After a week’s hiatus thanks to E3, the RipTen Rewind is back like a vertebrae. We like to keep things simple for the Rewind, under 25 bucks, at least a year old and the game must carry an average rating. After a week off I figured we need to amp things up a bit so why not choose a wrestling game? What is more over the top then some oily ‘roided up men acting out what some consider to be an actual competitive sport? I hope you’ve been eating your vitamins and saying your prayers, brother, because this week’s choice is THQ’s WWE All Stars for the PlayStation 3.

I do not believe anyone, myself included, comes to a wrestling title looking for a deep and engrossing story. We come to these games for the action, and WWE All Stars does provide. On the story side of things, Fantasy Warfare mode is probably the closest this title gets and I will get into that in a moment.

The single player game consists of 3 modes. Path of Champions, which has players assuming the role of one of three specific wrestlers to go for the gold and glory. Fantasy Warfare, which takes an old school wrestler like Hulk Hogan and pits him against a current super star like John Cena and Exhibition mode, which is standard fare for wrestling games and should require no additional explanation. Multiplayer and online options are included, but neither holds a candle to WWE’s yearly outing when it comes to options and modes.

These guys must have some really intense steroids.

Out of all the modes, Fantasy Warfare is easily the most interesting, and true fans will love it. As professional wrestling is one of my guilty pleasures, I have dreamed of match ups like Macho Man vs Shaemus. Thanks to WWE All Stars, we get to see a bunch of these matches. I also really loved the original footage introductions that helped build anticipation before the match.

The over-pumped cartoon style of the superstars takes a little bit getting used to. If you’re looking for realism, your search will continue past this game. Everything in this title is exaggerated just like professional wrestling itself. I do not need an immense amount of detail when the idea is to come off cartoon like. The graphics here are good and the colors pop, which will attract players young and old. All of my character’s animations were over the top, and as soon as you pull off your first finishing or signature move you will know what I mean. The action goes into slow-mo as my character, the Hulkster, went into a 5 second bit where he jumped 15 feet in the air and pulled off a leg drop that could level a building. Over the top and massively satisfying to pull off.

I wanted good old beat ’em up wrestling action akin of the 16 bit era, and WWE All Stars delivers. The controls are pretty simple, making this a pick up and play title for any type of gamer. Within minutes of starting a match I was pulling off massive finishers, and the competition was dropping like flies. The controls were a little wonky at times, and the counter system seemed off, but that was second to the fast paced action on screen. The game has an arcade feel that works very well. Even compared to the more recent UFC and WWE offerings this game is a no brainer for some quick fun solo or with friends.

You will feel that in the morning.

WWE All Stars has one of the coolest rosters a wrestling fan will ever see. You have newer superstars like Randy Orton and CM Punk mixed in with old school favorites like The Road Warriors and Big Boss Man. There are so many fun match ups to choose from that fans will be playing this title for some time to clear up the age old “who is better than who” argument.

The multiplayer and online modes are pretty weak when compared to current titles like WWE ’12, which has many different options. There are still some people online playing this title, but with the wonky counter system, matches can go one-sided pretty quickly. I do applaud THQ for releasing this without some type of an online pass required, but at the same time that might say they knew the online was sub par from the begining.

WWE All Stars is considered a success with a total of 1.1M sold across all platforms with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 claiming more than half the total. There was a 3DS release late in 2011 which brought the game into the 3D realm. The 3DS release carried a whopping 43 character roster and received good reviews from critics as one of the better handheld wrestling titles available. Our original full review for WWE All Stars can be found here.

The Big Show has a big punch.

So is this a bargain bin gem or great drink coaster…

+Awesome roster of old and new superstars.
+Fantasy Warfare mode will have wrestling fans cheering.
+Great arcade brawler for the current price.
+Cook cartoon look with over the top moves.
-Boring online and multi player modes.
-Wonky counter system.
-May lack realism for wrestling die hards.

As a wrestling fan, it’s easy to recommend this title at the awesome price of about 20 bucks. The massive roster, which includes downloadable superstars, is sure to keep fans playing until we see the next arcade wrestler released. Fans of deep customizable wrestling like WWE ’12 offers may walk away a little disappointed with this arcade style brawler. Know this game’s role, though, and you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised.