Review by JohnnyVegas

Reviewed: 10/05/01 | Updated: 10/05/01

A very good wrestling game which does not get enough recognition

I'm a hardcore ECW fan, and decided to try out an ECW game, despite their having a rather bad reputation among gamers. I went with this game, ECW Anarchy Rulz, and I'm glad that I did.

Upon starting the game, I was very impressed with all the options. The character bios were also very well-done, and I was pleased to see that most of the wrestlers looked very much like their real-life counterparts. I was incredibly impressed so far.

When I started my first match, after about 5 minutes I began to hate the game...I believed that the internet reports were true and I'd never get my ECW videogame fix. The control felt clunky and I was hardly doing any damage to my opponent.

But as time went on, I grew used to the controls and even learned to like them. All the moves are there, and yes, they are easier to pull off than in the previous Acclaim WWF games I have owned in the past. I was very happy with this game.

The wrestler graphics are very well-done, as I have stated. For the most part, the animation is pretty well-done, except for a few key moves which should have spent a little more time being worked on. However, the crowd looks very pixelized and unimpressive. This, however, is the only complaint I have about the graphics, as it's the ring and the wrestlers that really matter.

The sound is very good. The entrance music, although mostly unlicensed, sounds very close to the wrestlers' real-life entrance music, only changed to avoid legal problems. Wrestler voices are done by actual wrestlers, as is the commentary, which is superb. Crowd chants, especially the ''ECW'' chant, sound great.

Play conrol in this game doesn't get a fair shake. Moves are generally very easy to do, and are usually pretty responsive. Powerful moves and basic moves alike usually involve pressing one direction and then one button, with some moves being slightly more complicated button combinations, but nothing difficult. When in a deathmatch, however, it is difficult to pick up a weapon and swing it at your opponent before they've blasted you to the canvas. Luckily, when this is accomplished, the opponent goes down hard, unlike in WWF Smackdown 2.

I do find that the computer reverses moves entirely too much. The computers main source of offense in this game is the reversal of moves, which can be frustrating. I'd rather the computer initiate moves instead of reversing everything I do. Luckily, as you wear your opponent down, the odds of them reversing a move goes down as well, so it isn't entirely bad.

The Create-A-Wrestler is unfortunately not very good. It's near impossible to make an accurate Taz, as is it difficult to make many other wrestlers. There's no way to make a ''thick'' wrestler [ie. one who is not fat, but bigger than average] so you're usually stuck giving them an ''average'' or ''overweight'' body frame, which is usually entirely too thin or too fat. Hairstyles are limited and poorly-done, as are most facial features. Clothing, however, is plentiful, as are accessories, especially upon unlocking new items in the Career mode.

I find great replay value in this game, and I'm glad I gave it a chance. My overall feeling towards this game is tremendously positive, and I would rate it an 8.7/10 ( but I'll round up to 9 :D )

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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