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It’s June, the weather is lovely and the nation is looking forward to heading off on their summer holidays. But there’s no rest for the Wrestling 101 Video Games team, as the latest news doesn’t go on holiday. Summer tends to be a very busy time of year, regarding wrestling video games, as titles start to come together, new features/screenshots are announced and the race begins to meet the Christmas deadline. I can’t believe I’m talking about Christmas already, it seems like just the other week I was going out and emptying my wallet, all in the pursuit of looking like someone who cares. But hey, you don’t come here to listen to me moan; you come here for some serious news. So, without further ado, I present to you…news!
First of all, the big news came from THQ recently that the sixth title in the WWE Smackdown! series for PS2 has finally got a name. It turns out that WWE Smackdown! Word Life was just a whole lot of speculation, just like THQ claimed all along. The 100% confirmed name will be WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw.
Interesting, huh? With the announcement that the X Box will be getting the Wrestlemania franchise, it left Raw without a home. The name of Smackdown! Vs Raw will no doubt have chins wagging over what this means for the future of WWE. Will there be a more intense rivalry between the two shows in the near future? It’s too hard to say at this stage, due to the fact that there is no media or information available on SD! Vs Raw, but it won’t be long before preview screenshots appear. Look out for the game around Christmas time.
On the topic of the X Box’s Wrestlemania 21 game, it’s been given an early 2005 release date. THQ claim that the power of the X Box will be used to full effect to create the best visuals seen in a wrestling game to date, and will also include some matches never seen in a game before. That’s a lot of stuff to boast about, but it remains to be seen if the newcomers to the scene, Studio Gigante (Hopefully a better developer than it’s wrestling namesake, El) can deliver. Much like the aforementioned Smackdown! Vs Raw title, very little is confirmed so we’ll need to wait a bit longer to find out whether the game is the equivalent of Wrestlemania 10, or if it’s more like Wrestlemania 9.
And another title was also announced by THQ lately. Didn’t I tell you that summer was busy? Anyway, Gameboy Advance owners will either be delighted or horrified to know that THQ are releasing WWE Survivor Series at the end of the year. Unfortunately, GBA owners know all about THQ’s woeful attempts to recreate the wild, unpredictable fun of WWE on a handheld console, as the previous two titles, Road To Wrestlemania and Road To Wrestlemania X8 sucked like a high powered Dyson. Will they break the streak and rival Fire Pro, or will they make it a hatrick of stinkers? Find out before the year is over.
American gamers will be able to get their hands of Acclaim’s eagerly awaited Showdown: Legends Of Wrestling later this month, and it’s looking like it might just be the best game in the series so far. With a staggering roster that reads like a list of the greatest wrestlers of all time (excluding Ric Flair, Mick Foley and D-Lo Brown), it’s hard not to get excited over this game. Some early reviews of the game have been fairly critical, but it’s a well-known fact that most wrestling games tend to be ignored or belittled by reviewers who aren’t interested in “sweaty fat men in lycra pretending to fight”. So ignore the numerous magazines that will try to compare this more realistic game to the arcade-type gameplay of the Smackdown! series, I’ll give you the real rundown on LOW3 when it comes out in the UK next month.
Unfortunately, there’s no more news on Def Jam Vendetta: Fight For New York, WXW: Rumble Rose or WWE Day Of Reckoning, but hopefully we’ll see a bit more action on these fronts in the next few weeks.
Now, time for everyone’s favourite part of the monthly update, the release dates. Remember, these are for the UK, and may change depending on how lazy the developers get.
- Showdown: Legends Of Wrestling (PS2, Xbox)- 2/7/04
- WWE Day Of Reckoning (Gamecube)- ??/09/04
- Def Jam Vendetta II: Fight For New York (PS2)- 30/10/04
- WWX: Rumble Rose (PS2)- 23/11/04
- WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw (PS2)- Late 2004
- WWE Survivor Series (GBA)- Late 2004
- WWE Wrestlemania 21 (Xbox)- Early 2005
Of course, if you’re really on the ball you could get over to the Wrestling101 Video Games Store where you can pre-order all or some of the above games so that they’re sent out to your house on the day of delivery, for a smaller price than what you’d pay in the high street. Don’t delay, go there today!
Well, I think that just about does us for another month. If you didn’t catch my controversial Total Extreme Warfare review, head on over there now to find out how it was the centre of discussion on message boards all over the Internet. For about five minutes.
And don’t forget to join me again here next month, where I’ll be reporting live from the beaches of Jamaica. Unless Kam finds out I’ve been stealing from the Wrestling 101 pension fund. In that case, I’ll be reporting live from inside a prison cell, somewhere in the UK. Tara for now!