Review by TheRetroPlayer
"Near perfect with some minor and annoying flaws."
Close to being the definite wrestling game for the N64. WWF No Mercy. It would had been Virtual Pro Wrestling 2, but language barriers are no fun, and it was actually a game that uses Wrestlemania 2000 as it's base so it lacked some of the look and feel of No Mercy. if No Mercy had full entrances, and the Japanese shoot fighting/MMA system from VP2, and didn't get hit by that nasty cart glitch that erases data, then this would had been perfect. May not be the best ever, but it's better than most modern wrestling games, not because of graphics, or flashy features, but because of the gameplay, and that will be explained in more detail right now.
Before I get into the graphics, I must explain one flaw. The faces of the Wrestlers looks like they are paper cutouts, but that is only a minor flaw that grows on you, and sometimes it's funny to look at. But the graphics even had aged well enough for me. Forget what you see in these new wrestling games. To this day, the graphics are still are what I remembered them to be for the most part, but I am not playing this on a real N64 for technical reasons as it is so many would not understand what I mean too well. Anyways, the animations are elaborate, and there is no details skimped. I don't care what people say about it, but there are the best visuals I have seen on the N64 since Turok 2. The Arenas, Ring, blood animations, and everything about the games visuals overall earns this score. That is all I have to say about this aspect of the game.
Near perfect, but there is only one gripe, and that is that the music for this game is low quality, and the titantron is only a few seconds of animation, then loops. The raw file sizes of the music files extracted from the cartridge from the game are often under a few hundred kilobytes which shows how badly compressed the music and sounds are. Some themes start looping only 20 seconds into it. You do get used to it, but it is annoying that as you get into the theme it loops, and the looping seems worse in this game than in Wrestlemania 2000, but I guess its because of the extra content in this game limited the space for the audio. At least you can swap titantrons like I used to do. For example swapping X-Pac's theme with Stone Cold's entrance video for a semi-funny result.
Only if the N64 used discs or if it was on the PlayStation. I would imagine that the music themes would be much longer, and the videos would not loop possibly like on the N64. The generic music themes are not bad, but not as good as the previous wrestling games sadly. About the sound, it's as good as it can get. When you hit a wrestling move, it has impact that really sounds painful, and when you do something like a head drop move, it sounds brutal. Other wrestling games these days lack such a sound, except RAW 2 in my opinion. All I have to say about the sound aspect of the game.
Gameplay 9/10 for what it is.
Even though that there are those that disagree with me, its the best wrestling game I have played overall if you want to talk about gameplay alone. I will split this up into parts since its going to be a long one.
It might be limited comparing to today's games, but you can still create anyone you can dream up of 95% of the time or at worst, use your imagination. Since I am lazy about making CAWs of actual wrestlers 100% sometimes, I just make fake versions of said wrestler instead with an idealistic moveset I want on said wrestler. I always wanted Hulk Hogan to show off his mat wrestling skills more often outside of his ring work in Japan, so I gave him some for example. Its simple, yet effective. You can edit the color of whatever attire you use as well as entrance attire though limited, add props or a favorite weapon for your character if its a part of a gimmick. My favorite thing about this is you can even edit some of the current rosters clothing and attire, but sadly you can't edit their movesets (on a real N64 that is) which is one of those annoying flaws I was talking about. The only real problem I have with it is the lack of masks, and the limited slots, but that can't be blamed as other things needed to fit into the cart with limited space.
This game gives you so many moves, and then some. Your fighter can even have fighting styles that are outside what you see in the WWE/WWF due to the many moves that are used in Japan (strong style), North American Indy, and even in MMA, boxing, Muay Thai, and kickboxing along with some Judo, Catch Wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu. I love how moves are not just limited to just wrestling as you seen in today's wrestling games as well. You can create anyone from a Street Brawler to a expert marital artists. You can even create an amateur style wrestler as well. Creativity is not just limited to how you CAW looks, not in this game. I wish other wrestling games would focus more on not only what wrestlers do in the WWE/WWF as their moveset which is limited enough as it is, but everywhere else as well. This game sets a good example. One more thing about this game is that you can use gameshark hacks people make to change moves in this game along with mods. Only problem is that the lines of codes are very very long if your using a real console along with the mods, so it might not be an a option after all.
In the Ring Action 10/10.
Realistic and the Grapple system is perfect. The learning curve is pretty nice as well. The AI in this game is a bit iffy some times because some wrestlers have a personal AI that conflicts with the general difficulty you would set in the options mode. You can get around that with little problems at times though. In any match, you can go out of the ring, and into the parking lot or locker room. This game gives you freedom that is lacking in most wrestling games. There is new weapons like the belt, some flowers you can use to attack people with, and other that you can buy in shopzone along with others things like moves, clothing, and arenas.
Each title you go for has a storyline that splits up into different situations depending on if you win or lose matches. The Women's, Light Heavyweight, and European belts might have an easier set of paths to deal with, but the Intercontinental and World titles are much more difficult to achieve 100% on. This is all based on how it works in wrestling at the time. Most of these storylines are based from the storylines from WWF/WWE back in 2000, but you will see some strange twists with them since you would most likely be using characters that was not apart of the said storyline in reality. For those that that watch wrestling during the time or liked it better then will find it nostalgic to remember those old times. You even earn money for completing matches, but not losing them though.
There is too much to do. With the many titles on the line and unlockables, hours and hours will be spent trying to get them all. It would take at least a month or more at best to complete everything. One huge fatal flaw looms over this though, and its a nasty glitch in the cartridge that erases data randomly. This does not effect everyone, and so far it has not hit me, but its not a problem if you don't play it on an actual cartridge.
Rent or Buy
This game is too old to rent, so you would have to buy it. You can find this game from $5-$10 used.
I still play this over everything else just because it still has it comparing to everything else. Its just the solid gameplay mechanics that keeps it at the top of my list. If its your first time playing, then that is good if you would try this game out even if you find you would not like it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/07/07, Updated 05/01/15
Game Release: WWF No Mercy (US, 11/17/00)
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