Retro Video Game Reviews #1

“Wrestling’s Video Game Heyday” When bald Jews wrestled old men.

Professional wrestling.  A bizarre exhibition of steroid crazy freaks who pummel each other that isn’t football.  Which is really all it’s worth, an alternative to football that seems even more brutal.  It bridges the societal gap between organized sport and coliseum orgy bloodbath.  For those of you who still pay attention to wrestling, please be under sixteen.  If not then I implore you to read this article even though the big words scare you.

Wrestling was neat ten years ago, when you didn’t care who Hulk Hogan’s kids were and Chris Benoit’s wife still had her face.  This was the twilight of the 80’s generation of wrestlers, greats like Macho Man Randy Savage, Lex Luger and Bret Hart, but it coincided with a new golden age of wrestlers like Steve Austin, The Rock , the Giant and Sting.  All lot of talent at one time organized into two distinct organizations: the WCW and the WWF.

Back then you had a choice, Old men wrestling Bill Goldberg combined with thirteen different Mexicans in masks fighting luchadore style on WCW Monday Nitro or Steve Austin vigorously fighting Vince McMahon by drinking beer and flipping people off on the WWF’s Raw is War.  And it was all fun.  Kane was a retarded behemoth that shot lightning bolts at hot dog vendors.  Macho man made Slim Jim commercials instead of rap albums.  The Rock wasn’t associated with “The Mummy”.  Owen Hart’s head was still attached to his neck and Chris Benoit’s wife still had her face (I love that joke!).

Anyway it was also the time of the four best wrestling games ever made, WCW vs NWO world tour (1997), WCW vs. NWO Revenge (1998), WWF Wrestlemania 2000, and WWF No Mercy (2000).   All four share a game engine that originated on the PSone in WCW vs the World.  The original is a far cry from what the N64 games were and is not even worth talking about so I won’t.  The other four for the N64 (alliteration!) are the best wrestling games ever made.  Not only does the period in wrestling help, the system is absolutley perfect for multiple players.  No loading times, four controller ports, easy controls and all your favorite characters.  It is the perfect storm for wasting time.

In comparison to one another all games are worth buying if you have three other friends (and four controllers) so there is no use in anointing a champion.  However if you are thinking about picking one up there is certain criteria that should guide your decision.  So lets define that criteria and list it (because that’s what critics do).  I am including “Dead Wrestlers” as a criteria because nothing is more fun than having Chris Benoit fight Eddy Guerrero.  If only they had included casket matches.

WCW vs NWO World Tour

Big Name Wrestlers- Hulk Hogan, Sting, The Giant, Lex Lugar, Macho Man Randy Savage (unlockable), Ric Flair, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Diamond Dallas Page, The Steiner Brothers

Dead Wrestlers- Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero

Video Game Logic- Wrestlers have several motor skill handicaps.  The cannot run with anything in their hands and if something falls out of their hands it disappears.  Puffing your chest out makes you invincible.   Scott Norton can only be defeated by Rey Mysterio Junior.  Sting can powerbomb the Giant.  Hulk Hogan’s finishing move is a choke lift.

Synopsis-  This game has the fewest characters and also the smallest amount of dead wrestlers but it is also the fastest working game.  I has the only 5 on 5 mode in the American versions and it also lets you handicap your wrestlers.  This also is the only game that has double elimination tag matches.  It has no character editing mode but it does have about twenty wrestlers from Japan you have never heard of.  You can unlock a woman and a black man who only punches.  It is my favorite of the games, but I also am sentimental.  If you want a WCW without Goldberg then you are my best friend and this is the game for you. But needing a working N64 Memory card to save and the general lakc of things to do make this a hardcore fan’s buy.

WCW vs NWO Revenge

Big Name Wrestlers- Hulk Hogan, Sting, Macho Man, DDP, Roddy Piper (unlockable), Lex Luger, Raven, Kevin Nash, Bret Hart, Goldberg

Dead Wrestlers- Curt Henning, Chris Benoit, Brian Adams, Eddy Guerrero, Miss Elizabeth

Video Game Logic; You can run with weapons now, even in the ring, but they still disappear if you drop them.

Synopsis- This game has a lot of dead wrestlers.  I suggest being Chris Benoit and fighting Macho Man one on one so that Macho Man is accompanied by Miss Elizabeth.  Grab a baseball bat and brain Miss Elizabeth repeatedly until she doesn’t have a face.  Trust me it is funny.  Beyond that fun little scenario this game has the biggest Jew wrestler ever, Bill Goldberg.  It has the ultimate collection of WCW wrestlers, so naturally its the perfect game for “Bill Goldberg fights washed up wrestlers” wrestling fan.  In terms of the whole, I cant recomend this game for anyone else.  It adds a royal rumble mode but subtracts the 5 on 5 mode.  It has the most shallow create mode of any wrestling game.  Essentially the game allows you to make Kevin Nash wear pink underwear and change his name to “Gay Freelander”.  Its a fun game for a WCW fan.

WWF WrestleMania 2000

Big Name Wrestlers- Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Kane, Vince McMahon, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Jerry Lawler, The Big Show

Dead Wrestlers- Big Boss Man, Gangrel (who I think is only crippled), Crash Holly

Video Game Logic- Every wrestler is incapable of climbing over edges of cages.  Literally it may take 30 seconds to lift a leg over the edge of a cage. Weapons disappear when dropped.

Synopsis- By far this game has the best title mode.  It takes a long time to become world champion, probably upwards of a hundred or a hundred and fifty matches.  If you want to be the champion make sure you do not have a life.  It has a character editing mode that is pretty deep but you can only really make people who look like other people but wear a Stone Cold Shirt.  Its introduces the cage match and the king of the ring tournament, but if you have friends and like the WWF, get the next game.

WWF No Mercy

Big Name Wrestler-Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Kane, Vince McMahon, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Jerry Lawler, The Big Show

Dead Wrestlers- Big Boss Man, British Bulldog, Eddy Guerrero, Chris Benoit,  Crash Holly, Andre the Giant

Video Game Logic- If you drop a weapon it does not disappear, whoever n addition to not being able to climb a cage you are unable to climb a ladder.

Synopsis-  The best overall editing game makes it possible to make 16 different in depth characters.  You can thusly make any wrestler you can imagine, but unfortunately the game’s  career mode is impossible.  You will never retain your intercontinental title and never become the champ.  That is sad.  Overall the best game.

So that’s it, my opinion of wrestling games from ten years ago.  If you want access to downloads of these games I suggest downloading the “project 64″ N64 emulator from emuparadise.org, where you can also download the rom files.  I also recommend downloading “Virtual Pro Wrestling 2″ so you can run the escapades of the giant monkey Asian named “Giant Baba”.  Extra bonus, he’s dead!

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