The second WWF videogame to be released on the Sony Playstation was a sequel of sorts to the first, WWF WrestleMania. The original game had its origins as an arcade game and was created by Midway, a company known worldwide for such tremendous hits as Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Hydro Thunder, as well as classics like Moon Patrol, Tapper, Burger Time, and countless others.
The sequel, however, was handled by Acclaim, known for such atrocities as Batman Forever and Cutthroat Island.
Care to guess how the sequel fares?
The roster for the game isn’t too bad, although a bit limited. There’s favorites such as Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, as well as the first ever videogame appearance by a guy named Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
The game is commentated by the ever enthusiastic Vince McMahon and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, who sounds like he is bored out of his skull.
Once you actually start the matches, the first thing you’ll notice is that each wrestler has his own arena, which is patterned after his gimmick.
Here’s Shawn Michaels’ nightclub (where he got beat up by 17 marines)…
…and Owen Hart’s House of Cards, featuring a queen overseeing the proceedings.
See, he was the King of Harts, remember?
Additionally, when wrestlers would get hit, they would have objects fly out of them. Here, the Ultimate Warrior has cacti flying from his body cavities (wonder why they didn’t use needles?).
Attacks were fashioned in a similar manner, as Owen would beat people over the head with playing cards and Goldust would blow kisses at opponents.
The funniest moments in the game, however, were reserved for Davey Boy Smith, whose head would turn into a real bulldog’s…
…and Vader, who turned into a bull.
Or maybe he was supposed to be Mantaur, I’m not sure.
As you can probably tell, the game was very similar to the Mortal Kombat series in its style and execution. It even featured “fatalities”, elaborate finishing moves you could lay on your opponent. Some made sense, like Shawn’s Heartbreak Hotel set dropping on his prone nemesis. Others were simply bewildering – HHH rubbed a magic lamp and his opponent disappeared. Huh?
The problem with In Your House was that it controlled terribly, looked crummy, and simply wasn’t any fun to play. Some of the voices in the game were bogus as well, like this “Bret Hart” who sounds like he’s been smoking five packs of Marlboros a day. More than anything, it simply lacked the original charm of WrestleMania, and the whole MK style of gameplay was fading fast.
Or maybe if it just needed an instructional video…
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (in Greenwich snob mode): “You’re not worthy enough to polish my silverware.”
Mr. Perfect (sounding sedated): “They’ll be talking about that match for a long time. See ya, and I wouldn’t want to be ya.”
Bogus Bret Hart: “Here comes a lesson from the excellence of execution.”