History of WWF/E Games Part 30
WWE Road To Wrestlemania X8
Game Boy Advance
Time to look at the one of the best hand held wrestling games.
While this game is called Road To Wrestlemania X8 it really does not have anything at all to do with the GameCube version. This would be the third of fourth WWF/E wrestling games to hit the stores in 2002. How crazy is that four games in one calendar year?
Natsume the developer did a great job in listening to fan feedback regarding the first Road To Wrestlemania game they released a year earlier, and as a result they gave us what at the time was the most jam packed hand held WWF/E game.
There is a much smaller roster of characters this time around, and they have ditched the cartoon 16-bit look that the first Road To Wrestlemania had. This time the wrestlers have a much more realistic look to them. Not only that, but the moves which there are surprisingly a good selection for a hand held wrestling game all look great as well.
One thing that I loved about the first Road To Wrestlemania game was the cool little entrances. These have been taken away in this version. What we have instead is just the wrestler walking in from the side. Its not terrible, but at the same time I would have liked something more, but as this is the Game Boy Advance, maybe I am being a little harsh. While the 16-bit graphics have gone, the sound has not. I get a real kick out of the entrance music for the wrestlers as they sound just like the ones from Royal Rumble and RAW on the SNES.
The last Road To Wrestlemania game took a lot of patience to learn the game, but the guys at Natsume listened to the fans, and not only gave us a game that is much simpler to play, but also a lot of fun. The good selection of moves each wrestler have makes you want to take your time to learn a specific character. What is really cool is that despite each wrestler having there own move set, the moves are very easy to pull off. However knowing when to hit your best moves is crucial.
The game modes here are amazing. The championship mode is even better than what was on the GameCube Wrestlemania X8. You need to win all the WWE Championships starting at the bottom trying to win the “Hardcore Championship” and working your way up to the WWE Championship. It is a great little mode that thankfully does away with the long password save system that the last game had.
In addition to championship mode, there is an even better mode in this game. “Pay-Per-View mode”. We have been able to create Pay-Per-Views before in wrestling games, but this one is different. You need to book six different Pay-Per-Views. You decide the matches and the match types and what wresters will be involved. Now you need to put on a good show because WWE chairman Vince McMahon is watching your every move. If your Pay-Per-View gets a bad buy rate (how many people bought the Pay-Per-View) then he will fire you. I spent a ton of time playing this mode, and always trying to beat my buy rate from my previous Pay-Per-View.
On top of this there are also all the standard matches you would expect to have in a wrestling game. Exhibition modes are a great way to learn the various wrestlers move sets. As the game play is so much fun it never really feels boring to play a few exhibition matches here and there.
This is a fantastic game. I have pretty much zero complaints with this game at all. I guess you could criticise the small roster, but I will take a smaller roster of wrestlers who each have there own move sets over a large roster where ever one plays the same. It is worth playing this game for Pay-Per-View mode alone because it is very addicting. I also love the way that Natsume took the time to listen to the fans criticisms of there first game, and rather than sulk about it, they gave us what we wanted.
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