Review by madden

Reviewed: 11/01/99 | Updated: 11/01/99

Not bad if this came out a year ago.

Hi. First off, I want to say that I am a diehardwrestling fan, and so I might be a little hardon this game. I've also been spoiled since I've played All Japan Pro and Fire Pro S on the Saturnand both games have buried any North American attemptat the genre. I also want to say that this is my first review, so hopefully this won't go tobadly. Let's begin...

Gameplay (7/10)

This is definitely the best North American wrestlinggame when it comes to gameplay. I especially likedthe dramatic camera moves (a la AJPWFV) duringthe big moves. The moves in general were fairlyeasy to pull off, and were animated very well, much better than Attitude. However, it bothered methat some of the wrestler's finishers were incorrect,.Dean Malenko's finisher is the Texas Cloverleaf,not that fall away suplex. Konnan never used theDVD as a finisher as far as I know. He used theTequila Sunrise. The odd thing is, moves like the Tequila Sunrise and Texas Cloverleaf are inthe game, but aren't the finishers. Lazy programming.Or research.

And fighting in places other than the ring? Who cares!Why the hell would I buy a wrestling game if I didn'twant to fight in the ring? If I wanted to fight in aback alley, I'd play Tekken 3.

Story (2/10)

Just because this is a wrestling game, that doesn't meanit can't have a story. Wrestling has always been aboutstory, as far back as the "sport" goes. Feuds are missing,as are a real career mode. In All Japan Pro, when youmade a grappler up, you picked his starting age. Thegame was set up, so that a character participated in acertain number of matches a year. Depending on how wellhe did, he would move up in the ranks, fighting the tougher oppoenets, or stay down grappling with jobbers.At the end of the year, he would participate in a tournament.Then, the next year, the character would repeat this,becoming a year older. The character would continue this,battling the computer and pursuing the title until he reached the age of forty, when he would retire. Thestats were kept track of, and damage would actually be carriedover depending on how bad it was. It even had an experience point system, to learn more powerful moves.Now that is how to utilize story elements.

Audio (9/10)

I love the sound in this game. The crowd roars, the music blares, and the pyros are loud. The play by playis great, much better than Attitudes. I also love thefact that you can tune the volume on different audioeffects (voices, music, etc). If they had includedmore personalized entrance themes (Dean Malenko's, orChris Benoit's instead of just the Horsemen theme) I wouldhave given this a 10/10.

Visuals (7/10)

I don't know why a game that basicly takes place in onelocation can be so lacklustre. What the hell is up withthat crowd? And all those extra locations are blah looking.The wrestlers looked okay for the most part (althoughsome of the cruiserweights had huge heads. Check outthe melon on Malenko.) they moved pretty bad. Themoves looked nice, but simple things like walkinglooked kind of wierd. And why are all the wresters limp-wristed?

Replay (5/10)

After I won the cruiserweight title, I didn't want toplay through the heavyweight division. The create awrestler option would have been alright competing withWarzone, but against Attitude, it pales. There are limitedcostume choices, and some things are silly. I did like the face choices, however. But the real slap in the facewas the inability to pick individual moves. You canonly pick a set of moves. If you want the Texas Cloverleaf,then you have to pick Dean Malenko's move set, taking therest of his moves as well. I was very disappointed with this. You can allocate points to different stats,which is pretty cool. Definitely something that shouldbe kept in for next year.

So with the limited character development, and the lack of some RPG elements (covered in Story), I got bored ofthis game pretty quickly.

Overall, I would have to give this game a 6/10. If youreally like WCW, then maybe you'd rate it higher. But Iwould definitly rent this first. Note to future developers:take the time to see how they design this genre in Japan.If you took the WWF, WCW (or even the ECW) liscence, theAttitude character generator (with Mayhem's characterstats), and through in the career mode from All Japan Pro,you'd have an amazing game.

I hope that Wrestlemania 2000 somehow makes it to thePlaystation...

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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