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Video Games: October 2004 Update



By: Russ
4 October 2004

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Guten Tag, welcome to this special Oktoberfest edition of the Wrestling 101 Video Games update. Unfortunately, I don't drink beer (It was a whole "give up drinking, giving up smoking thing", don't ask), so we'll need to replace the liquor with a bender of news instead.

First of all, rap and wrestling fans would have been delighted to have seen Def Jam Fight For NY hit shops in the UK on Friday. I've got my copy, and while I've not played it an awful lot yet, I can easily say that it's much better than it's predecessor. I'm actually doing an injustice to the last Def Jam game (Def Jam Vendetta),which was actually a lot of fun and it was good to see the AKI engine on a PS2 game at last. The only letdown was the very short longevity factor, and there was nothing to keep you playing after a fortnight or so.

But Fight For NY is a lot more polished, and I'm having a ball playing it. I don't want to give too much away at this stage, considering I'll go into a lot more detail in my full review that's coming soon, but it's certainly given me a good first impression. The game is out now, and scored well in American reviews, but what will my final thoughts be on Def Jam Fight For NY? Stay tuned to W101.

As for the other big title due out soon in the UK that will interest PS2 owners, there isn't a whole lot more to add about WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw. It seems that just about everything to do with the game has been confirmed, from the roster to match modes. Will there be any surprises in store? I can't say just now, but Wrestling101 has been invited by THQ and WWE to send someone to a private Smackdown! Vs Raw PR day in London next week. Unfortunately, due to a packed schedule, I won't be able to make the trip, but hopefully one of my colleagues will. There could be some VERY interesting stories coming out of that PR day, and you simply can't afford to miss next month's Update, where all will be revealed.

Talking of PR days for THQ's WWE games, Wrestling101's very own Adam Sibley attended a similar function to the one I stated above for the Gamecube game, Day Of Reckoning. It sounds like Adam had a brilliant time there, and he's written us a terrific DOR review which features a lot of his experiences at the fancy shindig. You can check that out here. Thanks again to Adam for going to the PR day and writing that review. If you ever want me to repay the favour to you by going to a UK wrestling show for free, I'd be more than happy to oblige.

Away from the glitz and glamour of WWE to the stupidity and danger of Backyard Wrestling now. Not content with bringing out one terrible game, Eidos are now subjecting us to yet another Backyard Wrestling title. Without sounding too much like JR commenting on a heel turn, I always try to stay impartial with these monthly updates, or at least find a positive thing to say about every game. I realise that there is a very small demand for wrestling games, compared to a market for something like football or 1st Person Shooting games, and I am thankful for the amount of titles I get to take a look at. However, Eidos' Backyard Wrestling games really rub me up the wrong way.

I'm a wrestling fan. I don't like to see the industry get knocked. And nothing does more to damage wrestling than unsafe Backyard Wrestling. It really is as stupid as it sounds; morons with no training hitting each other for real, so they can pretend to be their favourite wrestlers. Surely that's what games are for? When I play Legends Of Wrestling Showdown, I get to be Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Sting, whoever. I don't hurt anyone, and I enjoy myself. When you perform backyard wrestling, you're endangering the lives of yourself and everyone around you. And for Eidos to try to glamorise this dangerous activity really gets on my nerves.

I was glad to see the company get into financial difficulties lately, simply because they haven't offered me anything I'd like to play for years. All the new Tomb Raider games are terrible, Sports Interactive were the real brains behind the Championship Manager series (Now to be known as Football Manager 05, that's the REAL CM. Championship Manager 5 will be CM in name only, and won't be anywhere near as good as Football Manager 05) and of course, Eidos are perfectly happy to sell Backyard Wrestling games. I hope it fails, and I hope Eidos reconsider making these titles.

And a bit of bad news for Gameboy Advance owners now, although I suppose it was to be expected. WWE Survivor Series, the latest wrestling game to come out for the handheld system, isn't much good at all. Just like THQ's previous attempts to recreate WWE on the Gameboy, the game really suffers from a lack of moves and there's next to no difference in which character you go. According to people who played it at the Gamestars convention a few weeks ago, the game has shown no improvement since THQ's last poor outing on the GBA. Its expected really, considering how there's never really been a good WWE game on the Gameboy Advance, and once again handheld owners would be a lot better to stick to a far superior wrestling game like Fire Pro.

It seems that there still isn't a lot of information available on Wrestlemania 21 for the X Box, Rumble Roses for the PS2 and WWE Aftershock for the N-Gage. With all of these titles expected to hit stores in the first quarter of 2005, it shouldn't be long until the floodgates open and we get the news we're waiting for. Keep checking here to see that news, when it emerges.

Now, if you're wondering when the games I've discussed in this Update will be available to buy, get ready to wonder no more. Here's the UK release dates for all the wrestling games confirmed right now.

  • Backyard Wrestling 2 (PS2, X Box)- 29/10/04
  • WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw (PS2)- 19/11/04
  • WWE Survivor Series (GBA)- 26/11/04
  • WWE Aftershock (N-Gage)- January 05
  • Rumble Roses (PS2)- January 05
  • WWE Wrestlemania 21 (Xbox)- Early 2005

And if you want to pre-order any of these games, so that they arrive on your doorstop on the day of release, then take a look at the Wrestling 101 Video Games Store.

That'll do things for another month. Come back soon for the Def Jam Fight For NY review, and of course, don't forget the November Update which could have some really surprising news, and maybe even a word or two from someone who's played the game. Until then, don't forget to keep an eye on the Wrestling 101 Video Games Store and newsboard.

Ciao.

Russ



.

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