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Wrestlemania 2000

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Reviewed by Yoshi-M As some of you may know, I happen to be a WCW fan. However, this does not influence my judgment when it comes to wrestling games. Case in point: Wrestlemania 2000. It was created by THQ, the same guys who released the great WCW vs. NWO World Tour and WCW/NWO Revenge. Now that EA has the WCW license and has botched that up, THQ steps up to the plate to show EA how wrasslin' is done. Wrestlemania 2000 takes us into the wrestling world of the World Wrestling Federation. You choose what wrestler you wish to be (from a healthy list of characters like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Undertaker, Mankind, Triple H, and more) and select from a variety of playing options. You can select Exhibition which is kind of like a quick fix of wrestling by yourself or with friends. Other modes include Road to Wrestlemania, where you select a character and take him (or her) through the weekly shows and monthly pay per views, earning and defending titles until you reach Wrestlemania. There is also King of the Ring, where you choose (or randomly choose) what wrestlers are going to battle it out elimination style until you get down to 2 wrestlers. There is even the Royal Rumble, where you have to go through 40 wrestlers (4 at a time including your character) by knocking them out of the ring, who are then replaced by another wrestler until there are no more left. If you have played THQ's other wrestling games for the Nintendo 64, you will notice the grappling system has returned in Wrestlemania 2K. The controls are very simple: A is to grapple (grab your opponent), B is to Punch/Kick, the C buttons control running, jumping over opponents, and lifting them over your head (when grappled from behind), and the triggers handle blocking. The analog stick controls the taunts (which is now selectable by pressing a direction on the control pad and then moving the stick), and the wrestlers have their major taunts (Austin flicks people off, Mr. A.. ahem, Billy Gunn moons people, Mankind pulls Socko out of his drawers, etc.). A feature that was absent in the WCW games has finally made its way to W2K: Create A Wrestler! This very intuitive creation system is easy to use and very thorough. There are many taunts, faces, hair styles, body styles, outfits, accessories, fighting styles, music, and videos you can select from. Your wrestler has 133 moves (give or take) you can select and tweek via a variety of menus. Not sure what a hurracanrana looks like? Select it and press C left to watch your creation perform the move. What's also neat about the create a wrestler is that many, if not all, of the moves and taunts from the WCW games are intact in W2K! My friends and I were able to easily create Goldberg, Hulk Hogan, Chris Benoit, Bret Hart, Scott Hall, and more, down to their signature moves and taunts! The characters are then saved on the cartridge itself, which holds 16 or so player created wrestlers. You can then move or copy them to memory paks to share with your friends. W2K, by far, has the most attitude out of all the Nintendo 64 wrestling games. The ring entrances for major characters include their theme music and their own video (shown on the jumbo tron above the entrance). The wrestlers also taunt at the entrance, walk their own special way to the ring (Austin's swagger, for example), and then do another taunt when they are in the ring (Kane raises his arms then drops them, flames spouting from the ring posts, is one example). The home brewed wrestlers can also have music and videos(by using WWF character music and videos), along with a lot of walking styles and taunts to choose from.

Graphics 4 out of 5

Since THQ decided to use the old Revenge engine, the graphics have not improved. Though the backgrounds, croud, and entrance graphics look great, and the wrestlers animate beautifully, there isn't much in the department of soft skinning (as seen in previous WWF games). At times, you can see through the polygons at the joints, and the arms look like doll arms (you know, the kind that look like you can pull off). That aside, the animation is very fluid and very realistic, which makes the lack of graphic improvement forgivable. No slow down in this game. A great example of the animations are the taunts. Blue Meanie's dance is hilarious!

Music and Sound 5 out of 5

"CAN YOU SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN'?" you hear blare from the stadium speakers as The Rock makes his entrance. Yes, you hear the theme music of the wrestlers, voice and all. While it does sound kind of muffled, what's cool is that the music does sound that way at a real live event. The sounds of impacts are on the money, with the sound of squeaking boots, the bending sound of the ropes, and the slams onto the mat. The background music is okay, and the great feature with that is you can turn it off! THQ did a very good job bringing the sounds of Sports Entertainment to the Nintendo 64. The only thing missing out of W2K and other recent titles is the commentary, but I think that usually got old after a while anyway.

Game Challenge 4 out of 5

While Exhibition can be somewhat easy, Royal Rumbles, King of the Ring, and especially the Road to Wrestlemania can be brutal. Depending on the characters you face, it can go fairly easy, be a good workout, or be a dragged out slobberknocker. The Road is a long process, and at times you don't always win. When there are titles on the line, look out! The computer gets ruthless. With an adjustable difficulty, this games got enough challenge to keep you coming back.

Game Play-Fun 5 out of 5

Create a wrestler, tag team matches, weapons and blood, this game has it all! This is a great game to play by yourself or with friends (especially with friends). The Create a Wrestler can get tedious if you start from scratch, but the Clone ability allows you to clone other wrestlers, and then you can adjust looks and moves from there.


The computer AI is still not the brightest. Good example: tag team matches. When you have your CPU controlled opponent pinned, a chance is given to your partner and the CPU's partner to jump in the ring. Your CPU partner tends to either stay on the apron or wander in and not do a thing! Or, when you need to tag out because you are getting beat on, your CPU buddy is not there and is busy stalking the other CPU opponent. Argh! Another frustrating point is that the CPU blocks. A lot. When you crank up the difficulty, the computer becomes near impossible to hit due to blocks or constant reversals. I had hoped THQ would make some things more realistic (like when a person is drop kicked, a puffed out chest doesn't repel the attack). Basically, you have to move really quick with weak attacks and grapples to wear down the computer, and then things will start to go your way. But, man, it stinks sometimes.

Replayability 5 out of 5

There is a lot of power given to the player here: create a wrestler, create a Pay Per View event (you name it and the location), create a belt (name the belt and pick a design for it), and the actual game itself. Its pretty much never the same game twice, 'cause in wrestling, anything can happen.

Game Value 5 out of 5

What can I say, its got the grapple system, the ability to create a lot of characters, belts, and events, what more can you ask for?

Overall 5 out of 5

This is, by far, the best wrestling game available on the Nintendo 64. THQ has taken all the elements that make wrestling great and managed to squeeze that into a small piece of plastic. If you are looking for a good old wrasslin' game, the buck stops here. Period.

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