History of WWF/E Games Part 7
WWF European Rampage
This week we look at one of the more obscure WWF games
This was the second WWF game that was released by the guys at Ocean Software. While it was not a great game, their WWF Wrestlemania title that was released a year earlier sold phenomenally well in Europe. So they wasted no time in getting a sequel onto store shelves.
WWF European Rampage was a game that was made to coincide with a tour of the same name that the WWE was having during April of 1992. As a kid I was lucky enough to go to the two shows they performed in Glasgow, Scotland. The game featured arenas from cities in Europe and this alone kind of makes it a very unique wrestling game. This is also the only WWF game that has ever been created to go along with a tour.
While European Rampage still looks better than most of its console counterparts, its not as good looking as Oceans first Wrestlemania game. This may be because now there are four wrestlers on the screen at once as opposed to just two in Wrestlemania. They are smaller in scale and are less detailed, but you can still easily tell who everyone is supposed to be. The charm of the graphics of Wrestlemania is most definitely gone.
One very cool thing about this game is the different arenas that you get to wrestle in. Most wrestling games of this era (and beyond for a few years at least) made you wrestle in the same arena every single match. In WWF European Rampage however you got to wrestle in European locations such as England, France, Germany and for some very strange reason Madison Square Garden in New York City. Yes that’s right, a game called “WWF European Rampage” has one of the arenas in New York City. All of the arenas look slightly different with name changes and the countries flags displayed. This may not sound like a big deal, but at the time this was very cool.
Much like Oceans first WWF game, this one also had TV style presentation and it would have these very cool little TV intros telling you information about the tour. It’s little things like this that were missing from the console WWF games at the time.
WWF European Rampage is brutal to play and I mean brutal with a capitol “B”. It is just no fun to play, and the whole thing feels like a big chore. One big plus over Wrestlemania is that you no longer had to waggle your joystick to execute your finishing move. Unfortunately the reason for this is because none of the wrestlers have any signature moves. All the wrestlers have the same exact moves which are punch, kick and for only a reason God knows why; roll. When I say roll I literally mean roll out of the way. Because the game has no signature moves, all the wrestlers feel exactly the same.
The biggest game play change is that all the matches in this game are tag team based. You walk around the ring trying to punch or kick your opponent until there energy is gone. If this sounds boring its because it is, and it’s even worse if your opponent manages to make a tag as you then have to pretty much start all over again. Simply put WWF European Rampage is just no fun to play, but the presentation of the game is what keeps you coming back. As a kid I knew this game was bad but I kept going back to it because at the time this was the closest a game had ever come to having look of a WWF TV show.
Where in Wrestlemania the aim of the game was to be the WWF Champion, here your goal is to become the Tag Team Champions. You pick two wrestlers out of a choice of four, and these are Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage and making his first appearance in a WWF game ever Bret “Hitman” Hart. Once you pick your team you must face the “bad guy” tag teams who are The Nasty Boys, Brian Knobbs and Jerry Saggs you will face these two guys in England. If you beat them your next step on the tour is Germany where it is The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase and I.R.S the team known as “Money Inc” who you must beat. Next up is Earthquake and Typhoon, better known as “The Natural Disasters”. Now the final step on this European Tour is New York City where you must face Hawk and Animal, “The Legion of Doom” to become the WWF Tag Team Champions.
All the little cut scenes and the different arenas should make this the best single player experience in a WWF game yet, however the gameplay is just so bland and boring. Also just like in Wrestlemania you can not play as any of the other tag teams. To put in the “Legion of Doom” in a game and not let fans play as them was just a incredibly stupid move by Ocean.
As far as the Commodore 64 version goes, it was just as bad to play except do to the machines limitations you only play one on one matches and not tag matches.
WWF European Rampage is one of the worst WWF games I have ever played when it comes to gampeplay. No other game is as much a chore as this one is. The worst thing about it is that the idea behind it is great. I swear if in the 90’s you had Ocean’s ideas and presentation with the LJN game engine it would have been incredible. Oceans WWF games were such a missed opportunity and despite this being the last WWF game they would release, they had the WWF rights tied up for the home computer market until the mid 90’s up until Acclaim released Wrestlemania the Arcade Game for the PC.
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