Thursday, September 29, 2011

WWF Super Wrestlemania: Not The Arcade Game

Okay, I fucked up on this one. I picked up a game called Wrestlemania for the SNES thinking it was the Wrestlemania game I remembered, but boy was I wrong. The game that I remembered, which is really the only 16-bit WWF game worth remembering, was WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game, not WWF Super Wrestlemania. There is a big difference, in that the former is a wacky and fun wrestling game, and the latter is a horrible relic of wrestling games' past. I should have remembered the cardinal rule of buying old games: “don't pay money for anything with an LJN logo,” but head was filled with images of hitting people with literal tombstones and Doink the Clown, and I didn't even realized I had thrown away three dollars until it was too late.

Weirdly, both games were developed by Sculptured Software, whom have come up a few times on this site previously. The difference is that 1995's The Arcade Game is a port of, get this, an arcade game by Midway, while 1992's Super is an original creation that plays an awful lot like the 8-bit wrestling games that preceded it. In fact, it is so similar I will redirect any questions about the game to my article for Pro Wrestling for the Master System. It is that simple. I tried playing it, it wasn't fun, and I hope to never play it again.

Movement is chunky, attacks take forever to perform, and the biggest factor that determines success is how fast the player can mash buttons. The movement is so slow and the controls are so stiff that there is no strategy involved, so it is purely about mashing. That's not good because, when facing off against CPU controlled opponents, victory is completely up to whether or not CPU will let the player win a grapple, and when facing off against another human, both players will end up with severely sore wrists as if they have been jerking each other off the whole day.

Still, I imagine that this game was pretty successful in duping kids into convincing their parents to waste money on it. It has Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage right on the cover, and the title screen probably wowed kids with its super high quality digitized picture of the Hulkster ripping his shirt off. I'm not sure how wild Hulkamania was running in 1992, and I believe that it was near the end of his reign of terror as newer guys like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were getting really big, but I have no doubt his face on the cover was enough to move some cartridges. It was certainly more important than making anything that resembles a fun game.

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