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WWE All Stars (Wii) Review

Review for WWE All Stars on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

WWE Smackdown VS Raw has been THQ’s flagship wrestling franchise since the days of PlayStation, entertaining many fans with its ever-expanding career modes that replicate the TV experience. This year, as well as the usual Smackdown VS Raw release, THQ have deviated from their usual approach by enlisting the services of its San Diego development team to produce a more arcade-like title in WWE All Stars. Does it capture the atmosphere as well as Yuke’s’ longstanding series, though?

WWE All Stars gathers together 30 superstars, old and new, into a fantasy roster that anybody with a passing interest in the wrestling world can appreciate. The Rock, Hulk Hogan and the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage stand face-to-face with current fan favourites John Cena, Rey Mysterio, The Miz and more, to do battle to determine the greatest fighters in the history of sports entertainment.

To make the multiple generations of wrestlers fit together fairly snugly, THQ San Diego have adopted a stylised approach, beefing up the characters into caricatures of themselves. While the muscle men are noticeably larger than their Smackdown VS Raw counterparts, the Wii edition of WWE All Stars appears to lag behind the HD releases of the game on this front; they’re noticeably more cartoony on the HD systems, which is a real shame considering that Wii handles stylised titles far better than realistic ones. In addition, WWE All Stars surprisingly doesn’t seem to output in 480p, instead broadcasting a slighty blurry 576i image; unacceptable in an age of HDTVs that Wii already struggles with, and especially when a title such as Smackdown VS Raw 2009 was EDTV compatible.

Screenshot for WWE All Stars on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The audio suffers more than the visuals, however. The music and commentary is of good quality, despite Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler’s babblings being repeated a maddening amount, but the sound effects are abysmal, compressed and quietened to the point that it’s a wonder they’re even there at all. The various attacks, bangs and grunts all sound terribly weak and don’t scale to match the power levels of each attack, lacking the necessary punch that usually helps to make battering virtual wrestlers such a joy, while signature moves do not receive the crushing sounds that they deserve. The ring announcer is convincing when introducing wrestlers at the beginning of a bout, but strangely goes all robotic when a match is won, with awkward speech that does not fit the mood of the occasion - and pin counts aren’t even spoken aloud.

The fantastic motion control support of previous Wii Smackdown VS Raw titles has sadly been removed for WWE All Stars, with all attacks executed through buttons. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination is usable, but the best play is to be found with the Classic Controller. The controls remain responsive whether you’re grappling, taunting or hurling yourself from a turnbuckle 20 feet into the air across the squared circle. Yes, 20 feet - for not only are the characters meant to be OTT, but also the in-ring action. Slow motion interrupts proceedings when signature moves are unleashed; characters picking one another up, leaping into the air and smashing each other down to devastating, and occasionally hilarious, effect.

Screenshot for WWE All Stars on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The gameplay speed doesn’t always mesh with the madcap moves, though, and the presentation foibles dull the effect. Wii’s WWE All Stars feels lifeless in comparison to the HD editions, the less cartoonish visuals, static camera and badly mixed sound effects combining to undermine a key part of the game’s intended appeal, whereas the Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 versions’ moves shake the screen near constantly, with signature moves punctuated by dramatic camera angles, blur effects and desaturated colour. There’s definitely a sense that more could have been done to improve these sections on Wii, and other oversights, such as characters not automatically switching targets to the beefcake that has just hit them, make gameplay slightly clumsier than it ought to be.

Though the story modes essentially boil down to gauntlets of exhibition matches that are hampered by undesirable loading times, they do bring to the table some brilliant cutscenes and FMV sequences. Path of Champions challenges players to battle through ten matches to face either Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, DX Generation to settle the debate of who is the greatest tag team ever, or The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship, the latter being particularly enjoyable with amusing Paul Bearer-laden promos interspersed between matches.

