Review by Psycho Penguin

"DLo Brown says: "You better recognize... this game sucks!""

A few months ago, I finally received the latest issue of EGM in the mail, and I was looking through it when I saw a preview for a certain game that seemed rather interesting to me. WWF Royal Rumble, the second WWF game (but first console only) to appear on the DC was the name of it, and it sounded rather interesting to me, because I have always been a big fan of the World Wrestling Federation, and a majority of their games have turned out to be classics.

For instance, WWF Smackdown and WWF Wrestlemania 2000 are two of my favorite games to come out for the newer consoles, mainly because of the great game play they were able to provide. Each of them had featured a lot of certain characteristics, for instance a lot of wrestlers to choose from, and a lot of game modes. These have always been the two major things to have in a wrestling game: character selection and game modes.

Sadly, WWF Royal Rumble provides neither a lot of wrestlers to choose from, nor a lot of game modes to play. This has got to be one of the most disappointing games I have ever played in my entire life, and it is a real shame too because this game could have had a lot more potential, and it could have lived up to all of that potential had it turned out to have more wrestlers and game modes to choose from.

You should know about the history of this video game first. WWF Royal Rumble was an arcade game (one I have not seen, much less played) before it got ported over to the Sega Dreamcast. So, you can say the direct lack of depth has a lot to do with the fact that this game was originally not even supposed to be a Dreamcast game, but only an Arcade game, right?

Well, usually I would see where you are coming from on that, but after playing a lot of the arcade ports released over the years, I know how easy it is to add new characters and game modes from the Arcade version to the console versions. Some popular examples of this include Tekken 3 and Soul Calibur. Each of those two games took the basic elements from the Arcade version, added new features (including game modes and new characters) and ported it over to the consoles they were featured on.

However, this is not the case with this game. I cannot believe that Sega and Yukes would port this game over that poorly. There are still only two total game modes and only 21 total wrestlers to choose from. This has got to be one of the most disappointing aspects to ever been featured in a video game, because like I mentioned earlier, most of the World Wrestling Federation games have featured a lot of game modes and character selection, but this game did not. This is sad, but unfortunately true.

Let me first discuss the graphics in the game. The graphics in the game are probably the best aspect of the entire game. While there is not a lot of wrestlers to choose from in the game, I will admit that the character models in the game are awesome and represent some of the best I have ever seen in a wrestling video game. They do look simply awesome, and very detailed. I especially like how you can make out individual details on the wrestler’s outfits, for instance look at the gothic look of the Undertaker, it looks so realistic and very detailed.

There are also other good points to the graphics in the game. For instance, during exhibition matches there is a referee actually in the ring with you, which is a cool thing because I haven’t seen that done since the days of the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. The collision detection in the game is amazing and much better than the collision detection featured in that *other* World Wrestling Federation game featured on the Sega Dreamcast (you know which one I am talking about)

I was, however, disappointed with a few things in the game when it comes to graphics. The biggest complaint I have with the graphics in the game are the crappy entrances featured in the game. These have got to be the worst entrances I have yet to see, and how in the heck did the Playstation get better entrances than the ''more powerful'' consoles? Look at this, you get entrance video clips in Smackdown, and you get like a 2 second pose from the wrestler in Royal Rumble. That’s it. Nothing else is featured. That was very disappointing to me.

Now, I shall discuss the music and sound effects in the game. One of the things I have always liked about wrestling games is the fact that all of the wrestlers have great theme songs (usually) and I love to hear them as much as I can, which is why I liked Attitude because you can actually listen to theme songs in the create a wrestler mode. Sadly, there is barely any wrestler theme music featured in this game. About the only time you get to hear the wrestler theme song is when you win a match, but even then you can barely hear it. You can’t even hear it during the entrances!

Other music in the game is pretty lackluster. I was rather disappointed with the fact that no music played during the actual matches, you only get some crap during the menu screens that does not sound like it belongs in a World Wrestling Federation video game. It sounds heavy metal, sure, but it would have been cool had more authentic World Wrestling Federation music been used, that would have been a lot cooler, in my opinion.

Now, I will talk about the sound effects. Usually in wrestling video games, the one thing people look for is commentary. There was no commentary in Smackdown, which disappointed some people, and there was also no commentary in Wrestlemania 2000. Well, guess what, folks? There is no commentary in this game either! I think there could have been commentary featured in the game, so I am confused as to why there isn’t any commentary. Other sound effects are pretty basic, basic body slams, submission moves, etc. The submission moves sound a lot like the ones in WCW vs. the World ^_^.

