WWF Royal Rumble
Capabilities: VMU Compatible, Nice Beer Coaster
You know what, I was really excited when THQ announced this game was being developed by Yukes(the same people who made Smackdown! for PSX) and Sega(the same people who made the acclaimed Giant Gram wrestling games in Japan), so I was really pumped up for this game, and when I heard about it being an arcade wrestling game, I was pumped up even more thinking itll bring back memories of the great arcade game, WWF Wrestlefest! Any ways, the Dreamcast really hasnt had its share of great wrestling, just Acclaim releasing its trilogy of mediocrity: WWF Attitude, ECW Hardcore Revolution, and soon ECW Anarchy Rulz. Will this game finally prove we can see a good wrestling game on the Dreamcast. Lets get onto the review and find out!
The game has a nice opening FMV of actual WWF video footage, most of it being from this years Royal Rumble main event between Cactus Jack and Triple H. All the wrestlers look great in here, which look like toned up Smackdown! models with higher resolution due to the power of the Dreamcast, and detailed down to every notch, where you can see Stone Colds ankle bracelet, and Rikishis big ass, complete with dimples! Although some wrestlers do looked toned down a lot in detail, and come off looking really awkward in the game, like Austins face still looks all messed up in here like in Smackdown! The game surprisingly manages to fit 9 people in the ring at once with no slowdown at all. I was really amazed that their wasnt much slowdown at all with 9 people beating the crap out of each other at once. The animation in here seems to be pretty good, all the wrestlers finishing moves in here are animated and look just like they do off television.
The hit detection seems to be pretty good too, unlike in Attitude where youll get hit by a flying elbow when youre a mile away from the guy, here all the punches, grapples, and drops connect within the appropriate striking distance. Oh, yeah, did I mention that there is also a referee in the game too throughout the exhibition matches? This is one of the first WWF games to have a ref in it since WWF RAW. The only bad thing about the graphics is probably the entrances, all they are is just 2-4 second clips of youre wrestler posing, pretty disappointing to me. But overall, a really nice job on the graphics, probably the best part about the game.(Thats actually a bad thing because my score for graphics isnt all that high)
Well, let me start off by saying that all the sound effects are pretty decent, not nothing spectacular though, like all the slams sound just about the same when you hear a person get dropped on the mat, and whenever a person applies a submission hold, you hear the stretchy noise like in most of the other wrestlers out there. Their isnt any background music during game play, but there is some for the menu screens, which sounds like some heavy metal type stuff that fits the Attitude of the WWF. Usually my favorite part of the sound category in wrestling games is the entrance theme music, I was kind of disappointed with it here, you dont even here it during the stupid entrances in the game, you only hear it when a wrestler celebrates a victory, but it is so lowly dimmed out in the background over the audience cheering you barely hear it. So an alright, but not great effort on sound here. Which only ends up sounding mediocre, at best.
All right, like usual, Ill talk about the games controls. First of all, you can only move with the direction pad, and not the control pad, which is really awkward to me. The control stick does nothing at all in the game, not used for finishers, posing, or anything, really odd. It took me a while to get running and climbing the turnbuckles down, which you use the X button and directional pad to do. You grapple with the B button and press different buttons simultaneously to do different moves. Also if you press the attack button several times in a row, your wrestler will start doing a 3-4 hit combo, which cant be stopped, so if once you start it and your opponent ducks they can sneak behind you and do a move. The finishing move system is unique in here, where you build up your S meter, fill it all the way up and get an S once you get 3 Ss simple press the R trigger when both people are standing to do your finishing move, which is pretty convenient. So overall, the controls are kind of awkward at first with a few kinks to work out.
Alright, now lately the rosters for the latest wrestling games have been pretty big with usually 35 wrestlers and up, so I was kind of disappointed there is only 21 wrestlers here in total(which a few require unlocking). Any ways most of the popular WWF Superstars are here, from Austin, The Rock, HHH, The Undertaker(in his old Gothic gimmick, which is way better than his current biker gimmick in my opinion) to newcomers such as Tazz, Kurt Angle and Rikishi Phatu. Now for game play modes, first of all theirs two main modes of play: Arcade and versus. In arcade, theirs only 2 ways to play: Royal Rumble where YOU have to eliminate 30(or any number you want by customizing it with the options, but 30 by default) WWF superstars, you or up to 3 friends can play this where you wrestlers keep on coming in, and eliminations made by the computer dont count toward the amount of superstars you have to eliminate so these Rumbles do take a long time to complete, and its not fun as the Royal Rumble mode in Wrestlemania 2000. The other mode is exhibition where you select 2 players, one being your partner and go through 10 stages in single matches. You also select your partners fighting style, where you you can press 3 different sets of buttons simultaneously and your partner will come in the ring and attempt to beat up your opponent. Other run-ins from the back also happen often in this mode and get tedious right away. Also sometimes in the middle of the match, the lights will go out, and youll pop up in some backstage area like a car parking lot, or broiler room, or caged ring, with your partner and a ref in that small area. Win all 10 battles and unlock a character. And the other mode is vs. mode where you go against a friend in exhibition type matches. So overall, theres only 3 modes of play, yes, 3 ways only, theres no tag team mode, king of the ring, or anything else thats usually in all other wrestling game which will upset many hardcore wrestling fans. So in many ways the main game engine disappoints.
None of the extras are here either that are found in most other wrestling games, theres no Create-a-Wrestler, no Create-a-PPV, not even any Jump Pack support! The only thing for replay value here is the Royal Rumble mode where up to 4 players can play for a nice party, which is actually a little fun to play. But the games main championship mode here is really boring and tedious, the back lot brawls only make it a tad interesting, but overall theres really not much extra here for you to keep playing for a lengthy amount of time.
+: Really great character models, nice backstage fighting
-: Not that big of roster, Severe lack of modes, awkward set of controls
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 2.0
Replay Value: 0.1
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 3
Well, some parts of this game are all right at first like the Royal Rumble and backstage fighting, but a lot of the game disappoints, like the small roster, and severe lack of game modes and the not so great control set up. Im still shocked that Yukes and Sega both made this game! It was an utter disappointment, I really suggest only giving this game a rent, because if you buy it the most youll play it for will probably be a week or two at the most. Now if youll excuse me, I have to go return this game now.