Welcome to the latest edition of the Phat Daily Column. I apologize for no weekend column, but my time to sit down for an hour to type up an internet column was scarce. Today, I'll discuss random wrestling stuff and FINALLY finish up the NES Wrestling History. The game being reviewed will be WWF King of the Ring.
Some good multimedia news... You'll be seeing reviews for Best of Backyard Wrestling videos Volume 3 AND Volume 4 this week, probably for Wednesday and Thursday. I bought the videos Friday, and already have them ready to review. I've also noticed that my local video store has the "Backyard Fight Club" videos, and I just might have to rent those and review them as well.
I have nothing else to say for the intro. On to the PDC.
I do admire Bret Hart. For a business where many wrestlers will forget about their pride and take money first, Bret is firm on his stance about the WWF and how sleezy Vince McMahon can be. Take a look at such examples like Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. Both Hogan and Bischoff were bashed on television, and even bashed the WWF on a regular basis. But look where both will be working at? The WWF. Hogan is already there, and Bischoff is headed there soon. Not Bret. He's one of the few in this business who still has some pride for himself, and won't submit to the almighty dollar.
-What a goofball XPW owner Rob Black is. In an effort to get more cheap website hits, he announced that he'll be feeding a dog to a snake of some kind. Now, I'm NO animal rights activist, so I won't be criticizing using a dog to feed a snake. But using this event to get the attention of internet users? That's just utterly stupid. Whether the idiot was arrested or not, who officially knows? Who even knows if he'd actually perform the stunt live on his website, as I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you could find a video clip of a snake eating a dog somewhere.
It just goes to show you what a stupid owner can do with a wrestling company. XPW will NEVER be big with a moron in charge of the company. Vince McMahon might be a sick bastard too, but when push comes to shove, he'll fight hard to make his company the top one in the country. He's done that twice, by the way, in the early 1980's when he took over the reigns from his father and started sending tapes to territories of his shows, and in 1997-1998, when he had to fight off WCW in the Monday Night Wars. Rob Black lacks what it takes to take XPW anywhere.
-Oh, and I forgot to mention something from Smackdown. While Triple H was with Stephanie in a backstage skit, Triple H ripped ECW when mentioning how Stephanie bought the company to compete with her father. I wonder if that was a hidden shoot comment by Triple H? I've discussed that with some of the readers, as I'm sure it wasn't truly intentional, given that Triple H is supposed to be a face and since Paul Heyman is a part of the WWF, along with several of the key wrestlers. Still, I'm sure it pissed off a lot of the ECW marks who truly despise WWF wrestling.
-Tonight, RAW will be in Austin, TX, meaning that the NWO will probably kick the living shit out of Steve Austin tonight on television. Also, what will be the Undertaker's next move? My only guess is that he'll dig David Flair out of Ohio Valley Wrestling and just beat the living shit out of him to truly gain Flair's attention. Just a guess. This should be a very angle driven RAW with Austin and the NWO, due to the fact that many WWF wrestlers are overseas in Asia on a wrestling tour.
With King of the Ring, the WWF improved their menu options, changed the looks of their wrestlers, and added a new fighting engine. KOTR also has better sound in one way, but poor sound in another. The in-ring sound is top notch for NES games, as the crowd noise isn't overbearing anymore and the punches and noises made by the wrestlers seem pretty real. The punches have that smacking sound to them to make a NES game seem more real. However, the sound is bad for the wrestler's themes when you are choosing your wrestler. It's ridiculous how they tried to make the themes! If you have the game or will be downloading it somewhere, check out Razor Ramon's theme!
Speaking of the wrestlers, you can choose between Bret Hart, Lex Luger, Yokozuna, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Hulk Hogan, the Undertaker, Mr. Perfect, Bam Bam Bigelow, Macho Man Randy Savage, or go as the "YOU" character. You know, that's a nice mix of talent in this WWF game. 4 of them are actually active on the current WWF roster, too, while 2 of them are out with crippling injuries, another is not wanted, another wants too much money, and one has passed away, bless his heart.
It's a nice snapshot of the talent heading into the very first King of the Ring Pay Per View in 1993. Nice of the WWF to capitalize on Hulk Hogan one last time...
Now, for the menu options. They are damn good for NES standards, as you can either wrestle a singles match, tag match, a tournament with best of series, or wrestle the full King of the Ring tourney of 8 wrestlers. Those modes will keep you playing this game for a decent while. Especially on the game settings. You can actually change it to any difficulty level, including Easy, Medium, and Hard. Try beating the KOTR in Hard mode! Now that's replay value.
As for the graphics... ewww! As the WWF made more games, the graphics actually got worse from the original Wrestlemania. The menus look good, but the pictures in the character selection are of poor quality and the wrestlers in the ring look pathetic. I believe Hogan has no face, nor is he bald in the ring, either. With NES games, though, it's either respectable graphics and a shitty game or bad graphics and a fun game. Of course, Kirby's Adventure broke those laws for the NES with probably the system's best graphics and a very fun game.
Gameplay is MUCH improved on KOTR. If you've played the SNES WWF series, you'll notice that the grappling system is somewhat similar, although you can't see who is winning the grapple or countering it. Like the SNES, you can pick up your opponent while their on the ground with the grapple button, and punish them over and over. Kind of unfair and frustrating at times when the computer gets intense with this, but oh well. You can basically do everything in the ring, including top rope moves and going on the outside. When you're on the outside, you can only enter/exit from the sides and NOT from the front of the ring. That's annoying.
Although the gameplay has been improved, it's sort of sloppy. Action is very fast paced, as whenever you slam your opponent, they act like Kronic, get back up immediately like a no-sell, and fight back. With this speed, many elbows will be missed and it sort of seems more like a fighting game than a wrestling game. Still, this is MUCH better than the other WWF games on the NES.
LAST WORD: FINALLY, a decent WWF NES game. The other 3 games, quite frankly, suck in terms of replay value, but this one is respectable. Graphics could have been better, but oh well. I'm guessing that the game's sloppiness in the ring was LJN or Acclaim testing out a game engine for the SNES series. I'll give this game a
AOL Instant Messenger: BookerTito - It's recommended that you send your questions or feedback as your first message so that it could be answered, instead of saying "hi", "hey", "what's up" or whatever else. Just get to the point, please, to make it easier since I get drilled with messages.
WRESTLEPALOOZA.com - Audio Show, Columns, News, and more!
KOLTERSHOCK!!! - A site that you shouldn't view with small children present!
X-Entertainment.com - One of the most entertaining pages on the net!
@That's all for today. I hope to be back, tomorrow, with a FULL review of RAW. Until then, just chill...
Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.