For years, wrestling fans have been wondering... what it? What if the Ultimate Warrior could square off against CM Punk? What if Andre the Giant could square off against Big Show? What if The Rock could square off against John Cena... oh wait. Either way, in any sport, fans will always wonder who was the better superstar in any different generation and the WWE has now given fans the opportunity to find out for themselves, with WWE All-Stars.
Instead of looking at the more serious side of wrestling, as highlighted in the Smackdown vs Raw franchise, All-Stars is all about the fun. The characters a really over-proportioned, even for wrestlers, and the moves they perform are ridiculously over the top.
To make the game more accessible, the move sets have all been toned down quite a lot. You can perform a weak/strong melee attack, and a weak/strong grapple move. You can perform a few variants by holding the buttons down for different amounts of time, but most of the time the supers will perform moves that they're known for performing.
Once you build up a bit of a head of steam, you can then perform trademark moves by holding down two buttons when you go in for a grapple. These obviously do more damage, but they're easier to evade too. All-Stars really promotes aggressive play, as the best way to stop an incoming grapple is to hit the person in the face. The more powerful the grapple, the longer wind-up it has, and of course, the bigger chance you have to counter it. When it gets to the realm of finishers, the grapple wind-up is pretty damn long. But it's done on purpose, as generally when a finisher lands, it's an instant victory via KO.
What this does, is create a pretty engaging experience. Sitting back and countering doesn't really work that well, although it is still a viable tactic.
Fights will often be very fast paced, with tons of hi-octane moves being thrown around. The counter system works pretty well too, it's very fluid. By tapping either L1 or R1, depending on the type of incoming move, you'll perform an instant counter - the opponent can then counter back. None of it feels annoying though, if you land one you'll feel great, but your opponent probably won't feel cheated.
In short, WWE All-Stars is a breath of fresh air for the WWE video game franchise. In all the years its been going, there's never really been anything like it - a game where you can pit legends against current superstars. There are also plenty of modes to try out, like Path of Champions and Fantasy Warfare - where you can go specialised matches to see who's the best of their generation. Of course, there's also a create-a-wrestler mode too, which allows for some hilarious combinations.
If you're a Wrestling fan, and have been for a while, there's no real reason why you shouldn't at least check this game out when it released on the 1st of April on PS3, Xbox 360, PSP and Wii. Mad Catz have even designed some specific controllers for it, so it must be a big deal!