ECW: Hardcore Revolution
Gone are the days of slow, technical mat grappling. Now pro-wrestling athletes do things that send shivers up gymnasts' spines and juice more blood than a GWAR concert. Like it or not, wrestling has turned extreme baby, and it doesn't get more extreme than ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling. Now you can enjoy all the blood, violence and vulgar language of the first "M"-rated wrestling game with the debut of Acclaim's latest game franchise, ECW: Hardcore Revolution for the Sega Dreamcast.
To say that ECW:HR doesn't bear a passing resemblance to WWF Attitude is like saying Goldberg doesn't look like Austin. Now this may start chants like "You suck, you suck!" but don't throw your drinks at the ring just yet. A tweaked version of the Attitude engine powers ECW:HR and it allows for faster gameplay and smoother animation. The Dreamcast's extra muscle puts out higher-res textures and poly-boosted wrestler models, making the game look more realistic. And to make it more like EC-Pn-W, the wrestlers bleed and bleed often.
Acclaim is hoping to get a good pop from the crowd by adding new modes and improving on existing ones. In Career Mode, players build their reputations by defeating jobbers (wrestlers born to lose) before taking on over 40 ECW superstars (in everything from cage to barbed-wire matches) and finally claiming the ultimate prize: the heavyweight championship title. But the game doesn't end there. You can still play as the champ and defend your title against all challengers. The Create-A-Wrestler Mode has been to the gym and pumped up some. Players choose what their wrestler looks like, from tattoos to tights, then build a move set for their wrestler and adjust attributes like speed, strength and agility. That's not all. Within the Create-An-Arena Mode, players design their own arenas with options to change mat and ring apron textures, arena lighting, banners and background graphics.
It'll be interesting to see if Acclaim will keep their baby-face image or turn heel with the release of ECW:HR. If the game gets a good reaction from the crowd, this could turn into a new franchise.
Download ECW: Hardcore Revolution
The PS version of ECW Hardcore Revolution retains all the vulgar language, blood and chairs of the N64 version, while adding some FMV intros and CD audio. The graphics seem slightly sharper in this version than in the N64, but everything else is the same. Players will have plenty of opportunities to juice when Acclaim ships ECW:HR on Hardcore Thursday, 2/17/2000.
Hardcore Revolution is really nothing more than WWF Attitude dressed up in ECW tights. If you've played all the Acclaim wrestling titles and were hoping for something significantly improved, then you're fat out of luck. But chances are. you're gonna buy this game to get the ECW cast and all the federation's "extremeness." In those regards, you won't be disappointed (and if you haven't played Attitude, you really won't be disappointed). This cart has over 40 of the bad-asses that make up the ECW (including a couple of secret ones). It also has barbed-wire matches, which isn't really a huge deal. But it's always fun whipping your victim against the ropes and not seeing him or her bounce back. As the first Mature-rated wrestling game, ECW:HR also "boasts" ample amounts of blood. It's a strange sight--pints upon pints of hemoglobin in a genre that's traditionally more kid-friendly--but its novelty will wear off rather quickly. The animation is slightly faster, and the collision detection is a tad bit improved (now, drop kicks to the back almost look like they actually connect). These good points, however, won't win you over if you've had some ring time with Attitude. The game looks and plays too much like its predecessor. But for a solid ECW playing experience, you really can't go wrong--this is a solid, robust cart.
Even though ECW isn't much different than Attitude in most respects, there's enough to make the experience worthwhile for any EG# fan. The "extreme" stuff is apparent from the get-go (you know, lots of blood, crazy moves, etc.). There have been some minor gameplay tweaks from Attitude but nothing major. Like Attitude, ECW has a sweet create-a-wrestler mode. Overall, it's not radically different, so if you already own Attitude think twice.
ECW may be the freshest, most intense thing to watch in the world of wrestling right now, but Acclaim's first ECW-licensed game feels stale, stale, stale. If you already own Attitude, steer clear. You'll find nothing substantially new here. You certainly won't find the lightning-quick action or many of the extreme moves that ECW is famous for. Instead, you get hokey-looking blood and a slightly improved game engine. It's just not enough.
I have no complaints about ECW. It's obviously the Attitude game engine with ECW wrestlers and venues. It actually feels faster than the N64 version of Attitude; it's about as speedy as the DC version. Control is more responsive too. I have to laugh when the wrestlers start bleeding however. It looks like pasta marinara draped on their heads. Like Attitude, Create-a-Wrestler is great. We created Warren from Something about Mary, hehe.