As I mentioned a few weeks back in the Ramblings, I was recently asked by XBox Nation Magazine to do a recap (or reCRAP, if you will) of all the horrible games that have made their homes on Bill Gate$’ gaming system. That issue should be hitting store shelves any day now, and trust me, it is well worth hunting down.
In the two-page article, I compare different Xbox wrestling games to various WrestleCrap inductees. For instance, I likened Backyard Wrestling: Don’t Try This At Home to Dink the Clown, saying that both were bad ideas, badly implemented. I also ranted and raved about how much I hated clowns. I think that was like half the article in fact. It was a lot of fun to write, and I believe my fellow Crappers will get a good laugh out of the article. Plus, the guys at Ziff-Davis did a hell of a job laying it out – it looks very slick. And where else are you going to find a picture of Jake from Heroes of Wrestling playing burp the bishop with Damien?
After writing the article, however, I realized that as bad as those Xbox games were, they were actually nowhere near the bottom of the barrel as far as wrestling video games go. Sure, busting guys open with basketballs is stupid…but does it really compare to Andre the Giant chasing foot icons around to regain his energy? Or the idiocy of a WWE game in which wrestlers drive cars and smash into each other?
With that in mind, I’ve decided to merge what were going to be three unique inductions into one mega-induction, and present to you what are unquestionably the worst WWF videogames of all time.
Let the agony begin!
Save the hate mail. Don’t even think of sending it my way.
Look, I know a lot of old school gamers are probably going into cardiac arrest right now that I merely mentioned this game, let alone inducted into Crapdom. Sorry, gang – I knew this game absolutely sucked even back when I was a young, dumb mark. And now, as an older, even dumber mark, I realize it even more.
The game was, I believe, the first ever WWF release on a videogame console. And my God how it sucked. You had a whopping choice of six wrestlers: Randy Savage, Bam Bam Bigelow, Andre the Giant, Honky Tonk Man, Ted DiBiase, and the Hulkster himself. Ok, I can forgive the rather meager roster; after all, this was way back in the dawn of the 8-bit era, and even arguably the greatest WWF arcade game ever, WWF Superstars, had just 6 playables as well.
However, the game played like total crap. Each guy had like five moves. Not special moves, mind you, but rather five moves in total. Now granted, this like doubled the amount of stuff that Hogan could do in real life, but it made for a pretty limited game. Add to that the fact that the graphics were abysmal and the music was horrendous (check out this clip of Real American , apparently performed by the Martian Sympony Orchestra), and you pretty much have feces in plastic, NES form.
As far as “gameplay”, you’d basically just slap an opponent for three minutes, at which time a special item might appear. Now don’t get too excited – you couldn’t hit your opponent with said object, but rather it’d just give you an energy boost. The icons themselves were character-specific, so for instance, Randy Savage would grab a pair of sunglasses. I do have to question Acclaim for making Hogan’s special icon a cross.
I’m thinking that “give Terry Bollea extra strength in a crappy video game” is probably pretty low on Jesus’ to-do list.
After a few somewhat successful outings on the Gameboy, THQ, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make a new WWF game that had almost nothing to do with wrestling.
But everything to do with Stephanie McMahon.
“Roody-Poo daughter” indeed.
The game is WWF Betrayal, and the object of this beat ’em up is to save your nightmare and mine, Nipple H, from the hands of a vile kidnapper. Maybe it was Bobby Heenan – after all, he’d kidnapped dogs before!
Thank you, thank you, I’m here ’til Thursday. Enjoy the veal!
But seriously, yes, the plot of this digital turd was that Stephers had been kidnapped, and it was up to you, as Triple H, The Rock, Steve Austin, or Undertaker to punch your way through six levelsof baddies who are more than willing to run headfirst repeatedly into your fist. And that’s it. You just keep punching guys over and over and over and over and over again, until finally you finally reach Nips herself.
And personally, I found the ending sequence very unsatisfying.
WWE Crush Hour
You know, as bad as Wrestlemania was on the NES, it was, at heart, a wrestling game. Heck, even WWF Betrayal allowed you to dropkick your foes in the mush. As game systems have become more advanced, though, some developers have decided to branch the WWE license out into new territories. And much like Vince’s own aspirations of going beyond the wrestling realm (see: XFL, WBF) they have generally fallen flat on their faces.
Take, for instance, this 2002 offering, developed by Pacific Coast Power & Light. You’d think with a name like that, they’d be busy charging folks in say, Los Angeles, an arm and a leg to run their AC unit 24/7. Instead, they were contracted by THQ to come up with WWE Crush Hour, a game in which WWE wrestlers hop in cars and duke it out in homicidal vehicular war.
Now maybe it’s just me, but when I get a WWE video game, I like there to be wrestling involved. I know that’s a zany nutty wacky concept, but that’s just how I am. Maybe there’s a whole target demo out there for “wrestling fans who want car combat games starring wrestlers”, but if there is, I sure don’t know about them.
No doubt I should have yanked the PS2 power cord right out of the wall when I saw this:
Yes, ladies and gentleman, what the world has been waiting for: a DIGITAL JONATHAN COACHMAN.
Coach explains to us that WWE has purchased every single network, and therefore Vincent Kennedy McMahon has to create new shows featuring WWE superstars. Now there’s a game concept. Just think about Kane hosting, let’s say, a home decorating show. Maybe he could even chokeslam the eternal smile off Paige Davis’ face. I’d pay top dollar to see that.
Sadly, we don’t get that, but rather car wars featuring the likes of The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Steve Austin, and…Chuck Palumbo? Talk about your weird roster selections. Yessir, there he is, complete with Billy during their gay wedding phase of their career. Sadly, their special move doesn’t involve rear ending someone. You’d have thought that would be a natural.
The game itself is pretty much what you’d expect – a poor man’s version of classic automotive mayhem games like Twisted Metal. The visuals are ok, but man is the audio horrible beyond belief. THQ went to the trouble of acquiring the services of Jim Ross, but all he ever says is totally generic jibberish like “Rob Van Dam is shooting.” Thanks for the insightful commentary, JR!
If there was one thing I learned in the game it is this: no matter what happens on screen, you want to somehow acquire twisty rockets. Now I admit – I have no idea what a “twisty rocket” even is. In fact, I don’t know that I ever even got one. But everyone seemed to want them. In fact, entire games were seemingly contested in which every other word out of JR’s mouth was “twisty rocket.” Don’t believe me? Here, take a listen for yourself.
Remember, kids – in videogames as in life, GET THE TWISTY ROCKETS.
I almost want to pump out a couple kids just so I can impart upon them that very wisdom.
After playing through these crappy games, I questioned why I would even want to continue playing WWE games at all. Then I thought of the great ones through the years. No Mercy on the 64. Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain on the PS2. And WWF WrestleFest in the arcade.
So yes, I look forward to the upcoming WWE releases, and will surely buy them on day one, as I always have.
Just so long as rescuing Stephanie McMahon isn’t the goal.
– Hold your ears! Here comes some horrible audio, courtesy of Ack-Lame and the NES sound chip!
– Jim Ross (sounding as if he was in a coma): “The Undertaker just snatched the twisty rockets…Stacy Keibler just grabbed the twisty rockets….William Regal now has control of the twisty rockets…Chuck Palumbo just grabbed the twisty rockets…the twisty rockets…the twisty rockets….”