Having played WWE All Stars on the Xbox 360 I expected this version on the Wii to be just as much fun, especially since fun is what the Wii is known for above all else, but I was left feeling disappointed. Some aspects such as basic controls and single-player modes are similar to the Xbox 360 version but the game is let down in all other areas.
The game has Exhibition matches plus two main single-player modes: Path of Champions and Fantasy Warfare. The Path of Champions mode has three stories: World Heavyweight Champion path which ends in a showdown with The Undertaker, WWE Champion path in which you'll prove yourself against Randy Orton, and the WWE Tag-Team Champions path in which you'll work your way up to a battle with HBK and HHH as D-Generation X. Fantasy Warfare has a variety matches between wrestling legends and current superstars with a fictional title on the line, for example: Hulk Hogan vs John Cena for "Biggest Superstar", Steve Austin vs CM Punk for "Superior Lifestyle", Mr. Perfect vs The Miz for "Perfectly Awesome", and The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels for "Mr. Wrestlemania". These Fantasy Warfare matches could be quite boring, and no better than regular exhibition matches, but the developers have managed to avoid this. Each fight has a cleverly edited promo using a selection of real clips of both wrestlers in action. By the time each match began, after watching the entertaining promo, I was actually quite excited for the battle ahead.
As well as regular strikes and slams there are powerful signature moves at your disposal which can see your wrestler leaping into the air with an opponent before slamming them into the mat with great style. Successful strikes and grapples fill a momentum bar which is split into three sections. When each section of the bar is filled you're able to attempt a signature move. There is also a Finisher Meter and when this is filled, and the opponent's energy is low, you'll be able to pull off an explosive finishing move - but not right away. You must first activate a taunt and it's only when the buttons are pressed a second time, as long as the opponent is in range and doesn't break up the move with an attack of their own, that the finisher is activated. The opponents rarely stay on the mat very long which makes it difficult to taunt them and prepare yourself to perform the finisher move by the time they get back to their feet. This can be frustrating; attacking at the wrong moment may result in losing momentum and it can be difficult to pull things back in your favour when the opponent has the upper hand but the frustration is balanced by the excitement at stopping an opponent from doing the same to you.
The graphics are adequate for a Wii title and the cartoon wrestlers, with their exaggerated muscles and overall size, fits more easily with Nintendo's console than the PS3 or Xbox 360. Having said that the animations are much jerkier on the Wii and the movement of wrestlers, which already feels more sluggish than the Xbox 360 version, can suffer from slow-down and this can be frustrating. Sound is also a problem with the crowd feeling eerily lifeless, strikes and slams sounding flat, and some audio, such as the referee giving a three-count, sometimes not working at all. Also, the commentary from Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, which is fine for the most part, can sometimes jump between audio tracks and this makes it seem as though the pair are stuttering.
When it comes to multiplayer; Wii owners have once again been short-changed with only local multiplayer available to them. I find the omission of an online multiplayer mode baffling. Wii owners understand this game can't compete with the version on Xbox 360 and PS3 when it comes to graphics and sound, given the obvious hardware differences, but not having the option to play with friends who aren't sitting next to them seems like a slap in the face.