History of WWF/E Games Part 33
WWE Wrestlemania XIX
Time to look at the second WWE game on GameCube.
Wrestlemania XIX is the sequel to Wrestlemania X8 that was released a year earlier. It has pretty much the same game play style, but it did feature some improvements. It was based on the Wrestlemania XIX pay-per-view that was held in Safeco Field in Seattle earlier in 2003.
Stone Cold Steve Austin, one of the wrestlers on the box, would actually wrestle what to date was his last ever match in the WWE against The Rock at the Wrestlemania XIX pay-per-view.
When you fist fire up Wrestlemania XIX you are greeted to a really cool video. With various WWE wrestlers telling why Wrestlemania means so much to them and why it’s the biggest wrestling show of the year. It does a really great job in getting you hyped up for the game.
The actual graphics in the game I feel are fairly decent. But at the time this game was released I am sure that they could have gotten much better graphics out of the GameCube. Don’t get me wrong, all the characters and the various arenas do look good, but at the same time you just feel like they could have done with a little more polish here and there. One cool thing is like in Wrestlemania X8, all of the roster have an alternate attire.
The arenas look good and there is a decent amount of them to wrestle in. The wrestler entrances do a great job in showing off the arenas, but I do have one issue, and that is the fans. The fans in this game to be fair do not look terrible, but they all do the same stand up sit down thing over and over again. I know this may seem like a minor complaint, but after awhile I found it really distracting.
I feel that the developers Yukes got a bad wrap with the previous game Wrestlemania X8 always being compare to WWF No Mercy on the Nintendo 64. Well I think they took all that on board as they gave us a grapple system that is similar to No Mercy. You have two sets of grapples, light and strong. If you tap the A button you will enter a light grapple and have a variety of less damaging moves. If you hold the A button you will enter into a strong grapple where you can execute more powerful moves. One really cool thing they added was the ability to perform grapple strikes to mix up your attack. As far as the core game play goes Wrestlemania XIX I feel is a ton of fun to play.
The game featured all the game play modes that you would come to expect from a wrestling game at this time. Ladder, cage, Hell in a Cell are all here, most of which can be played with up to four players. In multiplayer this game is a blast. One huge downfall I think though is that you cannot defend the games various WWE titles in all of the match types.
Revenge Mode was Wrestlemania XIX’s big selling point and I have found that this is a mode you either love or you hate with a passion. Revenge Mode is not a wrestling mode, but instead it is a 3D scrolling beat em up. You pick your wrestler and you are then fired from the WWE by Vince McMahon. You decide to take your revenge by joining forces with Stephanie McMahon and spoiling Vince’s Wrestlemania XIX pay-per-view. You will go to various areas and fight a bunch of random WWE employees as well as wrestlers.
I loved the idea of this its similar to the WWF Betrayal game that was released on the Game Boy Colour, but sadly it lacks all the charm that game had. The problem is that your wrestler controls the exact same way he does in the ring, and sadly the controls while great in the wrestling ring, really do not transfer that well to a scrolling beat em up. In addition the story is not told as well as the one in WWF Betrayal was either. I really think this mode was a missed opportunity.
It’s cool that you can pick any wrestler in the game to play Revenge Mode with or a Create a Wrestler character you have created. However I think it would have been better to limit this choice to lets say five wrestlers, but they would have been redesigned to fit into a scrolling beat em up. I think this would have made the mode much more enjoyable, and it could have made for better cut scenes as well.
Part of the reason as well as it being kind of hard to play, many people hated Revenge Mode because it was the games main single player mode. There was no WWE season or career mode for people to play through. I am sure for fans who only had a GameCube it must have sucked to see the season modes in Smackdown on the Playstation 2 and RAW 2 on the Xbox. I have to take time to mention the Create a Wrestler mode. While the actual creation of your wrestler was not the most advanced at the time. The ability to create your entrance was a huge deal, and for a first try was surprisingly in depth.
As a wrestling game Wrestlemania XIX is a ton of fun. I really think the game engine makes for some great wrestling action especially in multiplayer. I think if they had let us defend titles in any exhibition match we wanted, then that would have made the game even better. I loved the idea of Revenge Mode, but not the execution. I think as a wrestling game that Wrestlemania XIX holds up very well, and has not aged badly at all.
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