Control in the game takes some time to get used to, but once you figure out the rather unique and unorthodox control pattern in the game, you should get used to it. The thing that really sucks about the control, in my opinion, is the fact you can only use the directional stick to walk and run, you cannot use the analog stick. I am not a huge fan of the analog sticks on the Sega Dreamcast controller, but still, you could have been able to use it. Just another flaw in a flawed game, in my book. All of the control problems in the game add up, I am not going to describe the basic controls but they are rather confusing. The only good thing is the wrestler finishing move system, build your ''S'' meter, get 3 ''S'' and you can use your finishing move by pressing the R trigger while both wrestlers are standing.

I was severely disappointed with the actual game play of the game. Now, I know this is nothing more than a port of an Arcade game, so I did not expect too much, but I did expect more than 21 wrestlers and 3 game modes to choose from. The simple fact that this game did not have enough modes simply amazed me, I mean, how could you even make a wrestling game without including a create-a-wrestler mode, it is beyond belief. There is no modes featured in the game worth playing for, in my book.

The most hyped aspect of this game is the Royal Rumble mode (hence the name of the game). This has got to be the coolest Royal Rumble mode ever, mainly because you can have nine wrestlers on the screen battling it out at once. You can choose up to 30 wrestlers to participate in the Royal Rumble. Now, some of you may be wondering how can you have 30 wrestlers in the mode when there is only 21 wrestlers featured in the game? Simple! The same wrestlers return to fight after a while. Sad, but true, they should have just added more wrestlers.

Other game modes in the game severely disappointed, however. From the basic standpoint of comparing this to the other WWF games out there, this game comes up way short. Besides the Royal Rumble mode, there are only two other modes out there. One is your basic one-on-one affair, and the other one is this exhibition mode where you choose two wrestlers (one for you and one as your special partner) and battle it out against ten opponents (sort of like the championship option in WCW/nWo Thunder)

A cool part of the game is the backstage fighting in the game. Backstage fighting was an idea first used in WCW Mayhem, and Smackdown used it to a certain extent, this game uses it, as well. However, it is pretty weird as it happens, because you are wrestling a match and suddenly the lights go out, you’re in a backstage area with your partner, opponent, and a referee, it’s rather interesting. Most of it gets tedious quickly, although it was a good concept on paper.

This game does have serious problems, however, because the simple fact that Thunder has more depth is a serious problem. There are only 21 wrestlers to choose from, I happen to like most of them (even the guys that got in somehow, like Al Snow), especially the new additions like Kurt Angle, Rikishi, and Tazz, they add a lot to the game. However, everyone knows that when Smackdown 2 comes out, that game is going to have all of those wrestlers and about 30 more, so it is kind of nullified.

This is a pretty disappointing game, with only a few game modes, and I do wish Sega and Yukes would have taken the time to add more game modes and wrestlers in it, because then it could have been a classic game, because the game did get on the right track with the Royal Rumble mode. Sadly, that’s the only mode they focused on, as the lack of a create-a-wrestler or tag team mode (among other modes) severely takes away from the fun factor of the game.

Replay value in the game is mediocre, mainly because of the simple fact there is nothing to really draw back to. While most wrestling games offer a lot of fun modes that increase the replay value of the game (like create-a-wrestler and season mode), this game does not. The Royal Rumble mode, and the fact you can play as my Olympic Hero Kurt Angle, may be enough to bring you back for a bit, but only if you rent it, because I bought this game a few days ago and I am already sick of it. It’s true, it’s true!

This is not that challenging of a game at all, mainly because the two main modes featured in the game (exhibition mode and Royal Rumble mode) are pretty simple. The Royal Rumble mode can get to be pretty challenging, because of the fact there are so much wrestlers in the ring at one time, but once you get used to the control you should have little problem controlling the matches at your leisure. Not one of the more challenging wrestling games around, that is for sure.

Overall, this is one of the more disappointing games I have ever played, and its just another game to add to the list of disappointments. The game is terrible, because of the simple fact there is hardly any variety or depth. There is nothing in this game that will keep you from wanting to play it over and over again, so chances are you will not want to buy it (like I made the mistake of doing), so just head over to your local video game rental store and give this game a rental, because you’ll have fun with it for five days or so, but then it gets completely tedious.

Good Points
-Kurt Angle
-Tazz
-Graphics
-Royal Rumble Mode

Bad Points
-Rikishi Phatu
-21 wrestlers
-3 modes
-Lack of challenge

Final Ratings
Story – N/A
Graphics – 7/10
Music and Sound – 3/10
Gameplay and Control – 2/10
Replay Value – Below Average
Challenge – Below Average
Overall – 2/10
Final word: <Tazz voice> This game is just another victim.. of overhype </Tazz voice>


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 08/19/00, Updated 07/16/01


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