WCW Nitro

a game by THQ
Platforms: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64 Playstation PSX
Genre: Sports
Editor Rating: 6.9/10, based on 4 reviews
User Rating: 7.3/10 - 3 votes
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See also: WCW Games

The best-looking wrestling game to date, WCW Nitro storms the ring with championship gold graphics and a ringful of features that should satisfy even the most diehard fans of the squared circle.

Walk That Aisle

Each wrestler has been captured onscreen with an amazing accuracy never before seen in a wrestling game. Every action, from taunts to special moves like the Outsider's Edge and the Rack, bears a striking resemblance to the wrestler's real-life moves. The wrestlers are even sized according to their actual proportions, making life miserable for the 5'8" Dean Malenko against the 7'4" Giant.

NWO 4 Life

Nitro's lineup includes the 18 bad-dest, buffest wrestlers from World Championship Wrestling and the New World Order. Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Harlem Heat, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Sting, the Giant, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, the Nasty Boys, Diamond Dallas Page, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger, Ric Flair, Jeff Jarrett, and Chris Benoit duke it out Nitro style, with some of the craziest action this side of Monday night.

To Be the Man, You Gotta Beat the Man

Nitro features singles and tag-team wrestling in three play modes--Exhibition, Versus, and Title Match. There's a ring announcer, entrance music, and a soundtrack that includes White Zombie, Pantera, and Helmet. Each wrestler's repertoire includes over 30 authentic wrestling moves, with classic wrestling nuances like cheap shots and NWO wrestlers running into the ring to pummel you if you're about to pin one of their NWO teammates.

Game Reviews

People say:

7.0

Wrestling games usually aren't my cup of tea but the newer games have sparked my interest in the sport. WCW Nitro is one of them. I'm not one to take pro wrestling any more seriously than a form of organized (and sometimes overwrought) entertainment and this game is a fine (but not outstanding) representative of the "sport." The graphics are well-done with large wrestlers and a detailed wrestling arena but the action seems to be set too far away. I would've preferred if the viewpoint was up close and personal. I want to see blood flowing and bodies bouncing but that was nowhere to be found in WCW Nitro. For a beginner like me, the controls were simple and intuitive but there seems to be a slight delay with each button press. This doesn't pose as much of a problem in the One-player Mode because the computer Al seems to be kinda dumb, but when playing a real person, it can be really frustrating. Speaking of playing a real person, WCW Nitro is much more fun as a multiplayer game than when playing it alone (surprise). I did notice that the game slows down a tad when four wrestlers are all on screen at the same time. Overall, WCW Nitro is a good, but not great wrestling game. It's not one of those whoop-hollering party games that the better wrestling titles seem to capture, but it won't stink up the place either.

6.5

Although it isn't great, this is the best wrestling game I've played on the PlayStation. The. action is quick, and the control is intuitive. The 3-D graphics are pretty good, but when more than two wrestlers are on screen the frame rate gets body slammed. Such a thing really sours some of the Multiplayer Modes, which are a little skimpy already. Suffice to say, if you want a wrestling game, slim pickins. make this the one to get by default.

7.0

I've never played a wrestling game that I felt was fast or responsive enough for my liking, but WCW Nitro comes closer than any so far. The graphics and the number of unlockable characters are impressive, but the fighting engine seems a little lax in that the game can be won with about four moves in all. Still, I enjoyed it much more than last year's WCW Vs. The World and Power Move Pro Wrestling, so it seems among the forefront of its genre.

5.5

WCW is another wrestling game, like its N64 cousin, which looks good, has a lot of options and wrestlers and will appeal to fans of the sport. If you're a WCW fan and you own a PS, this is obviously your game. But fandom aside, what lies beneath the expensive license is a strictly average wrestling game with a lP Mode that's not very exciting at all. Playing with friends is certainly better, but unless you're a fan. I'd recommend renting.

WCW Nitro explodes onto the PlayStation with dynamite graphics and chest-chopping good times. Although the gameplay lacks the depth of WCW vs. the World, wrestling fans will find the authentic moves, taunts, and rants of their favorite wrestlers irresistible.

Nitro rumbles into the ring with singles and tag-team matches, six unique rings, and awesome video dips. Another cool feature called "surprise attacks" allows you to call another wrestler into the ring during singles matches to help you mangle the mess out of your opponent.

The game features 64 incredibly detailed bad-ass brawlers (16 selectable, 48 hidden), including everyone from "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan to Miss Elizabeth. Nitro's amazing graphics capture the size and personality of each fighter, while the sound includes trademark taunts like the Macho Man shout-ng "Oh, yeah!" Controlling your wrestler, though, is troublesome at times. It's fun to pummel your opponent with Buzz Killers and Scorpion Death Locks, but the button taps are difficult to perform.

If you're a wrestling fan, you'll love WCW Nitro's wild Monday-night attitude. The fast action might also attract fighting game enthusiasts, but only the WCW faithful will find fun in the wrestling nuances like watch-l ing Alex Wright dance.

ProTips:

  • Hidden characters are uncovered every time you win the singles championship with a different wrestler.
  • When you're about to lose a match, press Select to call In one of your wrestling buddies to help change the momentum of the match.
  • In tag-team matches, use frequent tags to keep both of your wrestlers healthy.

Graphics

The size-proportioned wrestlers, detailed moves, and hilarious taunts help Nitro slam the PlayStation with the best graphics of any wrestling game to date.

