I posted this over on the wrestling forum, but no one cared, I hope it gets more replies over here...
As far as WWF games go, I'd have to say it's better than the Smackdown series, but not as good as AKI's No Mercy/Wrestlemania 2000. It actually feels like a deranged cross between the two of them...
One thing it's got over everything else are the graphics. They're just absolutely amazing. Watching wrestlers entrances is just like watching them on TV, they even have random camera angles. This game has dozens upon dozens of items to bash your opponents with too. Some of the things I've found so far include a garbage can, a nightstick, Steve Blackman's karate sticks, a golf club, the clangy pipes, dozens of chairs, and most importantly Mae Young's Plastic Hand! There's also lots of items you can find during a match and wear. On my quest for the Hardcore title, I had the Undertaker wearing a knit cap, a pair of Christian's glasses, Angle's medals, and the Womens title which I all found laying around or stole off of a wrestler.
Unfortunately for this game, it doesn't have an updated roster. Hell, it's still got K-Kwick and Haku. No alliance wresters at all, which means no Booker T, RVD, or Hurricane in this game There's also no story or season mode, leaving you with little to do other than singles matches; no cage, no cell, no ladder matches, no table matches, no blood. Another minor problem is the controls, but some people are telling me I just need to get used to them so I really don't want to complain about them yet.
The greatest thing about this game you ask? Why it's the WWF Museum, which lets me view full titan trons and entrance songs of all the wrestlers in the game!
Christian! Christian! At last, you're on, your ownnnnn!
The King: "Are you bilingual?" HHH: "I'm bi- a lot of things, but lingual's not one of them...Ummm, did I mean to say that?" JR: "Probably not, but we're live"
Hopefully I'm getting the Xbox by month end and of course this is a must have for wrestling fans i'm betting. How is the CAW feature Pescado? I'm not a big fan of the CAW but since there is no story line and no Allience then I will dabble more into creating characters. How do the moves work, pad and button combinations like Smackdown? Thanks...
(edited by MedallaGuy on 14.2.02 1331)
The moves work more like No Mercy than Smackdown, except instead of having a strong and weak grapple you have a regular or dazed grapple.
The CAW is rediculous, there's only 16 faces you can use to make people and only 3 different kinds of facial hair. You can't even use the faces or clothes from the superstars already in the game. Pretty pathetic if you ask me, but the Entrance Edit is pretty cool...
The King: "Are you bilingual?" HHH: "I'm bi- a lot of things, but lingual's not one of them...Ummm, did I mean to say that?" JR: "Probably not, but we're live"
The Smackdown series has (so far) peaked with "Know Your Role." I'll still buy SD4 when/if it comes out but "Just Bring It" had an awful story mode and a shortage of wrestlers but a kick ass CAW (IMO) as compared to "Know Your Role" where the only drawback (again IMO) was the pointless FMVs and having to watch (in abbreviated form) the rest of the card which your chosen character is not necessarily on!
Everything's cool when you're Yun [point] Cheol [point] Su [point]
Strangely enough, I originally bought a PS2 for SD3 (which, IMO, is better than SD2, because of the exact reasons that were stated by Yun). I bought a PS2 to play SD3, only to fall madly in love with Final Fantasy X and Grand Theft Auto III.
I have Gran Turismo 3, but I've barely touched it, oddly enough.
I originally posted this over on the Fire Pro Club message board, I'll re-run it here. It doesn't cover everything, but I think you'll agree the damn thing is long enough.
Here we go:
I lost my lost my first two matches the first time I sat down with this game after bringing it home (Haku's epic 20 minute loss to Albert was a heartbreaker, trust me), but then I won the next three until I made this original post on 2/12.
BAD: -Yes, ok, everyone's said it a million times....there really aren't that many match types. It's not horrible, but there's no Hell in the Cell match, no tables match (although you can use tables and stuff), no inferno match, no kiss my ass match....you get the picture. The major ones outside of the standard 1 on 1/Tag team/Handicap matches are KOTR tournaments and Royal Rumbles.
-Animation is a little funky. This is another thing everyone's already mentioned. They all walk to the ring like John Wayne if he were inside a Robocop suit.
