Review by friendlydude

"A unique wrestling game that very few people remember"

I'd completely understand if nobody out there reading this review would be able to understand why I'm giving WWF In Your House a positive and enthusiastic score. You see, this is probably a bad game- not just by WWE standards, but 95% of the people who played this game probably ended up thinking the game was either really average, or just an overall bad game.

Remember: when playing a game, the most important thing is whether it's FUN. Not whether the graphics hold up through the years, or the importance of storylines, or how realistic it looks. It's about having fun. If you're not having fun with it, it's pretty much forgettable and you should probably get rid of the game ASAP.

WWF In Your House is one of those really rare examples where a poorly animated and graphically average game can actually be really good. Despite those problems with the game (or should I say, *very* noticeable problems) the thing is, the controls are always 100% responsive, and the pace of the game is geared towards a noticeable arcade-style. So, it's basically like playing an arcade game.

Even though In Your House was rushed on the market in the winter of 1996 and was automatically considered an unsuccessful sequel to WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game by most of the people who've played the two games, I can't help but look at this game like this- there are only two (yes that's right, TWO) arcade-style WWE games that have ever been made, and this is one of them.

Even if it's not the greatest wrestling game in the world, the fact remains, it's unique, and its existence is totally acceptable because of only two games in the entire WWF (WWE) library that are like this. Only two. I think that's a good reason to own this game. You're owning a game that was created during a time when game companies WEREN'T repeating more or less the same ideas a thousand times with a thousand sequels, with only minor updates (can you say Smackdown vs. Raw? That series has seemingly been going on FOREVER, and each one basically has the same game engine with each new release- BORING).

There's only ONE In Your House WWF game at the time I'm writing this review, and there probably will never be anymore (the WWE cancelled their In Your House name from their pay per view lineup a long time ago, so this is IT ladies and gentlemen).

In todays world, everyone is so concerned with graphics and realism in their wrestling video games that there's really not a whole lot of room to just sit back and have fun. In other words, you can't just play a game. Every time a new WWE game is released, everyone has to point out the things that were added and the things that were removed from the previous years WWE games. Back in 1996, each WWF game that was released was treated as something special because there weren't that many of them.

With WWF In Your House, it's all about having fun and bashing the computer senseless. To me, that's the ideal way to play a game- enter a tournament, start the match, kick your opponents asses as quickly as you can, and then do it again, until you go all the way through the tournament and win the WWF title. THAT'S the most important thing. Today, all WWE video games are more or less the same, and the actual wrestling becomes boring *very* quickly.

While it's true there are only three options to choose from in this game (three tournaments) it's probably best to play the World Title tournament because that's the most important title of them all. The World Title tournament consists of 10 matches- the first 5 you fight two wrestlers, the next 4 you fight three wrestlers, and the final match is where you fight EVERY wrestler in the game, including a mirror image of yourself. As you can guess, the last match is definitely a challenge.

This game includes 10 wrestlers, which is two more than WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game. They are:

Shawn Michaels (he was that lovably arrogant guy back in the mid 90's, and probably the biggest star at the time- it's no surprise his name is at the very top of selectable wrestlers. You can't say enough about this guy. Today he's dropped the sexy boy gimmick and just goes in and wrestles, probably because everyone knows who he is and therefore doesn't need a gimmick to get his name over).

Vader (a big guy who weighs a lot, and used to dominate his opponents back in WCW and WWF. Haven't seen him wrestle in years and he didn't hang around the WWF roster long after this game was released, but he used to be a very popular star).

Bret "the hitman" Hart (probably the second biggest star on the roster behind Shawn, Bret Hart has stated many times that throughout his wrestling career, he'd NEVER injured one of his opponents in the ring from some kind of mistake, EVER. Isn't that amazing? A career that spanned over 20 years, and executed flawlessly. That's why he really IS the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be).

Owen Hart (the younger brother of Bret who played the most convincing bad guy back then. His character was believable playing the angry younger jealous brother. It's a shame he died tragically in May of 1999. To be honest, I always thought he had a better-looking Sharpshooter compared to Bret. Hey, I love Bret and think he's in the top 5 greatest wrestlers ever, but whenever Owen locked in that Sharpshooter, it looked really good).

Ahmed Johnson (a HUGE superstar who had a ton of potential that never really happened. For some reason, the WWF never utilized his skills and he eventually was released from the company. They really wasted a good talent, in my opinion).

The British Bulldog (it's a shame he also died a while ago. When I first started watching wrestling, he was teaming up with Lex Luger and was in the prime of a really good wrestling career. I think the biggest match of his career was against Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Title where he won it, fair and square. That match put his name on the map permanently).