Sound

Wrestler theme songs and voices, bones cracking, and fighters gagging while in the clutches of the Giant's Choke Slam add to the realistic feel of the game.

Control

Some of Nitro's moves require too much patience and practice to perform. The game also lacks the variety of vicious submission holds and the Spirit meter that added depth to WCW vs. the World.

Fun Factor

Whether you're NWO 4 life or a diehard of the WCW, Nitro slaps you with the top-rope mayhem and mat action you love. It doesn't quite provide gameplay as good as WCW vs. the World, but it's still fun to play, especially if you're a wrestling fan.

Overview

For some reason unknown to me, professional wrestling is one of the most popular forms of entertainment around. The fans are loyal and the rivalries are unparalleled. Insulting someone's favorite wrestlers ranks up there with slamming on their mothers. You just don't do it. I guess this explains the tremendous success of all wrestling games on the PSX regardless of the quality of the game. As usual, THQ is at the head of the pack since they hold the licensing for the WCW and as usual, the game is selling like there is no tomorrow.

WCW Nitro takes all of your favorite wrestlers from the WCW or NWO and throws them in the ring with plenty of gameplay options to keep things somewhat interesting. We are talking tag teams, tournaments and expositions that let you attempt to pile drive yourself to the top of the standings. Variable match lengths let you slam it out for as short or as long as you wish. If this is not enough, grab one of your buddies and see who has the most skills. The best part of it is that you don't even have to pump the steroids because it is already done for you!

Gameplay

One of the biggest draws of WCW Nitro is the number of available wrestlers. The game starts with 16 available but I have heard that the number reaches nearly 50 when you unlock them either via codes or by winning. The 16 available wrestlers from the start are familiar to even me, a pronounced wrestling illiterate. You have Hollywood Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy Savage and Lex Luger just to name some of the biggies. I am sure that if you are a fan of wresting, you will really enjoy the ability to pick one of these wrestlers and kick the crap out of your most hated rival.

The game does have a number of different play modes and each has it ups and downs. The best mode would have to be the tournament mode. This allows you to pick a wrestler and try to win 10 matches to win the belt. This offered the most challenge and it was pretty fun trying to make it through with the different wrestlers. The other mode that you will spend some time on is the tag-team mode. This allows you to pick your two favorite good guys and pit them against your two most hated bad guys. This mode was fun but unfortunately you could only play a single match. It would have been cool to play a tag team tournament and see if you could not win the tag team belt. Since wrestling tag team required more strategy than single wrestling, it would have been a great addition to the game.

So now you know who is wrestling and how they can wrestle but you still don't know how the actual wrestling feels. Well, to be quite honest, it felt fine at times and sluggish at others. You have a complete arsenal of moves that you can pull off but sometimes pulling them off is a pain. I found that I would only use the same moves over and over because some of the other moves were difficult to pull off. I will readily admit that I have never been good a combos in other games and this holds true in this one. Although the moves required only a few button pushes at most, it was easiest to go back to the moves I was familiar with. Some of the moves were pretty cool when you pulled them off and the cracking sounds when you execute a back breaker was definitely sweet.

Like I mentioned above, the game felt sluggish at times. I like games that have no lag time between pushing the buttons and having the move happen. At times, this game had some serious lag. I don't know if that was intentional, like simulating fatigue, but I did not particularly like it. When I hit the buttons, I want the player to react right then. There were times that I would hit a certain combo and I would wait to see if it actually took before my character performed (or did not) the move. I thought this was a little frustrating but it seems to be a common thing in wrestling games.

One thing that I thought was really cool in the game was that you could set it to have surprise attacks. This meant that if you were kicking the crap out of you opponent (computer only), occasionally there would be a surprise attack. The camera would zoom back and you would see somebody running down the ramp and jump in the ring and start beating on you. You were forced to fight against two guys for a short time until the surprise attacker ran back out of the ring. This was cool for two reasons. First, it made it like real (I use the word real very loosely) wrestling. They always have some guy or gal running in to try and save the day. The second reason it was cool is because it always kept you trying to put your opponent away as quickly as you could. I learned the hard way that it is not always best to beat you opponent senseless because you just never know when one of his buddies is going to come racing down the ramp and help even things up a bit.

Aside from the sluggish reactions, I did not have any real complaints with the game. Since I am not a real big wrestling fan, I did not really know who was good or bad. It would have been nice to have a graph that showed the strengths and weaknesses of the different wrestlers so you had a better idea what the wrestler was capable of. Since some wrestlers were slower than others, it would have been nice to know what to expect.

Graphics

This is one of the shining areas of the game. The wrestlers all looked great, down to the steroid and tanning bed enhanced details of their muscles. I really liked the fluidity of the movements and when you pulled off moves, they looked very good. There was never really any noticeable slowdown in terms of graphics. The different rings also looked cool but there is really not much that you can do to a ring to make it look different.

Bottom Line

I guess that if you are a wrestling fan, you will really dig this game. Since I am not, I found it fun for a bit but tired of it fairly soon. Since I have no loyalties or opinions to any of the wrestlers, it really did not draw me in like a football or baseball game would, although football and baseball are sports, not acting. Anyway, I wish the moves would have been a little quicker to execute instead of being so sluggish. All in all, this is one of the better wrestling games around but if you are not a fan, you may tire of it.

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Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

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