weapon that Nintendo could never combat against, a character for the mature audience: Kratos. The Spartan warrior of vengeance and anger found a place where he could easily sit on his throne and laugh at the litter of bodies he left behind. Mario's head is sitting on a pike while Kratos bangs a triple set of Greek virgins in the blood of the Italian plumber. Beyond that, however, none of the characters can match the same broad appeal as what Nintendo had to offer. At the same time, no one can speculate what the reverence would be for character like Kratos, Ratchet, Clank, or Sly in the next six years as well.

ROUND TWO - Quality of Flagship Exclusives

The variety of ways that Nintendo has always been able to use their characters in a myriad of games has been an incredible journey. Even looking back at the original NES, it's amazing how diverse the genres each mascot approached could work in. The Super Mario Bros. franchise and Kirby focused on simple and fun platforming. Metroid focused on grinding through an incredibly dark world with precision accuracy and deadly weaponry. Duck Hunt allowed you to physically hold a "gun" in your hand and shoot your targets. Kid Icarus preferred verticality over traditional platforming. Mega Man was balls-ass difficult but somehow made you want to continue playing BECAUSE of its striking difficulty. Hell, even StarTropics took the tropes of The Legend of Zelda and gave them a course of natural progression. In an era where exclusives were mandatory to make your platform matter, Nintendo was untouched...and many would say that they still are.

Sony, on the other hand, represents a different era. The world had moved from simple "games" and into the world of "interactive experience". You didn't have to stare at small sprites for hours on end, but instead were transported into vast worlds lovingly rendered in polygonal graphics to immerse you into the characters and environments. Franchises like Metal Gear Solid showed what was capable with a graphics chip and a thoroughly active imagination, while Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper showed that platforming wasn't exactly dead, but rather needed a fresh coat of paint and a kick in the ass. For every hit that was out there like God of War, it seemed there was another game like Ico or Shadow of the Colossus that offered a unique artsy perspective to what a "game" could be. If the NES was an era of creating characters and gaming genres, the PlayStation 2 era was about breaking those genres down and retooling them to create something fresh and fun. Sony offered this in spades with their exclusives.

When it's all said and done, though, both companies must have done something right if they are able to repackage their old games for new-ish game price and still sell like hotcakes every...damn...time.

ROUND THREE - Console Innovations

Sure, the modern day techie inside of all of us is willing to flat-out say "SONY WINS" because of the ways that the PlayStation 2 pushed the envelope of home console technology. However, that would be severely undercutting the power of the NES.

When the NES came out, people saw it as a box to plug a game into, then turn it on and play a game. However, over the lifespan of the NES, the console saw many incredible innovations that helped garner it some unique attention, even if those innovations were not always the greatest thing in the world. Nintendo realized the power of the peripheral. Providing something that would allow players a different way to play beyond holding a small controller was a way to not only immerse people but to also broaden the sales market. Thanks to the Zapper, it wasn't just kids that were playing something like Duck Hunt. Thanks to the Game Genie, people were able to find ways to "hack" their games and experience new ways to play their favorite games. Hell, even not-so-great peripherals like R.O.B. and the Power Glove gave us a unique perspective on how to change the way games were perceived. Nintendo even went beyond this, offering a couple of jacks on the side of the console to record your gameplay footage onto a VHS (through a slightly complicated process back in those days). It was a console not just about experiencing worlds and fun times, but sharing them as well.

The PlayStation 2, however, pushed things into a whole new world. Single-handedly, the PS2 was responsible for the widespread popularity and consequential drastic price drop of DVD as a media format. Eventually, it led to the move from CD-ROM to DVD as the format of choice for retail games, lasting a solid 15 years and continuing still with the Xbox 360. It also brought the world the EyeToy, a camera that could be used to interact with games in a new way. This little camera would eventually lead the way to current motion gaming technology. While the Dreamcast before it brought us the first experience of online gaming on our home gaming console, the PlayStation 2 helped to popularize the idea with a franchise called S.O.C.O.M. Despite their best efforts, however, Microsoft would later take the cake from them with a service called Xbox Live. In the end, though, the power and the potency of the features that Sony included in their console was how they edged out over their competitors.


Let's be honest with ourselves: picking one side will only lead to us saying to ourselves in low-voiced mumbles "buuuuuuut I also like this about..." and leading to the ongoing debate that will always rage inside us. In the end, there is only one true winner: the gamers. Without these two magnificent steps in the history of gaming, things could've been very different all around. For all we know, home console gaming wouldn't even have survived through the 1990s due to the Arcade Crash. No matter which side you pick, you are picking the right side.


