Get in the ring
The WWE has returned to consoles with its tongue firmly rooted in its cheek, complete with a goofy, action-figure sheen, a jammed roster of classic brawlers and a slew of hilarious canvas-crunching special moves from yesteryear.
The gritty realism and thumb-numbingly deep combo moves have now been eschewed in favour of a suitably more arcade approach. It works, and it works incredibly well. WWE All Stars reminds us of just how much fun it was to pick up and play a title like this back in the 16-bit gaming heyday.
Everything from the moves to the cartoonish character design is exaggerated, while the controls are smooth, simple and, more importantly, much more responsive than in past iffy iterations. As for the premise of All Stars, its simple: 30 something wrestlers including Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man Randy Savage and the legendary Andre the Giant duke it out in a variety of familiar gameplay modes. Thats all you need to know.
The only downside to the entire package is developer THQ San Diego's failure to provide a sufficiently deep tutorial. Sure, shallow it may be, but WWE All Stars is the most fun Empire has had at a wrestling game since the coin-pumping days of WWE Royal Rumble arcade.