By jakob187 5 Comments
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.