WCW Nitro
System: Nintendo 64
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Inland Productions
Released: 1999
Capabilities: Controller Pak Compatible

The Game

The developer of this game, Inland, has been making WCW games for the Playstation, and it launched out 3 of the crappiest wrestling games, which all use the same game engine: WCW vs. the World, WCW Nitro, and WCW/NWO Thunder. Each title had minor improvements, but all still ended up to be the stupidest wrestling games ever. THQ was red hot after the success of WCW/NWO Revenge on the N64, and maybe they though they can fool people into thinking Nitro 64 was something it wasn’t. Would this version prove different from the Playstation and PC versions? Let’s get onto the review and find out.


The wrestler models look exactly the same as in the Playstation version of the game, but with a little polishing off. The models actually do end up looking pretty real even though coming off a little rugged. The ring and arena, however, look very cluttered and isn’t even up to 32-bit standards. I was really expecting some cool intro like in Revenge, but all we got was some wrestlers doing moves we never saw them do before(like Curt Hennig doing a hurricanrana), and there’s even a slight load before each new move is shown.

The background of the game's menus have WCW wrestlers pictured in action. The wrestler selection screen is nicely done as well, but I wish there you could see a FMV of a wrestler doing there rant like in the Playstation version, but no such luck here, all we get is just a pinup of the guy. I don’t notice much flickering or slowdown during the matches, but the camera is always in a crappy position, it barely even zooms in for close ups for moves in single player modes like Revenge and World Tour did. But even after mentioning all these disadvantages, graphics is probably the games strongest point.


You got the old Nitro theme music and Gene Okerlund introducing you to the game. Not just a dumb midi, but digitized music, and at least Okerlund is there to introduce you to the game. The sound effects are decent at best, all the slams, kicks, and punches sound just like they do in most other wrestling games, and you even here some of the wrestlers grunt too. Tony Schivane and Mike Tenay do the play-by-play for the game, but don’s even say much, just the name of the popular moves(Piledriver, Frankensteiner, Powerbomb, and a few others) and the names of the first 16 wrestlers finishing moves. I wish there was wrestler’s entrance themes in the game, but they’re absent, and so are the entrances too as a matter of fact.

Game play

You start the game off and pick from one of 16 WCW stars. Let me start right off by saying the controls for this game are the worst ever! You have to do button combination just like in WWF Warzone and Attitude, and to make matters worse you gotta hit in the controls really slow to make sure you pull off a move or the game won’t even recognize the move you’re about to do. And it’s even hard to learn new moves in the game. I mean, I only play as Chris Jericho because that’s the only guy I new the moves for and it took me about a few hours to get all his moves down. Plus the computer just pulls off moves at random so when you’re typing in the combinations really slow the computer will be beating the crap out of you.

Unlike World Tour and Revenge, you got a life bar here like in fighting games which slowly gets depleted as moves are done to you, but also slowly regains life if you’re winning the match. And you can only do finishing moves when your life bar is in the red. You got plenty of game play modes like singles exhibition, tag team exhibition, tag team vs., singles vs., Championship, and Battle Royal Mode. Battle Royal mode is a lot like Royal Rumble mode it has 16 wrestlers(40 if you unlock all the hidden characters) and a new wrestler comes in each time you toss another guy out, this is the only mode that can be played by up to 4 players. You have 16 characters in the game and can unlock the other 48 wrestlers(Total of 64) by beating Championship mode 48 different times with 48 different wrestlers, or you can be like the 99.9% of us who uses the cheat code to unlock all the wrestlers in the game. Unlike the PSX version of Nitro the hidden characters aren't Inland Programmers and wacky fake wrestlers, instead its WCW mid-carders, jobbers, and managers.

At the beginning of the game you can only pick from a Nitro ring, and about 5 other PPV rings, but with a code you can unlock about 15 other wacky rings.(One of my favorites being the Rec Room Ring). Only the first 16 wrestlers you get at the beginning of the game do their real life finishing moves. And only 2 of the 48 hidden wrestlers(Benoit & Malenko) do their real life finishers. All the other wrestlers just do some random power move for their finisher.

Replay Value

The only thing going for this game for it’s replay is all the hidden wrestlers and rings it has in the game, and the battle royal mode, which is really fun to play, but then again, it’s the only 4 player mode of the game! The programmers could’ve surely made the tag team mode 4 players, instead of only 2, and the controls are what really ruin this game! If you’re a person who quits playing a game if you don’t know the controls, then you’ll quit playing this game down in about 15 minutes at the most.

In Brief

+: The character models are look pretty real, lots of hidden wrestlers and rings, battle royal mode!

-: The crappiest controls for ever for an N64 wrestler, only 1 four player mode, and the sound lacks

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 7.1
Sound: 6.0
Game play: 3.5
Replay Value: 2.8

Overall: 4.8

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 5

Final Analysis

Inland does not know how to make a good wrestling game. It already dished out 3 crappy Playstation WCW games, but THQ decides to give us this piece of crap for it's last WCW game ever. And to think now that THQ has the WWF license think of all the crappy Inland WWF games you'll be getting on PSX, and that’s considering if Inland is given the opportunity to develop any. Sure, Wrestlemania 2000 will be a great game, but that's because Asmik/AKI is developing it(the same great developers who made World Tour and Revenge for N64). If you actually bother to decide to take the extra time to get the controls down for at least one wrestler then I guess this game is worth to rent just once, otherwise don't bother at all renting Nitro unless you want to get a complete collection on N64 wrestling games, or if you see it brand new for just $10, and maybe that’s asking a little too much.