Review by Hyacinth2600
"Still the best WWE game for GBA."
Road to Wrestlemania X8, a THQ, Natsume and JAKKS Pacific release for the GameBoy Advance, is a two-dimensional wrestler that is entertaining and packs a lot of game into the hand-held console system. The game features an okay WWE roster, including The Rock, The Undertaker, Kane, Rob Van Dam, Hollywood Hogan, Edge, Booker T, and Kevin Nash, among others. This is the second WWE game for the GBA and it was a huge improvement over the first. It's even better than WWE Survivor Series (which came out two years after this one!).
THQ have done a pretty solid job with recreating the wrestlers into a 2D world. It's not that hard to distinguish Chris Jericho from Edge, and the arenas look fairly polished. The graphics are a huge improvement over the first wwe game. Natsume used digitized character sprites this year. As a result, the characters look just like their onscreen counterparts. They also move rather smoothly as well, thanks to an overall increase in animation. The ring is viewed from a side angle, like any other wwe game for the GB/GBC/GBA, which gives the game a three-dimensional appearance despite the use of 2D characters and backgrounds. This is one of the most realistic looking game on the GBA.
The sound is solid. Some of the signature effects associated with the entrance themes are included ("Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?") is easily the most famous. Now there are no special ring entrances for the wrestlers, they just come out like it's a Royal Rumble but the entrance themes are definitely something special in the game. Apart from that however, the generic sounds of the wrestlers hitting each other and smashing into the canvas gets ordinary very quickly, but what can you expect. The in-game music on the other hand is very good and quite enjoyable.
The menu layout is very easy to use. You have your Singleplayer, Multiplayer, Data, and Options. From the singleplayer you can choose the two different game modes: Challenge and Exhibition. The different match modes in the Exhibition mode of WWE Road to Wrestlemania X8 include your 'one match', an Ironman match, a 3 stages of hell match, and a team battle. The one match' and Ironman game types have a variety of different match types such as Fatal 4 way, tag, handicap and lumberjack. The one match' mode even has a cage match battle. You can also select between seven different rings to wrestle in, including Raw, Smackdown, Wrestlemania and other famous pay-per-view events. The Challenge mode has 5 different challenges: Championship - where you fight for the WWE Belts, King of the Ring a knockout competition, Royal Rumble an all in brawl, Gauntlet survival of the fittest, and Pay Per View where you can design your very own matches. Competing in the main 4 with different characters will unlock goodies in the shopzone. This may seem like a very cheap way to reward fans, as there's nothing you can do with them except look at them.
In the Data menu, you get a list of the superstars in the game (a whole 15 of them!), the history of who's held the belts recently, the high scores in your gauntlet matches, and the shopzone (as mentioned above). The shopzone actually seems like a good idea that was never properly completed. There are quite a few items to unlock however, and it's not hard to find a full list of unlockables on the internet. If you actually play through the game and unlock everything, you could be in for quite a few hours of gameplay.
The roster, unlike the first game, is very small. Only fifteen wrestlers, which is not a good thing. Considering previous handheld WWE/F titles had way more than that. You have guys like the Rock, Hogan, Dudleys, and the likes. But they're missing guys like Brock Lesnar, Hardy Boyz, and the rest of the nWo.(remember, this game came out in 2002 and all those guys I mentioned were in the WWE at the time).
Road to Wrestlemania X8 is a fun and entertaining game that is well suited to this platform. If your looking for an alternate to handheld WWE games for the GBA there is also Smackdown vs. Raw 2006 for the Sony PSP or Bam's Fire Pro Wrestling, just to let you know. But RTWX8 does a good job in the options department, and should be a hit with fans of the sport and those up for an enjoyable foray into the fighting-game world. This is still one of the best handheld WWE games out there.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/07/06
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