Review by friendlydude
"Proof that ignoring old WWF games can be a big mistake!"
Wow, I'm really surprised no one has bothered to write a review for the old Sega Genesis classic WWF Raw. While many versions of the game have appeared on numerous consoles back in the mid 90's, I think THIS is the ultimate version. The game engine is super fast compared to the Super NES, and the 12 selectable wrestlers were all very popular stars at one time and you really couldn't ask for a better selection.
Let me list those wrestlers- Shawn Michaels (the sexiest man alive, even after all these years!), The Undertaker (the king of Wrestlemania PPV events!), Bret "the hitman" Hart (he's the best for a reason, and it's not just because of his detailed and articulate writing skills for his books!), Owen Hart (rest in peace, you will ALWAYS be remembered), Lex Luger (Made in the USA indeed!), Doink "the clown" (I love clowns and silliness!), Luna Vachon (oh man, I think she's a manly beast!), Bam Bam Bigelow (the beast from the east!), Diesel (big daddy cool, honk honk!), Razor Ramon (ouch, watch where you're flickin' that toothpick!), the 1-2-3 Kid (an athletic little guy he used to be) and Yoko Zuna (plop!!).
They'd *never* make a game like this anymore. Never. Apparently these days game developers are so concerned with realism, flashy graphics and true-to-life gameplay that they forgot the main thing that made the early WWF games so much fun to play- fast, arcade-style gameplay and quick button-mashing skills. You have to REALLY hurry up and press those controller buttons if you wanna deliver some powerful moves to your opponent. If you have fast hands, you're going to love this game, and probably won't find the game nearly as challenging as most people would.
You have a variety of different moves, which makes this game a significant improvement over WWF Royal Rumble. You have dropkicks, atomic drops, punches, kicks, grapples, hip tosses, and many different kinds of body slams. You can even smash your opponent over the head with a chair and hear a loud BANG, or if you're not in the mood to be so cruel, you can just repeatedly poke at your opponents stomach with a chair. It makes no difference to me!
You also have top rope and turnbuckle moves, where you can throw your opponent into the corner and pound 10 punches in their face. You can also run directly at them while they're leaning over the turnbuckle and do massive damage. You can climb the lower two turnbuckles as well.
You can even mess with the referees. You can punch them or run into them. Not happy about them counting you out? Go back in the ring and knock them over!
If that's not enough, you also have finishing moves AND these new moves called MEGA moves. Finishing moves are the accurate moves wrestlers used to perform to finish off their opponent. MEGA moves are something totally different and outrageous that is in NO way realistic, but totally worth having! I won't spoil these moves for you by describing them, but you'll find out what they do once you punch in the correct sequence of buttons and deliver the moves. They are the coolest moves you'll ever see, I can guarantee it! Each wrestler has their own unique MEGA move.
Yes, you can run around outside the ring and fight. You can throw your opponent into the ring and do some damage, or throw them into the gates. There's also buckets and chairs to mess with.
The match options are simply incredible for its age. We're talking about a game released in 1994. With that in mind, this game has a LOT of options for you to explore. You have Royal Rumbles (six men enter the ring at the same time and of course, you probably already know what the object of the game is- to throw your opponents over the ropes and be the last man standing). You have tag-teams and bedlams (where two partners can compete in the ring at the same time). You even have these cool matches where you can face up to six opponents one-on-one, and after you finish off all six, you'll win. You even have Survivor Series matches! Just PACKED with options. You can even have rematches if you want.
I didn't even mention how many different ways you can change the match types to your liking. You can have matches with referees or no refs, and you can change the difficulty as well (by using a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the hardest). You have regular matches, or you can enter tournaments.
By the way, the regular one-on-one World Title tournament in this game is SO much better than any of the tournaments in the more recent WWF games. This is because there's *no* storylines and *no* loading times to interfere with your gaming experience. Nothing to interfere with you advancing once you defeat an opponent. Once you get done beating your opponent, you have to face the next one. You keep going up the bracket until you've defeated everyone in the game and won the World Championship. Once this is done, you'll be treated with a fireworks display and you can sit back and celebrate. While completing a tournament probably will take no more than 15 minutes, it's the fun time I had with the gameplay I'll end up remembering about it, and NOT the silly storylines that got in the way (unlike with todays wrestling games).
I like how the game company chose to use the Raw theme from back in the day as the song you'll hear when you start up the game. That theme has an AWESOME drumbeat to kick things off. I bet back then people didn't think Raw would still be on the air all these years later, and celebrating 15 years of wrestling brilliance (and counting). With that in mind, WWF Raw can be considered somewhat of an experience to bring back memories of the past, or you can just approach the game any ol' way you want. WWF Raw should NOT be forgotten just because most of the wrestlers featured in the game are no longer competing and just because graphics and gameplay have become more realistic and mind-blowing as the years went by and video games gradually became more advanced. No way!
This is just an old arcade style wrestling game that requires quick button-mashing skills in order to win matches and advance. There's no need for any kind of "Create a Wrestler" option or anything else (frankly, these options only get boring after a while anyway). There's no need for heavy, complicated storylines that only end up interfering with the fun of wrestling in the ring (most of the time storylines suck in wrestling games anyway). WWF Raw is just about selecting a wrestler, choosing an opponent, starting up the match, and having a good ol' fight until someone gets pinned, disqualified or counted out. Simple brilliance.
The fact that I'm the first one to write a review for this game is amazing to me. This game was popular at one time, and I'm surprised people either no longer care about it, or don't remember it. If you have an old Sega Genesis console, do yourself a favor and pick up this brilliantly addicting old-school wrestling game. You'll be glad you did.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 12/10/07
Game Release: WWF Raw (US, 12/31/94)
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