WCW Backstage Assault

Nintendo 64

Review by Matt Paprocki

Electronic Arts


Graphics: 3

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 3

EA's first attempt at a wrestling video game was met with much enthusiasm and praise. The solid gameplay put together with decent presentation proved EA could make a decent wrestling game. Now with Backstage Assault, EA takes the best part of WCW Mayhem and manages to totally screw it up.

Lets face it, backstage brawling is probably the most fun part of professional wrestling. Watching some get beat over the head with assorted foreign objects is incredibly cool. EA has taken this approach and set the game entirely outside the ring. With the possibility of setting opponents on fire, how could the game possibly go bad? Well, the graphics are not only incredibly blurry, but every part of the wrestlers body is a square. This is bad enough, but slowdown is common and gets incredibly annoying after a while. The backdrops are mess of muddy textures and have little detail.

Wrestlers theme music is included, but coming out of the N64, it doesn't sound good at all. The announcers are ecstatic, but some of their comments are simply ridiculous. "He hit him with a (long pause) garbage can!" At least Mark Madden hasn't been included.

The gameplay has hardly changed from WCW Mayhem. Few moves are available during the matches and it heavily relies on weapon usage for variety. Poor collision detection, slow movements, and shallow move selection do not make a good wrestling game. The sheer number of weapons included in the game is impressive, the number of stages are not. The fact that over 75% of the game is hidden from the start is a major problem also.

Not only is the WWF killing the WCW in ratings, but if games like this continue to be made, the sales figures will also follow this pattern. If you own Mayhem, stick with that game and just brawl backstage. There's not a whole lot of difference between the two except for the fact that the year old Mayhem plays better.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Sunday, January 11, 2004 09:30 AM