Saturday, July 26, 2014

WCW/NWO Revenge (Nintendo 64, 1998)

Here's a game that I've never played before. It's critically acclaimed, and... heh, I like how Raven is just kinda hanging out. Goldberg and Hogan are at odds, and Nash is sorta on Hogan's side staring down Goldberg, but then you have Raven just... there. He isn't on either side, he simply Is. And he sees you. Yes, you, the one holding the box. Raven sees.

60 wrestlers! Including all of the top WCW and NWO superstars, plus a bunch of made-up guys like Aki Man!

The game begins with a very long intro of a truck driving through the desert. And driving. ...and driving. Did I mistakenly load a ROM of pop in a copy of Desert Bus?

After that extended, awkward intro, the truck stops short when it finds Sting in the middle of the road. Next to him is a grave marked "Hogan" and SET ON FIRE. Well, that's a bit dramatic. Sting just really hates the New World Order.

Then, the game launches into an AWESOME INTRO WITH ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC, showing Evil Hogan (who, incidentally, has a goatee) air-guitaring with his defiled title belt. Lots of other stars from the game show up during this intro. It's pretty sweet. Too Sweeeet, if you will.

Whoa! Far-out visuals, man!

We see Hogan from behind as he looks down and shakes a little bit. It's weird. Kinda looks like he's getting a blowie. I was seriously expecting a woman to emerge from the bottom of the screen. Or Eric Bischoff.

 The title screen. Normally this would go up top, but I felt like the box of the game is the more iconic representation of it in this case. I didn't play wrestling games, but even I remember that box.

 We've got a bunch of choices here. Championship seems to be the story mode, putting you into a series of matches within your weight class. Exhibition is a single match. Special Match is like... Handicap matches or something. Costume Change? Let's see...

 Here's Wrath, looking like a fusion of Kevin Nash and Sting. This guy was a fairly big deal for a short time, going on an undefeated streak that was quickly ended by Kevin Nash.

The option screen is weird. There's a bunch of backwards type on here, most notably the "Normal". Bizarre.

WCW Starrcade! Unfortunately missing is the Final Fantasy Tactics esque theme music for the '97 event. Rad tune, that one.
The intro ends with Hogan and Sting in a staredown. Unfortunately, Sting is in Wolfpac mode rather than his black and white facepaint. That was novel for a minute when it happened, but I'm pretty sure black and white Sting was a better color scheme. It's the iconic one, after all.

Character select. Most important character here is Alex Wright, because he has awesome music that sounds like something out of Eiffel 65's Greatest Hits. Unfortunately, that music doesn't show up in this game, because the game uses generic rock for everyone.

Noteworthy about this screen is that it has a number of guys who would go on to become huge stars in the WWF/WWE later.

 The WCW contingent is headed up by DDP and Goldberg, and spans a number of screens. Surprised Bret Hart is WCW here, as I thought he was an NWO ally for most of his tenure there. Well, who knows, he bounced around a lot. Also surprised to see DDP get top listing over Goldberg.

 NWO Hollywood is headed up by the bastardly Hollywood Hogan himself. The surprisingly-tall Eric Bischoff is playable here, and mad ripped 'yo. If left onscreen, his idle animation is a crotch chop. WWF should sue!

 NWO Wolfpack. Yep, this game was released at the height of the three-way war that lasted for a good eight months or so. This group has limited numbers, but it makes up for that by having more top-tier wrestlers than any other faction. ...and Konnan.

I'm pretty sure Wolfpac Sting was less powerful than Black and White Sting, canon-wise. Wolfpac Sting was more or less below Kevin Nash in the pecking order, and thus below Hogan, while Black and White Sting was above both of them. Also, Wolfpac Sting Vs. Goldberg was a Nitro main event that Goldberg won handily, while Black and White Sting Vs. Goldberg was a competitive PPV main event a few months later. 

Raven's Flock gets its own section. This one had a lot of jobber-type guys join and later turn face (in a much higher position on the card) by leaving. Saturn, Kanyon, Van Hammer, Kidman... I'm probably forgetting one too. Aside from Van Hammer, all of those guys went on to be popular midcarders. Van Hammer, on the other hand, went on to be a poor man's Test.

