Well finally a game for the redneck in all of us. THQ has the honor of bringin us the first wrasslin’ game for the mighty XBox. The question on everyone’s mind, is it any good, or better yet is it worth buying if I already have Smackdown for the PS2. Well to answer those questions straight out of the gate, yes this game is good, and second why did you buy Smackdown in the first place???!!?!? Anyways all personal opinions aside let’s get on with the review.
Let’s start in the most obvious category graphics. This game delivers in most areas. The character models, for the most part, are fabulous. WWF favs such as The Rock, The Undertaker, and Kane look almost realistic. The problem is that some characters look like they were sent out of the box unfinished. For instance Triple H looks absolutely horrible. Go figure perhaps THQ did need another month to bake this wrasslin’ masterpiece into a soufflé.
Well now with stellar graphics how is the game play? Well to be honest this game has the best grappling system since WWF No Mercy for the N64 (which we all know was the best grappling system in a wrasslin’ game) which is saying a lot! The problem here is that this game has a higher learning curve than Elton John’s platform shoes. You can’t jump right in and become the WWF champion, in fact even after hours of playing I still got my ass kicked by the third or fourth character on the road to the championship. Sometimes the AI can be too cheap, winning is like a luck of the draw. You can be kicking their ass the whole match and at the last second you lose. It sucks!!!
One of the saving factors of this title is the create a wrestler. This mode is chock full of features and options giving you the ability to create almost anyone. For instance I created Tina and Kasumi from DOA, Solid Snake, and Dante from Devil May Cry. This adds flavor to this already solid title. You can only store 16 wrestlers on your XBox HD which makes no since since the damn thing is 8GB! I will let that slide since THQ is allowing me to edit my entrance complete with custom floor lights and custom pyro effect…very nice!
With all of this game’s pluses and minuses you are probably asking yourself why should I buy this? Well here is the lowdown, are you a wrestling fan? Do you play lots of multi-player gaming? Do you enjoy the best grappling system in the world? If you answered yet to at least two of these questions then by all means buy this title. If a steep learning curve is too much for you to handle and cheap AI makes you break controllers then stay away! Otherwise grab this awesome first attempt at wrasslin’ on the XBox, now can you smell what the XBox is cookin’? Cheesy I know…ZT