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Welcome back to (probably) the most comprehensive round up of all the latest wrestling game news you’re likely to find. We all know that last month was a big deal for gaming fans, seeing as how Legends Of Wrestling: Showdown came out. Since the last update, I’ve managed to get a hold of a copy of the game, and I think that Dan’s review was spot on. If you can ignore the glitches and the ridiculously short career mode, you’ll find a good little wrestling game which is very playable. We still don’t know if it’ll be the last Acclaim game to hit the shelves, but fingers crossed that we’ll be playing a bigger and better LOW title a year from now. Anyway, onto the news.
First of all, let’s take a look at the PS2’s new WWE game, Smackdown! Vs Raw. A whole lot of new info has become available regarding the game, and I have to say that it’s shaping up to be quite a game. Featuring a bigger roster and more legends than last year, SD! Vs Raw is focusing a lot more on the audio aspect of the game than it’s predecessors. First of all, you’ll be able to choose between the two main sets of commentators to call your match. Hopefully the Play by Play of JR and The King as well as Cole and Tazz will be a improved since the last time we heard them on our consoles.
The game also features voiceovers by real WWE superstars during season mode, so no longer will you need to read The Rock saying “You know what you suck and I am better than you”. Yes, you’ll be hearing The People’s Champ spout all of his catchphrases, so if you’re easily offended by monkey nipples or sodomy, get that mute button ready. Unfortunately, it probably means that we have to listen to promos from such charismatic legends as Chris Benoit, Billy Kidman and maybe even Stephanie McMahon herself, depending on how the roster plays out. I’m shuddering already.
Smackdown! Vs Raw will also feature real, licensed music from bands, to give the game that authentic WWE feel. If you’re a fan of Nu-Metal, rejoice!
Unfortunately, it looks like the only new game mode will be the Parking Lot Brawl match, which essentially sounds the same as a hardcore match. So no Casket, Burried Alive or Judy Bagwell On A Pole matches, folks. However, Sony are currently undertaking Beta tests for online play with Smackdown! Vs Raw. If the tests go well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some element of online gaming in the new title. If the test goes badly, I would expect THQ to keep away from online wrestling for the foreseeable future. Anyway, expect Smackdown! Vs Raw in late November.
As for US Gamecube owners, the countdown is most certainly on. With the game coming out in just a matter of weeks, we’ll hopefully be able to gauge the reaction and know what to expect when it hits UK stores. I’m still hearing murmurs about how the game is still far too fast to appeal to fans of games as close to real wrestling (talk about a contradiction!), but you never know, it could end up being a surprise success.
The last month also saw the confirmation of another new WWE game. Entitled WWE Aftershock, this new title will be coming out for the N-Gage. The handheld has suffered quite a lot since it’s release, mainly due to the lack of titles available for it. Not much is known about Aftershock just now, except that it has no connections to the cinnamon flavoured red booze of the same name, but you never know, it could be the big title that the N-Gage is needed to get people talking.
Away from WWE, EA’s Def Jam: Fight For NY is shaping up to be quiet an exciting looking game. Taking away the wrestling environment and removing pinfalls is a bold move, which might just pay off. Instead of being an out and out ‘rasslin’ game, it combines bits of pro-wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts to give us one big fighting game. You still have finishers, strong and weak grapples and knock outs, but the emphasis is on more realistic and gritty fighting, rather than the out and out arcade grappling of the first instalment of the Def Jam series. There is a serious lack of MMA games around, and the two main franchises (PRIDE and UFC) are both very similar. Hopefully Def Jam 2 will be the wake up call that the genre needs.
Not much more news to give you on WWE Wrestlemania 21, WWE Survivor Series, Rumble Roses or the new Adam Ryland simulator. We know these games have all been confirmed, but time is drawing ever closer to their releases so I’d expect to start hearing more and more news about these games in the near future.
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.
- WWE Day Of Reckoning (Gamecube)- 01/10/04
- Def Jam Vendetta II: Fight For New York (PS2)- 24/09/04
- Def Jam Vendetta II: Fight For New York (Gamecube, Xbox)- 08/10/04
- WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw (PS2)- 26/11/04
- WWE Survivor Series (GBA)- Late 2004
- WWE Aftershock (N-Gage)- Late 2004
- 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 just about does us for another month. Sorry for the delay in getting this Update out by the way, a few things presented themselves during the course of the past month that made it difficult to get time to write it. Anyway, all that matters is that it’s here now. So don’t worry, the September Update will be back at it’s usual time of release, as will all the other Updates. So until next time, have fun, stay safe and keep buying from the Wrestling 101 Video Games Store. Ciao.