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Video Games: April 2004 Update



By: Russ
1 April 2004

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Welcome once again to the monthly Video Games update. I hope everyoneís looking forward to Easter as much as I am. Seriously, the only thing that is cooler than eating chocolate is eating chocolate in the shape of an egg. If anyone wants to show their appreciation for the work Iíve done in the past twenty odd months for the video games sections at W101 and Talk Wrestling Online, just shoot me an email and Iíll give you an address to send chocolate eggs to. Anyway, this column isnít about me bagging free sweets, itís about wrestling games, so letís get down to business.

First of all, thereís big news for Gamecube owners. The Wrestlemania series of games is history, and the future is bright. THQ recently announced that a new WWE game for Nintendoís console will be out later this year, entitled WWE Day Of Reckoning. Developed by Yukes, makers of the infamous Smackdown! series for PS2, WWE DoR looks fantastic, even at this early stage. It takes a huge amount of influence from the Smackdown! games, as there are so many things, from the submission meter, to bra and panties matches, that feature in both games. However, elements from the Wrestlemania games are included too, as youíll recognise where the momentum meter and strong/weak grapples come from. Anyway, the game looks very pretty and should be out sometime in September 2004.

One very interesting bit of news that I picked up on recently was the fact that Legends Of Wrestling Showdown has been announced as being released for the X Box, PS2 and PC. Yes, itís another wrestling game to hit the PC. Weíve known of the console releases for a wee while now, but the fact that Showdown will be available to PC owners is an exciting prospect indeed. Itís common knowledge that any wrestling game (or any kind of game, really) can be edited extensively, meaning that downloads of new arenas, characters or music are very possible. WWE Raw failed to meet the needs of PC games, so hopefully Acclaimís new Legends Of Wrestling game will be able to capitalise and make the most of this huge gap in the market.

News on Total Extreme Warfare now, Adam Rylandís first venture in the field of selling simulator games. TEW has ďgone goldĒ, meaning that coding and bug testing has been completed. The rumours are that Adam will announce a release date of his new game any time in the next few days. Will it be an EWR beater? Iíll let you know as soon as I get around to playing it.

Staying on simulator news, the promising Head To Head wrestling looks like it could be back on the release radars. With the game 75% complete, the makers are looking for a programmer to take over and finish the job. If someone takes over and does a good job with the game, it might be just a short wait until TEW gets some strong competition in the form of H2H. Iíll have the review when (or if) the game is released, to let you know if itís another Promotion Wars 2 or if you should not bother buying Total Extreme Warfare, download H2H for free and spend the money youíve saved on a big present for me.

The bad news is that thereís still no announcement from THQ regarding new X Box or PS2 games featuring the WWE licence. And thereís no more news on Konamiís naughty WWX: Rumble Rose. So, if the game companies are trying make my job of keeping everyone up to date with the latest news an easy one, theyíre succeeding. Itís a shame that there isnít a lot more to cover, because usually at this time all of the new titles due for a Christmas release are announced. Hopefully WWE Day Of Reckoning is the start of a tidal wave, rather than a trickle of news. Anyway, donít forget to visit the Wrestling 101 Video Games Shop. Its prices are so cheap and cheerful that youíd be forgiven for thinking that the games were cheap knockoffs made in a sweatshop in Taiwan. But donít worry; theyíre the real deal.

Well, Iíll be back next month, when once again Iíll have my fingers crossed that more games will be announced. And hey, maybe Iíll have more gossip for you on WWX: Rumble Rose, WWE Day Of Reckoning and Legends Of Wrestling Showdown. Until next time then, see you later, and have a good Easter. Oh, but donít eat too much chocolate.

Russ



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