Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wrestling Games

Today I'm going to do something that I haven't done since I took a look at Love Hina games: An ensemble post where I look at a number of different games. Originally it was going to be a post looking at one game in-depth, until I realized I can't actually beat any of these games. Let's have a look.

The first game that I'm playing is Pro Wrestling for the NES. It's unlicensed, so don't expect to see any real wrestling superstars here. Instead we get made-up warriors like...

...Star Man? Wait a minute...

...Holy shit!

Wow, that's racist. Though they spelled "Kim" wrong. I know they didn't mean to call him Kin, because everyone in Korea is named Kim.


What? What are you booing me for?

Here we have... some kind of fish-man. In Pro Wrestling for the NES, demi-humans are functioning members of society!

Alright, let's do this. First thing that comes to mind is that the graphics...aren't very good. Almost looks like something out of the Atari era. The whole game transpires on this one screen, as far as I can tell. My first opponent is Starman.

You can run the ropes and you can execute punches/kicks. I'm unable to figure out how to do any flashy moves like suplexes, though the computer has no trouble hitting me with them whenever it wants.

One thing I DO figure out how to do is jumping spin kicks! WHAM!

The fight spills outside of the ring! My feud with Starman is a BLOOD FEUD!

Starman with a jumping spin kick of his own! Actually, this fight very quickly deteriorated into the two of us throwing jumping spin kicks at each other repeatedly. Every time he'd land one, he'd go for the pin, and after so many kickouts our hero simply failed to kick out and I lost.

Well, that was pretty lame. Not sure how close I was to victory, and towards the end it became impossible to mount any offense because every time I'd kick out of a pin he'd knock me down again and go for another pin before I could do anything. Next game.

It's been two decades since Mortal Kombat 2, and I still expect Kintaro and Shao Khan to demolish this logo every time I see it.

This is WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game, a fun Super NES game. I actually remember reading about this one in Nintendo Power circa 1995 and wondering where Hulk Hogan was.

Bret Hart was pretty much the top guy in the 'fed when this game was released. Though I wonder where Yokozuna and Diesel are. I was going to pick Diesel as my character, but he's nowhere to be found. Weird considering that he main evented Wrestlemania in the year that this game came out. No "Big Kev", yet Doink is included? Ooookay then.

I choose The Bad Guy, seen here mean muggin'.

You can choose whether you compete for the IC title or the WWF title. Not sure what the difference is... difficulty level, perhaps? I think you're defending the title that you pick. If this game took place in the present day, you'd lose all your matches automatically if you picked the IC title.

My first match is against... Doink and HBK. Wait, what? A handicap match? That's right... ALL of the matches in this game are handicap matches. This is so bizarre.

They're also two out of three falls, ala Mortal Kombat. This is overbooked, dammit!

 The bizarreness continues as Razor Ramon assaults his opponents with A HUGE SWORD. This is actually pretty awesome. I can tell this isn't supposed to be a serious wrestling game at all, and it's more fun for it.

Doink with a hammer RIGHT IN THE GROIN. That's gotta hurt!

My next battle is against Undertaker and Lex Luger. Looks like Undertaker's special attack is some sort of soul-punch where his fist is surrounded by blue fire.

 Now I'm playing as Shawn Michaels, as he slugs it out with bitter rival Bret Hart. ...also, Razor Ramon is involved for no reason, and he's on Bret's side! What happened to Kliq loyalty?

I wish the fights in this game were one-on-one. Other than that, this game is a lot of fun.

Shawn's weapon of choice is a baseball bat. That's less creative than a sword or a soul punch, and makes less character-sense ("Razor" Ramon likes blades). Either way, cool game. Next!

I think I'll do what many of the WWF's stars did in the mid-90's and jump to WCW now with a randomly-picked WCW game.

There we go, WCW for the Game Boy! This has almost no potential to be good. Sting is on the title screen, at least. And there's the future "Poppa Booty Pump" Scott Steiner.

There are a number of options and I have no idea what any of them mean. Difficulty levels, perhaps? Let's go for World Title. ...yep, again I choose what is probably the highest difficulty, even though I'm getting owned by these games.

This is pre-Hogan WCW, which means the roster is very different from the one the company would become known for. Steve Austin (with hair!) is present, as is Surfer Sting. Let's roll.

Well, Sting proceeds to absolutely kick my ass. This game seems fairly playable, at least. It's fast-moving and responsive, though it's still hard to get any commands off when the CPU seems to get priority over you in every grappling situation. Let's try a Super NES WCW game...

 WCW Superbrawl! It's like Superbowl, except... it's a brawl.

By now I'm hip to their difficulty levels. This one has three: TV, U.S., and World titles. That makes perfect sense given the very well-done division between the three in WCW. least, circa 1998 or so. I believe they later did away with the TV title.

Whoa, now THAT is a character select. Not only are there a lot of characters, they're all animated inside of this screen.

Case in point, Marc "Johnny B. Badd" Mero popping off of the screen to point at the player. Every few seconds one of them will pop up when they do their taunt animation. There's a notable lack of Steve Austin here, as well as a notable lack of Hulk Hogan. I guess Hogan wasn't along yet, but Austin is simply an omission. ...unless that first guy is Steve Austin. Can't tell, he's looking down the entire time.

I choose STING. No DLC or preorder needed here! Yep, back in those days you could buy a game and actually have access to everything that was programmed into it.

 Sting's first match is with... "Booty Pump" Scott Steiner! Though he isn't the Genetic Freak yet. We also get a very odd (though somewhat unique) viewpoint on the ring for this one. Not too crazy about it.


Yes, thank you Scott Steiner.

