Arcade Tales Part V
WWF Royal Rumble
I thought for this weeks arcade tales that I might as well go with the last WWF game that has so far hit the arcades, and that game is the 2000 release WWF Royal Rumble. WWF Royal Rumble was developed by Yukes and Sega. Yukes are best know for the WWE Smackdown series that started on the Playstation, which then became Smackdown vs RAW, and most recently became WWE12. WWF Royal Rumble would also be released on the Dreamcast and was an arcade perfect conversion.
Now I only ever played this game once in the arcades, as a mater of fact I am not even sure of how widely available it was here in the UK. By the time 2000 came round the arcade scene over here was not too hot to be honest, and I was lucky enough to play this while on a trip to London there was a place called Sega World where they had the cabinet. The game I played was just your standard two player cabinet, but WWF Royal Rumble actually had a few variants when it came to the actual cab. I have seen photos of a really cool cab that has two monitors and four joysticks.
WWF Royal Rumble was a really fun arcade title. It is a perfect example of a game that you could just throw some cash down and have a blast for ten minutes or so. The game play style was very similar to the Smackdown series that was on the Playstation. It was a very easy pick up and play game, and to be honest there really was not a great deal of strategy to the game.
WWF Royal Rumble only had two game modes, which for the arcade really was not an issue. However this greatly hurt the replay value of the Dreamcast version. First of all you had an exhibition mode which was pretty much the championship mode. You could pick a wrestler such as The Rock, Steve Austin, Undertaker among others, and you could also pick a partner. The partner would be able to do three interference type moves. This ranged from running in the ring and hitting there finishing move, or my favourite, they would throw in the steps from the side of the ring for you to use as a weapon.
One cool or weird feature depending on how you look at it was what I call the Alien abduction aspect of the game. What I mean by this is in the exhibition mode all of a sudden the lights go out and all the wrestlers look to the sky. Next thing you know you are in one of a few different back stage areas, or sometimes a cage or a ring. This was a odd little feature and still to this day I am not sure why they thought to do this.
The other game mode and the most important one was the Royal Rumble mode. For those of you who don’t know the Royal Rumble is a match with 30 wrestlers involved. It starts with two wrestlers in the ring, and then every two minutes a new wrestler enters the match. Wrestlers are eliminated when they are thrown over the top rope and touch the floor. WWF Royal Rumble was the very first wrestling game to let you have nine wrestlers in the ring at the time. It sounds much cooler than it actually was, as it was a bit of a mess when there was nine guys in the ring at once. To be fair there was never really any slow down, but it was just really hard to target the opponent.
A big problem with WWF Royal Rumble was that there was only a roster of 19 guys (21 on Dreamcast), so there would be repeat wrestlers in the Royal Rumble match. I still find it odd that Yukes did not put 30 WWF wrestlers in this game, and I can only think that it was due to time constraints.
WWF Royal Rumble actually is a really fun game that I feel really gets a raw deal. I have only played it once in the arcades, but even the Dreamcast version which you can pick up for dirt cheap today is fun. It is just the lack of game modes that hurt the Dreamcast version. If you play this in multi player on the Dreamcast trust me when I tell you, that you will have a great time. It is quite a shallow game, but that adds to its pick up and play charm that many modern wrestling games have lost.
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