System: Nintendo 64
Developers: Asmik/AKI Corporation
Released: November 1999
Capabilities: 256 Megabits, Controller Pak & Rumble Pak Compatible, 1-4 Players
I'm rewriting this review, because I was very unsatisfied with my old one of it, and since I feel this is one of the greatest wrestling games on the N64, I'm changing to a different, IGN, type of style of reviewing., and if you want, you can think of this as a preview of the ''Featured Review'' that's coming here soon. Well, enough of me babbling, lets get on with the review.
WWF Wrestlemania 2000 is a game that will remind you a lot of older wrestling games on the N64 such as WCW vs. NWO: World Tour, and WCW/NWO Revenge, that is because, this game is made by the exact same people who made those great games. Those are the great people down at Asmik/Aki, both of those games won the Console fighting game of the year for 1997 and 1998, so it's obvious that you can't get enough of a good thing, and since the publishers of those games, THQ, just picked up the license to make games for the WWF, currently the hottest federation at the moment, THQ couldn't pass up on the opportunity of making a lot of money on such a venture.
But how would THQ promote the game?, it's just basically the same as it's old WCW one's but with WWF wrestlers instead? So THQ and the WWF had to make a commercial to promote the game, a commercial so good that gamers just had to get it no matter how much it is alike to older game. So they released one of the greatest commercials ever for a wrestling game which featured The Rock, whining about a video game character stealing everything he does, such as his moves, taunts and so on, and threw in some hilarious gestures like discussing character infringement with Elvis, and even arguing with Santa Clause.
Alright, you got the gamers hooked, but you gotta give them what they want, not just some rehashed piece of crap, so what are you gonna do? It's just like EA trying to get everybody to buy the updates of there great sports games, but you can't do it by just updating the rosters and teams, you gotta give them some great feature, something that'll attract people to the game, and EA did that successfully by unleashing the 1-on-1 with Michael Jordan game mode in NBA Live 2000, so if THQ, was going to release a WWF game, they just couldn't let it be a game just like Revenge, or else they'd be relying on the WWF fans to buy the game, who might already have Revenge, and don't feel like shelling out another $50-60 bucks on the same game, so will THQ suprise us this time, they gotta give it a catchy name, so what is THQ going to give us? What will they name the game, will they grab our attention? well, in my honest opinion, they did, they gave it the name...
The Game Intro
Now obviously, N64 games can't handle games with loads of FMV's, only few games on the N64 have FMV's, and wrestling games on other CD systems featured kicking FMV's of WWF television action. Now of course it would be hard for the N64 to feature that much footage, and a great game, has to catch your attention with a great inro, so what did the designers do? They created an opening cinematic(not FMV, just footage using the game's own graphics) and did a pretty dang good job at it, you start out with the most popular WWF superstar, The Rock, doing his patented People's Eyebrow, and work your way through other famous WWF superstars doing there moves, then you get a whole bunch of bad guy footage showcasing Undertaker and his lackies attacking holding the McMahons hostage, and dominating other superstars, then Stone Cold comes out to save the day and you see other popular WWF superstars doing there poses and such, and they finish off the intro, with Steve Austin walking down the Wrestlemania entrance ramp, bringing you to the title screen. Now, if you ask me, this did a great job of grabbing my attention, I never blinked once during that intro, it delivered the best wrestling intro ever!
When WWF Attitude was released this past summer, it futured a roster with at least 7 of it's 42 wrestlers, not even in the WWF anymore, this totally killed the game. When WWF Wrestlemania 2000 was released, it only featured one wrestler not with the company anymore, and that was Jeff Jarrett, who just left the WWF a month before the game was released, and there wasn't enough time to take him out of the game. The game does feature loads of WWF wrestlers from the popular ones like The Rock, Steve Austin, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Undertaker, Mankind, and Big Show, to the midcarders like Val Venis, D-Lo Brown, and Hardcore Holly, to tag teams like the Hardyz, Acolytes, Too Cool(in the game as there Too Much gimmick), to the jobbers like Mideon, Chaz, and The Blue Meanie.