-Unfortunately, the gameplay, which has a few good points (which I talk about below), is very frustrating. After playing the game for 24 hours, I've discovered this game commits the worst crime a video game can commit: it doesn't let you do what you want, when you want. I'm not exaggerating when I say that 50% of the time, the computer either reversed my grapples, or just shoved me off in a "neutral" position. The formula is supposedly "rock-paper-scissors" when you grapple (for X grapple moves, A grapple moves, and B grapple moves (which is a go-behind, or Irish whip if you hold the d-pad)), but for some reason the computer almost ALWAYS picks the same one as you, so you just shove each other away and nothing happens. So, you're left with nothing else to do except punch and kick, which gets old really fast. Not to mention that after you do the same attack enough times, it starts to do very little damage...and, oh yeah...the computer will start blocking those too. This is the most glaring problem with this game, and make no mistake, it's a big one.
There are occasional "unstoppable" animations, which I HATE....the kind of thing where you knock someone down, and want to start beating their ass, but you can't because they are in the middle of a "groggy and trying to get up" animation, and your attacks/actions go right through them.
-Matches can sometimes be WAY too long, no matter who's in the ring. I managed to get a victory in 3 minutes earlier today and I just about jumped through the roof. It doesn't matter who you use, the matches almost ALWAYS go on for at least 9-10 minutes. I could almost forgive the gameplay issues if it didn't take so damn long to beat guys. I went through the Euro title run with Christian, and by the time I got to the last two guys (Test, and Regal as champion), I was having marathons. Test took about 20 minutes to beat, and then I had a 22 minute match with Regal...and LOST. So I continued. Another 20+ minute match, and ANOTHER LOSS. And another, and another. Then I was out of continues. You're damn right I was pissed. I wouldn't be upset if I felt like I lost because I sucked at the game...but I lost because the gameplay blows. Thinking about how long I was actually fighting Regal makes me sick. There were 4 20+ minute matches, all against the same guy, and I didn't even get the satisfaction of victory out of it.
To sum it up: It shouldn't take Kane 10 minutes to beat K-Kwik. But in this game, don't be surprised if it does.
-Running is the old NES Pro Wrestling style (double tap the pad)....and while it was good for that game, it seems kind of out of place here.
-The "Double Feature" thing during the middle of the match (like how they do on TV) sounds good on paper, but it's fairly useless in the game. You can turn it off if you want, though, so no big deal.
-Lack of arenas. All you've really got is the Raw arena and a slightly modified Raw arena for KOTR matches.
-The ring entrances...my god, the ring entrances - part 1. It's amazing that we are now in the second generation of 128 bit machines, and we STILL can't make a wrestling game where wrestlers don't glitch through the ropes on ring entrances. Kane "grabs the top rope" but is actually grabbing the air about an inch above the rope. Then he steps over the ropes and the top rope mystically goes through his leg and ass. Can't someone fix this? It's 2002, for Christsake.
-LILLIAN GARCIA (formerly "The ring entrances...my god, the ring entrances - part 2.") Someone at Anchor has a sick sense of humor for actually bothering to have Lillian Garcia do the ring announcing. They could have had Finkel do it like they did for Smackdown 3, or preferably not have anyone do it at all. Garcia is even WORSE than she is on Raw...for some reason she puts emphasis on the wrong words, and sounds like she is faking being wayyyy too happy at the wrong times...."Weighing 326 pouuuuuuuuunds KAAAAANEEEEEE !!!!! " Plus, she says stuff that's just totally out of place. How many times have you heard a ring announcer call The Rock "The People's Champ, The Rock!" during his entrance? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
-The ring entrances...my god, the ring entrances - part 3. This is basically a "lack of polish" problem...and a good fact to support my stance of "I wish they would have delayed it again so they could make it more polished." For one of my matches, I selected Tazz, and decided to make Spike be his second. I put him against Matt Hardy, and decided to have Lita be his second. So, Tazz comes out without Spike, then Spike comes out by himself in a seperate entrance. Would it really be so hard to have them come out together? But it gets worse. Matt and Lita come out together (I guess the cpu has built in "pairs" that DO come out together...which kind of sucks because it really will date the game 2 months from now), and the graphic reads "Hardy Boyz." For Matt and Lita. Sigh. And if they haven't crapped in my ice cream enough, Lillian then introduces them as the Hardy Boyz in her monotone-then-suddenly-fake-happy-sounding voice.
-The ring entrances...my god, the ring entrances - part 4. Can't ANYONE get the crowd pops right? The crowd doesn't go nuts when HHH stands on the ramp with his water, it goes nuts when the first guitar chord of his theme plays! Same thing with a bunch of other guys. This shouldn't be that hard to fix...it's another "polish" issue.
-Roster. We've got K-Kwik and Funaki but no Booker T or RVD.
-Blood. Or lack of it. It's too bad, Anchor created a whole new blood engine for this game, and then the WWF made them take it out.
