Welcome to this very special edition of the Phat Daily Column. Since Thursday's column is supposed to WCW Day, I didn't think a No Mercy video game review would quite fit there. So... here we are, going over the latest THQ WWF video game installment for the N64. Let's this much anticipated game!
The big difference in this game against Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 and Wrestlemania 2000: the graphics. Good God, this game was totally beefed up! You now have pictures of each wrestler on the menu screen, along with a nice looking options screen. Yes, they've finally ditched the same old block menus from the other games with a more futuristic one. Also, they've added new music, which gives a "Thank God" from myself. I was tired of hearing the same music. Also added.... everytime you enter an option on a menu, a voice tells you what you've selected. Yes, that's a waste of memory, which we'll get to in a bit.
As for those options, this N64 game ditched the Cage Matches. Thank you THQ. The cage match on WM 2K was hell to wrestle! Now, we have a Ladder Match, which kicks so much ass!!! Also, we have an Ironman Match, which is a lovely edition. Also included in this game is the popular Guest Referee option, which Smackdown for PSX had. That option is sooooo much fun to do! I was Dean Malenko, as a referee with Benoit and Eddie Guerrero wrestling, and I was messing with their heads badly! I'd slow count Eddie, and fast count Benoit. Plus, I was jumping them throughout the match. What a blast!
Then, we have the Smackdown Mall, which is really your Create-A-Wrestler area and other stuff. CAW is about the same as the original, with a little more to choose from, with the features labeled with the current wrestlers who have them. Amen to that! I've heard there are several costumes and features that you must unlock or purchase during the seasonal mode as well. Oh yeah, lots of wrestlers to unlock too I hear. Features like this is why THQ is so Godlike anymore! Also with the CAW, there are 18 slots for new wrestlers, instead of the classic 16 on the other games.
Speaking of the seasonal mode, I'm glad to see that storylines were added. That makes it interesting, as fighting the same punks all the time on WM 2K got really boring after a while. There's a lot more at stake too with the Smackdown Mall and so forth. Excellent addition, which is really carried over from Smackdown on PSX.
On to the actual game itself.... First, the intros. I can't F'N believe that THQ and the WWF included the Titan Trons again!!! When will the WWF realize that Nintendo 64 players enjoy the system for the gameplay and NOT for the graphics and sound. When will the ever realize that? A simple theme with the wrestler walking out would be good enough, but the Titan Trons take up so much space on the game. This, along with the added sounds during the menus, help to slow down a certain kind of match...but we'll get to that in a second.
Singles competition or 3 Way Dances are the usual THQ greatness, with smooth action. By the way, the wrestlers are a tad bigger, making the action better in a sense. HOWEVER, if you have 4 wrestlers in the ring at once, it totally sucks! Thanks to the memory limitations, there is a major slowdown here. You can hear the music somewhat twitch when wrestling with 4 wrestlers, meaning a tag match, Royal Rumble, or a 3 Way Dance with a Special Guest Referee. Maybe if THQ and the WWF realized that the menu sounds and the worthless blurry Titan Trons weren't needed to make this game great, then maybe this problem could have been avoided. This totally burned this game from being the pinnacle wrestling game on the market. Now that sucks!
Seriously, why do we need the Titan Trons? When you are wrestling a PPV event, they come out of no where. Then, after seeing them several times, it becomes annoying. The WWF added fire and explosions to the entrances, and with the themes, that should be more than enough for this game. But nooooo..... the added Titan Trons take up space, and they aren't even that good with the N64's graphic capabilities. I can't believe the Video Game Testers at THQ didn't report this, or that anybody with a brain over at that now successful video game company could have missed this annoying problem within the game. N64 can't handle the memory that the PSX can easily handle, and they should have made this game to fit the N64 only. The graphics on the wrestlers was a nice upgrade, and that should have been it. I suppose you can just enjoy this game if you are the only one who plays the game and if you only play singles matches. Forget it if you invite 3 friends over. Might as well stick with Wrestlemania 2000 for that one.
That's the big problem with this game, as the rest of the game is spectacular. The wrestlers look excellent, the reality has improved, and more moves have been added to the game engine from VPW 2 and more. If not for the slowdown with 4 wrestlers, this game would have been the BEST wrestling game ever. However, it takes a backseat to those before it because of this bad problem with memory. Therefore, I'm giving this game a grade of a
I'd rather recomment VPW 2 over No Mercy, although the Japanese gets tough to read. :) Or if anything, stick with Wrestlemania 2000 for a more solid game. Hey, my Tazz on WM 2K is way better than the one on No Mercy, and the same goes for Saturn.
Mr. Tito's Multimedia Reviews!
@That's all for today. Expect another PDC to show up later today, which is the WCW Day column, discussing Thunder, issues, and giving the Phat 5 for their wrestlers. If you don't catch me on that column, enjoy your Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for YOU reading everyday.
NEWS ORGY: Election Coverage, Movie Reviews, Music Columns, Downloads, Pictures, and MUCH MORE! Click Here to Enter!
Take Care, and Happy Holidays