There's a comment section below. Use it to offer your opinions on which is better, what makes them better, or if you just want to take a trip down Nostalgia Lane. Just..ya know...don't get caught by the guy with the bat in the alley there that wants to murder you slowly. That would be...bad?


Confused By The Hate: Dungeon Siege III

To preface the forthcoming blog you are about to read (or just stare at and say "cool story, bro"), I'm a sucker for games that involve me using an overhead viewpoint to hack 'n' slash random enemies and pick up loot to equip on my characters in order to hack 'n' slash more powerful enemies. It's a pitfall that has stuck with me since the years of Infinity Engine games, and continued through with Snowblind's endeavors on the PlayStation 2. I was even able to pick up Sacred 2 and look past its flaws to see a pretty worthwhile game that had countless hours dumped into it.

With that said, it has been surprising to hear so much vitriol spewed over Dungeon Siege III in the last week. Listening to the Bombcast and hearing the guys talk about it, they made it seem like Dungeon Siege III does nothing right and leads to a very boring experience overall. Even hearing comments on Twitter and Facebook, looking at reviews, and the general word of mouth has made the game sound like it shouldn't even exist.

Everyone else must be playing a different game than I am, because Dungeon Siege III definitely doesn't feel that way to me. Instead, it feels like a very streamlined experience that features all the tropes I love about action RPGs while cutting out the middlemen that hold it down all the goddamn time. Sure, it has its problems...like every hack 'n' slash game before it. However, it makes up for it with marked improvements on the genre that...if anything...make me enjoy it far more than something like Dragon Age.

To start, the "classes" you play as are conveniently placed into four separate characters you choose from. This helps the story move along quite well without ever making you feel like your "custom character" is a nameless wonder of a hero that no one has the time to say "HEY NADFACE, WHAT'S UP?! GO BEAT SOME BAD GUYS!" It offers what most RPGs should excel at: storytelling. What is presented in Dungeon Siege III can definitely be described as a linear experience, but for the life of me, I can't think of too many hack 'n' slash games in recent years that weren't relatively guided experiences. There aren't big, wide open spaces to venture through. Instead, everything is paced incredibly well along a track of well-realized areas to venture through. It's almost as if...*GASP*...you are being sent to a bunch of dungeons that have a specific layout! NO, SAY IT ISN'T SO! -_-

Another thing that Dungeon Siege III does to keep you going in the action is offer a mind-blowing idea: no potions. Rather than have you pick up a gajillion health and mana potions, the game handles both in a very intelligent and easy way. Each character has a defensive ability that can be used as a heal-over-time spell, as well as lifesteal capabilities with weaponry and armor. Beyond that, you use Focus to cast spells and powerful moves, and you recharge that by hitting shit. If anything, Obsidian found a way to JUSTIFY HITTING THE SAME BUTTON OVER AND OVER TO KILL SHIT!

The boss fights are also pretty well done. You can't just standing around hitting something, but instead, you are dodging and trying to find ways to approach different bosses without getting your ass stomped to the ground. When I fought Rajani last night, it was a good 5 minute fight, since you have to dodge around and avoid all the damage pools she leaves on the ground. When fighting the boss in the First People Village, you can't even get close to the guy, instead needing to focus on use ranged spells and taking down his helpers to ensure you don't get poisoned. I actually died on that boss, was revived by my teammate, then she died, and I ended up winning with barely any health left. The shit can get tough, ladies and gentlemen - a welcome addition to the hack 'n' slash games I love.

The dungeons and areas you visit are also varied enough to feel fresh while also holding enough of the fantasy tropes to feel familiar. There are trees, dirt roads, bandits, skeletons...but then there are things that I don't even know the name of. There are areas like the Causeway that are visually impressive and make you wonder why few games before have used such a unique looking place.

The voice acting is relatively good and appropriately British when it needs to be. The controls feel good, smooth, and efficient. I have no once had to struggle with them. Mind you, I'm playing on 360, and I understand that the PC version has some bunk stuff going on. I also understand that Obsidian is fixing that, so...cool.

Really, the only problems that I have are this: the graphics leave a bit to be desired...yet still work fine for the world is presents, the frame rate dips in and out, but rarely hits below 30fps, and the story takes a good hour to get kicked up and moving. Yeah, there's also the moments when you have to do the dialogue wheels and there's just not a lot going on there...much like those revered games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect...right?