-No auto-save. A careless oversight by Anchor. I unlocked Stephanie and about 6 new items by winning the women's division, but forgot to save and had to do it again the next time I played.
NIT-PICKY, NOT AS IMPORTANT BAD STUFF:
-*Out of date. Due to the delays of the game, some of the stuff seems kind of outdated. Here's a list of what was outdated when the game came out on 2/12. Obviously I won't update this as more stuff becomes outdated, as it isn't the developers fault stuff keeps happening.
1. Austin has his "failed heel turn" theme (which I actually prefer to the current "1998" theme he's using), but still, it seems outdated. Too bad they didn't just give him the Disturbed theme like he had in the early build of the game.
2. Spike has the current Dudleys theme, instead of the old Dudleys theme...which is even stranger because you CAN use the old Dudleys theme for your CAWs, so it is in the game.
3. Edge has his old, non-Rob Zombie theme. Personally I think they both suck, so it doesn't matter to me.
4. UT has his old "Dead Man Walking" titantron...which I really can't blame them for, since the new one debuted only last week.
5. Tazz & Test have their old themes. Again, not Anchor's fault because they've only had the new themes since the Rumble last month.
6. Regal uses his old Titantron and theme. No big deal, as I like them better anyway.
-Similar to the aforementioned glitching through the rope problem....can we please have a game where when the second wrestler enters, we can still see the first wrestler standing either in the ring or out of it? Sheesh. I'm sick of the first wrestler vanishing every time his opponent walks out.
-It's somewhat annoying how when one wrestler's entrance is over, his music practically stops suddenly instead of fading like it would in real life. This is another easily fixed problem that I wish someone would pay attention to.
Now, on to the good stuff:
GOOD: -First and foremost....THIS GAME ENGINE'S POTENTIAL LOOKS EXCELLENT. Seriously, although it needs some major work in this particular game, I haven't felt this good overall about a wrestling game engine since I played SFPWXP. The "voltage meter" (a momentum meter) rules, and with some tweaking for the next game in this series, could make for some of the most "realistic" matches possible. If Anchor would put some serious time into revamping what they already have, the next game in the series could be excellent. Scoff if you want, but I could see this engine surpassing the No Mercy style within the next game or two, and take a firm second place behind Fire Pro.
-Entrances. I ragged on them above a good amount, but overall they are pretty cool and look good.
-Recovery. While occasionally someone will get up briefly after being hit with a finishing manuver, it's not nearly as bad as Smackdown 3's arcadey-jerky-bouncy-wrestlers-get-right-up-after-taking-the-Last-Ride-though-the-roof-of-the-hell-in-the-cell gameplay.
-Control. The button layout is decent and you get used to it after a match or two....even though getting used to it doesn't mean you're going to do any better.
-Graphics. While not as insanely detailed as everyone was screaming about when this game was first announced, they are still very good, and much better than Smackdown 3's.
-Animation. Slightly glitchy once in a great while as mentioned above, but still sweet looking. *Framerate is excellent and this is definetly the smoothest wrestling game on the market. Oh...and for Smackdown players...UT's bike wheels actually move
-Attacking opponent while they are coming out to the ring. Adds a great (and often hilarious) element of realism to the game.
-Museum. THIS RULES. Seriously, this feature alone adds nearly a point to my overall score. A feature long overdue in a WWF game....browse through all the wrestlers, see their bios, browse through all the weapons in the game, check out Titantrons, and more. *And this isn't just a 30 second clip of their titantron like you see at wwf.com...this is the whole thing with the entire song. People who like to collect unreleased WWF themes....this game is something you need.* Oh, and speaking of weapons:
-Weapons. There is a ridiculous amount of weapons and items in this game...while that's a cool thing, I kind of wonder if the game would seem more solid if they had spent half as much time clearing up stuff like the entrances and gameplay problems as they did coming up with amusing hats for the wrestlers to put on mid-match.
Now, onto what I've seen in the create-a-wrestler mode.
THE CAW MODE:
A good first effort...it seems strange...they put a TON of effort into some areas, while totally glossing over others with little depth. A quick note...you pick a picture for your save icon...most of them are little drawings like a skull, 100 dollar bills, a heart, etc...but then there are some which I got a laugh out of....especially what looked like a drawing of Stacy Keibler, and most of all, a picture of Glen Jacobs (as Yankem) with an afro superimposed on him. WTF?! Anyway, some points about it, in 9th grade outline style:
1. Cosmetic adjusters are good, but kind of annoying and repetitive to go through and select.
1a. There are only 16 heads to choose from, and a lot of them look the same. Fortunately there is a decent amount of hairstyles to choose from.
