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   PlanetDreamcast | Games | Reviews | WWF Royal Rumble
    WWF Royal Rumble
WWF? More like WTF... - Review By Mr. Domino

WWF Royal Rumble Logo Look at any video game sales figures from the last few years, and you're bound to see at least one wrestling game in the top ten. Wrestling has become insanely popular over the last few years under Vince McMahon's iron rule, so it's not surprising that the Dreamcast would receive a good number of wrestling games to cater to the pastime's many fans. Thus far, the Dreamcast has seen two wrestling games released in the US -- WWF Attitude and ECW Hardcore Revolution. Both have been widely regarded as duds.

It really doesn't matter, though, because they sold very well. They were wrestling games, so they had to sell well. While this is true of many sports games in the US, it is particularly sad with wrestling since too few (if any) of the games truly strive to deliver a better fighting engine or gameplay experience. Too many developers are just looking to make a quick buck, and comparing WWF Attitude on the PlayStation to its beyond-cheap Dreamcast port, then comparing that port to ECW Hardcore Revolution would certainly prove that theory. There just isn't that competitive push to outperform other developers since they know consumers will buy the product, regardless of quality, because of its label.

I was eager to get WWF Royal Rumble. First and foremost, it was developed by Jakks Pacific, makers of the best WWF game, Wrestlemania 2000. Secondly, the game promised to take the fights out of the ring and into back stage areas, parking lots, and so forth. Finally, WWF Royal Rumble would allow nine -- yes, nine -- people in the ring at the same time. Yes, this was to be the wrestling game to beat. While Wrestlemania 2000 brought the WWF characters home, WWF Royal Rumble was going to bring all that and throw in the chaos of the WWF. The Dreamcast certainly has enough power to accurately replicate any WWF match, and WWF Royal Rumble certainly could have done that. Did it?

  • The Good
    The best thing about WWF Royal Rumble is the fact that up to nine wrestlers can be in ring. It's quite chaotic. It's just fun having nine guys in a closed environment knocking each other around with no slowdown. In the Royal Rumble the ring becomes so cramped that you'll be tearing people apart, slamming one guy into some other fellow and punching another the moment you get up. With four player support, WWF Royal Rumble makes for an entertaining party game. You can customize how many superstars you want to plow through, and knocking one out of the ring adds 20 seconds to your timer and releases another character into the ring. Although WWF Royal Rumble does suffer from a limited roster, the game is pretty good at sending in different wrestlers so you won't find yourself taking on five Kanes each time.

    Chaos in the ring.
    The weapon selection is also impressive, and you'll be able to show The Rock just how hard he is by smashing him with a steel staircase. Weapons get damaged as you use them, which is a nice touch. Running over the Undertaker with a shopping cart has a certain charm to it, and watching one of the Hardy Boyz get run over by a car in a parking lot is pretty neat. In the standard tag mode, matches sometimes magically transport the fight to different settings, which is a good idea although not implemented as well as it could be. It does make for a nice change of pace and is something I'd look forward to if the developer would spend more time on fleshing out this concept.

  • The Bad
    First of all, isn't this a Dreamcast game? The characters look like some poor kid's beat-up WWF action figures. There is no facial movement whatsoever, and the bodies just don't look right, remaining motionless even after recoiling from a particularly vicious hit. In fact, they look just like the character models from WWF Attitude, only in higher resolution. Joints stick out, characters animate awkwardly, and the whole thing is just disappointing after playing beautiful fighters such as Dead or Alive 2. Mankind's tie is glued to his shirt, but then that's not surprising since all clothing in the game is basically body paint. The ring and crowd graphics certainly don't tax the system, and Dead or Alive 2 was able to maintain four great looking characters in a far more detailed environment -- all at 60 FPS. WWF Royal Rumble just reeks of a cheap PlayStation port. Picture higher resolution WWF Attitude models and more characters on screen (without slowdown, admittedly), and you'll know what to expect.

    Next: More Bad and The Final Word

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