Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 4


Before Acclaim would ruin wrestling games with, well, the other 32-bit version of WWF Raw on the PS One and N64, the 16-bit consoles received their own version. Why exactly the 32X needed this game, especially in this form, is not known. There's nothing here to separate it from the SNES version, and the only benefit from the Genesis game is more color (and that's not necessarily for the better).

The gameplay hasn't changed at all. You button mash your way out of grapples, punch and kick to drain an energy bar, and pull of finishing moves to send your opponent down for three. The roster is the same featuring a dozen wrestlers and one hidden. Each has a set of statistics that does have a bearing on gameplay, just not by much.

It's still fun to walk into a ring with your favorite gameplay mode, from endurance matches to the Royal Rumble, and wreak havoc. The engine is as realistic as you'll find on the console, not that it says much with the only other wrestling game being a translation of the Wrestlemania Arcade Game. There are extra out of the ring weapons in this port, including a medical kit and RAW sign. They handle the same as the rest.

This version also seems harder, and cheaply so. Even on the easiest level, grapples are far too difficult to conquer, simply because the AI cheats. It determines if you'll win, and it doesn't matter how fast you can push a button in a 10 seconds. It's frustrating and unfair, and this same system makes multi-player games brutal on the thumbs.

There is a huge, overbearing, and obnoxious gray bar at the top of the screen in this port. It could be because the crowd in the background is quite colorful, and losing the health bars might have been a problem without it. Still, it doesn't help this pedestrian graphics engine that doesn't offer any more animation or effects than the Genesis port. It's actually a little too colorful, with bright fluorescent tones that bleed regardless of your TV. All of the wrestlers are here in full garb and instantly recognizable.

Besides the grunts and groans in the ring, the only other audio is menu and theme music. It's all painful. While accurate, there's not much the 32X can do that the Genesis can't. Skip over listening to the themes and just get into the ring.

There's no reason to play this version over the others. If you enjoy this engine for wrestling games, seek out WWF Rage in the Cage on the Sega CD. It has a massive roster, decent graphics, and the same gameplay. It's the best game to ever use this engine. The 32X port is nothing more then a sad way to sap money from customers who didn't do their research.


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Last updated: Friday, July 01, 2005 12:51 PM