THQ recently released the first two packs of downloadable characters for WWE All Stars
on both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. I picked up both packs last week and have spent quite a bit of time with all of the included characters (three) added to the game. So, are the first additional characters for the game worth your time and money? Read on to find out…
There are two packs available on the respective marketplaces for the game; one pack is offered for free and will add the Honky Tonk Man to your roster while the other, called the American Dream Pack, costs $0.99 / 80 Microsoft points and adds two characters. The two grapplers featured in the pack are the American Dream Dusty Rhodes and his son, Dashing Cody Rhodes. Each character includes their own arsenal of moves, including their various signature and finishing maneuvers.
Interestingly, THQ has decided to put all three characters into the “brawler” class of fighters. While this makes sense for Honky Tonk Man and Dusty, I have a hard time understanding how and why Cody Rhodes was placed into this category. Most fans of the current product would probably agree with me that this isn’t exactly the best way to describe Cody. He would have fit better as either an acrobat or grappler, or perhaps a combination of the two. He doesn’t play like the other brawlers in the game and his classification seems off to me.
There are quite a few things that I like about all three characters. First off, each of them plays like their “own” unique superstar and don’t fell like anyone else in the game. I was really afraid that we were going to see “palette” swaps of the existing roster members but that isn’t the case. They are each unique and stand on their own. Each has their own individual entrance, licensed theme music (including Cody’s masterpiece of a song), and even crowd chants for their respective names. In terms of the actual character presence in the game, they all feel original and new, coming across as a true addition to the game.
On the downside of things, none of the characters include alternate attires. You get their main look(s) and that is it. I have played through the Path of Champions with all three and nothing additional was unlocked, including the ability to use their respective finish moves in the create a wrestler portion of the game. This design decision in particular completely baffles me; why on Earth wouldn’t the designers add the finishing moves to the roster of moves selectable when designing your own character? This would seem like a no-brainer to me, but they are not there.
While there are some gripes with the characters as I have mentioned, you have to consider the fact that they each stand on their own and cost (basically) $0.50 a piece (not counting Honky Tonk). As long as THQ sticks with this sort of price point, I cannot help but recommend them to anyone who is a fan of the game. No, they aren’t perfect, but they add even more variety to an already diverse game, which in the end, is a really good thing… as long as you can tolerate Dusty’s incessant dancing.