History of WWF/E Games Part 11
WWF Royal Rumble
Sega Mega Drive
Time to look at what many consider the best of the 16 bit WWF games.
WWF Royal Rumble really is a very interesting game when it comes to its back story. You see the very first info I ever saw of this game was in a Nintendo magazine here in the UK called Total. It was not called WWF Royal Rumble, instead it was called Super Wrestlemania 2, and it had a picture of Papa Shango (who was not on the SNES version) and had a picture of Mr Perfect in black (who was in blue on the final version). At some point I guess the game became Royal Rumble.
WWF Royal Rumble was first released on the Super Nintendo and then a short while later there was a version for the Sega Mega Drive. Like Super Wrestlemania before it, both versions have slightly different rosters. I also want to add that when this game was released here in the UK, the Super Nintendo version was £59.99. Just imagine if THQ tried to charge that these days for there WWE games on the PS3 and 360.
Amazing pretty much sums up how great I thought Royal Rumble looked the very first time I saw it. Everything was improved over Super Wrestlemania. It just looks so bright and colourful the whole arena looks alive. The wrestlers themselves look great, and a little more detailed than in Super Wrestlemania, but just like it they are pretty much just pallet swaps.
The Super Nintendo version did look a little brighter and just all around a little better, but truth be told the differences were not as great as they were in Super Wrestlemania. The digitized wrestler selection screens again however were much better on the Super Nintendo. The moves were also much better animated this time around, and there was more of them as well.
The character differences were here again with each version sharing seven wresters and the Super Nintendo having Ric Flair, Mr Perfect, Yokozuna, Ted Dibiase, and Tatanka. One really cool thing about the Mega Drive version being released a little later was that they had time to put in Hulk Hogan as a character who had returned in early 1993. As well as Hulk Hogan the Mega Drive had IRS, Papa Shango, Jim Duggan and The Model as exclusive characters. In my own personal opinion apart from Hogan the Mega Drive got kind of screwed with exclusive characters.
Amazing again is the word I have to use here again. As far as sequels go I find it hard to think of a game that had as much content over its predecessor like Royal Rumble did. I am not just talking game modes either. There was more moves and just overall everything had been improved. You now had two extra grapple moves. Making use of the Super Nintendo’s shoulder buttons, but you also had illegal moves that you could use out side of the ring and when the referee was knocked out. A steel chair was also at ring side for you to use to smash over your opponents head.
The grapple mechanic from Super Wrestlemania had been greatly improved it was still the same idea. That you lock up and hit the button as fast as you can to execute a move. However this time there was a little bar that would flash up letting you know who was winning the grapple. As well as this it would flash green when your opponent was ready to be hit with a finishing move.
While the extra moves were great and if you had a Super Nintendo it was never an issue, but for the Mega Drive version if you were still using a 3 button pad and had not invested in a 6 button one, then this game could be a bit of a pain in the ass to play. As to pull of certain moves would require you to press two buttons at once.
As far as game modes go this game was stacked. In addition to the WWF Championship you could also make a tag team and try and with the Tag Team Championship. Of course there was the games big selling point Royal Rumble mode. Royal Rumble mode would have six wrestlers in the ring at once and you would have to throw them over the top rope to eliminate them. What was really cool about this mode was the stat tracking. It would tell you how long everyone lasted and who they eliminated. This is a feature that not even modern wrestling games have. There was also brawl mode where there was no rules and you had to knock your opponent out to win.
WWF Royal Rumble is a great game, if you played it at the time it was released you had to be amazed at just how much content was in this game. Both versions are fantastic, and if you have a 6 button Mega Drive pad then to be honest its down to what roster you prefer as to which version is better. WWF Royal Rumble is a game that no wrestling fan should be without in there collection.
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