"Hardcore" wrestling (falls count anywhere, weapons are legal) has become increasingly popular in many a wrasslin' title. The problem is, trying to make a full wrestling game out of a game mode didn't work for WWF Royal Rumble, and it doesn't work for WCW Backstage Assault. WCW BA moves the brawling out of the ring and into bathrooms, locker rooms and parking garages. The 3D environments serve up instruments of pain: Players smash each other over the heads with TV cameras, bathroom sinks and gym equipment while setting each other ablaze with Fire hazards. But this gets repetitive. Because of the small moves list, too much focus is put on blunt-weapon trauma rather than bustin' moves. I really like the "hidden rewards" system which gives players mission objectives to gain access to new costumes, wrestlers, moves and back-stage areas. The commentary is excellent--the announcers get on your case if you attempt too many cheap shots. The game plays fast enough, but the animation is sloppy and characters snap into place for motion-captured moves too often. Plus the character models look downright goofy and the 50-plus roster bears little resemblance to their real life counterparts (one guy looked like Crispin.) It's too bad really, there are some good ideas that could have been better implemented into a full wrestling game. As it is, it's about as deep as a kiddy pool.
WCW, as long as you don't take it too seriously, can be fun to watch. The same goes for this game. Unlike the recent WWF titles, in which "realistic" wrestling is the main feature, WCW Backstage Assault borderlines on silly. It's kind of cool how there are no rings--every single one of the fights takes place in real-world locations, which allows you to bash your opponent with urinals and the like. But It's hard to overlook the sloppy feeling control and the fact WCW BA seems like a niche title. By eliminating the ring entirely, it almost comes off more like some sort of secret mode in a past WCW release rather than its own game. Silly fun, but more of a rental.
This is one of those games that's aimed squarely at the heart of the masses, and ends up so middle of the road I can't recommend actually buying it. WCW fans may get a kick out of EA's having taken the action out of the ring and sticking it backstage, where it's "hardcore," but for anyone other than a die hard fan. Backstage Assault is a glitchy, fugly, slowly paced unresponsive mess. Its merely OK as far as wrestling games go. but those are never great to begin with. The create-a-player mode is nice, and offers a lot of customizations. and the variety of modes makes this worthwhile for enthusiasts, but for the rest of us it's irrelevant.
Download WCW Backstage
The wild and wacky world of professional wrestling is coming soon to your Sony PlayStation. T*HQ is getting ready to unleash the warriors of the WCW organization on an unsuspecting world.
The game is called WCW Vs. the World, and if that doesn't give you an idea as to the scope of the monster game, then you obviously don't know the WCW. You have a choice of over 50 wrestlers [that's a lot of wrestlers) to play as during your quest to become the number-one wrestler in the entire world.
As of right now. only about nine of the available characters will be actual members of the WCW. Since this is WCW Vs. the World, there are also plenty of fighters from all around the globe. Expect to face challengers that hail from countries ranging from Mexico to Japan.
The wrestlers themselves are definitely where most of this game's personality comes from. Obviously, the WCW members are the stars of the show. Their antics are well-known and translate perfectly to the video game arena. Strangely enough, the "noname" wrestlers almost steal the show. Some of the Japanese wrestlers are dressed in crazy "Ultraman"-style costumes that look goofier than words can effectively describe.
Another substantial portion of the game's style comes from the moves themselves. There are the standard wrestling moves such as normal punches and kicks, body slams, clotheslines and the like, but these wrestlers aren't afraid to play dirty. Guys, try not to get too squeamish when you see the fighters pulling off such unorthodox moves as kicks and head-butts to the groin. Ouch! Things like that will make you glad that this is just a game.
The game is comprised of 3-D graphics that make it almost seem like a game of Tekken 2 in a wrestling ring. The animation of the characters as they pull off their elaborate moves on their opponents is incredibly smooth, especially when you consider the sheer number of characters you can play as.
WCW Vs. the World will set a new standard in next-generation wrestling games in every aspect.
- MANUFACTURER - T*HQ
- THEME - Wrestling
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2