WWE All-Stars

  • Release: March 29, 2011
  • Developer: THQ
  • Publisher: THQ
  • Genre: Fighting

No Iron Sheik? No Mean Gene Okerlund? This Shall Not Stand!

WWE All-Stars on PSP… maybe not for me? True, it might be for you…
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: April 11, 2011
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When WWE All-Stars showed up at the office, resident Sports Guru Scott Rogers took the PS3 version for a spin around the squared circle and gave it a pretty positive review. No one really jumped to give the PSP version a shot, and after what I assume was some sort of shady back room dealings in a cigar smoke filled closet, the higher-ups at TPS decided that it was up to me to put it through its paces. At first I wasn't sure I was the best choice, since I abandoned the "sport" post-puberty, which in my case means I missed the career arcs of luminaries like John Cena, The Rock, HHH and even Stone Cold Steve Austin. When I paid attention, we still had Piper's Pit, Superfly Snooka, and Sgt. Slaughter defending our freedom against the evils of The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. So I thought I might be lost with THQ's latest iteration, but since they brought back so many old favorites, I was more at home than I thought I would be.

Real rasslin' fans should definitely check out Scott's PS3 review first, because the games are quite similar and he knows more about People's Elbows and Frogsplats than I could ever hope to learn, so he is way more qualified to tell you how that stuff translates. Wrestling games peaked for me with the venerable NES classic Pro Wrestling (Star Man for life) and the newer entries have devolved into technical simulations that sucked all the life and fun out of Vince McMahon's entertainment vehicle for me. Thankfully, the folks at THQ remembered wrestling is goofy action first and foremost, and WWE All-Stars turns back the clock to a time when games were simpler and you didn't have to study movelists for hours learning the correct counter to CM Punk's grapples. The result is a game that is decidedly more for "the people" than past titles.

The first thing you'll likely notice is just how colorful and cartoony the game is. The graphics aren't as sharp as its PS3 big brother of course, but they are still bright and practically burst off the screen. The wrestlers themselves are more like caricatures, with their upper torsos impossibly huge tapering off to trim waists that would make Chun-Li proud. Tons of work has also gone into the presentation, with plenty of over-the-top introductions for the wrestlers, and hilarious trash-talk segments. We even get some archive footage of the older All-Stars. Much like the real-life version, these parts are often the best part of any given match.

All-Stars offers up the standard exhibition mode where you can pick any wrestlers you want (tag teams allowed too) and any style of match (why you don't always want a cage match, I don't know) and go to town simulating the homo-eroticism of putting your hands all over another sweaty guy and trying to make him your "bitch" and beg for mercy. There are also three "Path of Champions" ladders where you take on a series of 10 matches against one or two opponents, culminating in a final match against one of the champions (Undertaker, Randy Orton or some tag team called DX), but those don't offer much beyond some crazy Paul Bearer moments.
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