All in all, I can see the linearity bugging people, or even how Obsidian has streamlined a handful of systems in the game to make it work better on consoles while also offer a pretty solid game. What I don't understand is why people are hating on it. Is it just cool to hate on Obsidian? They may not make the most polished games, but it hasn't stopped me from enjoying their games yet. I can also see the way the co-op works as being an issue to people, but I haven't actually played any co-op yet, so I can't comment on it.

People, give Dungeon Siege III a try. Sure, you could wait until it hits that $40 sweet spot price point, but it's worth the money as it stands. Please, though: play a little more than an hour of an RPG before jumping up and saying "this game is boring, the graphics are muddy, and I don't think I want to play more of Dungeon Siege III".


Knee-Jerk Reaction: Brink

Playtime so far:  roughly 7 hours

Good Impressions

  • SMART system provides one of the easiest ways to move around your environment in a first-person shooter
  • Weapon selection is pretty big and varied well between primary and secondary
  • Character customization makes some badass character designs
  • Art style is pretty
  • Gameplay is definitely right up the alley of those who love Enemy Territory, yet simple enough for new players of the "genre" to learn quickly
  • Voice acting is diverse and interesting
  • HUD provides you with every piece of information you could possibly need
  • Going against Hard bots can actually prove to be a challenge for about 2-4 people
  • Versus mode (and subsequently Stopwatch mode) are fucking great...when there's no lag

Bad Impressions

  • Like any form of government or religion, it's a great idea until you put people into the equation
  • id Tech looks a bit muddy on console, which is kind of saddening
  • Weapons take some time to find one you like the feel of, and for me, that has become "SMGs that I can hipfire"
  • There's only 8 maps with a finite amount of preset objectives; rotating objectives per match would keep things fresher
  • HUD is busy as hell, meaning that the information you need could also be distracting you from something else you should pay attention to
  • Ranking up is super quick and easy, leaving no forward progression for later
  • LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG: it cripples the game to a near unplayable state when it hits
  • Ally bots are generally unhelpful in most cases...like the escort part of Security Day 1 in the campaign...but it's a good indicator for what it'll be like playing with the Call of Duty crowd

Look, folks.  Let's not mince words:  Brink is the kind of game that will be perfect for the Enemy Territory players on PC that have been dying for a new Enemy Territories game.  However, without a 100% solid netcode, the lag can cripple the game.  In the end, Brink is going to live and die by the multiplayer community, and while I've been able to find a few competent people on Xbox Live, it proves the age old adage true: most console players are fucking stupid and will lead to blunt force trauma from pounding your controller against your head repeatedly.  Unfortunately, Brink is not the kind of game where banging your head against the wall will eventually lead to a euphoric occasion of Halo-grunt-headshot-leads-to-confetti-and-children-cheer-as-candy-pours-out-yo-head smiley time.  It's a game that demands you to check out the maps, learn the different routes and areas to attack an objective from, and work AS A FUCKING TEAM!  Essentially, it's like Left 4 Dead in a lot of ways:  people on PC are the ones you'll want to play with if you actually want to get anything done without having to half-heartedly rely on bots to help your ass.  I personally dig the game a lot.  I'm a mad fan of Wolf ET, so for me to get some new Enemy Territory type of stuff, I'm psyched.  Now I just need competent people to start getting online and the netcode to get better...

Also, crank it up to Hard.  Don't play on pussy settings, folks.  That just makes you look bad in the long run.  Seriously...please...pretend you have a set of balls to put on the table.

Until next time, piece.

A Fond Farewell...Sort Of

*EDIT*  My blog links to my Facebook.  To all my Facebook friends - just skip this, you nincumpoops!

I can't say that I've been here since the very beginning, but I was pretty close.  In the time that I've been a member of these forums, I have seen a lot of folks come and go, banned and unbanned.  I've held the position at the top forum poster on the site, only to have it usurped and retain #2 for a long time.  This comes from a guy that use to beg the staff and moderators to rebug my account to show 0 posts (which lasted for almost 2,000 posts, I should point out).
Today, I quit my job.  I've been with Lansharx Gaming Center for five years, and today, I had to make the decision that I need to move forward into a new unknown.  It was not an easy decision, and it is something I've had on my mind for a little while now, even having talked to my bosses about it a few weeks back.  Today, I realized I needed to do this:  for my sanity, for my social life, and more than anything, for the bigger picture.

