History of WWF/E Games Part 15-3
WWF Wrestlemania The Arcade Game
Sega Mega Drive 32X
Time to look at the the 32-bit version’s of this awesome game.
I was in awe when I first saw the ad for this game in the WWF Magazine; I think it was the October 1995 edition. I noticed right at the bottom of the ad it made a point to mention that the screenshots that were shown were from the Playstation version. My birthday is in November so I decided to not get the Super Nintendo version and wait out until I owned a Playstation. This was the game that made me want to get a Playstation. Not Tekken, Ridge Racer, but WWF Wrestlemania was THAT game.
Many people are of the impression that the 32-bit versions are near arcade perfect. Sadly while these versions look better than the 16-bit versions (most notably the Playstation and Saturn ports), they still are not arcade perfect.
While the graphics on all these versions including the 32X look better than the 16-bit counter parts, they still do not come close to matching the arcade’s fantastic visuals. The Playstation and Saturn versions look pretty much the same. In comparison to the 16-bit versions the wrestlers themselves may not look a million times better, but the animation actually is a lot faster. One strange things in regards to the animation of the game is the 32X port. While it looks better than the Mega Drive version., it runs quite a lot slower. However it comes very close to matching the other 32-bit versions in terms of visuals.
The arena is much more alive than in the 16-bit versions. While the fans are not quite as detailed and going as crazy as they were in the arcades, they still look pretty good. Sound wise the 32X has more speech samples than the Mega Drive port. On the other three versions there is actual samples of the wrestlers theme music. For some crazy reason however they took out the music that played during matches that was in the arcade version.
Graphics wise I have to be honest and say that the 32-bit versions are a bit of a let down in the visuals department. I am sure that the Saturn and Playstation were capable of producing graphics closer to the arcade, but nstead it was as if they just up scaled the 16-bit graphics.
In one word…excellent. I still fire up the Playstation port every once in a while, and I think that this is a game that really suits the Playstation controller very well. The added speed of these versions really makes the game more fun to play. As far as game play modes go, it has just the same ones that all of the other versions have. Again, like I said in my last review, it would not have hurt them to give a little extra, especially in the 32-bit versions.
One downside to the CD games is the loading. While to be fair the game does not have horrible load times. For example during the Royal Rumble match in the WWF Championship mode when a new wrestlers enters, the game has to pause to load all the data for that wrestler. It really does kind of kill the pace of the game. Especially if you eliminate two wrestlers in quick succession. Also the funny little stories from the end of the arcade have been taken out of here also. A single picture and a couple of paragraphs of text really could not take up that much space could they?
One very surprising thing about these versions for me is just how good the 32X port is. While out of all the versions it is noticeably slower. I am really amazed at how close it comes to matching the Playstation and Saturn in its visuals.
Truth be told I love all the versions of this game even the butchered Super Nintendo port I play every once in a while. This is a game that I really cannot recommend enough, and you do not have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this. I think that Midway really nailed the balance of having a fighting and wrestling game mixed together. Sadly as you will see in my next review of the sequel to this game that the point of what made this game so special was kind of missed.
Discuss this video on the Gamester81 Forums too. Click here: