History of WWF/E Games Part 46
WWE Legends of Wrestlemania
Sony Playstation 3
Microsoft Xbox 360
Time to look at the first WWE licensed Legends game.
There had been Legends of Wrestling games in the past. As a mater of fact Acclaim actually made three of them before they went out of business, but many gamers for years had wanted an official WWE Legend of Wrestling game. We did have legends as part of the roster of modern WWE games, but there was never a game where the legends were the main focus.
WWE Legends of Wrestlemania was designed with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in mind, and because of this there was never any intent to make a port for the Playstation 2 or the Nintendo Wii.
This is really tough. You see when legends of Wrestlemania gets it right, it really does knock it out of the park. When you are making a game like this, it’s all about nostalgia. To me you have to get pretty much everything right. Sadly Yukes even the most die hard fan will admit are not known for going all out and putting in all the little details.
But let’s talk about what’s good first. The video packages in the game are amazing. They did a great job in showcasing some of the best moments that had happened at Wrestlemania. The wrestler character models have seen a huge upgrade. I think this is because of the lack of a Wii and Playstation 2 port, but the art style is different from the Smackdown games. Yukes and THQ decided to make the wrestlers look larger than life and have a somewhat action figure look to them; it actually works really well.
The arenas in the game look fantastic. There are arenas based on the first 15 Wrestlemania’s, but there is also a really cool Royal Rumble arena in the game as well. At the time I would say that this had the best arenas of any wrestling game.
Let me just say this Legends of Wrestlemania is a very good looking game, but the die hard wrestling fan in me cannot help but notice all the little things that Yukes missed out, got wrong or just plain screwed up. I am sure the casual fan would not notice many of these things, but for me it was really noticeable.
While I praised the character models, there are some problems. In a game like this there is no excuse for every character in the game to at least have one alternative attire, but not all of them do. Some of them are missing there entrance attire as well. One very odd thing is the character model of Shawn Michaels. It is like is is a mash up of various eras, and there is the very weird way that his boots changed from his entrance to what he wears in the match. I understand many will think this sounds very petty, but when you are making a game about history, is the first thing when you create a character model not to make sure it is historically accurate?
This is not a bad game from a presentational point of view at all, but I and many others really thought that this was going to be a game that Yukes would go all out on and not half ass the little details, but sadly that was not the case.
This is a game that plays completely different from the Smackdown series. One thing I found very odd was that many people wanted the game to play exactly the same. For me I would much rather have two different games than two that just played identically to each other, but with different rosters.
This was a game that was designed so that anyone could pick up and play it. Your wrestlers move sets were greatly reduced from what was on offer in the Smackdown games, and there would also be quick time events during matches. It was a very simple and unique to this game control scheme that really did not have a great deal of depth, but it was still a nice change from the Smackdown series.
The main game mode is called “Wrestlemania Tour”. Wrestlemania Tour Mode had three different sections. There is Relive, Rewrite and Redefine. If you pick relive you will play out a classic match from Wrestlemania history and you will need to win and complete certain objectives in the match. If you picked Rewrite, once again you would take part in a classic Wrestlemania match, but this time the goal was to rewrite history and change what happened in the match. Redefine lets you have change the match type and other options. I love Wrestlemania Tour mode. Some of the objectives are really tough, but tough in a good way. I specifically remember the match between Steve Austin and The Rock being really tough. Wrestlemania Tour mode also has these really cool video packages that give you the history of the match.
There is another mode called “Legend Killer” mode. This has various levels of ten wrestlers and the idea is that you take a created wrestler, and take on all the legends in the game. Doing this will improve your created wrestlers attributes. The create a wrestler mode was pretty good at letting you make legends who did not get in the game including Randy Savage and Razor Ramon in particular were really easy to make.
There was a good amount of game modes in Legends of Wrestlemania, but the game had one very special feature and that was that you could import the entire roster from Smackdown vs RAW 2009 and have the legends battle it out with the 2009 WWE roster. This made the game roster absolutely huge. The cool thing is that if you did not own Smackdown vs RAW 2009 you could just rent it or borrow a buddies copy to import all of the current roster.
Legends of Wrestlemania does so much right, but the little things that they left out still kind of bugs me. Perhaps this is me being to picky to be fair. This is a good game while it lasts, and Wrestlemania Tour Mode is great, but once you have beaten that sadly the core game play while it is fun, it does not really make for having really fun exhibition matches. Nevertheless this can be picked up reasonably cheap, and if you are an old school WWF/E fan I am sure you will get a kick out of being able to play as guys like Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Jake The Snake Roberts and many more.
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