Sunday, October 19, 2003

New Games

I think it was last week that I bought Legends of Wrestling II, and I have found it a fun but maddening game. The selection of characters is good and extensive (Abdullah the Butcher, George the Animal Steele, Andre the Giant, the Von Erichs) but the gameplay is buggy and poorly done. The instruction manual is woefully inadequate (it doesn't tell you what to do in ladder matches for instance, and I was left for ten minutes trying to figure out how the hell to win the match) or cage matches, and to unlock each new character you have to first unlock them as an option in the lengthy career mode and then gamble for them using a convoluted coin system.

The career mode's storyline breaks down, to a cut scene with the promoter then a few jobber matches, to a cutscene with the promoter to a few matches with name talent, to a cut scene with the promoter, to some difficult matches, then another cutscene and a title match with a defense following. Even things like Jerry Lawler's feud with Andy Kauffman follows this pattern.

I just want to play as Andy and Abdullah, but I have to beat them and then spend an hour trying to gamble for enough coins to unlock them. That is bullshit my friends.

On the plus side, the graphics are pretty good, as is the wide range of characters (did I mention Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Roddy Piper?), and there are some good interviews with some of the wrestlers included as a bonus. George Steele's interview is particularly good.

All in all, worth the $20 I paid for it I guess. Not as good as the Smackdown series, but maybe they can get a real game engine in the next installment, or perhaps the NWA-TNA game that is supposedly in the works will fullfill the promise.

Today I bought MTV's Celebrity Death Match, and I can't really say that I'm dissapointed by the game, but I wish they'd gone a little further with the game.

There are a number of 'celebrities' to choose from, including N'Sync, Carrot Top, Mister T, Anna Nicole Smith, Ron Jeremy, Dennis Rodman and Miss Cleo. There is also a fairly limited create a character mode (though I was able to create a pretty good version of myself).

The graphics re-create the show well, and the polygon characters look enough like the clay to pull off the illusion.

The gameplay is simplistic, with a handfull of moves that seem to be randomly chosen when you push a button, as well as a few special moves and weapons that can be used at various points in gameplay. Each character has a specialized fatality that they do at the conclusion of a match that are usually sufficiently gruesome. The game was rated M, mostly for the violence, and also for the slightly scandalous dialoge (nothing really more than juvenile sexual humor).

I was unable to unlock all of the hidden characters and arenas and defeat the story mode in about thirty minutes of gameplay which is not very good. Even on the most difficult setting the game is not very hard. This would probably be a good party game, but as a replayable game the repetitiveness and lack of depth don't warrant alot of returns.

But, hey, it's only $20 new, then you can sell it to a used CD/Movie store for half the price you paid for it.

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