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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Wrestling

 

Publisher

Acclaim

 

Developer

Acclaim

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q2 2002

 

 

- A lot of wrasslers

 

 

- Slushy graphics

- No character development

- Glitchy controls

- No Rowdy Roddy Piper!

- Bad music

- Didnít they care?

 

 

Review: Legends of Wrestling (XBox)

Review: WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It! (Playstation 2)

 

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Legends of Wrestling

Score: 4.0 / 10

I remember the days of WWF pro wrasslin' - George the Animal Steel bit heads and flashed his green tongue, Junk Yard Dog strutted in his chains, Adrian Adonis bathed his opponents in rancid saliva and the Tugboat held Hulk Hogan in the choke hold for what seemed like a week. Those were some fine days of glory and innocence. When wrassliní was a parody of itself and not taken as seriously by its fans as it is today. There was the Rockiní Wrestling cartoon with Wendy Richter, Rowdy Roddy Piper and others. The action figures and Hulkamania! Such a rich legacy Ė one that deserves a much better tribute than Legends of Wrestling.

 

legends-of-wrestling-gc-1.jpg (63909 bytes)          legends-of-wrestling-gc-2.jpg (62963 bytes)

 

Greatest of the game's faults is the failure to capture the personality of such an exciting era of wrestling. With a roster of over 40 legendary WWF wrasslers there is absolutely no real display of character besides the ring entrances that are crudely reproduced. In an attempt to stuff as many characters as possible into the game, the essence of each was sacrificed. With favorites like Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, King Kong Bundy, Captain Lou Albano and Koko B. Ware, itís so unfortunate to see them lost in the shuffle. The omission of Rowdy Roddy Piper doesnít help much either.

 

Considering the glory of such games as Pro Wrestling on NES, itís true that wrassliní games donít have to be pretty in order to be fun. The developers certainly thought so too. Unfortunately the character models are pitifully designed with saucy textures and minimal definition. The colors are washed out and blurry and movements are stiff and unrealistic. The rings and environments are plain but passable and overall do nothing to help the scenery.

 

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The control layout actually isnít that bad theoretically.  The attack system is set up so you can hit the analog stick in any direction while hitting the Y button on the Gamecube controller and get various attacks. Additionally, after grappling, you can perform different moves by pressing different buttons. The problem is the controls are slow to respond and awkward on screen. The character often doesnít seem to want to cooperate. Picking up and using weapons is a nightmare along with using the 

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environment for fighting or climbing the turnbuckle. Games are frequently reduced to chases around the ring while you and your opponent exchange slams and grapple moves.

 

When the button combinations work itís entertaining to see the signature moves and harsh facial pounding but itís nothing to write home about. Move variation is noticeably limited and after a while becomes repetitious. Once you fill your finishing move meter you can perform one of the signature moves.

 

legends-of-wrestling-gc-3.jpg (61806 bytes)          legends-of-wrestling-gc-4.jpg (61616 bytes)

 

There is a collection of modes including exhibition, Vs, 3 way, 4 way, tag team, career and tournament. All are exactly what they sound like. Create a Legend allows the player to create a wrestler with a nice amount of options and abilities to tool around with. Unfortunately it does little to help or save the game play.

 

The music is comprised of cheap, tinny rock and roll without commentators or voice-overs. Not even the Hulk opens his mouth for this one! Legends of Wrestling just screams rush job/quick cash in. The concept was grand but the execution was anything but. VS mode might afford a couple of Ď80s wrassliní buffs a few hours of fun but itíll never replace any of todayís wrestling titles. It couldnít even make me stop playing Pro Wrestling.

 

- Doug Flowe

(August 13, 2002)

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