WCW vs. The World (PS1) Review

WCW vs The World

Here we are, the next entry of the Wrestling Game Rundown and it’s the game I mentioned in the previous entry as a game I was looking forward to, but a long delay led to much anger and impatience. Was it worth the wait, and what’s it like now? Let’s find out in what is the first of the later Godly AKI games, even if it’s very barebones, comparatively…

Background:

WCW vs The World 1

Actually it was a heart attack, but it was probably due to past drug use, to be fair…

WCW vs. The World was actually an altered port of Japanese game Virtual Pro Wrestling that had been released in September 96. It was released in the US on February 28th, 1997 and in Europe in December 1997 (after many a delay…)

The roster features Sting, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, and Rick and Scott Steiner, plus the game debut of Eddie Guerrero, Jeff Jarrett, Chris Benoit, The Giant (later known as The Big Show), Steven (later William) Regal, Dean Malenko, and Ultimo Dragon. The fictional side is full of clearly real wrestlers, but again I’m not counting them! They are often hilarious though (and sometimes tragic, as seen above…) my favourites are a wrestler simply called “200 Wins” (Yoji Anjo) and Sabu’s alt. name being called “David Harley”.

Gameplay:

WCW vs The World 2

This is the only other screenshot besides the roster one that’s mine. My PS1 emulator is pants! I had to put the disc in and play it on my badly-stretched-image-due-to-mordern-TV PS2…

The Game has a lot of similarities to the perfection that is the N64 AKI games. It has different levels of grapple depending on how long you hold the grapple button, and it has the Spirit Meter system rather than a health bar, where the more momentum (moves in a row) you have the more resilient to pins you are (and it can lead to a Special move!), with the opposite being the case, obviously. There are a good number of grapple moves, alongside strikes, running strikes, top rope moves and the like. It’s still actually quite fun and approachable, and some of the move reversals, like cartwheeling out of an huricanrana, is impressive!

As for modes? Well, you can tell this is a translated Japanese wrestling game, as you can play Leagues and Tournaments, as well as title matches and exhibition matches. There are no tag matches as you’re limited to just two people in the ring at one time, the last time this is a problem going forward…

Graphics and Sound:

WCW vs The World 4

The game debut of Crow Sting, almost as important as a regular debut, really…

The graphics are blocky and undetailed, but the texture is smooth and pleasing to the eye… in their own way. The ring and ringside textures leave a lot to be desired on the other hand, but that’s early 3D games for you…

The sound is good though! Some properly catchy tracks, including some knock-offs of Japanese themes from various companies, all digital CD-quality. Crowd and “grunts and groans” are good too, I guess? It’s got the AKI clothes being ran through a wringer sound when submissions are applied anyway!

Thoughts Then:

WCW vs The World 5

I genuinely don’t know who either wrestlers are…

Although I feel I would have played this to death had it been released at its original time, I did play this a lot, and I much preferred the grappling system, Spirit Meter, choice of modes and the vast roster over those found in Power Move. Still, it wasn’t too long until I got World Tour on the N64, which was this but far better, and with four people in the ring!

4 Star Game Old

Thoughts Now:

WCW vs The World 3

Eddie Guerrero gets ready to punch Scott Steiner in the nads! (No really!)

It’s fine, and the character select screen will never not give me warm and fuzzy memories, but at the end of the day it’s a “not quite there yet” version of the AKI engine, with singles matches only. I won’t be playing it again, but not because its bad, but simply because it’s of its time…

3 Star Game New

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