Review by Psycho Penguin
"The pinnacle of US wrestling games"
Rarely have I been so hyped up for a game that I literally burst down the gates of my local video game store when the date of the game's release finally arrived. But one of these rare ocassions was the impending release of WWF Wrestlemania 2000. The Revenge engine had been my preferred choice over the Attitude engine, and the WWF had been my preferred federation of choice over WCW and ECW. So I was thrilled at the chance of finally playing a WWF game on the great Revenge engine instead of the crappy Attitude engine. So when I finally got my hands on the game and went home to play it, was i disappointed? Oh hell no. This could damn be my favorite video game of all time, and I actually prefer this game over WWF Smackdown because the gameplay and create a wrestler are both better.
WWF Wrestlemania 2000 is not a perfect game, but it is still a lot better than WWF Attitude and WWF Warzone, in my opinion. Why? Well, I prefer the type of gameplay and control system that Wrestlemania used more than the type of wrestling engine featured in WWF Attitude and WWF Warzone. For instance, the game seems to run a lot smoother. Attitude and Warzone were marred with shoddy collision detection and the control was not perfect. The moves were kind of difficult to pull off, also. It was really difficult to push 4 buttons just to do a samoan drop. But Wrestlemania 2000 is different. The control system has been improved dramatically over previous WWF games. Now, moves are simple to pull off, as all you have to push is grapple and then up, down, etc. It really is quite simple, and the game is easy for newbies to get into and play.
Now on with the review!
The weakest part of the game, in my opinion, are the unrealistic and super deformed graphics. I swear Stone Cold Steve Austin's head looks like a sharpened pencil in the game. The character models are a bit iffy but the other graphics are good, the detail in the titan tron videos are great. I will now run you through the important part of a wrestling game's graphics.
Collision Detection: One of the main problems in WWF Warzone and WWF Attitude that I encountered was the shoddy collision detection in the games. For instance, moves would travel right through the wrestlers. But Wrestlemania 2000 is different. The gameplay is fast and the moves travel smoothly and connect well. No more polygon tearing when fighting an opponent. Overall, the collison detection is superb, especially when compared to the previous WWF games on Nintendo 64.
Character Models: A major problem with the graphics, in my opinion, are the character models. The character models in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for Nintendo 64 could be viewed as the game's major flaw. For instance, Stone Cold Steve Austin, when viewed up close, looks like his head was sharpened by a pencil sharpener. The other character designs don't look that great either. They can be telled apart, and Im sure that the WWF fans out there will be able to tell the wrestlers apart, regardless, but the character models could have been much better. Overall, the character models are not that well done and could be viewed by many as the game's major design flaw. As well as the entire game's major flaw.
TitanTron Videos: The amazing part about WWF Wrestlemania 2000, in my opinion, is the fact that THQ got some titantron videos in there. The Nintendo 64 cartridge was not designed to hold a lot of Full Motion Video space, due to the memory of the cartridges (something like 10 times less than that of a Playstation CD) so it is really quite a feat that THQ got so much videos in the game. I mean, think about it, all those wrestlers. Now the quality of the Titan Tron videos are terrible, and they only play for about 5 seconds total each, but its the thought that counts, right? ^_^ The videos in WWF Smackdown (for the Sony Playstation) may be of better quality, and the game may have longer video time, but still, I am quite amazed at the feat that THQ was able to pull off with WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64. Overall, the Titan Tron videos are not that great but at least they're there.
Other Small Details: The ring details in the game are fabolous. It looks like you are really watching a real, live World Wrestling Federation event because the ring looks so realistic. The crowd looks great, as well, and thats important because you'll be looking at them a lot when you go to pull weapons out of the crowd. The crowd doesn't have that cardboard look to them, they look (gasp) kind of realistic. Overall, the crowd and ring looks very realistic and I am glad of this.
Overall, the graphics in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 are pretty good. They could use some work, especially in the character model department, but overall the graphics in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 are pretty well done. Great job, THQ, especially with the great variety of Titan Tron videos!
Who needs commentary anyways? Mostly every great wrestling game ever has had no commentary. The music that plays during the match is great, and the wrestlers theme songs sound much better than they did in Attitude. The music in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 is great. There is a great variety of songs to listen to during gameplay, and most of the songs are great. The game features all of the wrestler's theme songs, which play during the wrestlers entrances (well, right after the little clip of the Titan Tron video is played).
Sound effect wise, some would say that the lack of commentary in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 is a disappointment. I, on the other hand, do not totally agree or disagree with these sentiments. On one hand, the inclusion of commentary into the mix would have been a great idea that may have added to the overall feeling of the gameplay. But on the other hand, the inclusion of commentary would have meant that other important features of the game would have been left out, like the Titan Tron videos. Also, the commentary in WWF Attitude was only decent. If THQ had used commentary similar in quality to that commentary featured in WWF Warzone, then I would have been perfectly happy. However, I doubt that THQ would have had quality commentary like that. And I would have missed out on the Titan Tron videos. So, I am perfectly comfortable with the fact that WWF Wrestlemania 2000 features no commentary. All the other sound effects are great, ranging from punch and kicks to the sounds made when a low blow is registered.
