Review by M A X_

Reviewed: 12/30/02 | Updated: 12/30/02

A Flawed but Fun Wrestling Game

I have always thought that a wrestling game featuring the greatest wrestlers in history would be a great idea & when acclaim announced that it was making legends of wrestling, the only reason I wasn’t really excited was because I didn’t own a Next-Gen console but once I finally got a Gamecube I was really excited. However, once I rented the game I felt that it wasn’t that great & seriously lacked game modes. Once I heard about Legends of Wrestling 2, I decided to give it another chance since I liked the gameplay engine a lot & I am very glad that I did.

Gameplay:

Controls / Overall Gameplay:
I’ll state this right off the start. I love the grappling engine in this game. For those who don’t know, LOW2 uses an ISP (Intermediate Start Position) grapple system. What that means is when you get your opponent in a grapple you must use the 4 buttons (A,B,X & Y) to choose one of 4 positions (like head between legs or belly to belly) & then from the position you choose one of 4 moves. The main reason that I really like this system is because it allows you to have 32 grapple moves for each wrestler (that includes back grapples), which gives you a lot of move variety. The other thing I like about this engine is the reversal system. One of the big problems that people had with LOW1 was that it was too easy to reverse moves & that chains of reversals would go on for a long time. One of the big improvements I noticed in LOW2 was that after about 2 reversals, it gets very hard to reverse moves, which limits reversals to only 2 or 3. Overall, there are a few flaws & glitches but it is greatly improved from LOW1.

Score: 9/10

Game Modes:
Probably the biggest improvement in LOW2 was the addition of a lot of new game modes, I’ll outline them below (with the exception of VS & Tag Team since they are just basic matches).

3 Way & 4 Way Dances:
These are pretty simple match modes where 3 or 4 people fight to be the first one to score a pinfall or a submission. These were both in LOW1 and haven’t really been changed with the exception of now you can choose if they are normal or elimination style.

Score: 9/10(The score is only so high because you can choose between elimination and normal which isn’t something that most wrestling games allow you to do.)

Ladder Match:
This is one of the matches that I was really interested in seeing how they would pull it off & after playing a couple of matches, all I can say is that they really screwed the ladder match up. I’ll list my reasons:

1) The lowering of the bag/belt – When I first heard that they were going to make it so you had to wait for the bag to where you could reach it, I thought it was a good idea but there is one major problem. The problem is when the camera cuts away to show the bag/belt lowering, the computer is still beating on you. I think that it was a great idea but it wasn’t executed the proper way.

2) Tag Team, 3 Way & 4 Way Ladder Matches – There are none. It’s that simple.

3)The Complicated Buttons – I’ll say this right off the start, I don’t find them complicated but I tried to explain to someone else that you press Z to pick up the ladder, Y to set it up, L to climb it, X to grab the belt then tap A to pull it down & I just confused the crap out of him.

4) The Ladder – This is the BIGGEST thing that they screwed up in LOW2. The huge problem that I have is that only 1 person can climb the ladder at once! Due to that fact, gone are the days of slugfests at the top of the ladder and suplexes off of the top of the ladder. For me this was easily the most disappointing thing in the game & it along with the other things listed above makes this mode rather boring.

Score: 5/10

Cage Match:
In my opinion (which is what this whole review is) this is easily the best match in the game. After years of companies putting cage matches in wrestling games, FINALLY the cage door is interactive. I have been waiting for years to be able to use the cage door to exit & now I can. The other good thing is that you can’t just walk out the cage door (once you get it open by pounding on it), you have to tap A before you can leave. This gives your opponent a chance to pull you back in. I only have 2 problems.

1) The Cage is Too Tall – I tried to go to the top and do a splash (I was Jimmy Snuka) & I never could keep my opponent down long enough to get up there.

2) It is Impossible to Stop Someone who is Going Over the Top – Because they are climbing down the other side while they are taping A. This complaint can also be used as a strategy while playing the game.

Aside from those things, the cage match in LOW2 is great.

Score: 8/10

3 Way & 4 Way Tag Team Matches:
These matches are basically just 3 & 4 way matches except that everyone has a tag team partner. These are great fun & even though I like it, I find it odd that when you pick an elimination match, it is single elimination. I like that because it gives you a second opportunity if one of your wrestlers gets eliminated.

