All Stars is supposed to represent one of the biggest changes to WWE gaming this generation. Promising an over-the-top arcade fighting engine, THQ hopes that this latest effort will "bridge generations of WWE enthusiasts and casual followers alike." As a personal fan of Legends of Wrestlemania, All Stars' simplified controls and decades-spanning roster certainly piqued my interest. But is it successful? From what I've seen so far: almost.
"The greatest matches haven't happened until now," the game's marketing slogan enthusiastically promotes. Certainly, there's a lot of potential here, with The Rock, Andre the Giant and -- for the first time ever in a WWE game -- Randy Savage, standing amongst some of the announced characters. Perhaps more than other fighting games, this title will live and die by its roster. Right now, there are too many obvious omissions to count. In its current state, the roster is akin to a Smash Bros. without Mario.
Of course, THQ undoubtedly has a plethora of announcements to make but, like its current ensemble, I couldn't help but shake the feeling that the gameplay didn't quite live up to my expectations. The concept is terrific, and definitely the freshest take on the sport I've seen in a long time. All Stars throws away any semblance of reality, and chooses a wild combat system that features superhuman moves, and encourages juggling and air combos. Seeing the Macho Man do a spinning somersault onto Big Show as the entire background explodes into a colorful vignette? Magical. Unfortunately, these moments don't happen quite often enough.