New Japan Wrestling 4


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 5

newjapan4dc1.jpg (13671 bytes)Pro wrestling fans have been ignored since the release of the Dreamcast. The only title available currently, at least in America, is Acclaims pitiful port of WWF Attitude. The Japanese attempt at the genre fails at most levels, leaving wrestling fans still waiting for a decent representation of their favorite "sport."

From the start, the games intro throws great action highlights from the world of New Japan at the player. This is the type of high flying action that should be featured in the game. Unfortunately, the stiff gameplay does not allow for this style to be showcased properly.

The gameplay's closest equal is WCW Mayhem. Simple button presses can pull off even the most complicated maneuvers, but much of the federation's style is lost in the translation. Simplistic looking moves tend to be pulled off more often than they should, regardless of whether or not you want them to be. Weapons can be found in the audience, but after extensive play, the only one found is a steel chair. For those who know Japanese, the create-a-wrestler mode will prove to be a valuable ally in your quest for Japanese gold. The career mode is a basic romp through all of the wrestlers and eventually fighting the champ.

newjapan4dc2.jpg (14940 bytes)The graphics push the power of the Dreamcast with packed and gorgeous texture mapped characters. This also one of the first wrestling games to actually have a referee in the ring, though he can't be brought into the action at any time. Each character is animated in WWF Attitude's somwhat stiff motion-captured style, though even more moves and frames have been added, taking advatnage of the hardware a bit. The arenas are dimly lit and this is a weak an excuse for the complete lack of any ringside fans in the background. The very different, somber crowd atmosphere of Japanese wrestling is still present, but the lack of any real crowd representation diminishes the overall feel.

People worried about the Japanese literature throughout the game have little to worry about. The games menus are easy to understand with no knowledge of the language. The only thing players will have trouble with is understanding the video taunts in the wrestler biography section.

Those who were quick to have their Dreamcast modded have little reason to pick up this title. There are far too many other games worth waiting for. This game already seems dated. Though not quite as bad as WWF Attitude, the Dreamcast's resources were hardly used in what could've been a highly enjoyable wrestling game. Those desperate to play this one would be better off waiting for an American company to pick up the engine and slap on a WWF or WCW license.


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Last updated: Sunday, September 25, 2005 11:20 PM