Review by Myzery_Clown
Reviewed: 06/07/00 | Updated: 06/07/00
EA's first attempt at a WCW game is no short of a success.
WCW Mayhem is EA'S first try at the WCW license, since THQ lost it to get the WWF license. And I must say, for a first attempt, I am very impressed with EA'S performance. This is the first good WCW wrestling game on the Playstation, and although it still can't match awesome WWF games like Attitude and Smackdown, Mayhem is a good wrestling game all the same.
The roster is very up to date for when this game was released. Many new people such as Bret Hart are featured in the game, and Chris Jericho is still in the game. This is his last game in WCW wrestling. The game hosts many of WCW'S top main eventers like Goldberg, Sting, DDP, Kevin Nash, and Hollywood Hogan to the lower ranks of cruiserweights, midcarders, etc. like Billy Kidmen, Raven, the 4 Horsemen, and many others. The game also has a host of hidden wrestlers that are unlocked by winning Quest for the Best on certain difficulty settings with certain typesof wrestlers. Some of these are Sergeant Buddy Lee Parker, Eric Bischoph, and Mean Jean Okerland. Overall, the roster for WCW Mayhem is very complete and well done.
WCW Mayhem features a nice variety of modes. The main event is when you pick everything for your match, stips, the participants, even where the match takes place. Quick start is also the game's quick version of main event. It does a lot of the options for you, such as picking your opponent, and it's for just a quick match where you don't have to pick everything yourself. The PPV Passwords are also a nice idea. These are passwords you input to change the environment of the game. Of course, you can also use them to unlock the wrestlers' as well, but it also unlocks backstage areas and other nice tricks.
WCW Mayhem also features a Create a Wrestler. This area of the game isn't anything too great, although it isn't noo bad either. You get to customize the wrestlers only to a certable extent. There isn't too much you can do. You have a limited variety of move sets to choose from as well, and not much in the way of the move editor for your wrestler. You can also pick his personality traits like in Warzone and Attitude, but the things you get to pick are very limited. The theme music is not very good either, only about ten different songs, including the NWO and Wolfpack, as long as some of the better known WCW themes like Sting's, Golderbg's, and Diamod Dallas Page's remix of Nervana's ''Smellt Like Team Spirit.'' Overall, the Create a Wrestler isn't anything special, although it is a nice feature, but Attitude's is much better.
The Quest for the Best mode is Mayhem's answer to Attitude's career. It actually works rather good. You start at the bottom of WCW, and you win the TV title. After winning the TV title, you go on to the US title ranks. After defending the US title quite a few times, you will finally encounter the WCW championchip ranks. You will win the WCW title, and continuously defend it. I think this mode never ends, much like Warzone's WWF Challenge. It just keeps having you defene the title. All of the secrets are unlocked by winning the WCW title, but I still had fun defending it a few times before I decided to start with another wrestler. Eatch in the Quest for the Best allows you to go backstage and stuff to, there's never any disqualifications. Unfortunately, this game has no storylines, which couldn't be said for any game when Mayhem was released, so I won't hold it against Mayhem.
The game has a very unique engine that's easy to use. The game's finishers are all mostly done the same exact way, like in Smackdown or THQ'S former WCW games on Nintendo 64. The game sort of reminds me of the grappel system used in revenge. However, this game relies on a momentum meter to give you the finishers. Once You do a few sweet moves, your momentum will be high enough for you to pull off a finisher. You could pull off a finisher as early as twenty seconds if you come right out of the gate with some nice moves. Of course, you won't be able to win in twenty seconds, but you can at least do the finisher to take away some massive damage and get closer to having your opponent beaten up enough that he'll stay down for the 1.2.3. really cool feature of this game that no other wrestling game had was the backstage areas. In WCW Mayhem, you can actually go backstage and fight your opponent in one of thirteen areas including the bathrooms, boiler rooms, parking lots, ticket offices, hallways, locker rooms, and many more.
GAMEPLAY SCORE: 9.1/10
The graphics are very good in WCW Mayhem. All of the wrestlers look exactly like their real life counterparts. The ring looks great as well. The stances look rather weird though. The crowd, unlike most wrestling games before it, actually looks alive and well done. Unlike Attitude and Warzone, whose crowds looked like flat paper pasted on to the screen, this crowd looks much more life like and 3d. It looks very good. The backstage areas need a bit of work, though. They kind of look like boxes instead of rooms, but since it was the first game to have this feature, EA had nothing to go on. The entrances are not video intros like Smackdown's, but the wrestlers look pretty good during their introductions. Overall, the graphics are great with only a few minor flaws.
GRAPHICS SCORE: 8.8/10
The music is very, very close to the real music in the WCW. Some of the themes match exactly, like Goldberg's and Sting's, and some are very close, like Diamond Dallas Page's. The wrestler's music play when they come down to the ring and are being introduced. There really isn't any other music in the game at all.
The sound effects, however, are just unbelievable. First, Michael Buffer does full length introductions in the game, which is really great. The crowd responds very good, which I may say the crowd probably sounds the best on this wrestling game above any other wrestling game. Tony Savoni and Bobby the Brain Henon do commentary, and it is very good. They do play-by-play and add in little comments from time to time as well. Tony actually starts really getting into the game like he does on TV, and he gets that annoying high pitch in his voice when he screams ''JACKHAMMER!'' The announcers do not count down the pins though, the crowd does. The actual wrestlers fighting themselves is the only real low point in the sound effects department. It's just a bunch of grunts that are unanimous and the same for every wrestler. The ring is another minor problem. On huge slams it sounds more like a huge cannon firing than a ring. It's too deep and booming, you'd think an explosion just went off in your TV. The crowds gets into the game at the appropreate times as well. When your momentum meter is up high, they start making a lot of noise and rumbling the arena. This is very cool. This game has some of the best sound in any wrestling game to date, although a few minor flaws hold its score from a 9.8 down to a 9.4.
MUSIC/sound EFFECTS: 9.4/10
The game isn't very hard once you get its concept. The controls are not very hard to maneuver, and the finishers are rather easy so you can pull them off. However, the game will fight back occasionally, and sometimes you'll find yourself in an extremely long match with an opponent that just won't stay down.
REPLAY VALUE: AVERAGE
The game is a good game, yes, but it for some reason loses its spunk sooner than it should. Maybe it is because of lack of modesor something, but this game will take a backseat to some of your other favorite games after it wares out its welcome. Make no mistake about it though, this game is a very good game while it lasts.
OTHER GAME INFORMATION
RENT/buy?: DEFINITE BUY
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4
GENRE: PRO WRESTLING
OVERALL SCORE: 9.1/10
This game is an excellent game. You definite need to pick this game up if you're a WCW or wrestling in general fan, or if you just want something fun to do for a while. I really hate WCW, but I still found myself playing this game for a long, long time at a time for the first few weeks I had it. Of course, like I stated above game does ware out quicker than it should, but while it lasts, EA has a masterpiece on their hands. I can't wait for Mayhem 2 on the Playstation 2. That will be excellent if it's anything like this game.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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