WWF Rage in The Cage

Sega CD

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 5

If there is one way to judge a wrestling game from the start, it's the roster. The lowly dozen or so combatants in the standard 16-bit cart based WWF game is nothing compared to "Rage in the Cage." A massive 20 wrestlers occupy this discs space including many that have never been in this series before. It's a real shame you can't do much with them.

Yes, it plays exactly like its Genesis brother. Grappling still requires the controllers take a beating, rapidly slamming on a button, hoping for anything except a break. Each of the buttons will perform a separate move while each wrestler has a signature they can call their own. Standard punching and kicking is only useful for wearing down an opponent.

"Rage" does a great job of presenting itself to the core audience. The unmistakable voice of Howard Finkle introduces each match while each grappler gets the opportunity to spout off some choice words of their won. It's really obvious these guys are talking inside some studio, but for a first attempt, it's not bad. The selection screen lets players view a brief video clip of the wrestlers finishing move, though making out some of them with the color limitations of the console is not easy.

It's obvious the time (and space) spent working on the disc went towards the videos and other cheap filler. Players can only wrestle in a few meager modes including one-on-one, brawls, tournaments, and (if it wasn't already obvious) a new cage match. Nope, no Royal Rumble and no tag matches. It makes no sense since two tag teams (exclusive to the CD version) are included. The cage match is hardly entertaining enough to make up for this massive oversight. For some reason, they even took out the weapons at ringside meaning the no DQ matches are a waste.

Most of the sprites and animations have unsurprisingly been lifted from the Genesis game "Royal Rumble." The new additions are decent, but some are way off. Sadly, the recently deceased Big Boss Man is not portrayed as the overly large man he was, but well built along the lines of Lex Luger. The larger sprite is there (look at another deceased wrestler, Yokozuna) so there is no excuse for the improper size. The ring are crowd look faded in 64 colors and are a step down from the brilliant SNES version.

All of the menu and wrestler music is lifted from the cart. It's a disappointment not to hear the entrance music in full CD quality, but the roster is kind of large. Surely space was at a premium, but if you can't include match varieties, at least give us the music. All the grunts and other sounds are (as you must expect by now) taken from the cart as well.

Games that play terrible are one thing. Games that are a complete missed opportunity are another. The cartridge versions of these games were by far some of the best wrestling games back when they were released, so it's illogical and stupid for the CD version to be worse. Pop it in to see the nice roster and hear some of the taunts (Razor Ramon's is great), but take it out before the realization sets in that you've been cheated.


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Last updated: Sunday, October 31, 2004 09:14 AM