Review by Grayfoxr6

Reviewed: 01/02/03 | Updated: 01/02/03

Legends of Wrestling done 10 times better

Ahhh finally Legends of Wrestling 2 has arrived. If you liked the first one even remotely, then youll love this one. After everything is unlocked, you can have over 60 Legends of Wrestling from the Immortal Hulk Hogan, to Andre the Giant.

Being almost 30, 95% of these wrestlers fall into my sphere of rememberance, which makes the game that much better. I can now relive such great rivalries as Piper/ Snuka, or Hogan/ Orndorff. Theres new features added to this game as well such as a cage match and ladder match. You can also have 8 man tags (ala survivor series with single elimination) and a battle royal. Now On to the review!!!

Graphics:

Ok since everyone is a graphics fiend, ill start here first. The graphics are pretty much the same as the first LOW, but they look cleaner. The wrestlers look more ''legendary'' if you will with their bulking muscles and shiny bodies. The blood spattering on the ring was a nice touch as well, as well as seeing your wrestlers face smeared in blood. Brings back memories of barbed wire matches between Terry Funk and Cactus Jack (cactus jack IS NOT in the game however he can be created thru the Create a legend which i will breakdown later)

The rings are well rendered, the weapons you can use are well done, the only main beef i have with the graphics is the crowd, and the titantron entrance movie. The crowd looks like a 2d version of something off the original 8bit nintendo, and the entrance on the titantron is only marginally better.

SCORE: 8/10

Music/ Sound:

While most reviewers say the music didnt fit the wrestling, i disagree. i think it fits perfectly. Its hard and aggressive, like wrestling, and it gets your blood pumping. The entrance music to most of the wrestlers is pretty good. I was shocked that they had pipers real entrance music... it scored points with me

The sound in the game, to me, sounds almost exactly like it did in LOW. the oooo's and arghs sound the same, as does the sound of being cracked in the head with a trash can, or a body hitting the mat. I noticed no major changes, but i also liked the original sound to begin with.

SCORE: 9/10

Gameplay:

Ahhh, now we are in the meat and potatoes. How is the gameplay??? I think its very very well done. The Grappling system is very cool, but it takes getting used to if youre not already familiar with it. Its called ISP (Intermediate Start Position) and the first LOW used it. Basically you have your punches (or kicks) with the A button, B is your block, Y does quick grab moves like the stunner, or gorilla press slam etc, and X is your grapple button. What makes the ISP so cool, is once you grapple with X you have 4 positions to choose from by pressing either the A,B,Y,or X (Belly to belly, scoop slam, head between legs, vertical suplex) and once one of those positions is acheived, you have 4 more choices of moves you can execute from that position by pressing either B,A,X, or Y. You can also spin your opponents around so you can do back grapples (another 4 grappling options with 4 moves for each). All said, this gives you an enormous amount of moves you can pull.

Another change to the ISP system in LOW2 is the move reversal difficulty. In the first LOW it was easy to reverse a move, and then have your counter reversed on you, and it can go back and forth back and forth for a ludicrously long time. In LOW2, however, they changed it so after the 2nd succesful reversal in a row, it gets gradually harder to reverse a move, so eventually either you or your opponent will be put in a move. Very cool indeed.

The only main beef i have is the way you get a belt in a ladder match. You have to press z to pick up the ladder (or any other weapon) Y to set up the ladder, L to climb the ladder, and x to grab the belt... but youre not done yet! once you grab hold of the belt, you have to repeatedly tap A (as if you were trying to shake off dizziness) to pull the belt free. Its just a pain sometimes.

And while were on the subject of ladder matches, lets switch to cage matches, which i think are very cool. You finally get an interactive door in this one, where you have to target the door using your c-stick and then attack it like you would a wrestler. The door has a life meter, so you can see how close you are to breaking it down. Once the door is busted open, you press L to climb out, then you have to repeatedly tap a to get all the way out, or you can climb over the top of the cage (You cant climb over the top until the door is busted) By having to tap A repeatedly makes it very interesting. If your opponent gets up and your not out yet, watch out because youre likely to either get pulled in the ring, or he'll ram you headfirst into the side of the cage giving him an opportunity to get out.

