Billy Bo Bob off the top rope... OH MY! - Review By Fragmaster
There's nothing in the world quite like professional wrestling. A quirky blend of sports and soap operas, pro wrestling could be described as a less violent Mortal Kombat with louder characters. Its combination of violence, hot women, and showmanship has resulted in continuing success, and organizations like the WWF have prospered thanks to a budding fan-base consisting mostly of male teenagers.
As a kid growing up in the fields of rural western New York, I remember watching the WWF matches and pay-per-views long before the days of Monday Night Raw and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Back when managers were creepy middle-aged men with tennis rackets and not future Playboy playmates. Back when Sergeant Slaughter grappled with the Iron Sheik and Jesse "The Body" Ventura was dishing out flying elbow drops instead of governing our 20th largest state.
But like most teens, I grew out of wrestling once the teenage years set in, and haven't followed it in years. After playing WWF Attitude, I can see that I really didn't miss much.
If there's one thing WWF Attitude has going for it, it's the amount of options. There are over twenty game modes and lots of settings to fiddle around with, not to mention the nifty create a wrestler mode.
Attitude has a ton of options, including some nifty four player modes. Watch out for that guitar case, Rock!
Career mode is the heart of the game. Much like Ready 2 Rumble, you start out as a nobody and have to fight your way to the top. You start off fighting in house shows and shotgun matches, and eventually make your way up to the big pay-per-views and, ultimately, WrestleMania. You can also play career mode with up to three other players.
If that doesn't do it for you, there's a lot of other ways to play: versus, tag team, 2 on 1, 3 on 1, tornado (2 on 2 at once, no tagging), lumberjack (get beat-up by outsiders if you leave the ring), gauntlet, tag team gauntlet, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, battle royal, war (4 player free for all), stable match, triangle, triple threat, steel cage, and hardcore. Hardcore mode adds weapons like stop signs and ladders to the mix, which is always nice. You can even design your own pay-per-view event, and even design your own specialized stadium and ring for the occasion.
Create a wrestler mode allows you to fashion your own WWF superstar, customizing everything from his/her/its name, moves, attributes, looks, sounds, and personality. The best part is designing the look of your wrestler, since you can alter body type (male and female of various sizes), facial features, hair, masks, accessories, tattoos, clothing, vests, text, elbow pads, boots… it's all there. You can even generate random characters. Unlike other create a player modes, you can actually create a variety of significantly different looking and playing characters rather than just the same dude with the same attributes and a different color shirt.
Create a wrestler mode is borderline awesome. Check out my character, Sal "Homie" Mooandee.
As for the selection of WWF superstars, there's over forty of 'em, each with special moves, taunts, abilities, and intros. While I can't vouch for the accuracy of, say, Mankind's double arm DDT, that kind of stuff is here. The AI isn't too bad either, not good, but most of the time the CPU controlled wrestlers avoid doing anything spectacularly stupid.
WWF Attitude's graphics are some of the worst to grace the Dreamcast yet. Attitude is a PSX\N64 port, and it really shows. The arenas look bland, the characters are poorly modeled, everything is feebly textured (especially the player's faces, which look pasted on), there's noticeable clipping (you can even see a wrestler's foot going through his opponent's back when he kicks him), the crowd looks like cardboard cut-outs (they look especially terrible when you're step out of the ring)… even the ring doesn't look very good. Ugh.
Actually, the overall production is pretty tepid. The wrestler introductions are lame and drawn out, the audio sounds amateurish, the wrestler taunts are even lamer than the ones they use on TV, the horribly generic play-by-play commentary is seemingly random at times… even the instructions and manual are inadequate. There's really nowhere to learn about how to do special moves outside of the confusing moves menu in create a wrestler mode.
Attitude's control is clunky and unresponsive, even moving around the ring can be difficult. And what the hell are they doing!?
To make matters worse, the gameplay just isn't that good. It doesn't feel like real wrestling (I think that's an oxymoron, anyway) and you'll find it pretty difficult or nearly impossible to do cool stuff like piledrivers and bodyslams. Part of the reason for this is the unresponsive and clunky controls. The characters move slowly (climbing the turnbuckle or getting in and out of the ring is a chore), doing grappling is confusing, and you can almost win a match just by blocking and pressing kick repeatedly.
Part of the reason for Attitude's lack of polish is the fact that Acclaim needed to push this out the door before November 15th, when their WWF license expired. As a result, you may have trouble finding the game because Acclaim can't produce any more copies now that THQ has the rights to WWF videogames.
Comparing WWF Attitude to Ready 2 Rumble, its closest "competitor" on the Dreamcast just isn't fair. While R2R has great graphics, tight control, and memorable characters in one package, Attitude is overall a very sloppy game which is inferior to R2R in almost every aspect, outside of options and gameplay modes.
The Final Word
If you're a die-hard fan of the WWF, this may amuse you if you don't already have the PSX or N64 version. Otherwise, it's just a poorly made psuedo-fighting game with little redeeming value. May be worth a rental just to play around with create a wrestler mode and laugh at the game with your friends, but that's about it. Whatever you do, don't pick up WWF Attitude just because "Stone Cold said so" or I'll hit you over the head with a steel chair. Punk.
Highs: Lots of options and modes, create a wrestler mode, all your favorite WWF stars.
Lows: Horrible graphics, poor production, clunky controls.
Other: 1-4 players, VMU Compatible
(out of a possible 10)
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