isnít really known for its top wrestling games. Honestly, Acclaim
isnít really known for having top games recently in any field.
Having lost the WWF/WWE license to THQ and the ECW license to a
buyout from WWE, Acclaim was left without a league to design a game
around. That apparently did not stop Acclaim. Instead of
concentrating on one single league, they managed to throw some of
the most famous names of all time into one game titled "Legends
of Wrestling." However, even with a great idea like that,
Acclaim still cannot make a game worth spending the full 49.95 MSRP.
the name suggests, Legends of Wrestling takes some of the top
wrestlers of yesteryear and drops them into a game. The featured
wrestler is Hulk Hogan, but it really seems to go down from there.
Sure, it includes the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom, Ted "the
Million Dollar Man" DiBiase, Jimmy Snuka, Bret Hart and many
others, but the roster lacks several major wrestlers including Jake
Roberts, Randy Savage, Ric Flair and Andre the Giant. The two
additions to the rosters that left me wondering were Sabu and Rob
Van Dam. Donít get me wrong, Sabu and RVD are great, but they do
not even belong in the same game as the rest of the roster (with the
exception of Terry Funk) because they arenít even from the same
style of matches. The announced sequel seems to have attempted to
fix the roster problems, but the world will have to bear with this
game for a while.
control scheme reminded me of WWF Raw because it simply took good
ideas and dropped them in a blender. I actually liked this control
scheme because it reminded me of THQís N64 method with a few
additions. Acclaim calls it the ISP (Intermediate Start Position)
System, but I like to call it the BMS (Button Mashing System).
During a grapple, players press one of the other buttons to perform
a certain move. Some of the buttons bring you to a position for a
few seconds where you can jam another button to perform a stronger
move. There are also counter bars that fly every time a move is
pulled. If you hit the corresponding buttons, you can counter a move
being done to you or make the move you are attempting stronger or
end up in a pin/submission. The system is great in theory. However,
the word "sucks" describes it in practice. The button
response is extremely sluggish, so running moves are close to
impossible to pull off. The ISP/BMS system is cool, but it
eventually turns the game into a button masher because of the way
counters are set up.
the game is ok. WWF Raw looks slightly better because the characters
have a realistic look. The characters in Legends of Wrestling (in
fitting with the time periods that the characters wrestled during)
have a larger than life look. Characters look almost muscularly
disproportional. However, Acclaim did do their homework since the
wrestlers look extremely close to their real life counterparts. Letís
come to reality folks, these wrestlers looked HUGE during their
prime and this game captures that feeling perfectly.
game plays like wrestling matches were until the 1980ís. The
matches are fairly slow paced although this is due to the match
style. There really arenít any of the fast paced modern moves or
hardcore wrestling antics of ECW. The game is based on punches,
kicks, and grapple moves.
are not a major variety of matches and that is a shame. There is
single, tag, 3 way and 4 way dances. You cannot recreate some of the
greatest cage matches of all time and you cannot take on Terry Funk
in a hardcore match. This really kills the gameís replay value.
However, the introductions to the matches are a great innovation.
There is an announcer that hypes the character (spouting off info
like height, weight, and nicknames). The audience also reacts to the
entrance walk and the announcing. Itís interesting, but it still
cannot extend the replay value.
matches are slow, but interesting. Instead of just breaking out of a
submission hold, wrestlers flip around and crawl towards the ropes
in a dramatic fashion. A Referee is present during the matches.
Managers can distract the ref and wrestlers can
"accidentally" bump into the ref. Acclaim manages to do
what every other game needs to do: they added an interactive referee
to the picture. There are weapons, but they arenít as extensive as
a modern wrestler (not that they should be). An "audience
interest" meter, located at the top of the screen, indicates
the match rating. This meter is positively and negatively affected
by various actions such as repetitive moves, dangerous moves, weapon
shots and ref bumps.
Career mode is the high point of this game. It captures the
wrestling world during its pre-WWF/WCW phase. Your character must go
from territory to territory to capture the title belt. You
eventually move up to the world stage. In order to get a belt, you
must be popular enough with the crowds. How do you gain popularity?
This is where the audience interest meter comes in handy. You must
win matches with the meter ranking all the way up to gain popularity
points. However, the career mode does get extremely repetitive and
there really isnít any sort of storyline or plot to all of it.
Hopefully this is improved in the sequel.
game does have a Create-a-legend feature. Its decent, but it still
does not seem to capture the full potential of the next generation
systems. I did like it better than WWF Rawís feature mainly
because it allows you to chose pre-recorded names, hometowns, and
nicknames as well as import an entrance theme from the hard drive.
of the greatest wrestlers ever
music in the Create-a-legend feature
look like they inject more steroids than Major League Baseball
Van Dam and Sabu do not fit
Ric Flair or Andre the Giant
of Wrestling is by no means a horrible game. It does manage to
follow the trend of next generation wrestling titles. It does not
deliver and actually disappoints. It also follows the Xbox tradition
of not providing any sort of replay value or gimmick matches in the
game. Iíd buy this game before Iíd waste my money on WWF Raw,
but I doubt Iíd spend more than 20 bucks on it. So, whatís the
final verdict? Either grab it out of a bargain bin or rent it.