Finally, we have a roster of made-up wrestlers from the "EWF". Extreme Wrestling Federation? These guys are inventive, at least, which is fitting because they're invented.

 Of course, no wrestling game is complete without racist charicature and Asian Charlie Brown, Ming Chee. DAW is another made-up fed for this game. Dead or Alive Wrestling?

 "Since they work for WCW it probably stands for Dinosaur Anus Wrestling!"

Yes, thank you The Rock.

 There are tag team matches in this game, as shown here by Hollywood Hogan teaming with Ryback Scott "Brick Shithouse" Norton.

 There's the man himself, Goldberg. I figured he'd be the top-tier character in the game, but it doesn't really seem like he's any stronger than anyone else. He also mean-mugs the camera. Ah, N64 graphics, you look so antiquated now.

 Hollywood Hogan, oddly enough, is very agile in this game. He throws punches and kicks and dashes across the ring just like everyone else. Did the creators of this game actually watch WCW? Home of The Immobile Main Eventer.

Speaking of immobile, Hogan takes on "Big Daddy Cool" Diesel "Big Sexy" Kevin Nash in the battle of the century. Wolfpack Vs. Hollywood! This would have been a HUUUUUUGE PPV main event, so of course they never did it.

Hollywood Hogan with a big legdrop, BROTHERRRR.

Before long, we get a run-in from Roddy Piper! ...for some reason. At least, I think that's Roddy Piper. He wasn't on the character select. Weird thing is, he immediately teams up with Nash to beat down Hogan.

 Despite the interference of The Rowdy One (who isn't Ronda Rousey), I win. Hogan with his standard poses, BROTHERRRR. It's cool to play as him, since I didn't get the chance in most of the wrestling games I tried recently.

Here's Sting...lame Wolfpack Sting. His red facepaint is as close as WCW got to having crimson masks on their PG telecasts. At least, outside of PPVs (and everything in 2000, as they were desperate by then).

 Sting, for whatever reason, starts his matches with a black baseball bat. That isn't very paragon!

Let's try something else: Your girlfriend's favorite WCW guy, Buff Bagwell!

Look at that horrifying mug. Everyone in this game looks like a Goldeneye NPC.

His opponent? THE MA-CHO MAYYNNN!! With Liz in 64-bit short shorts.

 She leans to the side for increased sexiness. Yet even in her evil vixen NWO form, she was always one of the classiest women in wrestling.

The match is on! I'm pretty sure these guys never actually faced each other since they were always NWO and after the NWO was over Mach was out. Maybe I'm wrong though, the NWO did split and these guys would have been on opposing sides for the month or two before Macho got injured.

In any case, this match went to a no-contest when Liz eloped with Buff. Women love that guy.

Well, that concludes my quick look at this game. Seems pretty cool. Found it a lot more playable than the modern wrestling games that I've tried to play as of late.

"Holla if you hear me"


  1. This is the only one of the AKI wrestling games (in the west, at least) that I haven't really played. Looks like they bumped up the presentation values by a lot, though I guess Wrestlemania 2000 was the first one with theme songs.
    Was Steiner nWo by this point?
    This game looks like a WCW version of Wrestlemania 2000 graphics and menu-wise. No Mercy had a bigger graphical jump.
    Great post!

  2. Great post, but one note: Nash V Hogan did happen in a PPV main event. However, it was in mid-1999, after the Wolfpac/NWO feud, so your point about the company missing a chance to make big money on that feud between stables is correct.

  3. Great post, really enjoyed being introduced to all the different stables and seeing all the action. The racist ethnic wrestler section pissed me off even though this was '96, though. "Maya Inca Man"?

    Hogan being flattered with speed and agility must have pleased him.

    1. Also, this seems like one of the cooler intros in wrestling game history.

    2. The racist charicatures are pretty bad. At least they're invented rather than actual existing wrestlers. Though wrestling itself has had plenty of racist characters, even as late as 96.

      Hollywood Hogan having speed and agility is the biggest suspension of disbelief that this game requires.