1b. The clothing selection is relatively small, and it becomes annoying to have to select "right upper sleeve," go through everything until you have what you want, then go to "right forearm" and go through everything until you have what you want, then do the same process for the left arm. And the same process for the legs (thigh and lower leg). It just seems like they could have made it so it doesn't take as long...they should have made the left and right legs and arms "locked" together, because unless you want to make a Paul Orndorff CAW, there's no reason to be able to make one arm smaller and/or different looking than the other.
1c. Extra crap like glasses, headbands, etc. There is a ton of this to choose from, but you have to do the very quest game-ish "unlocking" of them by finding them in-game. For instance, if you use Undertaker, you'll unlock his bandana and glasses. Use Angle and you'll unlock the medals. Brawl outside the ring and you may find some new hat lying around. An interesting approach, although it seems slightly out of place.
1d. Size. This is where it gets amusing. For the first time in a wrestling game, you can make an accurate Giant Gonzalez. Ok, sorry...but you CAN make some really freaky looking guys in this game. If you want your guy to be 9 feet tall, go for it....and it isn't like the old WCW N64 games....you can DEFINETLY tell size difference between wrestlers. I love it.
2. There are a fair amount of moves...not as many as FirePro of course. After being spoiled with FirePro, this game seems lacking, especially when it comes to moves you do to the opponent on the ground. There are under a dozen moves you can do for some of the situations (i.e. opponent down with you at their head). It seems like everyone either does a repeated punch to the head or rams their head into the canvas. While there are many, many moves to choose from in the standing grapple (hell, they even have the Shining Wizard, although it's Simpsonized....it's called the "Shinning Wizard"), more moves in the non-standing grapple department would have been nice...especially since you barely get to use your standing grapple moves because the gameplay is so poor.
2a. If you can actually get your opponent worn down and your voltage meter up (no small task, especially with a good opponent), the special moves are thankfully not too difficult to pull off.
3. Entrances for CAWs. They really seemed to put some thought into this part, which has always been one of my favorite things to work on for CAWs in the past THQ/AKI games.
3a. Although it's missing the 2 different things you set for your entrance like how WM2k has (i.e. Dancing like Too Cool at the entrance, then setting off pyro like Kane once you're in the ring), you can select any of the already in-game ones for your entrance, and a few original ones as well.
3b. THE LIGHTING!! Jesus, you can control the color patterns on the ramp, the titantron lighting, the ring lighting, the color of spotlights, how often the spotlights go off, if they follow you or randomly swirl around, and about 94369436 other tweaks. I love it....although, like the weapons, I wonder what the game would be like if they put this much time into the gameplay.
3c. Themes. You can select all the WWF themes used by wrestlers in the game (a nice touch was adding some extra older themes that are unused in the game, but can be used by your CAWS...the old Kaientai theme, the old Dudleys theme, Christian's short-lived singles theme from when he was a vampire, and one or two more), plus some pretty crappy sounding original themes (all of which, I believe, are from the menu screens). WHY THE HELL did they remove "rip your own entrance theme?" That would have added another .5 to my score if it was left in. It was very, very stupid to remove this feature before the game came out, and possibly what disappointed me the most in this game, next to the gameplay.
3d (THROUGH THE TABLE!!!). Titantrons. Yes, extra old and unused titantrons to use for CAWs are nice to be able to pick from...but really, I can't ever see myself givng my CAW the old Kaientai entrance video. Seriously, unless you make a "1997 Stone Cold," these extra titantrons are nice to have but pretty much useless.
That about does it...or at least that's all I'm willing to write. This is a f*@(ing shame. I really think, if the gameplay was excellent, this could have been no less than the 3rd best wrestling game ever released. I guess a very quick way to sum it up is...take the layout of the old THQ/AKI games, then subtract 60% of the fun, and 80% of the ease-of-use. Although this game is disappointing, I still believe that when the time comes for a sequel, Anchor will take their time and do it right. They have some stuff already in place that is a good start, but need to really fix the gameplay.
If any of you picked it up, please go ahead and write what you think about it.
My final score is a 6.0 out of 10.....the bells and whistles like the museum and CAW entrance editor saved it from a low score.
I believe one of the stumbling blocks is an outtake/deleted scene that features Bill Murray singing "Que Sera Sera," which is where the rights clearance snag is coming from. The Digital Bits (thedigitalbits.com) (I think)