Wednesday, 17 July 2019

WWF In Your House - WTF RAW!!!

That’s right, you heard me! This ain’t no WWE crap! This is raw, unbridled wrestling back when WCW and WWF were competing for the top spot in the cable charts. Back when Hulk Hogan was a bad guy in NWO and McMahan didn’t talk like he had a bottle brush shoved down his throat. This point in time had many legendary match-ups happening within months of each other and the internet was just starting to give away all of the secrets before they happened. Wrestling was at a great peak in popularity.

Now the real question this review asks: Why in the hell would you make something like this? Not only were there better wrestling titles out at the time, but there were better titles out for past consoles. It really made no sense. There was some charm to the idea, having them use super human powers that went along with their wrestling personas. The execution, however, was less than stellar. Acclaim shows off their usual real person avatars, but they are without polish. They didn’t blend in with the background and to see random stuff bouncing out of their mouths when they’re slammed was off-putting to say the least.

The roster, while actually somewhat good, is still a problem. Some of these guys are WWF legends and now this game is more or less making them into a joke! Their moves are cartoony, their catchphrases rake against the ear and the worst part about it is none of their signature moves are on display as they were in games past. 

So, now you have real life people spitting up bizarre things and blasting each other with comic book superhero abilities. Not, in itself, a deal breaker because you seem to get use to it over time. Then you start with the actual gameplay and there’s where this game goes off the sidelines once again. You have wrestling moves, yes, but the action is just run and gun beat’em up. Again, not terrible by itself, but then it sinks in.

It’s a fighting game, mindless and fast paced, then the pinning system is literally nonexistent. You pin them as they run out of hitpoints and they cannot get back up. There is no endurance meter and beyond that, there is no gameplay system. It’s a non-gory Mortal Kombat where you pin someone at the end. The fighting system is about as shallow as it can get. The combos are not worth learning as the game is laughably easy.

These alone make the game somewhat below average in the grand scope, but then it has to speak. Yes, the technology of sound cards in live action videos and speech were somewhat new, but this was just awful. PS1 did not get the wrestler catch phrases, the Sega Saturn did. You get these awkward, terribly misplaced sound clips of the wrestlers (especially Golddust) saying some trivial nonsense at the end of every fight. Then there’s the announcers. They’re there to make the game seem more like a wrestling game, but they only succeed in saying pointless phrases such as “This is insanity!” or “That’s not a good idea!” or something to that effect. They make playing every match a minor annoyance that only builds in severity as you keep playing.

As a wrestling fan of the time, this was a sore misuse of the WWF property. The gameplay is uninspired, the Saturn graphics are better than the PS1 but that’s not saying much, and it just gets repetitive to the point of monotony very quickly. This game is far from horrific, though. The hit detection is up to par, the action can be fun in small doses, and now we have the nostalgia goggles on because not all of these wrestlers are still alive today, and many of them have since retired. If you’re a fan of these characters, you could do worse. It can be fun if you dull your senses down to its level. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you. VIRTUA SLAM!!!!

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