A problem with World Tour and Revenge was that both featured fake wrestlers, all of them had the stupidest fake names such as Maya Inca Boy, and Dr. Frank and ended up making the game seem stupid, but thankfully there aren't any fake wrestlers here, and instead we got two columns of ''Original'' wrestlers, which can be edited with the Edit-a-Wrestler feature, where you can change the wrestler's costumes, height, weight, entrance music and videos, and even do a thorough editing of there movelist. A couple of problems with this feature is that it doesn't go as depth as Attitude's create-a-wrestler such as editing the nose, neck, mouth, etc., and it takes a long time to make your movelist.
Game Modes of Play:
Single Player: Basically just your regular one-on-one matchup, where you can customize the rules to your choosing where you can make how long countouts can be, or turn off count outs, have a hardcore match with the No DQ rule, where you can pin outside the ring, turn off interference, and have 1st blood matches.
Tag Team: 2-on-2 play where you tag in a partner to play, or you can have all 4 people battle in the ring at once with the no tag format rule on. You can do double team moves in this such as the doomsday device, and double bulldogging headlock, and the game even features a couple of new double team moves, such as the double 3/4 neck breaker(Diamond Cutter), or a spike piledriver!
3-Way Match: 3 people in the ring at once beating the crap out of each other, this mode is hard to play against the computer, because they keep on kicking out of your pinfall attempts.
Cage Match: I have to admit this is one of the greatest cage match modes that ever graced a wrestling game. You can pose while climbing the cage, you can do elbow drops off the cage while you're climbing it, you can shake people off the cage, or you can pull them off the cage, you can even punch or kick at each other while climbing the cage. And it just looks spectacular how your wrestler falls off the top of the cage if he can't climb over it.
Royal Rumble is a terrific mode, and you can play it in a variety of ways, you can do it the old fashion way and have anywhere from 4 to 30 wrestlers in the Rumble, and to even make it seem a little authentic, you can choose to have the countdown meter on or off, which is used after a wrestler is eliminated from the Rumble, a 10-Count will start in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, and the crowd will actually count down the final seconds until the new competitor comes out, plus each new entrant comes out to there own theme music too! You can also do a ''Team Battle'' where up to 4 teams of up to 40 wrestlers can compete, so you can create a real handicap situation with 4 teams with up to 20 wrestlers with one group consisting of 14 wrestlers, and the rest only having 2 each! You can have a blast.
Create your own WWF card, with any match at all, you can even put titles on the line, you can name your event whatever you please, and put as many matches you want on the card. An noteworthy point is that if a title is being defended in this card, you cannot defend this belt in any other mode, unless you delete this PPV.
Yes, you can actually create-a-belt, you can pick from one of several WWF authentic belts, and name it whatever you want! You can defend it, and the game will keep track of the history of the belt. You can even save the belt on a controller pak to take over to a friends. I wish your wrestlers could come out to the ring with belt during entrances though, but you can't.
All right we got all our basic modes here, and we got to have just one more, to ice the cake, and THQ delivered, they gave us...
ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA!!!
Alright look at similar championship modes in other wrestling games. Such as Attitude's Career mode, everybody thought that would be the best championship mode ever, instead it's just like most other championship modes, but you throw a calendar in the game. This is completely different! You pick a wrestler, and choose a tag team partner for him, and you start wrestling on RAW the first Monday in April. You do various singles and tag team matches, and eventually you'll get a shot at the WWF Hardcore Title, and defend it occasionally, you also do tag team matches too, and if you do really good and co-operate with your partner, you'll get a tag team title shot, but if your tag team starts losing many matches, your partner will come out and will split up, and you'll have to face him. And instead of picking a new partner, the game just picks a different partner for you, that's kind of a drawback, I mean my partner was Jarrett, and the game gave me Viscera to replace him.
You wrestle on RAW, and Heat arenas, you also go along the ''Famous 5'' PPV arenas, which are the King of the Ring in June, Summerslam in August, Survivor Series in November, Royal Rumble in January, and Wrestlemania in March. The PPV's are where you face your toughest matches, usually you'll wrestle at least 2 times on each PPV, usually defending your titles at them too. Each PPV sets up key events also. Like if you win the King of the Ring tournament, you get a World Title Shot at Summerslam, and if you win the Royal Rumble battle royal, then you get a guaranteed world title shot at Wrestlemania. I love how this game involves some storylines in the game, even though some are kind of cheesy, it at least gives you a feeling like watching a televise broadcast. And if you win all your matches at Wrestlemania(In my perfect record game I had to wrestle 4 times on it defending 2 of my belts, going for the world belt, and facing Shawn Michaels at the end) you get a really great ending, not just some dumb ''Congratulations'' ending like in Attitude.