In addition to cage and ladder matches, there are also the tag matches invovling 2 2 man teams up to 4 2 man teams, or you can have a survivor series type 2 4man tag team elimination match, which i thought was a good touch.

There is also a battle royal feature much like WMX8, where 4 wrestlers are in the ring at one time, and to eliminate your opponent you must toss him/her over the top rope, and then boot him to the floor. I think they did this match type pretty well. If you try and toss someone out that has alot of health left, theyll slide back into the ring pretty quick, whereas if you toss someone who has little or no life left, theyll be hangin out to dry on the apron while you kick away and send em to the floor.

Tag matches have always been one of my favorites. You can play in a very large tag tournament for the tag team titles by using the pre set tag teams (Road warriors, Nasty Boys, British Bulldogs) or by picking 2 wrestlers from the main selection screen. And once the tag titles have been won (this goes for the US and World Belts as well) you can put them on the line for defense by going to exhibition mode Then picking either single or tag match then picking the wrestler(s) who currently hold the belt. In the final screen before you start the match there is an option you can choose to put the belts on the line. Another cool feature IMO.

The main thing i dislike about all of this is the coins system. You get coins by winning matches. you get 1 green coin for winning a singles match, 2 green coins for winning a tag match, 3 green coins for winning a ladder or cage match, and 8 green coins for succesfully defending your belt. You also get green coins when you beat a region in career mode. The coins are used to unlock certain things, like concept art (which i thought was useless), cheats, End of career FMV scenes, and a few wrestlers. The trick is you need Red, Blue AND Green coins to unlock these items. How do I get red and blue coins you ask??? simple (almost) you have to gamble your green coins in a very hard game of ''pick a square then stop the light on the square you picked'' game. Its hard because the light moves pretty quick, and you need sharp refelxes. Also its not a 1 to 1 trade. Oh no, you need to spend 2 green coins to gamble for a blue (if you lose, sorry bout your luck) and 5 green coins to gamble for a red one. I thought it was cheap... what happened to the ''go thru career and unlock'' mode???

SCORE: 9/10

Storyline/ Career mode:

The Career mode is basically the same as the first LOW but with a few new additions. Theres wrestling promoters added, who talk to you every now and then and tell you how your doing, and if you do well you get a shot at the region champ yadda yadda yadda. Once you select a region, a number grid pops up with a little red box that goes over the numbers. Stop the box on a number, and you get a certain storyline like Having to keep the promoters kid happy, or you are stealing the promoters girls away from him etc. This adds a very refreshing twist to the game because you probably wont get a repeat of the same storyline for quite awhile. The basics still apply, keep the fans happy to raise your popularity to get a title shot.

The one thing im glad they did, was when competing for the world belt, after you won the belt you had to defend it a godawful number of times... not this time. Its just like winning the regional belts. You win it, then defend it once and thats it. Also theres more arenas in the world venue than there was before, which adds some freshness to it.

Overall, i liked the storyline from the orginal (except the world belt defense over and over) and these new additions made it even better.

SCORE: 10/10

Create A Legend (CAL)

This create a legend is alot more in depth than the one in LOW. Acclaim has put in a ton of first and last names (you can make randy savage and jake roberts) as well as nicknames to choose from. The announcer even says the wrestlers height, weight, and hometown... nice touch. You can create all those loved ones that arent included in the game, however it takes some getting used to changing colors on clothes and hair. The only downside is there is no Create a Stencil like on the Xbox or PS2 versions, But with the different variations of coloring, and the diverse amount of equipment, clothing, tattoos etc, i dont think it will be missed too much.

SCORE: 9/10

Replayability:

Now the important part... Was this game fun enough for me to play it again and again??? Or do i shelve it after the first time??? With the number of legends to take thru career mode, and the diversity of the storylines, i think it has ENORMOUS replay ability. Add in the fact that you can create your own wrestler and Whammo! instant hit.

SCORE: 10/10

Final Thoughts:

Overall, i thought this was a 110% improvement over the previous LOW. There is still some things to improve on such as the 2d crowds, and adding some more legends, and perhaps even adding a create a stencil. The one thing that kinda got me peeved was, i thought that there was going to be wrestler interviews, but i come to find out that those were reserved for theXbox and PS2 versions only... oh well, a gret game nonetheless, and im waiting anxiously for LOW3.

OVERALL GAME SCORE: 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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