WWF War Zone
WCW vs NWO World Tour and Brave Spirits Wrestling the prospect of another wrestling game wasn't all that exciting. After all, WCW vs NWO was pretty damn good, so how much better could another game be? Enter WWF Warzone.
For those of you that don't know, the WWF is the 'other' wrestling organisation. They were the first to use ridiculous costumes for their'wrestlers, and are probably to blame for the 'dumbing down' of American wrestling, not that it was a high-IQ activity to begin with.
Just Another Wrestling Came?
On paper, WWF Warzone might not look like anything special. To start with it only includes 16 wrestlers compared to WCW vs NWOs 40-odd. But wait, you say, what's that about a player creation facility? Well, we'll come to that.
When you first see Warzone running, all thoughts of dismissing it as a WCW vs NWO pretender disappear. This game is slick, fast and impressive. This game is slick, fast and impressive! Before each round you'll get to see the Inevitable publicity shots of the wrestlers - ooh, you're lust sooo strong! Characters are the first thing that you'll notice, as they almost look real! This is down to the way they've been created. No polygon bodies for these guys, oh no; the wrestlers in Warzone appear to be one solid lump, with skin that stretches as they move, meaning that there are none of those embarrassing gaps between arms and torso.
In addition to the solidity, the characters also move very realistically. The designers must have studied WWF video footage, because they all move like their real-life counterparts. The British Bulldog jumps around the ring like a man possessed, while the Undertaker shuffles about like the zombie-esque figure he purports to be.
Everyone's unique moves are included, and can be studied and practised via on-screen menus in the same way as those in Mortal Kombat 4 and Bio FREAKS, in addition the control system is very responsive. This is important, since it was this that let down the other N64 wrestling title Brave Spirits.
A surprisingly impressive feature of the game is the audio. Every wrestler has their own theme tune just like the real thing, and there is commentary from the actual WWF wrestling commentators. The best audible features, though, are the sound effects and the crowd. Drop a wrestler on his head and you'll hear a very satisfying squish-crunch sound as he connects with the mat. If you've ever seen American wrestling then you'll know that the crowd are often more rowdy than the wrestlers themselves, cheering for their favourite wrestlers and booing the ones they love to hate.
In Warzone, each wrestler is either a crowd pleaser or a rule breaker. Crowd pleasers get cheered if they're winning, rule breakers get booed, and the crowd will chant the names of their favourite wrestlers when it looks like they're doing well. The best bit is the individual comments from the crowd, the most amusing being the mad old lady who gets really worked up and screams insults if her favourite wrestler starts to lose.
All the different types of wrestling match are in the game, including cage matches, tag matches and the Royal Rumble. As far as weapons go, Warzone has them, but not in all modes. Instead they only crop up in the weapons mode, where a whole variety of illegal foreign objects are lobbed into the ring by the crowd. Although this is good fun, it's a shame that the odd weapon couldn't have been thrown into the other modes.
As mentioned already, a major feature of Warzone is the player creation facility. This allows you to create a vast array of wrestlers using a multitude of adjustable features. If you want to save time, it's also possible to generate random wrestlers, and this can produce some highly amusing results. When you've designed their physical appearance, you then need to give your wrestler a name, a theme tune (from a list provided), a moves arsenal (assigned from one of the wrestlers already present) and attributes. These include strength, speed and recovery time. Finally you need to decide whether your wrestler is going to be a 'goodie', someone that the crowd will cheer for, or a 'baddie' that the crowd will boo and jeer. Once this is done you can then save them to a memory card.
Several wrestlers can be stored on one card, and the card can be accessed by any controller. This allows you to have multiplayer games with custom players without needing more than one memory card.
The Final Event...
The gameplay in Warzone is fast, furious and great fun and there are a lot of nice touches in the game - in challenge mode, for instance, the players walk into the arena in front of a big screen and pose to their theme tune before the fight. The actual wrestling though is not very much different from that in WCW Vs NWO, although it looks a lot more impressive. This does mean that if you've got the THQ title and are a little bored of wrestling, you may not be quite so enthused about this one. It must be said though that the player creation section almost justifies the purchase price all on its own.
If you don't have any wrestling games yet then this is a must-buy and you should definitely look at adding it to your N64 software collection. If you've already got WCW vs NWO then it's probably best to give it a look first, and at least try out the player creation feature.