Score: 8/10

6 & 8 Man Tag Team Matches:
These are also very fun matches & I imagine they would be great with 3 or 4 people. The basic premise is that you are on a team with 2 or 3 other partners. I am very glad that they included these matches but it brings me to my big question…..

Score: 8/10

Battle Royal
This is another disappointing mode. Not because it isn’t fun & not because it isn’t executed well. The reason it’s disappointing is because for some strange reason you can only have 4 guys in the ring! I wouldn’t normally be that disappointed since I’ve gotten used to only 4 guys in matches like this but they have 4 other matches that have more then 4 guys so I think they could have put at least 6 guys in a battle royal. As far as the actual match goes, it is quite good. You can throw an opponent over the top rope any time you want & then you must kick him off the apron or they will slide back in. The other thing that was done really well in this mode is that the energy was taken into account when you try to throw someone out. If you have high energy, you will get right back in, giving your opponent almost no time to kick you but if you have low energy, you will be on the apron for a lot longer which results in almost guaranteed elimination. Overall, with the exception of only having 4 guys in the battle royal, it is still a fun mode that was really well done by acclaim.

Score: 7/10

Career Mode:
The other thing that accliam did very well is the career mode. In the LOW2 career mode, you start by choosing which of the 5 U.S. territories you want to wrestle for & then you pick which storyline you are going to have for that region (by stopping a moving box). Once in the region, you have to gain popularity by raising the excitement of your matches & once you have over 100% popularity, you get a title shot. After you win the title, you defend it once & then move onto another region. Overall, I think that the career mode in LOW2 is great but the only real improvement is the storylines, which are pretty good.

Score: 8/10

Create A Legend & Create A Stencil:

Create A Legend:
This mode is probably the biggest improvement over LOW1. There are more choices & 37 pages of moves spread out into different categories. Overall, this is far form perfect but at least it isn’t WWF Attitude where I had to pick from 20 different noses.

Score: 7/10

Create A Stencil:
Oh, Wait. This is the Gamecube version. No Create A Stencil.

Score: 0/10

Theatre Mode:

Career Ending Movies:
I haven’t made it through a career mode yet so I can’t comment on this mode.

Score: N/A

Concept Art:
I’m still not sure why this was included. It is basically just a whole bunch of pictures. The only thing that I’ve purchased is the Andre the Giant sketch & while it is a nice sketch, it doesn’t really belong in the game.

Score: 7/10

Interviews:
Don’t believe your instruction book, There are NO interviews in the Gamecube version of Legend of Wrestling 2.

Score: 0/10

Overall Gameplay Score: 8/10

Graphics & Sound:

Graphics:
I know that a lot of people don’t like the unrealistic graphics in LOW2 but I think they are great. The arenas also look great & so does the blood that gets on the ring mat. The only real problem I have with the graphics is the crowd. They are as flat as a piece of paper.

Score: 7/10

Sound:
The crowd sounds great with cheering or booing depending on who is winning but the rest is nothing special. The background music, as much as I like the songs, doesn’t fit at all & the sound effects are OK. The other good things are the entrance themes. I’m not going to come on here & gripe about the wrestlers not having there real music because I understand that WWE owns most of those songs. The only authentic music that I recognize is Hulk Hogan & Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s themes from WCW. Most of the other themes are done well to fit the wrestler’s gimmicks. My only complaint is that they don’t have any original entrance themes for created legends.

Score: 7/10

Overall Sound/Graphics Score: 7/10

Replayability:
This game has great replayability with a lot of different matches, things to unlock & career storylines.

Replayability Score: 8/10

To Buy or To Rent:
If you liked Legends of Wrestling 1 – Buy Now!

If you didn’t like LOW1 – Rent or Avoid.

If you never played LOW1 – Give it at Least a Rental.

Overall Score: 8/10

This is a great wrestling game & is a great improvement over the other Gamecube wrestling game. If you are looking for a wrestling game, I don’t really think that you could go wrong with Legends of Wrestling 2 but I would still only advise a rental since it is not for everyone.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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