Legends Of Wrestling II
Sony Playstation 2
Nintendo Game Cube
Game Boy Advance
Despite the somewhat clunky controls there was still a great deal of fun to be had with Acclaim’s first Legends Of Wrestling game. The game while not all that well received by video game critics did sell pretty well, and at the time was popular with wrestling fans. One really cool thing about this game is that on the Playstation 2 and the Xbox there are some great interviews with some of the wrestlers that were made just for this game. These sadly were missing from the Game Cube version. One interesting thing about the game is that each console version had a different color box; the Xbox was green, Playstation 2 was red and Game Cube was purple.
Here in the UK the game was delayed by a few months. The reason for this was that Acclaim decided that they were going to put in some exclusive legends just for the UK. These were wrestlers who were a pretty big deal in the UK including Big Daddy, Kendo Nagaski, Giant Haystacks and Mick McManus.
The game did not get a huge upgrade in terms of the graphics engine that was used, but I do think that it’s fair to say that a great deal of effort was spent on making little details here and there which improved it over its predecessor. The roster was greatly expanded and now had over twenty more wrestlers in the game. The characters all have this over exaggerated look to them which I think is pretty cool. Andre The Giant, Owen Hart, Roddy Piper, The Nasty Boys and The British Bulldog are a few of my favorite new characters who were put into the game.
The arenas in the game are pretty well detailed and there is a decent selection of them. As well as this the game does have a pretty cool soundtrack that features actual licensed tracks. Back in 2002 the WWE games that were released still had not gotten around to using licensed music.
First of all I want to talk about the phenomenal career mode that Legends Of Wrestling II has. Back in the 80’s pro wrestling was not like it is now with just one huge company having a monopoly on it. There was all these smaller regional promotions. Many wrestlers would wrestle in one promotion for a couple of years before moving onto a new one. That is the idea for the career mode in Legends Of Wrestling II.
What makes this mode so great is that the territories in the game are all based on actual wrestling promotions that used to exist, and the owners of the promotions are also based on the real life owners. So we have a promotion in the game that is owned by a guy called Tex McGraw and this is supposed to be WCW and Ted Turner. Another promotion in the game is based on ECW and its owner is based on Paul Haymen. This was such a great mode that would see you try and capture each promotions championship before moving on. There was a good selection of story lines for each promotion.
In addition the career mode there was a vast amount of new match types that were put into the game. The most notable one for me was the cage match. This was the first cage match in a wrestling game to make the cage door a feature of the match. It was pretty cool how you could hit the cage door in order to open it and win the match that way.
Now I am a person who loves the game play of the Legends Of Wrestling series, but I will fully admit that it is really flawed, and if you are not a wrestling fan then you would probably just find it frustrating as hell. The game sees you enter into grapples which then can lead to a sort of combination of moves. It can though be pretty tricky to pull them off, but when you do it is really cool.
The controls are kind of clunky and the collision detection is not the best, but there is still a great deal of fun to be had with the game. It is very much an arcade type of game and it is a game that I recommend playing in the easy setting as the harder difficulties are just really frustrating. One thing that is odd about the game is the move sets. While the majority of wrestlers do have there signature moves, some of them have other moves that they never once used.
The Game Boy Advance version I think can be classed as one of the worst wrestling games of all time. It just looks absolutely horrible. The game looks like it was designed in Microsoft Paint. And the really sad thing is that the graphics are not even the worst part the game; is just brutal to play. I would actually go as far to say that this is the worst wrestling game on the Game Boy Advance.
If you are a wrestling fan then this is a great game and it is very easy to overlook the games blatant flaws. I know this is not a perfect game, but I have still had a great deal of fun with it, and the game can be picked up really cheap so it’s worth owning just for the exclusive interviews with the wrestlers.
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