Review by Toxikfoxx

"THQ takes a step down, way down."

Ok, I've been playing this game alot, trying to have fun with it, but I can't find a way. THQ's great releases for the 64 (even the smackdown games) always improved upon the prior, weather it be CAW options to match types. I was a huge fan of the AKI games, and still play them to this day. I wish I could give this game a positive review, but I can't. Here it goes...

Gameplay 2 out of 10
Gone are the days of back stage areas, ladder matches, CAGE matches, and match type other that one's involving the ring and it's immediate area. With more than 3 people in the ring, slowdown is noticable, as well as some major glitches. Characters fall down doing nothing, they go through others, and the commands do not work half the time. I had someone groggy, pressed A about 7 times and no grapple. Weapons are horrible, you can only bring a few different types of them into the ring, they do very little damage, and they are impossile to pick up. Your taunt button is the same button that you use to grab weapons, which equals to about 4 to 7 tries to pick one up. You can find things during the matches like glasses, and hats, but that's about all you can do with them. I was very upset that 90% of the match types were removed, no HIAC, no coffin matches, not even a cage match. Also, the story line aspect, and the backstage areas are gone. I think this game is comparable with WCW Nitro in the content department. The AI is horrible, most matches are, punch punch grab grab repeat. The computer follows a very basic routine, which is easy to pick up, but hard to beat. Also, there is no blood in the game, hence no first blood matches. Overall a very bad start

Graphics 5 out of 10
Not much to drag down here, not much to praise either. The charecters all look like thier respective real life counterparts, the ring and the arena look good as well. The only problem is it's one ring and one arena. The Xbox does a good job of running the game smoothly, but there is some noticable slow down when people start populating the ring. Another major drawback is the camera, it always seems to be in the wrong place, and ceiling tiles and signs try to act as poorly pixelated windows.

Create a Wrestler 3 out of 10
I had really high hopes for this aspect of RAW. Unfortunately it too falls short of it predecessors. The basic molds are ok, but it's very difficult to size a charecter proportionately. The mask selection is down right abysmal, with only about 15 to choose from, many of thise looking the same. Clothing selections are scarce, and most of your CAW's will look almost the same. It's a GIANT step back from the 64 games and the Smackdown game. This could have been a great part to the game, but it comes out flat in the end.

Sound 2 out of 10
No more *DING* sounds for nut shots. The moves all have a similar sound. No more crunching submissions or blood curdling splats to cheer you up. The wrestlers into music all sounds great, but it's been that way for years. No real music selections to find. Heavily mediocre in this area.

Overall 3 out of 10
A game that would have been revolutionary about 5 or 6 years back. As said before a great number of things have been taken out, 90% of the match types, CAW moves, clothing, accessories. You may have fun you'r first day of playing, but it will get old really fast. THQ took about 5 steps back this time, you will find it very lacking once you start playing. Almost sad as what could have been a killer game is muddled in mediocrity, I give it a 3 out of 10. If you want to play a good wrestling game, go grab a nintendo 65 and WWF Wrestlmania.

Rent or Buy?
A definate rent, if you still like it after that purchase is your choice. I bought the game the day it came out, now I'm seriously thinking of taking it back. Your decision, rent it first, that's the only advice I can give.

Thanks for reading.

Reviewer's Rating:   1.5 - Bad

Originally Posted: 02/16/02, Updated 02/16/02

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