WWF Royal Rumble

Super NES

Review by Joe Santulli







Back in issue #5, I reviewed Super WWF Wrestlemania by LJN. Although it got pretty good marks (Graphics:9, Sound:6, Gameplay:6, Overall:7), I was disappointed with the sluggishness of the wrestlers and the lack of signature moves in a game where image is everything. I complained that this "state-of-the-art" contest also needed a tournament mode and two-player cooperative play - anything besides just pinning your opponent and playing again. Today, I feel like the president of LJN, because they've catered to my every need in producing WWF Royal Rumble for the SNES.

Finally, a wrestling game where we can play on the same side, or at least "pretend" to play on the same side, a mode of play called "Santulli Mode" around my house. I can pick my favorite wrestler, Randy Savage, and know that when my opponent is weak and lying in the center of the ring, I can do a flying elbow drop. A move that NO other player can execute. I also know not to turn my back to Ted DiBiase or Crush, who, just like "real life", perform their best stuff when you're facing away from them! And I don't have to pin my opponent if I'd rather inflict more punishment instead. I can set the options to BRAWL mode and just play until someone can't get up any more.

Yes, now this is a wrestling game. One one one, two on two tag team, three on three tag team, or the highlight of the cartridge, the Royal Rumble - it's all here. I can play with or without a ref, meaning certain unfair practices like eye-gouging, choking, and hitting an opponent with a chair are possible. I can even play in a tournament, making the whole thing seem worthwhile. It may not seem like much, but the extra touch of adding a belt presentation and a "WWF Magazine" screen announcing you the winner (what a shameless promotion!) are just the kinds of perks videogamers want. Other nuances, such as the ref who occasionally gets in the way, the oft-times slow three count, the crowd reacting perfectly to any given situation (like a wrestler climbing the turnbuckle or picking up a chair) makes it feel like you are there.

Lastly, the speed has been greatly improved. Some problems with the original caused the action to come to a grinding halt at times, and weird stuff like not being able to do any moves while on the side of the ring (while outside) have all been corrected. I just can't say enough about this game. If LJN is still listening to me, I'd like to say "Way to go". I'd also like to say "How about an instant replay mode? Perhaps some pre-game hoopla? I wouldn't mind some small speech insertions, like Randy Savage's 'ooh yeaaaaaaah', either, you know? Oh, and how about some managers outside the ring?" Just keeping you guys on your toes. Great game!


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:31 PM