|Wrestlefest - 20081999120000 by Shadow Lord
Here it is, the best wrestling arcade game I've ever played, and I've
played them all. Back when Steve Austin was an obscure wrestler in the NWA
(which is now called WCW, I'm told), we had the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ted
DiBiase, and Demolition dishing out the punishment in the ring.
OK, so it has the authentic WWF badboys. So what makes it great? The Royal
Rumble, for one thing! An over-the-top rope battle royal with all wrestlers
entering at different times, it's the ultimate King of the Hill contest.
Having attended several Royal Rumbles in my teenage years, and having played
several pathetic console attempts at it, this is the closest thing to the
Royal Rumble. In the Rumble, you are eliminated if you submit to a submission
hold, you get pinned, or get thrown out of the ring. The last stipulation makes
it possible to lose the Rumble within mere seconds of arriving.
The tag-team competition is very well done, but not as exciting: let's face it,
we've been here SO many times with The Main Event, Tag Team Wrestling, and WWF
Superstars. Interesting "weapons," such as TV monitors and steel steps, and steel
cage matches, make it marginally innovative. However, it still is better than
any of its arcade predecessors in this arena. (pun unintentional)
The mechanics work wonderfully: you can reverse just about any move, so the tables
can turn at any time! You can duck under a clothesline -- something I've seen in no
other wrestling arcade game. The wide range of moves, along with the signature finishing
moves of each wrestler, make it tons of nostalgic fun for wrestling fans (although
the omission of Demolition's Decapitation finisher was a glaring one). Not only that,
but the moves are recreated realistically and you can use the moves strategically
(headlock to drag a foe into your corner, for example) so its not a toe-to-toe brawl
that happens to be surrounded by ropes like Three Count Bout.
As much as I like this game, there are problems. As you can guess with the nature
of the Royal Rumble, things get very confused and it is hard to keep track of things;
to strategically play the Rumble, you have to keep tabs on ALL wrestlers in the ring
so you know who you can eliminate (the goal of course is to throw everyone out by
yourself). With 10 brawls going on in the ring, it is hard to keep up with yourself,
let alone everyone else! The announcer calls out the moves (as if you don't know what
you are getting smashed with :P) but is often disjointed and interrupted, so he really
doesn't add much to the ambience. The music doesn't work, but that's par for the course
for wrestling games. Finally, just like The Main Event, you get a complete cop-out ending
to reward you for defeating the Legion of Doom and capturing the Tag Team Title. In fact,
the Royal Rumble's finish screen is also a gyp considering all the work you had to do!
But these problems are minor: this is the hands-down best wrestling arcade game, as far as
I'm concerned. Download this, load it up and give it a shot: you'll be glad you did!