Review by jasongm
Reviewed: 01/01/03 | Updated: 01/01/03
A great game from wrestlings past!
It looks like ACCLAIM almost cleaned up its act with its reworked WARZONE/ATTITUDE engine & delivered us a somewhat hybrid of No Mercy/Smackdown/Warzone style of gameplay!
The gameplay isnt fantastic, but its very good & addicting. I'll get to it more later.
Im sure you read this several times on other peoples reviews but here goes:
More than 60+ legendary athletes that dominated the squared circle back when they were in there Prime!
Tragically several of these great wrestlers passed away due to sickness, tragic accidents, & drug use, some of them even during there Prime (r.i.p Owen).
ACCLAIM did a great job in hounoring them at the end of the credits with a minute of silence as the ring bell tolls for the dearly departed. Nice touch.
That aside; We still have a wrestling game that plays well & lacks certain content for the GCN version, now lets get started with the scores.. Brrroothhheerr!
Its not the best in any wrestling game, but it does have a certain quality to it. The only draw back are the animated fans at ring side which look like 2d sprites on an N64 game. The game's graphics looks like it was made for an N64 title, but it seems to shine alot better than an outdated console.
The blood, wrestler shadows, & wrestling ring are really well made, The wrestlers themselves have a certain plastic figure look to them which seems more improved than the first game of the series. The Steel cage is to BIG, The ladder seems ok.
The game has a dark atmosphere look & feel towards it, similar to the old days when wrestling was fun & the wrestlers were bigger than life (Not seen in todays wrestling or videogames, which is sad).
Over all the graphics could use some more touch ups mainly the crowd & wrestler animation sequences. So it gets a 7/10 in my view.
The introductions are really well done, The announcer will say the wrestlers name, nickname, lastname, from where they come from & even there weight! ACCLAIM has a huge list of names which you can mix & match using the Create a Legend feature, but more on that later.
In game sounds are well done from the slam on the mat to the audience booing or cheering your wrestler on. The crowd gets really pumped during how well you do in the ring & you'll occasionally hear near by fans talk or shout.
The in game music when wrestling aint to bad, but you'll likely turn it off because it gets repetitive from time to time, the downside though when you turn it off you also turn off the referees voice & intro music. ACCLAIM could of seperated the two but no, maybe in the next sequel.
Over all the games sound goes down a couple notches because of that, it gets an 8/10.
As mentioned in the introduction, Its a hybrid of other games but with different gameplay mechanics unseen in any wrestling game before it. Personally I would prefer if ACCLAIM would ditch the Warzone/Attitude arcade style energy bar & add something similar to Fire Pro or *Virtual Pro Wrestling (* No Mercy style for some of you who dont know what ''VPW'' means).
The Career mode is fun, but to long & gets somewhat repetitive as you have to please the audience all the time & have to do well with the ISP system if not after the match it will let you know what the fans thought on your ISP usuage, ref bumps, etc..
Your popularity slowly grows as you go from different territories winning regional titles until you make it to the big leagues & eventually the World title!
You'll eventually unlock 2 titles (The U.S. belt & World belt) once you complete the career mode. This makes for great exhibition title matches for multiplayer or solo fun! Sadly champions dont come out with there belts around there waists (Another next gen wrestling game without that option...), this was probably due to time constraints etc..
The Tag team titles can also be unlocked using the huge tag team tournament mode. Which is also fun & you can have Survivor series type matches to! Great fun for multiplayer mayhem!
The reversal/counter system is the best I've ever seen in a wrestling game!
That alone gives this game some great technical feats; Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels or Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit counter rolling german suplex reversal bonanza!
New modes include a Steel Cage & ladder matches which is really fun & strategic compared to THQ's series. Tons of replay here!
The gambling mode for wrestlers or CAL parts is pointless considering there are hardly anything to unlock except for a few legends & several CAL parts. Its also quite frustrating when you loose 90 % of the time. I prefer the old tried & true unlock system once you free them in career mode! Its not bad, adds little replay value.
Another down side is weight detection, You'd think after all these years developers would of added more replay by adding weight issues similar to games like No Mercy or Fire Pro, really now.. Andre the Giant doesnt seem to be a big threat because of this, King Kong Bundy should just be known as Pee Wee Bundy, Jimmy Hart gave Bundy a powerbomb just the other day when playing the game!
Hopefully Acclaims new Austin Texas studio's which will now handle the developement of LOW will see to this & maybe fix out some bugs, control issues, & gameplay.
Speaking of making improvements ...
The Create a Legend: 7/10
The biggest downside for the first Legends Of Wrestling for the Gamecube was the missing ''CREATE A STENCIL'' mode to make & add masks, tattoos, & clothing!
Sadly ACCLAIM miraculously repeated the same thing for its GCN sequel even after many fans were outraged & gave ACCLAIM a piece of there thoughts on this & hoped it wasnt taken out for the sequel... ACCLAIM never listened to the peeved off fans & went & butchered a great piece of the CAL feature.
Nobody knows why this was taken out (lack of space maybe on the GCN mini disc or memory cards maybe...), still they could of mentioned this on there web site. Heres hoping LOW 3 will finally add the feature & make fans happy with ACCLAIM once again.
The CAL features some decent heads & faces to choose from, but they could of added more. You can still manage to make a great Kurt Angle CAL with back tattoo using some tricks with the art-tattoo section of the creation process. Ive also seen some great Ric Flair & Chris Benoit taunts & moves!
You can even create female wrestlers to in the game! Man, ACCLAIM really did well with the female models & clothing to! *aHem*
Just like No Mercy, wrestlers can have a huge assortment of moves. All though theres not to many choices in strikes, turnbuckle, or ground moves. ISP also lacks certain choices. LOW 2 lacks in choices when it comes to moves, But you will see the obvious Stunner, Rock Bottom, Pedigree, Angle Slam, Choke slams, & even X Factor!
Brock Lesnars F-5 didnt seem to make the cut along with alot of women moves & many mexican & japanese style lucre libre wrestling moves! Still it could of been a more solid game with many more moves if ACCLAIM was aiming at a younger audience. But its not bad. Maybe next year.
As mentioned above the announcer can say a whole ton of wrestling names & nicknames! Its up to you to mix & match names together or create your own! I managed to create Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Steve Austin, & Rocky Maivia (Dwayne Johnson wasnt in wierd..).
The Create a Stable sucks because you cant add CAL's in your stables. I have no idea why it wasnt made that way either. & there are no Original Theme Musics for your created grappler either, ACCLAIM was known for there Original theme music's in the past, but not so in LOW 2.
Since I didnt complete the career mode I have no idea if your created jobber can win titles in exhibition matches. It would be a let down if you can't with the created wrestlers. You can save up to 12 created jobbers on 1 memory card 59, I assume you can do alot more with more memory cards making it 24 if you have 2 memory cards as an example.
Game Overall: 8/10
Dont let the absence of the create a stencil bother you to much as the special interviews & bonus movies were taken out for the GCN also (again must be the lack of compression on the mini disc or some other problem), aside from the minor problems & issues Legends Of Wrestling 2 is the best wrestling game for the Gamecube at the moment with a cast of over 60 + legendary stars & addictive gameplay you'll enjoy this game for the multi player aspect or solo career modes!
My opinion its worth the purchase just for the legendary wrestlers alone if you grew up watching them as a kid & its currently the best wrestling game for the Gamecube at the moment & a better sequel at that! If you also have a PS2 or XBOX, I'd recommend getting it for one of those systems for the extras alone!
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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