WWF Smackdown! (PS1) Review

WWF Smackdown! is very much the wrestling game equivalent of “from humble beginnings”, as this first entry in the series is, erm… lacking in a lot of departments, to put it nicely. It came out just a few months after I’d gotten WrestleMania 2000, so I only played it via renting it out once, and then playing around friends’ houses. Was I wrong to not give it a fair shake?! Let’s… okay, I think we know the answer, but let’s take a look anyway!

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ECW Hardcore Revolution (PS1) Review

ECW’s first game should’ve been a reason to celebrate, but instead it was a blatant cash-grab, both ECW and Acclaim were hurting financially and so clearly wanted this out of the door as fast as possible, and it shows. It’s pretty much just WWF Attitude with ECW characters and logos, plus a Barbed Wire Match. It was still fun for a short burst because I was actually playing as ECW wrestlers, which was weird after all that time, but it soon became rather obvious what was going on. How is it now, in hindsight? Let’s find out!

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Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 (N64) Review

Here we have the only Japan-exclusive game on this list, thanks to importing games being expensive at the time combined with me having no money (plus getting imported PS2 games to work was a pain in the arse). I actually played VPW2 long after No Mercy, I was desperate for a new AKI engine game so imported this, and was thrilled with the results as thanks to the new-fangled higher-speed internet I was finally watching a lot of Puro that I’d only ever read about (or seen in EWR/TEW). Looking back it also now feels like a combination of AKI games and Fire Pro, my other major Wrestling game love, so that’s a big plus in my book! Let’s take a look then, at the second-to-last AKI game…

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WWF WrestleMania 2000 (N64) Review

WWF WrestleMania 2000

Yay! Another AKI game, and one with the WWF (at the time) license no less! I remember absolutely going crazy at the announcement that THQ and AKI had dropped the WCW license and were now working for their competition, and I still have a very vivid memory (which makes sense as I was 15 at the time, so it’s not like I was a child or anything) of seeing Chris Jericho was in this game, even though he’d only jumped ship recently, and just freaking out. So was the marriage of the AKI engine and WWF during the “just starting to get away from the super-immature attitude era and heading to the well written attitude era” a winner? … Do you even have to ask?!

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WCW Mayhem (PS1) Review

WCW Mayhem

When I think of WCW games I either think of the great AKI engine games, the really bad Nitro/Thunder duo, or the bizarre game they end on (coming soon!) so WCW Mayhem always falls under the radar, despite being the last “serious” WCW game released, the only traditional wrestling game released by EA and the first wrestling game to have accessible backstage areas. How does this one-off play like? Should it be more fondly remembered? Let’s find out!

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WWF Attitude (PS1 / Dreamcast) Review

WWF Attitude

WWF Attitude was quite the big deal when it came out, to me it was mostly because it actually had a career mode with a calendar screen, house shows, the works. I was really excited, and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed, and the create-a-wrestler suite was amazing (at the time) to top things off. I’ll admit the Dreamcast version, which did have improved graphics, is only in my collection because it came with the console, but I did play it a bit, and used it for the purposes of this review, meaning I probably played the Dreamcast version more in 2020 than I did in 1999/2000… Anyway, let’s take a look!

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WCW/n.W.o Thunder (PS1) Review

WCW nWo Thunder

So after reviewing one of the best wrestling games ever, we get the exact opposite. Thunder was made by the same team who made Nitro, and instead of doing anything to fix the game, they just poured more bollocks into it until it completely broke. The fact this came out roughly a month after Revenge boggles the mind. I feel sorry for those who only had a PS1 back in the day and were fans of WCW. Well… Let’s have a look then…

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WWF War Zone (PS1 / N64) Review

WWF Warzone

Guess who finally has more free time to return to the Wrestling Game Rundown? … Well, me, obviously, and while I wish the “more time” aspect would’ve come for a happier reason than the whole world shutting down, I shall take this opportunity regardless! So War Zone is the start of a four-game series using the same engine, one that I have sort-of fond memories of, but they always fell to the AKI engine N64 games in the long run each year. Still, this game was the first to have a proper Create-a-Wrestler, so there’s that! Let’s take a look then…

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WCW Nitro (PS1) Review

WCW Nitro

It still amazes me that this game came out around the same time as the N64 classic I reviewed last time in the Wrestling Game Rundown, as the two games couldn’t be any different. Nitro plays like crap, looks like crap, and was far too enamoured with having small grainy videos play than actually creating a good game… or a half-decent game even. WCW vs. n.W.o World Tour on the other hand was all great gameplay, with good graphics (for the time) and a fun presentation. So, lets grit our teeth and dive headfirst into a game I only have bad memories of and was so relieved to have only rented out…

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