The Undertaker (I don't even NEED to introduce this guy. At the time I'm writing this review, he has gone 15 and 0 at all the Wrestlemania pay per view events he's wrestled on (and still counting). He has NEVER lost a match at Wrestlemania- perhaps the biggest PPV event of the year. That will never be surpassed. That is one impressive record. Anyway, his character was always a mysterious and interesting figure surrounded by darkness. He's still wrestling today, in the year 2007. If you don't know who he is, you should be ashamed of yourself).

Goldust (remember the name of Gooooooldust! *bites at camera* Yeah, this guy was truly unforgettable. No one could ever figure out what his character was supposed to be, and how to approach his bizarre wrestling style in the ring. He was unique in every sense of the word. The gold glitter that'd fall from the top of the arena whenever his entrance started was special to watch, too).

The Ultimate Warrior (at the time of this games release, I don't think he was with the company anymore. I remember he had a pretty popular (though short) Wrestlemania match against Triple H, and then a couple months later he was released. He was a lot more popular in the 80's but unfortunately his WWE career didn't carry the same momentum the second time around).

Triple H (he wasn't "the Game" back then. He was a snobby unlikeable guy with a fancy rich accent who had a delicate classical-sounding theme playing for his entrance. In other words, he was NOTHING like the Triple H we know and love today. It's amazing how different he was back then).

Exclusive to the Playstation version is a special Sound Test option where you can listen to all the sound effects and theme songs from the game, in addition to all the commentary from Vince McMahon and Mr. Perfect. So basically, you can listen to everything found in the game by going to this special Sound Test menu. It's pretty neat. Also, the loading times are NOWHERE near as long compared to the Saturn version of In Your House. That's a natural fact, jack.

Some people have a problem with the difficulty. Honestly, once you know what you're doing, and which moves do the most damage, you can really rip through the tournament. Occasionally you will lose matches, because sometimes the computer can get really ticked off, but eventually you'll win. I believe you only have five chances to win a tournament (5 lives) which is different from Wrestlemania where you could keep dying and trying over again and again. Better be careful not to lose too many times!

A good trick to help win matches is to use the run buttons at the top of the Playstation controller (the L2 and R2 buttons) to run at your opponent delivering moves, such as the standard dropkick. That's an important attack that many times your opponents won't be able to avoid. Also, go to the options and turn off Blocking, shut off Powerups, and set the game to Easy. You will win matches then.

Oh, and since everyone's comparing this game to the Mortal Kombat series, I have to mention that this game is *nowhere* near as frustrating as the MK series. You can actually deliver combos in this game with ease, and annoying cheap-shotting from the computer only happens a couple times when entering a tournament (whereas making any progress in the Mortal Kombat series was nearly impossible).

For some reason, some wrestlers are much weaker than others. You're probably thinking "Well, that's how it is in reality". But wait! Why is Vader weaker than Goldust? Vader has hardly NO devastating moves whatsoever, which makes no sense considering how strong and intimidating he was in real life. His Vader Bomb, which is what he used as his finishing move, drains very little damage in the game. The same can be said for Triple H's Pedigree.

On the flip side, Bret and Owen's Sharpshooter drains a LOT- almost half of your enemies energy, if used effectively. Ahmed Johnson and the British Bulldog also seem exceptionally strong.

Also worth noting is how some wrestlers have more wrestling moves than others. The British Bulldog and Owen Hart have the most moves in the game, while the Ultimate Warrior and Triple H have very little moves in their arsenal. It's sort of understandable in the case of Triple H, since back then he wasn't that much of a huge star and mostly was known for his Pedigree, but there should be a few more moves available for the Ultimate Warrior and Bret "the hitman" Hart, I think.

My favorite move in the game HAS to be with Triple H. When your opponent is down on the mat, you can go absolutely CRAZY if you run at them and continue hitting the kick button. Triple H will kick at them *so* quickly, it's a lot of fun stomping a mud hole! I've managed to drain up to 80% of my opponents energy this way. What a fun move! Every wrestler in the game has their own special fun move.

Once you win a tournament, you are treated to a special video that focuses on the highlights of the wrestler you chose. It's pretty cool, but it only lasts 15 seconds, if that.

The commentary from Vince McMahon and Mr. Perfect is great. They say a LOT more things compared to Vince and Jerry Lawler from Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game. Sometimes they might repeat the same lines twice in a row, but it's not nearly as big of a deal this time around (remember Vince McMahon is Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game every time you picked Lex Luger and delivered that one backbreaker move? He kept saying "Did you hear that!" over and over. Nothing like that in WWF In Your House).

It's amazing how a rushed game with pretty poor animation and so-so graphics can end up being so much fun to play, and so memorable YEARS after its release. Here's an example of that. It's hard to believe, but this game totally rules. I'm glad I own it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/04/07

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