Overall, the music and sound effects in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 are not perfect, and the game does not feature any commentary during gameplay, but overall I feel that the music and sound effects are perfectly acceptable.
Wrestlemania 2000 doesnt have complicated controls which makes it a very easy to get into game. It is a great party game since anybody at any skill level could pick up a controller and play. The gameplay's a lot quicker than in Attitude, and theres an Attitude meter, when it fills up you can perform your finishing move. Great!
The control system in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 is also pretty good, in my opinion. First off, the moves are much easier to pull off than the moves in a game like WWF Warzone or WWF Attitude. The control system is very similar to that in WCW/nWo Revenge or WCW/nWo World Tour, which is not surprising because the same company that produced those two great games also produced WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 (Asmik). Bascially, the game uses a very cool and very unique grapple based system. So, all you really have to do is strong grapple, then push Up and A to do a regular move. This is much better than pushing 4 or 5 buttons in a row, in my opinion. The collision detection is also much better, which in terms helps the control in the game significantly because the moves register a lot more quickly and a lot more effectively. Overall, the control in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 is great and very easy to do moves! Newbies will have no problems, and that makes this game the ultimate wrestling party game!
WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 also features great gameplay, as well. The game is a lot like WCW/nWo Revenge, which was one of my favorite wrestling games, and still is to this day. This is not surprising because the same company produced (Asmik) and published (THQ) WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for Nintendo 64. WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 features lots of outstanding wrestlers, ranging from Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock all the way to Jim Ross and Jerry ''The King'' Lawler. Classic wrestlers like Pat Patterson and ''The Heartbreak Kid'' Shawn Michaels are also available to choose from! Of course, all these wrestlers are not instantly selectable. Nope. You start off with about 40 top notch wrestlers, and as you move through the game (Road to Wrestlemania) you get more and more wrestlers. This adds to the replay value significantly. For instance, my favorite female Stephanie McMahon is not instantly selectable. However, playing with test in the road to Wrestlemania, she soons begins to come to the ring when with you. When she does, she becomes a selectable wrestler. At least 12 wrestlers can be unlocked like this, which is great!
The create a wrestler mode in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 is not as great as expected, but the mode is still pretty decent. There are lots of options to choose from, and creating the ultimate wrestler is easy to do. Of course, there is no pre season mode like there is in WWF Smackdown, so after you create a wrestler you really can't do much with him/her because there is nothing to do in terms of getting more and more abilities added to the wrestler. However, the create a wrestler mode is so in depth that I was able to create a Triple H lookalike called ''The Game'' who was accompanied to the ring by ''Stephanie McMahon Helsmley'' who looks a lot like the current look of the boss's daughter. Not only is there a create a wrestler mode, but there is also a create a BELT mode! Yes, you can create a belt, then have wrestlers wrestle for it! It is really quite an innovative idea! The create a wrestler mode may not be as good as the mode featured in WWF Attitude, but at least THQ and Asmik Ace added a create a wrestler mode (WCW/nWo Revenge did not feature a create a wrestler mode). The create a belt mode only adds to the fun. Overall, the extra options are very good!
Another great part about WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 is that it is such a great party game! Plenty of mutliplayer fun, and unlike Attitude and Warzone even newbies can get right in and start going against the veterans, because the control system is so easy to learn and master. Also, no matter who your favorite current wrestler is, chances are that that wrestler is in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64!
Overall, words cannot express how big of a fan I am of this classic and incredible game from THQ and Asmik! The control system is simple to learn and to master, and the gameplay features a lot of modes. The create a wrestler mode may not be perfect, but at least there is a create a wrestler mode!
Replay Value: High
The replay value in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 is great as well, because of the unlocking of all the secret wrestlers! For instance, to unlock Stephanie McMahon you have to play through Road to Wrestlemania with Test. But to get Mick Foley's other 2 personas (Cactus Jack and Dude Love) you have to go through Road to Wrestlemania with Mankind. There are also a lot of modes you can get, like Inferno matches (beat Road to Wrestlemania with Kane and Undertaker), Hell in a Cell matches (beat Road to Wrestlemania with Mankind, Cactus jack, and Dude Love) and more! The game is quite addicting!
WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the Nintendo 64 may not be the most challenging wrestling game ever made, but it is definetly a decent challenge for sure. The computer AI is top notch, especially in the damn Roayl Rumble and King of the Ring modes!
The best damn wrestling game ever made. Take all of the basic elements of the classic game known as WCW/nWo Revenge, add a create a wrestler mode, add WWF Wrestlers instead of WCW wrestlers, and add several new play modes, including a ''create a pay per view mode'' and more, and you have a classic game! God bless THQ and Asmik for making such an incredible game!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/06/00, Updated 07/16/01
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