Recently the WWF dropped the
"F" in their moniker and replaced it with an "E". Doing so, they are
marking their transition from being a pseudo sport federation to a pure entertainment
company. Not long after the name change the first WWE game has been released for the
GameCube. When the N64 was alive and kicking, numerous WWF games such as No Mercy found
their way to Nintendo. THQ has mixed the aforementioned No Mercy with Playstations
Smackdown for the fundamentals to Wrestlemania X8. After playing this game it seems that
more than just the "F" should have been dropped from the WW.
you will notice that there is absolutely no career mode. Instead there is a tournament you
must go through in order to win a belt. Each win brings you one more rung up to the
championship. Beat the champion, you will not only win the belt, but unlock a hidden
wrestler as well. Six belts mean six wrestlers will be unlocked. Don't like the belts that
the WWE has designed? Now you can design your own belt and then put it up against a
friend. Up to forty belts can be acquired. This is a throwback to the games on the N64.
Its a unique twist to a wrestling game; its just not a feature to make up for
and three friends can play one of the many matches available on Wrestlemania X8. Ranging
from the simple one on one contest to the extreme fatal four ways in the hell in a cell,
X8 offers every style of match that you will find in the actual TV broadcast. The Rock,
HHH, and the Undertaker make an appearance, along with legends such as Kevin Nash and Hulk
Hogan. Now that Hulk Hogan is in X8, its the second game he makes and appearance in.
The other is Legends of Wrestling published by Acclaim. With a roster nearing forty
wrestlers, the variety easily tops Raw on the Xbox. That is not counting the
create-a-wrestler mode that has become a standard for wrestling games. Unfortunately there
is nothing special in the create-a-wrestler feature that makes it stand out from the many
other games out there.
you ranked the three WWE games that came out for each system Wrestlemania has the
best-looking character designs. Realistic, yet stylized enough to keep the larger than
life fašade going. Each wrestler has been scanned to ensure that their likeness is as it
should be. Now that Nintendo has finally gone to a disc based game instead of the
cartridge, full entrances are available with the actual movies played on the titantron.
Elaborate lighting and pyrotechnics make an appearance to assist in wowing the audience.
THQ has decided not to put any color commentary in the game at all. Usually the lack of
any commentary raises a red flag, but after what happened in PS2s Smackdown, the
lack thereof is a blessing. One thing that should be added is audio taunts. Sure you can
talk smack to the friend on your couch, but its not as intimidating coming from your
mouth as it would be coming from the Undertaker. Licensed songs from Limp Bizkit and
Motorhead can be heard as the entrance theme to the Undertaker and HHH respectively. Every
other wrestler also has their music represented, though some better than others. The NWO's
music does not sound like it should; it's way too synthesized.
music can be overlooked if its not quite right and graphics can be flawed on a good
game the controls are a killer that should not happen. Ideally, the layout of the controls
should lend itself to a fluid game play experience, and this is only somewhat true in
Wrestlemania. The real villain in this game is the unresponsiveness of the controls.
Wrestling should be a game with strategy, not repeatedly pressing the punch button to be
successful. It seems that the buttons need to be repeatedly pressed before the game knows
what you are trying to accomplish.
With a prime opportunity to create the quintessential wrestling game that would give
Gamecube owners bragging rights over the rest, Wrestlemania X8 gives a mediocre
performance and should be demoted to the developmental league. If there is any bright
point to all of this its the fact that this is the first WWE game for a new system.
There is plenty of time to get it right, and the only way to go from here is up. Any more
steps backward will kill the series.