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.
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.
will be released over the summer.