I have just tried the demo. I had to cheat a bit to get it though, by making a new account, because only Gold members can get it.
I'm REALLY busy with writing my match, so I can't play a whole lot of it, but I tried it for one whole match.
I find the controls extremely easy. But the matches seem a little chaotic. This is both good and bad. It's very fun and satisfying, yet at the same time, it is basically button mashy and mindless. I can see most matches are going to come down to just mashing strike and grapple buttons until you win most matches easily in 2 minutes.
I have to confess i'm not seeing what they meant by "a deep system", when they said it was "simple, yet deep". Simple? Very yes. Deep, no. There's nothing deep about it. This is PURE arcade, and that may appeal to you, it may not.
I don't mind it so much. It's ridiculously easy, and the controls are about as deep as a pancake on a paved road, but I like it, anyway.
If you just want to get into a match, mash on the A.B,Y and X buttons fill up the meter, and press and hold down LB and RB, tear your opponent up, then you're in luck, because that's what the game really is. I see no strategy at all. But that's not the point of this game, and All-Stars knows it. All-Stars is meant to be "OH YEAH BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF THIS GUY THROW HIM IN THE AIR BODY SLAM OH YEAH!!!"
Mind you, i'm not really complaining about that at all, or viewing that as a disappointment or anything, as I think that's fully what they intended this game to be. A button masher. If you like button mashing, cool. There ya go.
The wrestler does really cool moves, I decimated Rey Mysterio with Warrior, and I really felt like I was beating the SHIT out of Rey. Satisfying for what it is.
He'd try and mount a pathetic assault, (as in get one or two hits of his own in) but I still tore him apart, mercilessly... and easily.
So, it's just a "get in there, beat shit out of opponent, get out" game, really. Don't expect anything more than that, and you'll like it.
The controls are as follows, by the way:
Left Stick - Move
Left Stick & RT - Run
X - Quick Strike
Y - Strong Strike
Quick Grab - A
Strong Grab - B
Charged Up Power Strike ---- Hold down the walk stick and hold down the Y button
Pin/Climb/Exit Ring/Do EVERYTHING else --- Left Trigger
Counters/Reversals --- Right Button, Left Button. Either one.
Signature Move --- X and A at the same time
Signature Move 2 --- Y and B at the same time
Finisher ---- Left Button and Right button at the same time.
And that's really about it.
Move around, hit buttons for attacks, hit two buttons together for special attacks, some reversing, and LT to do other actions. It's all you need to know, so this is a very friendly setting for new players.
You can pin if you want to, but really... beating opponents is pretty much automatic. Beat them up until the health bar goes down, hit finisher, you win.
I'll give them this, anyone can play this game, and I'm sure that what they are counting on is just this. A fun game that anyone looking on at home or work can join in and play.
And in the end, yeah I kinda like it.
Also, for those people on other boards, comments, and early previews comparing this to No Mercy, I can officially say "shut up.". Well... more accurately, I can say "This game is fucking NOTHING like No Mercy. IN THE SLIGHTEST. It's not even remotely the same in any way shape of form.
This game and that game are like Night and Day, and the people comparing the two on all these comments and sites and youtube, or whatever, just prove my theory all over again, that the people who still talk up No Mercy as being the best game ever today, don't even play it, and don't even remember anything about it. Nostalgia clouding people's memories.
This game really is simple, it's fun, and it's really like the NBA Jam of wrestling games. That's a much more apt game to compare this to. Of course, the same guy worked on this game that worked on that game.
NBA Jam was basically "run around the court pass the ball, do super logic defying slam dunks, break the backboard" and that's it. This game is just "move around, toss, punch, slam, beat the shit out of this guy and win." and that's it.
However, there's not much there to this game as a wrestling game besides that. Really not much at all. It feels a bit bare bones when you match is over in about 3 minutes, and if it wasn't for a Create-A-Wrestler, this game definitely would get old in about a week. I think the CAW, and the promise of DLC may keep this game around for a month or two.
So is it worth it to buy?
Well... I pre-ordered it. With the other match types, in the end, I think this is worth the $59. But just barely. So, yeah. Get it.
Based on the Demo, I LIKE this game. But i'm not sure, that after I buy it, how long I'll keep it. Maybe a few months.