Impressions - WWE All-Stars (PSP)

WWE All-Stars, the latest wrestling game by THQ. The difference between All-Stars when compared to the WWE Smackdown vs. Raw series is that All-Stars takes a more arcade style approach with its exagerrated character models and over the top finishing moves.

Now in hindsight it may look all fancy and flashy but from what I've played on the PSP version this game is horrible. The graphics are not as horrible as I initially thought from seeing screenshots and videos of it so I have no issue with that. What I do have issues with is everything else.

The controls feel horrible, not to the point of being unplayable but are still very stiff and unresponsive. I can see the point of having some moves such as strong strike attacks take a while to wind up but trying to run in this game or even moving around is very unresponsive. Walking is very slow and you run by holding down the R button but it takes a second before the move and when they do move, its like watching a drunk hamster trying to escape your hand by running around in his cage hitting everything else in the process.

Combat isn't good either, the feed back when you hit your opponent doesn't feel like its even there. The Smackdown vs. Raw series may still have a lot of clipping issues but when you punch someone in the face, you know you punched him, It may not be the most solid feed back in terms of video game violence but at the very least the soundeffect nails it. The grappling isn't so bad cause when they slam an opponent in the ground its fast and hard though trying to pull off a grapple move is a different story.

The flashy high air finishing moves aren't as impressive as they wanted it to be. Sure the colored motion trails are there and it does go into slow motion but it gets really old reall fast. One really annoying thing that bothers me in the game, aside from fighting the controls and the opponent at the same time, is the soundeffect of the canvas matt. It sounds like something off a PSX game or even a SNES game. They could've cheaped out and used the Smackdown vs. Raw matt soundeffects but no, they had to go with an old school artificial canvas soundeffect that rattles with ever damn step you take.

The PSP version does come with a create-a-wrestler mode which is decent but doesn't have nearly enough customization options as Smackdown vs. Raw. Aside from making a wrestler that look like who ever you what him to be, half of the fun was giving him a unique moveset. In All-Stars, you just pick who his base character will be and then select a finisher. Not fun at all.

I don't know if the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions suffer from the same problems as the PSP one but I think that the PSP version is a port of the PS2 and Wii version. Imagine playing this bad game... with bad motion controls! O_O

Bottom line is, stay away from this game. If you really want to try it, maybe theres a demo out there that you can play or maybe a friend of yours already has the game. Last option would be getting a 2nd hand copy but do not buy this game brand new.

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