lasts forever is a phrase that we all are familiar with. It can be
associated with so many things in our life, no matter how miniscule the
item might be. One who is all too familiar with this is Vince McMahon,
owner of the largest wrestling entertainment enterprise in the world.
Through the years he has witnessed the rise and fall of both its
popularity and its fan base. Currently the industry is in a stagnant
state hibernating until the next breakthrough--which won't happen
anytime soon if Road to Wrestlemania X8 is any indication.
WWE Road to Wrestlemania X8 does not offer much in improvements over
its predecessor. The roster consists of 16 WWE superstars; while not up
to date with the current television roster, it is still comprised of the
bigger named superstars that was on the roster at the time of the actual
Wrestlemania event. Those wanting to play as the "Next Big Thing", Brock
Lesner, will just have to wait until the next installment, but until
then you can play as the "Old Big Thing" Hulk Hogan. There are, however,
plenty of ways that this can be played. The majority of the game has you
competing against the computer, working your way up the ladder in order
to vie for a title shot. You have the opportunity to choose which belt
you want to work for. If you happen to have a friend with a copy of
Wrestlemania X8, you can play each other by linking the two GBAs
together. There are plenty of options whether you want to play solo or
with a friend. Options are not the issue here. Rather, the troublesome
areas are the complete lack of any solid gameplay as well as the purely
archaic technical aspects of the game.
are what you would expect from a handheld WWE game. Each superstar has
their own entrance music that is faithful in a synthesized sort of way,
but the results are uneven. The Rock has the words to accompany his
music, yet HHH does not, for example. The rest of the audio palate is
comprised of the usual fare of grunts and smacks
The previous game used a very stylized look, so in an attempt to
update the game THQ has altered the look to make them more realistic.
The final product resembles the old WWF Wrestlemania game minus the
special powers that appeared on the SNES and early Playstation consoles.
This Mortal Kombat look can be quite acceptable for the handheld market,
so it is not an issue. The issue is with the animations. I have seen
better animation in the old Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer than in this
cartridge. The best description that can be given is that it appears as
they filmed someone wrestling with action figures in their hands.
This poor animation greatly affects how the game is played,
especially when you add in the lack of any controls. The controls are
the worst I have seen in quite awhile. You can press the buttons all you
want and they just dont seem to respond at all. Even the most
rudimentary task requires you to continuously press the button until it
decides to work. This creates a one-dimensional game that only allows
you to strike if you want any success in a match. This is unfortunate
because they actually took the time to put in every signature move for
each wrestler to make them stand apart from the others.
This game has everything, yet nothing a wrestling fan would want. It
has the solid roster with faithful moves and ambiance we want. However,
its all for not, due to the poor animation and absolute lack of
responsive controls. Die hard WWE fans would be better off playing the
first one than wasting any time on Road to Wrestlemania X8. The casual
wrestling fan will be better off with one of the two Fire Pro Wrestling
games which offer more depth and are superior in technical aspects as