Do I have something lined up?  No, not necessarily.  As my father has always said:  "where there's a Williams, there's a way".  It may be cheesy, but I'll be damned if it isn't true.  We've survived tough times, and this will just be another step in those tough times.  At the end, I'm sure that there will be a nice light or something...maybe a big tittied blond chick.  Who knows?

"So what's this fond farewell business then, Josh?"

Well, part of the reason I've been present so much in these forums is because my job entailed me sitting at a computer for the majority of my work day.  Since I will no longer be at that job, it means that my forum presence will be drastically cut down.  It also means that this will be the last blog out of me for a while.

This community does great things, and despite the relentless amount of recycled memes and dumbasses that can come through here, you are some awesome muthafuckers.  Given that I still have a smartphone and a membership, I will still be able to use that combination to leave a comment or two here or there.  Beyond that, though, this is the part where you hoot, holler, and cheer, throw a party and celebrate the fact that I will be far less present.

I'll still be checking the site regularly for all of my news, reviews, videos, and of course, the Bombcast and NDX.  I just won't be holding that super high post count or throwing out blogs about how I have so many unfinished games...and a million other things.

It's been nice knowing you crackers.  Piece out, muthafuckers.

Working Through The Stack: AC Brotherhood - The Finale


Hey guys.  Guess what?  I FINISHED THE DAMN GAME!!!  About time, right?  After patting myself on the back and smoking a victory cigarette, something became abundantly clear:


The ending was, in its own right, kind of crazy and stupid.  At the same time, it makes me super curious about what's going to happen in the next game.  Let's be real:  they can't get away with that, can they?  CAN THEY?

In the last blog where I talked about Brotherhood, I mentioned just how much of a slow burn the game's story was.  By the time I finally got to Sequence 8 and 9, it felt like all this stuff was finally get rushed along.  The question I'm still asking is what the point of the game was.  Sure, I'm building a brotherhood of assassins and taking back Rome, but the way that the Borgias were used felt a little too contrived and convenient.  I've never had an issue with the way that Ubisoft Montreal has worked their brand of alternate history into the franchise before, but it's usually a bigger piece of the puzzle than just "hey, the Borgias are trying to take over Rome, and so Ezio and the assassins have to stop it".  There didn't seem to be a lot of ties to the Templars like I was hoping.  If anything, I can now understand why this was a bit of a "spin-off" per say than being straight-up Assassin's Creed III.

Nonetheless, I can say that I've gotten one game finished out of the stack.  Now there's only about 24 more to go...

Working Through The Stack: WWE All-Stars

As a child, when the arcade still existed at the Hollywood 6 next to the old Winn-Dixie on Loop 340, my brother and I dumped an unbelievable amount of quarters into four primary games:  Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, Street Fighter II, and WWF Wrestlemania.  Actually, my brother probably dropped the most on WWF Wrestlemania when I think about it.  Every time he stepped up to the sticks and picked Razor Ramon, it was a guarantee that someone was getting slaughtered.  The game featured a massively over-the-top style (Razor Ramon's arms would turn into literal razors during a combo), but regardless of that, it was a great little game that we hold fond memories of.  With the release of WWE All-Stars, that little tickle of nostalgia puts a grin from ear to ear, as the game is easily something worthy of being called a successor to that fantastically balls-to-the-wall gameplay and level of fun. 
Don't get me wrong:  there's plenty of frustration to be had with the game when you are starting out.  Reversals are a timing-based thing, and even then, they seem miles away when you think you are hitting the reversal button at the right time.  You also have to deal with the AI being omniscient enough to hit at least 70% of the reversals he has a chance to slam, as well as take advantage of any cheap bullshit it can sling your way.  Regardless of those two problems, WWE All-Stars is a game that makes you remember wrestling the way you thought it was as a kid...or at least how I remember it.  These are larger-than-life, over-the-top caricatures doing insane shit and beating the fuck out of each other.  It has that feeling you first had when you were a kid and watched your first Hulk Hogan match, chanting "HULKAMANIA" alongside the crowd on the TV.  There's a magic in that which can't be denied.  Four of us sat around the big screen last night laughing at how ridiculous everything was, chanting along with the chants we know, screaming like little girls at how awesome moves like the Perfect-Plex and the Rock Bottom look with this almost NBA Street-styled craziness. 
Are there glaring omissions from the roster?  Yeah, maybe.  Ravishing Rick Rude, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, Junkyard Dog, Big Boss Man, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit (although that's kind of understandable, right?), Kurt Angle, William Regal and many others are not in the main roster.  Some are available through DLC, such as Big Boss Man and Chris Jericho.  However, the ends that justify the means is that the roster which does show up in the game happens to be a great mix of the best from the legends as well as the current stars of the WWE. 
It should be known though that WWE All-Stars feels like something that you either get or you don't.  It won't be for everyone...obviously.  Some people don't dig wrestling.  Other don't dig fighting games.  There will be people that bitch and say it features archaic gameplay design, that wrestling is fake and you shouldn't support it.  Hell, maybe people just don't like fun.  In the end, WWE All-Stars is exactly what I want it to be:  something where me and my friends can sit around, pass the controllers off, and laugh like a muthafucker at the insanity that ensues.


