For a sports title this old, I figure there is little reason to go ahead and do a full on review of it. Still, I picked it up basically for free awhile back and gave it a try. I will come right out and say I am not the designated market for this game. I haven’t watched wrestling since I was a kid and Randy Macho Man Savage was a big deal. I always was a sucker for the actual wrestling titles on older systems like the NES then – like Pro Wrestling or Tecmo Wrestling. I also plunked a ton of quarters into an arcade cabinet and performed more than my share of DDT’s with Jake the Snake.
Still, I believe my last wrestling game was probably 2005 or 2006 – so it had been awhile. The graphics on here were decent. Animations looked pretty well, and I was able to recognize quite a few of the wrestlers based on their appearances, so that was good. I did notice a ton of clipping though, where movement around the edges of the ring or with other wrestlers where things just did not look right in the middle of the action. Also the fans were pretty bland in the background.
There is a lot of voice work to be had here, though none of it struck me as particularly bad or good. It lent context to the action for the most part, whether it was coming from an announcer or a wrestler, but it never struck me as particularly moving either. It was interesting that I had not played a wrestling game in ages, but it took me a few minutes was all to familirize myself with the basics. That said, there is definitely some nuance to be had here and I got considerably better as I figured out how to best manipulate the controls and situation. That said? My hands were pretty tired from button mashing at times, which has long been a staple of wrestling games to help determine if you are going to pull off your grapple instead of your opponent. I usually won those moments, but I had some cramped hands at times too.
The best thing this game has going for it is a variety of modes. I had fun creating characters, uploading content, customizing your appearance, creating stories and plenty more. My favorite mode was probably taking my created character through the story mode, but i got frustrated with it as well. There were sometimes criteria to be met before moving on that was just frustrating in its difficulty, and I finally quit because I reached a part where I needed to KO an opponent using my special move. Problem is, I had a couple, and it had to be a particular special move, which would just never trigger.
All in all, the game can be had pretty cheaply now, and if you enjoy wrestling titles this one is pretty good, though it is a few years out and there are probably better, newer versions to try.