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WWF Warzone

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Reviewed by Raymond Almeda Professional wrestling must be one of America's most underappreciated sports. When was the last time you saw Stone Cold Steve Austin or Nature Boy Ric Flair grace the revered cover of Sports Illustrated? When will we wake up to The Undertaker's image on our boxes of Wheaties? Sadly, wrestling remains somewhere below Mike Tyson and Don King on the media respectability meter. But fortunately, the guys at Acclaim respect pro wrestling. Their respect is evident in WWF Warzone, as the game brings the WWF experience home in wonderful style. This is yet another high quality N64 sports title from the talented guys at Iguana West. With full player and league licenses, high resolution graphics, ambitious audio, excellent gameplay, and a killer create- a-player mode, WWF Warzone is quite probably the best wrestling game of all time. What makes Warzone so special? Here is a list of the game's unique features, courtesy of the folks at Acclaim: The only High-Resolution 640x480 wrestling game available. Photo realistic polygonal wrestlers and 3-D environments. Create-a-Wrestler feature that allows the customization of a wrestler's gender, strength, endurance, costume, body type, and much more! Motion captured maneuvers by the premiere WWF wrestlers. Over 300 moves including signature moves for each wrestler. Finishing moves and taunts unique to each wrestler including the Stone Cold Stunner, The Undertaker's Tomb Stone Piledriver, and Shawn Michael's Sweet Chin Music. 2 man commentary featuring Vince McMahon and Jim Ross ringside. Training mode allows you to practice maneuvers before you take on your opponent. 9 gameplay modes including WWF Challenge, Vs., Tag Team, Co-op Tag Team, Steel Cage Matches, Weapons Match, War Mode, Gauntlet and Training Mode. Power Meter measures a wrestler's energy throughout the match. Bash your opponents with weapons including chair, table, etc. Multiple Camera Angles Featured Wrestlers include: Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Kane, Triple H, Ken Shamrock, Mavia, Faarooq, Gold Dust, Mankind, Owen Hart, Brett Hart, Ahmed Johnson, British Bulldog, Headbangers, and secret characters The high-resolution graphics of WWF Warzone are simply outstanding. Not only are the visuals crisp and clean, but they are fluid and lifelike as well. Acclaim has done an outstanding job with Warzone's motion captured animation. Remember how the NFL Quarterback Club '98 players looked great, but moved in a rather choppy fashion? That's simply not the case here; these wrestlers perform moves that are amazingly lifelike. The "soft-skinned" polygons themselves are fantastic examples of programming development on the N64. This programming technique essentially hides the jagged "joints" that have plagued some polygon-based characters in the past. The character skins are smooth and generally unpixelated. Acclaim has texture- mapped the faces and bodies of the real-life wrestlers onto these polygons. The end effect is extremely realistic. You can practically see sweat glistening on the wrestlers' backs. Unlike the WCW/NWO competition (which includes over 80 real wrestlers), Warzone only includes 16 WWF wrestlers (which are listed above). Amongst this number is The Man himself, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Each wrestler is a carbon copy of his real-life counterpart. Warzone includes the wrestlers' signature moves (ie. Austin's trademark 'Stone Cold Stunner') and MIDI versions of their theme songs. But wait...that's not all! Thanks to Warzone's outstanding create-a-wrestler mode, you are not limited to using the 16 WWF wrestlers. Acclaim has included a fantastic interface that allows the creation of customized wrestlers. It's incredibly easy to create wrestlers with customized gender, body type, skin color, face, facial hair, headwear (ie. masks, goggles, etc.), tattoos, neckwear, gloves, shirts, shorts, pants, armor, boots, etc. With an avid imagination, there is literally no limit to the number of wrestlers you can create. Better yet, you can save up to 30 of these wrestlers on a single Controller Pak! Imagine creating your own ANT character and pitting him against other members of the ANT Army. It's yet another entertaining way to open a can of whoop ass on the PSX brigade. And WWF Warzone plays as well as it looks. Gameplay follows a traditional fighting game approach: button/keypad combinations trigger specific moves. Variable factors include the relative strength/stamina of each wrestler, and of course their respective positions on the mat. There are supposedly 300 moves from which to choose, a dizzying challenge for even the most avid wrestling fans. Fortunately, Acclaim has included a great training mode in WWF Warzone. The training mode allows beginners to practice and polish those killer moves to perfection. Amongst the match choices is "Weapons Mode," which allows gamers to wield objects like metal chairs, wooden boards, television sets, and so forth against their opponents. To hell with the good life well lived; there are few things more satisfying to the male psyche than beating one's opponent over the head with a metal chair. Warzone's audio is also a success. Each wrestler has his own taunts that are periodically shouted during a match. The crowd even screams different slogans depending on which wrestlers are in the ring. So, WWF Warzone has excellent graphics, impressive audio, rock-solid gameplay, and a way cool create-a-player mode. What more do you need to know? Acclaim has done it again, producing one of the best wrestling games of all time. If you are in the market for a state-of-the-art pro wrestling title (and who isn't?), you can't go wrong with WWF Warzone.

Overall 11 out of 10

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