WWF King of the Ring


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 1

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 2

With the NES on its final few breaths, WWF fans received one final game before they moved onto the bigger canvas that was the Super NES. From the start, it's not hard to figure out that the development of this title was not a priority. From the abysmal graphics to the lackluster excuse for gameplay, "King of the Ring" falters in nearly every category.

With a ten wrestler roster, the game holds the largest amount of characters in the series. You even have the ability to edit a generic character to take into the ring. The game offers up a small variety of match types including the King of the Ring itself, tag matches, tournaments, and single matches which send you on the way to owning the federations top prize. Oddly, playing a single match (in which you cannot choose your opponent) nearly always forces you to fight Lex Luger.

Gameplay is slightly reminiscent of the Super NES WWF titles. Players can of course punch and kick their way to victory, but the real damage is done when tossing your opponent to the mat. Running into the opposing wrestler causes a lock up and a button mashing fest. Whoever jams their buttons the fastest gets to deal out the damage. Out of the ring action is available as well, but it's not exactly different from the in-ring fight.

The obvious and most pressing problem here are the games graphics. I'm a firm believer that these have little or no effect on the enjoyment of a title, but these are so unbearable, it's impossible to enjoy the game. To call the sprites blocky is underestimating the problem. Every single muscle bulge on the pugilist's bodies are square. Mr. Perfect looks like he's wearing some sort of girdle.

Their animation routines make no sense either. Exiting the ring, the players stand still and 'float' down to the floor below. Jumping from the ropes can either be a dropkick or elbow depending on which position your opponent is in, but the single frame of animation remains the same. Any sense of impact is lost when the animation is this bad.

The audio presentation is marginally better. Everything from the crowd to a connecting punch has been digitized. The scratchy effects are uninspired and these are the only sounds available during a match. Even the tinny and ineffective wrestler themes during the selection menu are a step down from previous WWF games on the console.

It's blatantly obvious that the development team either didn't care or had little time to produce this title. You'll have a hard time finding a human sprite in another NES that looks more deformed than the ones included here. The lackluster and downright boring gameplay, which might have been saved if it looked anything like actual wrestling, is not worth putting this game into the console. This is easily one of the worst wrestling games to appear during the system's long life.


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Last updated: Saturday, September 11, 2004 09:49 AM