Welcome to the wonderful Wednesday edition of the Phat Daily Column. Today, it's PART 5 of the NES Wrestling History, as we'll take a look at the lone video game featuring World Championship Wrestling (WCW) on the NES. It's funny, too, because the lone WCW game is actually better than all of the WWF games on the NES! At least in my opinion....
Speaking of video games, I was able to view a preview video of WWF RAW for the X-Box, and good lord, it probably has the best graphics of any wrestling game out there. No doubt. I remember when I saw the Kane entrance for the first time on Wrestlemania 2000 and how it sent chills down my spine from its then realism. I got the same exact reaction when I saw the Kane entrance on the X-Box WWF game.
However, it's not enough for me to shell out $200 to $300 on a new system. I'm enjoying buying up cheap N64 games. My favorite N64 game, by far, is Conker's Bad Fur Day, and it could be my favorite game of all time. It's certainly up there. I'm becoming a master of the sniper rifle on the Beach multiplayer mode. I also bought NFL Blitz 2001 for cheap, and I like how you can drop elbows or splash your tackled opponents after the play. That's a fun football game.
Out of all of the newer systems, though, I'd say that the Playstation 2 tops them all, just from my overall observations of the new big 3 systems. It probably has the best library of games of the 3, while the others are producing at a slower pace. I'm waiting for Nintendo to kick their system into high gear, however, and get the masses hooked again like they do for all of their systems. I will say that the Gameboy Advance is a QUALITY handheld system, too.
Anyway, on to the PDC!
For Christ's sakes, fucking Hulk Hogan is making his WWF return after a nearly 8 year hiatus, and RAW couldn't even pinpoint that. Kevin Nash, former World Champion, is also making his return as well, along with one of the best Intercontinental champions ever, Scott Hall. But instead, we'll renew Stephanie and Triple H's vows, and blow off the pregnancy angle already. Oh yeah, let's throw in some miserable acting by Stephony, too. Stupid, stupid, stupid...
-I'm guessing that the Olympics is the official excuse for holding RAW down from not having the high rating that some predicted the wedding vows renewal would give it. I'd say that RAW sucked up and until the renewal ceremony, as the show had a horrible start with the Undertaker interview and continued to bore fans until the decent drama and climax at the end. RAW did a composite of a 4.4, coming off hours of 4.2 and 4.6. I'm sure actual information will come out about how the vows renewal between Stephanie and Triple H did in a 15 minute span.
Speaking of the Olympics, I'm absolutely loving the Hockey coverage on CNBC. That channel is dedicated to nothing but Hockey, and it's a heavenly feeling to me. I like Olympic hockey because like the NHL playoffs, the players play with heart to win it all. There's a lot of pride on the line for international hockey, for country bragging rights and how the players are seen within their own country, too.
-I'm hearing that the Monday, March 25th WWF event in Wheeling, WV is only a houseshow, which is part of the new federation format for live shows once the "split" occurs. Wheeling, as some of you know, is only about 15 minutes away from the Tito household, as I live somewhere on the Eastern Ohio border. I've seen RAW twice in the Wheeling Civic Center, as well as an edition of Chunder (which sucked!). I'm don't believe that I'll be attending this houseshow featuring B-level WWF wrestlers, unless it's headlined by someone decent (although unlikely). It's funny how the WWF struggles to sell out 10,000 seat arenas, but they could easily sell out a 6,500 seat arena like they always use to, but make no effort.
When you start this game, you'll hear a clear voice say "World Championship Wrestling". Kind of cool for an NES game. If you let the intro run out, you can read the profiles of all of your favorite WCW wrestlers. It lists their height, weight, hometown, and their specialty or regular move they can do well or finish opponents with. A voice in the introduction and information listed about the wrestlers? Not heard of back then for NES games.
And speaking of the wrestlers, you have an excellent choice of wrestlers in this very game. In fact, it makes you just want to mark out if you were a regular viewer of the NWA/WCW in 1989. The wrestling list includes Ric Flair, Sting, Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat, Mike Rotunda, Kevin Sullivan, Rick Steiner, Road Warrior Hawk, Road Warrior Animal, Lex Luger, Steve "Dr. Death" Williams, "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert, and Michael P.S. Hayes. That talent roster, alone, is worth trying to find this game.
I mean, look, you have Steamboat and Ric Flair... IN THE SAME GAME!!! Then you have the Road Warriors or Legion of Doom in one game. Plus, you have the WHOLE Varsity Club, past and present members. You have two of the upstart stars in Sting and Lex Luger in the same game, along with CLASSIC wrestlers such as Eddie Gilbert and P.S. Hayes. It's incredible. And to think that the game also lists information on all 12 wrestlers!
A very unique feature in this game is AFTER you select your wrestler. As seen in the picture, you can actually choose your power moves when you lock up with your opponent. This type of control over a wrestler is unheard of in any of the NES and Super Nintendo games. Sure, it's picking 4 out of 8 selected moves, but it's freedom that's not seen in any of the other 8 bit or 16 bit games. Impressive!
The gaming modes aren't bad, although it goes by a round system. In one player mode, you fight for just one round, and you can play either singles or tag. In two player, you can do either singles or tag, to which you fight in 3 rounds. The control is quite easy. You pound your opponent with either kicks or punches, with kicks being the recommended move. Once you wear down your opponent, you can proceed to lock him up and hit one of the 4 special moves you programmed into the game.
And with those 4 moves, you can change the power or force for the impact on your opponent. As you can see from the picture, once you have your opponent locked, a powerbar comes up, to which you hit a button to hurt your opponent. Again, another feature not seen on any of the other wrestling games to this point. Turner must have found himself a great unknown video game company for this game. Too bad older wrestling fans didn't play video games back then.
Also in the game, you can knock your opponent on the outside. In the picture below, you can dish out punishment on your opposition and also, for the first time in wrestling games, you can pick up a weapon from the outside and hit another wrestler. Occasionally, a wrench will float in from the crowd, to which you can pick it up and bash someone with it. Again, not heard of back then.
The graphics are very good in this game. Although cartoony, the ring probably looks the best out of all of the NES games and the wrestlers are pretty damn accurate. Especially Rick Steiner, who has headgear and all on. The pictures of the wrestlers look like the wrestlers, and the intro has some cool effects with the moving "WCW" letters.
The only negative, although you could call it a positive, is the BITCH of a computer player the game has or Artificial Intelligence. The computer is extremely dirty and intense, that it could frustrate someone. As you beat each computer player, you are given a password so that you can save your progress. Wow, another innovation. You'll need the password, too, from the bastard of a computer!
The game was created by FCI \ Pony Canyon Inc.... I've never heard of that gaming company, but had WCW been given a younger core audience, it probably would have become the success that THQ would later see with the WCW and later the WWF games. This game is excellent for its time, and I'm amazed that its gameplay, alone, didn't give this game more popularity, especially over the obviously bad Wrestlemania game, back then.
LAST WORD: By far and away, this is the BEST NES wrestling game in the land. The character choices are awesome, the gameplay is solid, and the graphics are top notch. The sound is probably the best of the NES games, as well. This game gets an
Next Game: WWF Wrestlemania Challenge from 1990
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@That's all for today. I will NOT be here tomorrow, for I've got a speech to worry about in college and for the simple fact that it's Valentine's Day and I'd like to not be Mr. Tito for that day, if you will.... I will be back, however, on Friday with my Smackdown review.
Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.