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   PlanetDreamcast | Games | Reviews | ECW Hardcore
    ECW Hardcore Revolution
It tastes even worse coming back up - Review By Fragmaster

ECW LogoRemember WWF Attitude? The Dreamcast port was pushed out the door just before Acclaim lost the WWF license to THQ on November 15th. It sucked. After writing up PlanetDreamcast's review of the game, I put it on the shelf and took comfort in the fact that I never needed to play the stupid game again.

I was wrong.

In an act of sheer madness, Acclaim somehow thought that it would be a GREAT idea to dust off WWF Attitude, give it a new coat of paint, and release it with the ECW license. Yes, that's right, ECW. For those of you that have never heard of the ECW (which I assume stands for Extreme Championship Wrestling), it's apparently some "cool" alternative to "mainstream" wrestling "leagues" such as the WWF and the WCW. So instead of fighting with guys like Stone Cold, The Rock, and The Undertaker, you're stuck with second-rate has-beens or never-will-bes like Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, and Justin Credible (oh… my… GOD.. I only wish I were making that name up).

This is completely absurd. ECW Hardcore Revolution is the baseball equivalent of buying a Double AA minor league baseball game based on an earlier MLB baseball game, with only a few changes and players you couldn't give a flying fart about. In fact, since ECW Hardcore Revolution is almost exactly like WWF Attitude, we can reuse our WWF Attitude review and only make a few changes. Text quoted below in italics (you know, italics. They look like this) are ripped directly from our WWF Attitude review. Here we go…

  • The Good

    The intro movie is probably the best part of the game. It's... umm... entertaining.
    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.

    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.

    These statements are also true for ECW, except for the fact that you need to fight in slightly different types of matches due to ECW's different rules. So instead of, like, Survivor Series, you get Hardcore Heaven mode. Slight difference, but still…

    Compare this dude to the guy I made in the WWF Attitude review. With the exception of some color differences, which I could have changed, he's exactly the same. So is much of the rest of the game.
    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 design your own pay-per-view event, and even design your own specialized stadium and ring for the occasion.

    ECW has almost exactly the same gameplay modes, except, again, they're slightly modified to fit ECW's rules. So there's no Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, or gauntlet matches, but you get Dance, Steel Cage, Barbed Wire, and Deathmatch modes instead. Bleh.

    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.

    Some guy you've never heard of waves around his cheap plastic lightsaber. Wow.
    Same thing! The only difference is that there's some slightly modified art in certain places.

    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. It's not good, but most of the time the CPU controlled wrestlers avoid doing anything spectacularly stupid.

    Replace WWF with ECW. I guess if you're a big ECW fan, this is your big chance to finally control your favorite stars, since this is the first (and hopefully last) ECW videogame.

  • The Bad

    WWF Attitude wasn't good to begin with, and ECW Hardcore Revolution is even worse.
    OK, if you haven't guessed by now, ECW Hardcore Revolution is horrible. It's basically the same as WWF Attitude, only with different characters and slight adjustments to a couple gameplay modes.

    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.

    The graphics are just as bad as Attitude's, only slightly better than PSX standards. Note how my punch clips right through this jerk's neck.
    Ditto! Actually, the clipping may even be WORSE in ECW, I witnessed a guy's arms go right through a dude's sholder blades when he gave him a Full Nelson. They went completely through the hapless victim's shoulders, disappearing right into him. Blargh!

    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.

    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.

    That's right, generic wrestling dude, this game is a definite thumbs down.
    SAME... DAMN… THING. Except the play-by-play and other sounds are even shoddier than Attitude's. There's an easier to access move list now, but that's about it. It's stupid, you can create the ECW characters yourself in WWF Attitude and play the exact same, crappy, lame ass game. Oh, and the matches are long, drawn out, repetitive, and boring. I failed to mention that in the WWF Attitude review, but a fifteen minute button mash battle with another player reminded me of just how boring the matches actually are.

    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.

    Comparing ECW Hardcore Revolution to WWF Attitude is like choosing death by firing squad instead of death by lethal injection: either way, you lose. ECW is the same game as WWF Attitude, it's just got a different name and different characters. They could have at least made it look a little better, changed some more of the artwork, streamlined the clunky interface, or improved the controls. ARGH!

  • The Final Word
    Another winner from Acclaim, makers of NFL Quarterback Crap… errr… Club. An obvious, thinly disguised rehash of WWF Attitude that only serves to piss off saps that buy this by mistake and further tarnish Acclaim's reputation. The fact that this game is being marketed HEAVILY on television, in magazines, and online only makes things worse. If you're one of ECW's dozen or so mega-fans, fine, pick this piece of crap up and have a blast. Otherwise, stick with renting WWF Attitude, or better yet, completely ignore both. ECW Hardcore Revolution is a total disgrace.

    Developer: Acclaim
    Publisher: Acclaim
    Genre: Sports

    Highs: Finally, all you ECW fans have a videogame to play.

    Lows: It's the same as WWF Attitude, only with no-name wrestlers. Still has the same horrible graphics, poor production, clunky controls, etc.

    Other: 1-4 players, VMU Compatible, Jump Pack Compatible.

    Final Score:

    (out of a possible 10)

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