MULTI PLAYER FUN!!
Of course, all wrestling games have to be multi player, and Wrestlemania 2000 doesn't disappoint. The following modes can have up to 4 players playing at once: Tag Team, and Royal Rumble. Plus don't forget that 3 people can play in a 3-Way match, and 2 people can play in any of the above listed modes as well as in singles matches and cage matches. In my opinion, Wrestlemania 2000 is the greatest multi player home console wrestling game ever! Other multi player greats such as Warzone, Attitude, and Smackdown don't even come close!
The game does its best to make it look like a live televised WWF broadcast, the entrances look terrific with fireworks, and authentic wrestlers entrance theme music(Yes, THQ finally shelled out the memory and included entrance themes, this were great flaws in World Tour, and Revenge.) And in the Revenge entrances, all the wrestlers would either do a generic walk, or run to the ring, this time there are several variations of walking to the ring. You can get The Godfathers weird pimp style walk, or Undertaker's really slow walk, and other variations as well. During the game, you get replays after hard impacting moves, and a nice replay of the finishing move once the matches are over. Plus I love the story lines in Road to Wrestlemania, so I think this game does a really good job of delivering WWF action at it's best.
THE GAME ENGINE
Alright, now this wrestling engine debuted in the United States in World Tour for N64 back in late 1997, and was improved in Revenge in 1998, and further improved with this release. Playing the game is actually easy to learn, but of course, a challenge to master! Controls are really easy to learn, a short tap of the A button does a weak grapple, and a long tap does a strong grapple, and by pressing A or B, and a direction on the control pad simultaneously you'd do a move! Not like in Attitude where'd you have to memorize button combinations and all. Once you get the easy controls down, you can move on to more complex moves that are just a tad harder to pull off, such as the Doomsday Device, where a wrestler hoists another wrestler on his shoulder, and 3rd wrestler nails a clothesline off the Top Turnbuckle on the hoisted wrestler.
My Dad isn't really great at picking up game controls for wrestling games, before this game, he only knew how to play 2 other games, Tetris and Wheel of Fortune, I thought I'd give my a dad a try at this game with me and I showed him the game controls, and had him play against the computer, and after a couple of rounds, he was winning! A miracle was accomplished, my dad actually learned how to play a fighting game! I had nightmares of trying to teach him Warzone where he couldn't even remember any of the combinations for moves, and all he would do would be kicks and punches, and making every wrestler look like Hulk Hogan in real life, but not with this game, it's actually that easy to learn!
THE FINAL RATINGS RUNDOWN
Graphics: Still somewhat blocky and polygonal, and not as crisp and real looking like in Attitude and Smackdown, but they are still easy to tell apart, and look great. Plus I love how they got the entrance videos for all the wrestlers too! The wrestling arenas in World Tour looked God awful, but Revenge's were better, and Wrestlemania 2000 perfected the wrestling arena that all wrestling games should have.
Graphics Score: 9.0
Sound: THQ improved over it's greatest flaw, it included actual wrestlers entrance theme music! It may not sound so good as it does in Attitude, but it fits the game right. All the songs are up to date as well including such recent new music entrances such as HHH's ''My Time'' and D-Lo Brown's ''Real Deal Now!'' The background music is alright, although it sounds real dinky, but you can turn it off. The sound effects are kinda simple, but fit the game right.
Sound Score: 9.7
Gameplay: Like I said, the gameplay engine is so easy to learn, that my dad can learn it! I can't put it as any simpler than that. The only thing I don't like about the game is that it takes a little while to complete a movelist, and 3-Way matches are way too hard, but otherwise everythig else is perfect!
Gameplay Score: 9.8
Replay Value: There are loads of game modes to choose from, and Road to Wrestlemania, is simply unbelievable! There is lots of multi player fun, so you'll be having parties with your friends playing this game all the time! You'll be hooked on this game for a great deal of time.
Replay Value Score: 10
Rounded to fit GameFAQs score: 10