Saturday, April 16, 2011

WWE All-Stars

Wrestling video games were a large portion of my childhood gameplaying. The ability to actually punch, kick, and strike your opponents with weapons made the sport appear much more real. As graphics became better, wrestlers looked increasingly realistic and would bleed if you repetitively struck them in one area for too long. Working towards specials and recalling button combinations to perform these moves added to the excitement. Playing tag team matches with friends led to nonstop trashtalking. This new effort by THQ, the developers of the game, just doesn't feel right to me. WWE All-Stars does to wrestling what Blitz did to professional football. The over-the-top stunts and general gameplay make the game so fake that it almost feels unplayable. My frustration is that professional wrestling has a chance to show more realistic gameplay, but it decides to make the sport a ridiculous spectacle that does not do the sport justice. As much as I love seeing retired old-school wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior, but this abomination of a game makes these characters look hokey. Dear WWE/THQ, can you please return to more realistic wresting in your gameplay. You can't rely on storylines to promote your sales. Thanks.

Here is the IGN review of the game.


  1. With all of the technological capabilities that game makers posses, it is a shame to see it not used realistically. The idea of playing any wrestler is of course intriguing but having it reduced to silly animations is a low blow to wrestling. It basically brings out the worst in WWE instead of showcasing what the organization has become.

  2. On the contrary, I understand you probably want "realistic" WWE gameplay, but I think this is an attempt to show what the WWE really is about. It's about the excess and celebration and the narrative. I think there are already enough wrestling and fighting games out there that have realistic gameplay.

  3. I'm guessing it's a deliberate artistic choice that the graphics aren't doing the sport justice. Maybe the game developers are trying to keep pro wrestling on the cartoonish side of the Uncanny Valley. As Kevin pointed out, WWE is all about narrative and spectacle. Even real pro wrestlers seem like painted, scripted cartoon characters when they come out to speak. Therein lies the appeal of pro wrestling: it is squarely in the realm of fantasy.


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