Publisher: Technos Japan Corporation
Genre: Sport, Wrestling
An iPhone/iPad remake of an arcade machine from the early 90s is certainly a bit of an unexpected surprise. This version tries to maintain the control and feel of the original with updated (but still faithfully basic) graphics and a new roster featuring a selection of superstars throughout the last three decades. The resulting game, however, is one which will not appeal to fans of the original game or current wrestling fans.
For those more familiar with more recent WWE games, the lack of customisation and faithful intros will seem unbearably primitive but these superficial problems pale compared to the fundamental issues with adapting this game to touchscreen devices. First, the original was a button basher and it was unwise to adapt it to a system without a physical control pad. The controls do not and probably never could feel right.
Second, the game does not provide much instruction on how to do any advanced move. This was a smart design choice when trying to coax quarters out of loyal fans pockets at the arcade but not when trying to get someone to enjoy this when playing home alone. Certainly not enough to convince them to buy DLC of additional characters (although Irish fans may as Irish wrester Sheamus is in the initial paid batch). I still have no idea how to dodge when running and it was only due to my familiarity with pro-wrestling that I could tell my tag partner was in the wrong corner for most of the match preventing me from tagging out.
Third, this game was originally designed in an era dominated by the big guys and despite some signature moves, very few of the characters operate out of same big guy power moves. This includes Rey Mysterio and CM Punk. In fact, in this game Rey Mysterio seems about as tall as the Undertaker (real life 5ft 6in vs 6ft 10in). Finally, the game boasts the difficult associated with that era's arcades but this does not translate into a satisfying challenge. Beating down an opponent is usually easy enough but often they just won't stay down. I don't care who you are, five DDTs from Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and you should not be breaking my pin. Worse, the most devastating move an opponent can give you seems to be breaking from your pin / submission move. Not only do they gain energy but you are flung clear across the ring like a rag doll. The most amusing of these is the Undertaker's Hell's Gate finisher. It is initiated by standing above a downed opponent (the opposite of how it actually works), Taker picks him up, falls to the ground while strangling them with his legs and when broken is somehow catapulted away.
Superficial, not very much fun and probably not going to appeal to either old school or newer fans. Perhaps on XBox Live / PSN with a physical controller, this could give an afternoons fun in two player mode but it just plain doesn't work on IOS
Rent or Buy: Download only
Reviewed by: JP Gallagher
Story by entertainment.ie | 15:35 | Thursday 1st March 2012 | Games
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