Knee-Jerk Reaction: Crysis 2

Playtime so far:  four hours of multiplayer, no single player 

Good Impressions  

  • The game is pretty
  • You can slide like in Far Cry 2
  • It's thoughtful to have a lobby that is specifically for those who are level 10 and under to learn how the game plays in multiplayer rather than throwing them in with the big guns and getting wrecked.
  • Multitude of nanosuit abilities in tandem with perks and loadouts offer a lot of variety...

Bad Impressions  

  • ...except for the fact that Xbox 360 is filled with 'tards that only want to camp in corners while stealthed...or sit on buildings while stealthed with sniper rifles...or want to noob tube while stealthed...
  • The hit detection is relatively weak until you get used to the handling, and even then, it still feels off sometimes
  • Rather unsavory and unstable servers at the moment.  Had a number of issues with Host Migration, disconnects, and hard freezes last night.
  • TOO MANY MENUS!  Slim it down and make it simpler to find the shit that I want to find.
  • The multiplayer feels like nothing more than an amalgamation of so many other multiplayer shooters rolled into one with this one sole "unique" thing:  the nanosuit.  It's not enough as of yet.
  • I can't count how many times that I've used Armor to survive a grenade from injuring me.  However, if I try to do that with bullets, the Armor seems far less effective?
  • What's the point of nanovision (read: heat vision) if you aren't going to let people always see stealthed people?  I mean, what's the point in a counter to a counter to a counter?  That's fucking DUMB!
  • My reflex sight disables my mobility by HOW MUCH?  One bar of mobility?  Yeah, because that sight is SOOOO heavy.  T_T  Seriously, encumberment in a game where I have a nanosuit that can generate a shield that allows me to withstand the blast of a grenade...or sprint at almost double the speed of Michael Johnson on a record-setting day...is kind of fucking stupid.  Actually, take that back.  It's just fucking stupid.
  • Terrible UI with far more information than needs to be displayed, and most of the information is displayed in rather odd places.  Other games have done this better for nearly a decade.  Why the hell aren't you following that example...kind of like your X at the crosshairs for hit confirm (Call of Duty) or your slide (Far Cry 2) or your Halo-height jumping or your overshield or your active camo or the millions of other things you are ripping off?
  • Overblown audio mix and clipping issues, which pisses me off to NO end.  Particularly, the music as soon as a match is "Activating Session..." is the primary culprit.
  • Frame rate hitches suck

Overall Reaction:   Not impressed so far.

Maybe the single player will give me some better impressions, or maybe it's the fact that I find some of the physics in the game's style of shooting to be a bit wonky at times.  There were plenty of times that I'd lay an entire clip into someone from my SCAR...literally, a full clip and then needing to reload...and it resulted in no death.  Meanwhile, when I died, I'd check the Kill Replay and the enemy would spray 'n' pray with a total of about three bullets hitting me in the stomach, and I'm a dead man.  There's also this feeling that a lot of the stuff you would unlock before level 10 is kind of fucking useless.  Why would I bother using this holographic decoy when all he does is walk in a straight line?  Fuck, man.  Make him duck and weave, dive into cover, SOMETHING!  This is the goddamn future!!! 
Right now, I couldn't honestly recommend the game to anyone.  I'm no slouch when it comes to first person shooters.  I know my skill level, and I know that I fucking destroy people online.  I may just need time to learn the maps (which started coming around by the third and fourth time I played some of the maps last night), but there's a lot more that I need to learn before I can give a final analysis on this stuff.  I'll probably dig into the single player sometime soon as well, but who knows?