I actually manage to do special moves and stuff in this game! Here we see the Scorpion Deathlock, though it seems like he barely has it locked in. Takes Steiner ages to tap despite being out of health, too.

Won the Television Title. In one match? Huh. Well, that game wasn't bad at all, actually. Aside from the weird viewpoint, it controlled and played fairly well. Also, it's worth checking out just for the wild character select screen alone.

Time for something new. Let's see what a modern wrestling game looks like.

There's an impressive character select for this one, covering most of the current roster. Lots of hidden character spaces too, and I presume they're unlocked through playing. Here we see the Summerslam main event to be (I'm predicting... there's a PPV tomorrow night, and who knows what'll happen there). For some reason, all of the characters have power levels (the number next to "Overall") as has been the case for a number of years now. The power levels are about what you'd expect given where these guys stand, though some of them are very odd (Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar being lower-scored than most of the other main eventers at 92 and 91).

Still, the scores are interesting to see where the company considers guys to be. Upper-tier wrestlers who are a step down from the top tier, like Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio, are at 89. The Shield and Cesaro are all 88, which seems to be the number for upwardly-mobile guys who aren't there yet.

No sign of Bray Wyatt in this one, weirdly enough. I'm certain he was active when this game was released.

Brock and HHH (now with updated short hair) do battle! The graphics look very good, though the movements are somewhat stiff.

The main draw of this game is 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode. It's more or less story mode, where you run through about 48 matches from the history of Wrestlemania. Nearly all of the main events are included (get ready to play as Hulk Hogan a LOT) and some of the sub-main or high-profile matches are also included. There are a few main events that are missing. WM20's main event makes sense for an omission. WM21's doesn't, though, and WM14's definitely doesn't. Neither shows up here, which kinda sucks.

Still, this is something I'd have a blast with if I were good at this game.

Another new addition is The Streak mode, where you can either challenge or defend The Streak. Presumably challenging it results in an extremely difficult boss fight, while defending it results in having to run a gauntlet of matches without losing. Not sure, didn't try this one.

I really wanted to check out 30 Years of Wrestlemania. The first match puts you in the size-22 shoes of Andre the Giant as he battles the bastardly Big John Studd.

I like how the graphics look retro for these old matches. The screen is a little hazy.

They did a really good job recreating the look of 1984 WWF here. Not bad at all. Unfortunately, I couldn't get past this match itself because I couldn't get Andre to do a bodyslam (which was the required finish). Did exactly what the game said to do, but he kept doing DDTs instead. Oh well. I find this game to be very difficult to control/play effectively, which is too bad because it has so much cool stuff to do.

There's a mode where you can create your own title belt. NICE. One willing to invest a lot of time in this game can create all kinds of cool stuff. While it's hard to play this, the game does give you an unprecedented amount of control to get creative with things.

AJ Lee makes her game debut here (...I think, I'm probably wrong). I immediately set her against Stephanie McMahon in an INFERNO MATCH.

If you don't know, AJ is pretty much the cutest woman in wrestling.

Her skipping animation is very well done. I give the game an A+ just for that.

Stephanie McMahon seems to be in 2000 mode, and comes out to "Our Time". The greatest wrestling theme ever.

The goal of an inferno match is to push your opponent into the flames, and I have no idea how to do that without looking it up. Much like the body slam, it seems like the game takes my inputs as vague suggestions even when I do know what I'm doing. I miss old wrestling games where you'd beat down your foe and pin them, nothing fancy, no button combinations to memorize.


WINNER! She beat me in a very short span of time. Geez. I'm playing on Easy!

That'll do it for this game, and this post. I can't say any of these games are particularly great, though they have their fun moments. Too bad I can't seem to win matches consistently in the new one. I'm going to check out WCW/NWO Revenge some time soon and give a bit more time to that one.

TNA Impact

WCW/NWO Revenge


    That sounds like it HURTS.
    Why is a Korean's specialty the Mongolian Chop? Ahh this is one of those rarely-seen-in-the-West looks at Japanese racism toward other countries isn't it? "Their eyes are so narrow!"
    The Amazon is quite a name. He's the whole Fing JUNGLE!
    Steve Austin in a WCW game?! What a coincidence! Just 10 minutes ago I read that he used to work there for the first time ever in your mail. I see his look was not l33t like it would be in the WWF just a couple years later.
    The SuperBrawl character select screen seems to be the best such screen ever. Great find.
    Daniel Bryan underrated? Not surprised...not surprised at all.
    You're right, WWF2014 looks like it has a ton of great stuff to do. I wonder if some of these games are hard to control because you're using the emulator and they're joystick dependent? Wait you must have a USB controller with joysticks right?

    1. I do use a USB controller with joysticks, yeah. But I didn't emulate 2K14, I played it on the PS3 straight-up. I think for the most part I just don't "get" these games from a control standpoint. SuperBrawl's character select was a pleasant surprise, and probably the coolest thing I discovered in this run. More people should know of its existence.

  2. Stardust!

    "My first match is against... Doink and HBK. Wait, what? A handicap match? That's right... ALL of the matches in this game are handicap matches. This is so bizarre." - The belt-like icon in the top right of the screen here looks kinda like the current WWE title. Just with more F.

    Maybe those 2K14 slots will be unlocked through playing... or through DLC. The wave of the future!

    No 21 main event is odd, and that one even has two to choose from. No 14 though? That one is KIND OF A BIG DEAL.

    1. Seriously WTF were they thinking leaving out 21 and 14?

      Actually 21's Cena Vs. JBL match IS included. The actual final match, Batista/HHH, isn't. Which makes no sense. WM14 not being included makes even less sense.


    Good post though

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