WWF Super Wrestlemania

Super NES

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4

Coming out of the 80's, the WWF hit a bit of a slump. Revenue and viewers were down, but the younger video game crowd still ate up every Hulk Hogan leg drop. It makes since then that one of the earliest SNES games should feature the Federation's best battling it out inside the squared circle. This of course doesn't make for a great game, just a below average one.

Ten of the best wrestlers from early in the decade fill the cart including Hulk Hogan (duh), Macho Man, Undertaker, Jake Roberts, Sid Justice, Ted Dibiase, the Legion of Doom, and the Natural Disasters. Players have the option of controlling their favorites in singles matches, tag team bouts, or the ever-popular Survivor Series elimination match. Infamous Howard Finkel, spouting off the wrestlers stats in text form, introduces each match.

Right after viewing the impressive digitized faces on the selection screen (accompanied by excellent theme music for each wrestler), the in-game sprites are easily on par. The artists deserve a ton of credit for developing a graphical style mimicking Mortal Kombat without actually digitizing the real wrestlers. The problem is that the game eventually has to be put into motion.

The animation for the majority of available moves is, to say the least, lackluster. Throwing an opponent over the top to the outside is all done is less than four frames resulting in matches that are far less realistic than still shots would lead you to believe. Tag matches are even worse, producing severe slowdown whenever the match gets out of control. Granted, there are five rather large and detailed sprites (four wrestlers and the referee) on the screen at once, but this is the type of problem that should be ironed out before a game is released.

Gameplay is simplistic, hardly more engrossing than any of the WWF games LJN pumped out on the NES. Punches and kicks are the primary moves while jamming on the buttons relentlessly during a grapple is the only way to win. Each button on the SNES controller produces a different move out of the grapple. Though future games would implement each wrestlers famous finishing moves (including the Genesis port), here every wrestler is on equal ground. Yes, even the rotund Earthquake (who's health is sadly failing in real life) can make his way to the top rope and fly off just like the majority of lightweights today.

A few other minor complaints include the inability to select your opponent(s) in a one-player game and limited sound effects when in the ring. The arena crowd is dead for most of the match (probably because of the same moves being repeated by each wrestler) leaving only a few generic digitized grunts to liven up the action. Not surprisingly, each wrestler features the same voice.

This is certainly one of those titles you had a blast with if you were a kid back when it was released. Going back isn't the pleasant experience it once was. Even back then, the two sequels, Royal Rumble and RAW, easily made this game obsolete within a year or so of its release. This is one game where the memories are far better than the actual game.


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Last updated: Saturday, September 11, 2004 11:11 AM