If you’re looking for an accurate simulation of wrestling or a game when everything links seamlessly for a flawless experience then turn away now.
If, however, you are looking for a fun game and you remember the glory days of Ultimate Warrior, The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, Mr Perfect, Bret Hart and Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase then WWE Legends Of Wrestlemania could be for you.
Let’s begin with the bad – the audience members look like crap and a lot of the time the quick time chain events don’t follow logical order. One minute you have someone in a sleeper hold the next they are on the floor with you elbow dropping them and there is no animation inbetween.
But, and it’s a big but, THQ/Jukes have PERFECTLY captured the feeling of that period in wrestling. They could have stick men in the audience and it wouldn’t matter because you’ll be like my middle brother (who is three years younger than me) imploring the screen ‘please tell me the Warrior is going to rock the ropes’ as his wrestler enters and then raising his voice an octave when it happens.
It’s that feeling of being a kid again – of being ten years old and having a royal rumble with your mates (fyi you had to go over the arm of the living room sofa and both feet had to touch the ground ).
I literally could not believe it when in the middle of match a cut scene started showing Paul Bearer holding up the urn and the Undertaker then sat bolt upright in the ring as he used to do – possessed. Yes it’s a scripted cutscene but that doesn’t take anything away from it in my opinion.
The controls are simple enough – square to strike, x to grapple and triangle to reverse. Each of the attack butons can be held for a more powerful attack.
A lot of the grapple moves involve quick time events so a button will flash up on screen and whoever presses it first goes on the attack.
The grapple moves performed are based on how high your meter is on a scale of 1-3. Attacking your opponent and reversing their moves fills your bar until it adds to your number. Once you hit 3 you can perform your finisher by pressing square and x together.
The only confusion at the moment seems to be the exact way to kick out of a pin but I’m sure it will be become more apparent as we play more of the game.
The roster is very impressive featuring some all time greats and a few ‘characters.’ and lots more are included as well as a few I wasn’t as familiar with. The only major omission is Macho Man Randy Savage, which is apparently down to a dispute with Vince MacMahon.
My youngest brother, who is 15, doesn’t really get it. Sure The Rock and Stone Cold are in there but this isn’t a game for their generation of viewers.
In single player you can play an exhibition match in several styles (ladder/submission etc), take on the Wrestlemania Tour Mode or Legend Killer.
Legend Killer is where you create your own superstar (or use an existing one) to battle through legend after legend in a bid to become the all time champion.
Tour mode is my favourite though, with the choice to Relive (play the match and try to recreate it as it happened), Redefine (play the match in a different environment – in a steel cage for example) or Rewrite (change Wrestlemania history and have the loser win the match). It makes for some interesting match ups!
Online supports up to 4 players at one time, whether that’s tag team or three on one – whichever way you want to work it. But I wouldn’t know as it hasn’t worked for me at all – and that’s on two seperate consoles with different PSN accounts each time. I can view the available players but can’t join a match. I suspect this a game to play with your mates in the same room anyway.
WWE Legends Of Wrestlemania is all about the 80′s/90′s – it’s the kind of game where you have to know the characters to appreciate it. Someone with no knowledge of Bret Hit Man Hart isn’t going to care that he gives his shades to a kid in the audience like he used to or that The Million Dollar Man also has his Million Dollar Belt.
It’s a button masher for sure but the way they have captured the drama and emotion of the old WWF really does deserve a lot of credit. If you have any affinity for old school wrestling give this a rent and see what you think.