Review by pdhq64

Reviewed: 02/28/03 | Updated: 02/28/03

I’m not a fan of watching wrestling on TV, it shows that you don’t have to like wrestling to like Legends of Wrestling 2!

''Oh my God! Oh my God! He just hit him with a chair!'' and ''Can you smell what The Rock is cookin'?'' are both popular quotes nowadays in the WWE, but back when Hulk Hogan was in his prime, things were a little different.

Legends of Wrestling II tries to recreate what happened, and with surprising success.

As soon as you boot up the game, you are greeted with a stunning array of music, lights, and quality. The intro movie must be the best I’ve ever seen in a wrestling game. Seriously.

The main menu is fairly plain; nothing like WWF No Mercy, but it’s functional.

Next, and probably the most important part is the different types of matches. You can get a normal Vs match, up to 8-man Tag-Team matches, ladder matches, cage matches and more!

The wrestlers, called Legends, come in the plentiful, including Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Bruno Sammartino, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jerry Lawler, Brett Hart, King Kong Bundy, the Von Erichs, and loads more! Honestly, when I say the amount of wrestlers included in the game is great, I mean it.

The gameplay is fairly smooth, with a few hitches here and there. One of these is the noticeable and annoying slowdown. During a cage match with two wrestlers, the slowdown was enormous! It was virtually unplayable. Strangely enough, and eight-man tag team match didn’t seem to have the same effect. Another of these ‘strange’ things is that every so often, your Legend will ‘skip’ a frame. In other words, the wrestlers’ movement isn’t as smooth as it could be.

One thing that confuses me is the ISP’s. I have no idea what these are, as it doesn’t actually tell you in the game’s mediocre instruction manual. Ok, It tells you how to do them and after playing, its fairly obvious what they are (but I still don’t know for certain), but an explanation of what they are, and what ISP stands for should be in the manual.

A unique thing in Legends of Wrestling II is the reversal system. Reversals can be performed by anyone, and that’s the beauty of it. All you do is watch a line move across the reversal bar, and when it gets into an area which is shaded yellow, press B. This introduces a whole new style of gameplay, and even the worst player can end up on top.

An intriguing thing in this game is the way in which you can link moves, for example you can link a body slam can be linked to a sitting headlock. This means that you are able to do double the damage in one move.

The sounds during the matches bring home the fact that this game is sheer quality. Ok, there’s no commentary, but with such engrossing music, who needs it?

But what about the graphics? As far as I can tell, the wrestlers are made to look like the action figures you can buy. They look plastic, and as if you have to move their arms yourself. Is this a good thing? I think so, mainly because it makes the game feel as though you are controlling the wrestlers, not just a few polygons slapped together.

The controls seem fairly good, apart from the odd exception. Every time I want to attack, I should press the Y button, but instead I never fail to press the B button. Unfortunately, the B button blocks. Given the option to configure the controls yourself, that’s how I would place it. Everything else is fine, just that.

The career mode is unlike any I have seen before. You have to wrestle through many regions and win the belt to have even a sniff at the best belt.

There is a tournament mode, which is similar to today’s King of the Ring in the WWE.

Wrestling in career mode and exhibition matches earns you green coins. These can be gambled with to win red and blue coins. Once you have a certain amount of each colour coin, you are able to spend your hard earned cash on new wrestlers, clothes, rings, cheats and concept art. These are all quite expensive, with items ranging from one green coin to many of each. Unfortunately, the gambling is rather boring. You put your coins on a square in a grid, then press the A button when the square is highlighted. Because of this, you won’t be doing this much.

The Create a Legend mode is well executed, with many options available to choose from. Unlike any other wrestling games I’ve played with a Create a Wrestler mode, you are able to put numerous layers of clothing on your creation, as well as tinker with his or her body hair. The move list could be improved, but there is enough selection to suit any kind of wrestler.

As most wrestling games do, Legends of Wrestling II has an almost infinite replay value, mainly due to the fact it’s a blast when fighting as your created wrestler against three of your mates.

An added bonus is that this is the first wrestling game in a while to have blood on a Nintendo console.

Overall, Legends of Wrestling II is an above average game, and probably THE best wrestling game I’ve played to date. You may see reviews saying this is a poor game, but in my opinion this game rules! As I’m not a fan of watching wrestling on TV, it shows that you don’t have to like wrestling to like Legends of Wrestling 2!

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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