History of WWF/E Games Part 27
WWF Road To Wrestlemania
Game Boy Advance
Time to look at the First WWF Game on Game Boy Advance
Road To Wrestlemania is most commonly seen as running from the Royal Rumble pay-per-view channel from January until either March or April. WWF Road To Wrestlemania was the first WWF game to be made for the Game Boy Advance, and the GBA was released earlier in 2001. From early screen shots of the game it gave the impression that it was going to be a throwback to the WWF games that were released on the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive. It actually turned out to be a far more ambitious title. Perhaps though it was a little to ambitious for its own good.
Road To Wrestlemania looks great. The closest thing we have to compare it to is the WWF games on the 16-bit consoles, and it leaves them in the dust. All of the 24 wrestlers in the game look good, but I hate the way they walk. It looks really weird like they are shuffling along instead of walking. They have their own little entrances complete with still images of there entrance videos that you would see on TV each week. It sounds very basic, but it works very well. While the arena is always the same, you actually can change the ring apron for the logo of various WWF events.
The wrestling moves are all really well animated especially the finishing moves. I think the developers Natsume really deserve a great deal of credit for how great they look. I really have no problem with the presentation of the game. Everything from the menus to the character selection screens capture the feel of the WWF really well. Even the sound is decent but nothing too special. It gets the job done though.
This is where opinions are divided on this game. Road To Wrestlemania is not a pick up and play game like the WWF games were back in the 16-bit days. You really have to learn the controls, or else you really are not going to have a very good time playing this. I get that people make the argument that as a handheld wrestling game it really should have been much more simple to play. While I do enjoy the game I think the learning curve to do some of the more advanced moves such as the finishers is a bit much. So as far as the game play goes, it really is one of those games that is going to take a great deal of patience to get the most out of it.
As far as game modes go, this game is really impressive. Single, Tag Matches, Triple Threat, Royal Rumble, King of the Ring and Cage Matches as well as a few others are all included. There is also the season mode that takes you on the Road To Wrestlemania where your goal is to be in the main event for Wrestlemania. The season mode I always felt was a real chore to play through as it takes ages to get through.
You need to win various WWF championships along the way as you try to get in the main event of Wrestlemania. The problem I had was that despite the game having a large roster, it felt like you would wrestle the same wrestlers over and over again, and it seemed to really like putting me in tag matches which are really brutal to play through. What makes the tag matches so brutal also is that the AI of your tag partner is terrible. The game has a password system so that you can continue on where you left off, but this is one of those games that has an unnecessary long password, and the text is really small. Honestly I had much more fun just playing various exhibition matches than I did the season mode. It’s not as if you even needed to play through it to unlock extras, so to tell the truth there is no reason to play the season mode at all.
I think this was a very ambitions wrestling game, but I feel that for a first WWF game on the Game Boy Advance it should have been more of a quick pick up and play game. It can actually be fun to play if you put in the time and I feel that is why so many people are not big fans of this game. I would not say that it is a bad game, but at the same time its not that good either.
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