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WWF Wrestlemania X8

Preview By: Roger Taylor

Developer:  Yukes
Publisher:  THQ
Genre:  Wrestling
Est. Release:  Fall 2002
Posted:  1-29-02

In 1997, THQ released a wrestling game that changed the way we looked at the genre, WCW/nWo World Tour. The game certainly had its problems: it failed to capture the look and feel of most wrestlers, and it didnít even attempt to deliver the pyrotechnics and rock music that accompany wrestlers during their entrances in North American wrestling. But it did capture the feel of the wrestling itself inside the ring, unlike previous wrestling games that were little more than 2D brawlers with a few moves thrown in for good measure. This was the first game released in the United States to feature a complex submission system, accurate signature moves and outside-the-ring craziness. WCW/nWo Revenge built on the foundation of World Tour, and quickly sold a million copies (like its predecessor). At this point THQ acquired the WWF license (previously owned by Acclaim), and quickly slapped together its first WWF licensed game, WWF Wrestlemania 2000. The title wasnít a big step over Revenge, but it still had a lot going for it. By the time we reached WWF No Mercy in the line of THQ wrestling games we reach near perfection. Once again, No Mercy was a flawed game, with a sluggish framerate at times, but it featured more WWF superstars than the mind can comfortably conceive, lots of options and modes, and near perfect gameplay.

Now, THQ brings its beloved wrestling series to the Nintendo GameCube with WWF Wrestlemania X8. Unfortunately for wrestling fans, AKI, the developer of the N64 games, is out the door. Replacing them is the developer of Playstationís Smackdown series, Yukes. Yukes is certainly a competent developer, but their past wrestling games have focused too much on gimmicks and not enough on providing an accurate wrestling simulation. We can only hope that that business will stop with WWF Wrestlemania X8.

THQ has announced that the game will feature more than 35 wrestlers (by comparison, No Mercy had more than 65 once hidden characters were found), including standards like Triple H, Steve Austin and The Rock. Ex-WCW and ECW wrestlers from last summerís Invasion angle, like Rob Van Dam and Booker T, will also be included. As usual, all wrestlers will have distinctive moves and style.

Also included is the ubiquitous Create-a-Wrestler mode, standard since Acclaimís WWF Warzone. The game will also contain a Championship Road mode, similar to the ones found in Wrestlemania 2000, or Smackdown 2. Various match types will be included, as in Smackdown, like tornado tag, hardcore, and maybe even the infamous Hell in a Cell. A finalized list of matches has not been released yet.

Wrestlemania X8 will be released over the summer.

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