WCW: World Championship Wrestling
WCW was the very first wrestling game to be released under the WCW name. This game was released not that long after the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) became known as WCW. So this is as close as we ever got to having a game based on the NWA.
This game was originally released in Japan under the name of Super Star Pro Wrestling. This was in 1989 and the next year the game was repacked as the WCW game we are talking about today.
Sadly this is the one area where the game does not delivery. The roster lineup is pretty amazing and if you were a fan of the NWA then you will get a kick out of the roster. Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Sting, The Road Warriors and Michael Hayes are just selection of the 12 wrestlers that you can pick from. Speaking of which 12 for the time was a very large number of characters for a wrestling game to have. Sadly the wrestlers all pretty much look the same apart from the colors being changed. It is really weird that they all are wearing long pants as well.
The sound though is really good. The game has some really cool sound effects most notably when you use the wrench weapon that is outside of the ring. As well as this game the game has some speech. When you fire the game up Paul E Dangerously lets you know you are playing World Championship Wrestling. What is amazing about this is just how clear the voice sample is. Hearing an actual voice on the NES was pretty rare, but for it to be this clear was even rarer.
This is where WCW was really ahead of its time. The move sets for each wrestler in this game are amazing. In most wrestling games actually forget that in all wrestling games of this era. Your wrestlers had their move set and that was it. In this game your wrestler can only execute four grapple moves in a match, but before the match you have a selection of moves to assign to the dpad. This was pretty groundbreaking and unlike anything any other wrestling game offered at the time.
The game play is really fun and the controls are very responsive as well. I really liked the way the move sets made it so each match could feel a little bit different. And while this was a game that was much better in two player, the AI was actually pretty smart, but at the same time it was not that cheap and was pretty well balanced.
The single player championship modes were pretty spectacular by 1990’s standard. You could either wrestle for a singles championship or as part of a tag team. In the single mode the idea was that you would wrestler through three stages of opponents each stage was for a specific WCW championship. And the last guy you wrestled was the WCW Master who many people say was supposed to be Andre The Giant. The tag team mode was split into two stages and here you would try and win tag team championships. This was really cool and far more in depth than anything the WWF games offered at the time.
WCW on the NES is a real classic, and if you can look past the graphics you will find this a really fun wrestling game. Some of the features that were put in here such as the costomizable move sets, and the championship modes really were ahead of their time. If you are a wrestling fan then this is a game that has to be in your collection.
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