Note: Backtrack articles only include our ‘fun level’ factor while playing an old game. It is not a review, and is meant to be similar to a person-to-person conversation. These articles may contain spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Years back I remember being a huge Pro Wrestling fan, and I also recall playing WrestleMania 2000 back in 1999, as well as No Mercy in 2000, both on the Nintendo 64. The days where wrestling games were easy enough to enjoy, you had two grapples, and two striking buttons, and the rest was for moving and taunting. This was the time before they decided to switch the game style over to your typical sports game, where it’s the same thing yearly with a few minor changes here and there. Not only that but the controls started getting difficult, with combinations of buttons to do certain moves, with some form of realism being tossed in there as well.
The beauty of Pro Wrestling games, or just WWE in general is how overly dramatic things go. Story lines matter, sure but its all about how much fun you have playing the game. A fun that has since been lost in my eyes with the yearly releases of the Smack Down vs Raw. To my surprise though, 2011 came through with a game so far from my radar as I have since lost my interest in the world of World Wrestling Entertainment, but this WWE All-Stars for some odd reason seemed like a must buy. I saw a few trailers and saw how over the top and exaggerated the game really was, it didn’t take itself so seriously like the others. Instantly went out and purchased it, only to find out that the game was quite possibly the portal to my inner child.
I could easily see myself playing this game at an arcade, smoking through quarters until getting the title! There are only two main game modes, the Path of Champions, where you pick a wrestler and work your way up the ladder to get the title. The next is the Fantasy Warfare where the matches are pre-set between a Superstar and a Legend. For the most part they are both similar stars who have proven something within the WWE. One of my favorites had to be The Big Show vs Andre The Giant, imagine this?! Crazy! Over all though it’s a simple game, and most fun is had when playing against your friends![/tab]
Mixing current day superstars with the legends was awesome. Visualizing what could have happened in a fight between Edge and the Superfly himself, Jimmy Snuka. Putting them in a steel cage, and performing some of the craziest over the top moves and flips just brings you back to playing with action figures. Sure there are some stars there that I have no idea who they are but the great thing about the game, at least while playing Fantasy Warfare is that they play a video prior to the fight showing what accomplishments both of the contenders have done. [/tab]
What A Feeling!
The great thing about this game is how overly exaggerated everything is. Playing the game made me realize why this game worked for me, the fact that the superstars themselves looked like their action figures. What I mean by this is that they are so huge! I recall one day long ago walking into a Toys R Us and walking past the wall full of WWE Action Figures and seeing just how over the top the toys have gotten, but it made it funny. WWE All-Stars feels like a virtual version of that. The ring and all of its counterparts felt so true to how I felt when playing with the toys back in the day. Each of the moves performed were over the top, I saw myself spinning the two action figures in the air to do an ultimate 720 powerbomb, and that’s exactly what I got to relive virtually within this game.