STAFF REVIEW of Legends of Wrestling (Xbox)

Friday, July 19, 2002.

Legends of Wrestling Box art This game gives me the feeling of old school gymnasium wrestling. I?ve been a wrestling fan for years now and if you?ve been one as long as I have then this game will touch close too home with you. The wrestlers you have to pick from are pretty good. I mean you got guys like Hulk Hogan, Jerry ?The King Lawler to Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka . I mean even the crowd has the old school feel. When I first saw the title of this game all I could think of was WCW and old school WWE. It delivers a variety of that for sure. Looks like we have some old school wrestling fans in some of the cubicles at acclaim studios. Overall the concept of the game is pretty good and Acclaim did a pretty good job of delivering just that. . Don?t let this get you to excited though, where not done yet.

If your use too those wrestling games that require pretty much reading the manual 10 times too learn one combo then this game isn?t for you. The controls are fairly easy to navigate. If you have a basic understanding of your Xbox controller then you won?t have a problem picking up some combo moves quickly. You have all your basic wrestling/fighting game moves that are incorporated into the controller. The face buttons will allow you too attack, grapple, block, counter, and strike. Now all you have too do push your direction pad in any given direction to bust out a combo. That?s about it. Now a good thing is that all the different wrestlers have different moves, but not enough to gawk about. If you are a big combo junkie then you will find that Legends of Wrestling is lacking pretty bad in this department. There is a nice little meter at the top of the screen that lets you know that your can counter your opponent with a combo move. For instance if your opponent has you in a headlock you can counter with something else to break his move. You have too remember when you see the cursor tracing along the combo meter you have to react at just the right time. If you don?t learn when to react with combos then your pretty much toast. But basically the combo system is easy too use. If you are one of those that like to pound away at your x button then you will have a blast. You will find yourself pounding away when you are pinned, and also when you need too pin. It?s pretty neat that this is incorporated into the same button. When playing 2 players I found it absolutely hysterical when I was pounding away to pin any my opponent was doing the same to get unpinned. I would suggest starting straight out in career mode. The matches will typically last about 5 min at first until you have gained some expertise. You won?t get too bored with the matches because it takes a while to master the combo and counter system. Its good in both the single and two-player game, so don?t worry if will stay interesting for a good while. I wasn?t very impressed with the running moves. They seemed to be kind of slow and not very exciting. I can also say they are hard to figure out. There just not as quick as they are in the some of the other wrestling games ive played in the past. Something cool I noticed was that in a tag match you can react too your partner and the referee in different ways. Just like in the real world you see one of the tag partners distracting the referee?s attention from the match so his partner can whale away at the bad guy. Well you can do this in this game. Also you can have your partner help you team up on one guy. This is necessary in a tag match, you will find out. This also really gets the crowed in an uproar, and you will find that this is a good thing. I need to mention that in career mode you need the audience to like you. Doing the same maneuvers over and over won?t win them over for sure. During career mode the crowd?s approval is a big part of the story line. If your manager is not happy with the way the crowd reacts too you then he will tell you too get more involved. There are other types of game play I should mention. There is exhibition, and tournament mode. But, by far the best is career mode. There is a pretty cool create a wrestler feature as well. It?s not as flashy as some of the other games ive seem, but never the less it?s pretty cool. But I would have definitely like to have seen more body types and maybe some facial appearances. You have tons of clothing too chose from. It?s still pretty fun to put together your own character. I need to mention also the ways the different characters enter the arenas are quite the same. Although you do get the feel of back in the day wrestling. The taunting is definitely old school.

I'll have to start out by saying ?can you say MTV?s Celebrity Death match?. The characters look sort of like clay figures with a bit of a cartoon blended in. The wrestlers look very big and chunky. The body types pretty much look all the same. There aren?t too many diff types of bodies. Thank goodness for the different clothing and hair color or you couldn?t tell who you where playing with. I noticed that in tag matches it?s kind of hard too see. Everything seems too be too far away. Although every now and then the camera would change too a lower view witch was nice. I should mention also that there are some blurring effects that play into your matches. Looks sort of like a slow motion Max Payne type of thing. This only happens when you pull a very good move. Sometimes you will find yourself looking at absolutely nothing wile the cameral tries too track down the wrestlers. The overall animation of the characters was lacking to say the least. It needs to be a lot quicker and smoother. The animation is way better when you?re in the Max Payne mode. I have too say though that the lighting is pretty good and that goes along way in any fighting game. If you?re not a big graphic guru then this game won?t disappoint too much especially if you?re a Saturday morning cartoon fan.

The sound is okay to say the least. The crowd isn?t very loud at all and that?s all you hear is the crowd no individual voices coming from it. The announcer will only talk when he is introducing the wrestlers. This is good and bad. It?s good because it won?t bug the heck out of you when you?re trying too play. Its bad because it?s cool to have the announcer really get into the matches when you do something great or win an event. The music is okay but it wont leave you sitting there listening too it instead of your radio. The sound during the matches is okay they have some nice thumping going on when you hit the mat. There is a lot of slapping noises during the matches. Overall I can say the sound delivers best when it needs too, and that?s during the match its self.

Work on getting away from the cartoon/clay look. On the audio side get the crowd and wrestlers more interactive and into it all. Also need more camera options. But good job on the overall Legends of Wrestling feel you get from the game!

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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