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Well, hello there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Yes, I’ve returned to bring you more hot wrestling game news and gossip after a small hiatus. I’d love to have a great excuse to give you as to why I was absent, but to be honest, it’s a bit boring. I was working a lot over the summer, and I didn’t really have enough time to write a new column. Add to that the fact that we at TWO had reviewed just about every wrestling game for the major consoles released in the past couple of years, so there wasn’t a lot of stuff left to review unless I went back a good few years. Pathetic, eh? Hopefully this new update will make up for my laziness.
Since the last update, we’ve seen a lot of action in the wrestling games market. Gamecube owners in the US have been treated to the release of Wrestlemania XIX, and it’s only a matter of days before it comes out in the UK. American X Box gamers also have the benefit of having Raw 2 out in the shops just now, before UK owners. From what I’ve heard, WMXIX has been met with mainly a positive response, while Raw 2 is apparently a huge leap forward in the series. As always, you’ll be able to find reviews for both games at TWO’s Video Games Section very soon. Keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks, as we’re all very excited about the new releases.
As for PS2 owners, everyone’s looking forward to Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain, which is the fifth title in the series. With an updated roster, new gameplay mechanics, new match types (Including Elimination Chamber) and an improved season mode, it’s hard to see how THQ could mess up. We UK gamers have to wait a little bit longer than our US counterparts until we can get our hands on the new Smackdown! game, but hopefully it will be worth it. Once it’s out, we’ll have a review right here as soon as possible.
Away from WWE games, Eidos’ first attempt at making a wrestling game, Backyard Wrestling: Don’t Try This At Home, is causing a lot of controversy. A few wrestlers working for proper promotions have been promoting the game, which isn’t seen too well in the eyes of promoters who are against backyard wrestling. As I’ve said before, I don’t think releasing a backyard wrestling game is a good thing to do, because it’s likely to cause people who play the game to take part in real, unsafe matches in their own homes. Still, that doesn’t mean the game won’t be good fun to play, so I’ll be picking a copy up as soon as it’s released for reviewing purposes.
The first bits of news on Legends Of Wrestling 3 are coming through, but it’s too hard to say what the game will be like from 5 pictures of character models. However, what strikes me is how different the characters look from previous LOW game. Gone are the cartoony effects, and in place are some realistic looking people. Hopefully this shows that Acclaim are ready to make the game a lot more realistic. No confirmed release date yet for the game, but it should be out in the first quarter of 2004.
A little bit of news now on the Extreme Warfare series. Adam Ryland has decided to stop making free downloadable simulators, and is now focusing on making the new game in the EW series, Total Extreme Warfare, which will sell (!) for about £20. Apart from the obvious cost of the game, fans will be disappointed to know that the game won’t feature real wrestlers or promotions, due to copyright issues. It’s extremely likely that an unofficial roster update for the game will feature real data though. I’ve got mixed thoughts on this news. First of all, I’m pleased for Adam, as he’s worked very hard over the years for no income, and it’s only fair that he gets a “payday” from TEW. However, I do wonder how many people will buy the game. I’m sure a lot of people will agree with me that it would be hard to improve EWR 4.2, and any changes that TEW may feature would just be easily put into another update. Perhaps we’ll be surprised and Total Extreme Warfare will be a great game for a very low price, but I’d keep playing EWR 4.2 for the foreseeable future, until more news becomes available.
As usual, here’s the release dates for the next batch of wrestling games to be released in the UK.
- WWE Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain (PS2)- 7/11/03
- WWE Raw 2 (X Box)- 10/10/03
- WWE Wrestlemania XIX (NGC)- 3/10/03
- Backyard Wrestling (PS2)- 17/10/03
- Legends Of Wrestling 3 (NGC, X Box, PS2)- Early 2004
Well, that’s it for another month. Next month’s update will be particularly tasty, as I’ll hopefully have more information on 2004’s big titles. See you then.