Screenshot for WWE All Stars on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Fantasy Warfare is where WWE All Stars’ greatest enjoyments are to be found, however, taking the story trailers to a new level. Past and present superstars are pitted against each other to determine the greatest wrestler of all time in a number of categories - Big Show and Andre the Giant compete for best big man, Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero lock up to decide whose aerobatic prowess wins out, etc.. Others ignore physical attributes and focus on the wrestlers’ personas, such as CM Punk promoting clean living against Stone Cold Steve Austin’s beer-fuelled lifestyle. All, however, are introduced with hype videos, similar to the ones you would find before a big match on a WWE Pay-Per-View, which have been put together meticulously from archive footage, giving the impression that feuds are real and have been going on for a long time prior to the match-up, despite some of the wrestlers never coming anywhere near each other in the ring in actuality. The care put into building these video packages is exceptional, which is why it’s a shame to find that the matches are more of the same - and there are no post-match cutscenes of similar styles to conclude the ‘feuds’.

If the included superstars aren’t enough for you, the traditional Create A Wrestler feature makes a comeback, allowing you to easily make whatever freaks come to mind. Disappointingly, there’s no option to create custom movesets; you can choose the moves of an existing superstar and combine it with any finisher, but you cannot fine tune your character’s attacks to your exact liking, which removes a great deal of the point.

Screenshot for WWE All Stars on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

The controls are responsive and the story modes fun, though there are not a huge number of match types and what is there feels rough around the edges.

Graphics

The visuals are solid, but shockingly the game does not output in 480p, and the lessened cartoon style and effects present in the HD editions makes the OTT gameplay feel less effective.

Sound

Music is fine, commentary is fine yet repetitive, but the sound effects are muffled and poor. Signature moves are not signalled properly with audio, and the ring announcing flicks between the good, the bad and the non-existent.

Value

Four campaigns to play through ensure that there’s plenty of game to get through. No online modes, however.

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Mediocre

About this score

Presentation troubles can usually be ignored if the gameplay is there, but unfortunately presentation is a big part of what WWE All Stars was supposed to be all about - over the top, arcade gameplay. Without the visual effects of its HD brothers, and with poor sound effects that do nothing to emphasise the action, WWE All Stars Wii feels like a shell of what it should be despite an array of interesting story modes and a wide-appealing roster.

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24.05.2011

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Developer

Telltale

Publisher

THQ

Genre

Sport

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (6 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

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WWE
It's very strong~

girl season 4 DVD
I met your mother season 6 dvd

Has there been a decent wrestling game since No Mercy? It's really disappointing having to blow the dust off the N64 just to get my grapple on.

Monkfish said:
Has there been a decent wrestling game since No Mercy? It's really disappointing having to blow the dust off the N64 just to get my grapple on.

Day of Reckoning / DoR 2 were good on GameCube, and I do think the Smackdown VS Raw efforts on Wii have been alright...but I agree really, I loved No Mercy.

ok um don't get me wrong but lego games are not my cup of tea now talk some real games games like Dead or alive Dimensions which is an awsome game I just got it yester day at game stop and I traded in so many games I only had to pay 49 cents thats right I only payed for 49 cent fot a brand copy of dead of alive Dimensions and I can't wait for Resident evil to come out I already preoder at gamestop it too will be awsome if you own a nintedo 3ds you should look into getting dead or alive trust it is so worth it.

captxena said:
ok um don't get me wrong but lego games are not my cup of tea now talk some real games games like Dead or alive Dimensions which is an awsome game I just got it yester day at game stop and I traded in so many games I only had to pay 49 cents thats right I only payed for 49 cent fot a brand copy of dead of alive Dimensions and I can't wait for Resident evil to come out I already preoder at gamestop it too will be awsome if you own a nintedo 3ds you should look into getting dead or alive trust it is so worth it.

Wrong topic buddy.

Also, a wrestling game with a bad review? I didn't see that coming *rolls eyes*

SINCE 06
Staff Member

It does seem like when we post on this, it comes up as Lego Pirates on the site feed.

Anyway, the last Wrestling game I played was Day of Reckoning 2 on the GC, and since them and SVsR on the PS2, there hasn't been any great wrestling games, so I'm not really surprised by the score.

Stuart Lawrence
Follow Me on twitter :: @Stulaw90 || My Youtube || Backloggery
NNID: Stulaw

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