WWF War Zone DownloadsWWF War Zone download
Currently the best wrestling game, with all the WWF fighters and a superb 'create-a-wrestler' section. Great fun with four people
A fantastic fat-fest with high-res visuals, plenty of fighters, TV-chucking and a brilliant Create-a-Player mode. Best wrestling ever!
Wrestling at its best. Superb create-a-player mode.
It's the finest wrestling game on the N64, basically, Gorgeous hi-res visuals, plenty of play options, weapons, out of ring antics and a brilliant create-a-player-mode. It might not have quite as many wrestlers as WCW/NWO: Revenge, but it's clearly the better of the two.
To get extra characters, go to the main menu and press Top-C, A, A, B, Z.
A few weeks back, I reviewed WWF War Zone for the PlayStation. I thought that it was an excellent game so naturally I was excited about the N64 version. I knew that one of the biggest problems with the PSX version should be easily remedied with the power of the N64 version so things were looking good. As it turns out, this is virtually the same game as the PSX version with a few minor changes.
I am going to do things a little differently. Since the game modes and options are virtually identical to the PSX version, I am going to key on the differences between the versions instead of explaining the same thing over again. I hope that you do not find this unfair to the N64 version but I think that it will be more beneficial to use the space to explain the differences instead of saying the same thing over again. So, with that said, click here for an explanation of the game and the options available. When finished reading that, come on back and take a look at what does make the two versions different.
The first thing that I should point out in the differences is the N64 version has two more game modes than the PlayStation version. So now you have the versus, tag team, cage and weapons plus the royal rumble and the gauntlet. The royal rumble is you and three opponents in the ring at the same time. When one of the wrestlers has been thrown from the ring, a new wrestler will climb in and take his place. This continues until there are no more wrestlers left. The last man in the ring is the winner. This mode was a definite bonus and really added to the multi-player aspect of the game.
The gauntlet mode is an endurance mode against six random wrestlers. All you have to do is beat these six wrestlers and you win. As easy as that may sound there is one small catch that I did not mention. Your health is not restored between the matches. That means you have to be strong and elusive and try not to get hit much. If you take a thrashing early on you will not stand a chance making it to the end. This mode was pretty fun but it was pretty tough to make it to the end.
The most noticeable improvement is that this version has almost no slow down. That was one of my biggest complaints with the PSX version. This version chews the graphics up and spits them out without even a slight hiccup. Fill up the ring with as many wrestlers as you want and the game will not even notice a difference. It was nice to see that the hyped power of this console was finally put on display. Also, I am sure that part of this was due to the fact that the game is stored on a game versus a CD so this eliminates the access time associated with the CD.
Since I just mentioned the fact that the game was on a game , I should also tell you that you will lose something because of this. Everyone knows that a CD holds a ton more information than a game so something had to go. The one thing that got cut was the FMV scenes of the wrestlers. In the PSX version, when you are challenged to a grudge match, you get an actual video of the real wrestler challenging you. In this version, you will be challenged by a polygon generated representation of the wrestler. So, if you are big into FMV and think that seeing video with the actual wrestler is important, you may be disappointed. The cold hard truth is that the game just does not have the storage capacity to hold the FMV scenes. Personally, I found this to be no big loss.
The last thing that is different is really not the fault of the game but the fault of Nintendo. The PSX controller just lends itself to this type of a game much better than the N64 controller. The C buttons are used along with the A and B buttons to pull off moves. I just find it really difficult to use these buttons when I am in a pressure packed or combo type situation. Also, I found that using the digital D-pad was much easier than using the analog stick which was too bad. Lets face it, those C buttons are just to small and should not really be used for anything that requires quick presses. Like I said. This is not really the fault of the game but it still does effect the overall game experience.
This is where the N64 gets to flex its muscles. Like I mentioned above, the game has almost no noticeable slowdown. That alone was worth the price of admission but to top it off, the graphics seem to be a bit better than the PSX version to boot. The differences are not night and day but they are noticeable if you spend any amount of time with both games. I am really impressed with the job that Acclaim did with this game on a graphical level.
In the end, the N64 version is marginally better than the PSX version. If you own both systems (like any good gamer) and you want to know which one is better and money is no object, get the N64 version. If you are on a tight budget, the PSX version will save you about 20 bucks so these differences may not be worth that much money to you. Personally, any time an N64 is released. I feel compelled to own it just because it is such a rare occurrence. If you are a Nintendo only household, I fully recommend the purchase of this game.