WWF Wrestlemania Arcade

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a game by Sculptured Software, Midway, and Iguana
Genres: Fighting Games, Sports
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES
Editor Rating: 8.4/10, based on 4 reviews
User Rating: 6.2/10 - 10 votes
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See also: WWF Games, WWE Games

Let me start by saying that WWF WrestleMania The Arcade Game is a legit top 20 game of all time for me! The arcade version is amazing and it would eventually find itself ported to pretty much everything available at the time. Apart from the Super Nintendo, each console of the day got a good port of this game. The version I am looking at today is the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive port that was released in 1995.

Become The Champion

In single-player, you have two game modes to play through. You can compete for the Intercontinental Championship or the WWF Championship. Each mode in WWF WrestleMania The Arcade Game posses a different challenge. When you compete for the Intercontinental Championship you face four one on one opponents. This is followed by a couple of one vs two and then final a one vs three matches for the title.

The WWF Championship mode is much harder. Here you face four one on two matches, two one on three and then a Royal Rumble where it is you against eight other wrestlers (three at a time) to become the WWF Champion. You can also play multiplayer where you can fight a friend or team up to take on the Royal Rumble. My only complaint is that the arcade version has these fun endings, but they are missing from the home versions.

Mortal WWF

The real beauty of WWF WrestleMania The Arcade Game is that you do not have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this game. This was made by many of the same people behind Mortal Kombat and it shows. It has the same five button system. You have two punches, two kicks, and a block. You do special moves with button combinations and also via entering what the game calls a head hold. There is a great selection of moves ranging from standard dropkicks and slams to over the top stuff like smashing an opponent with a tombstone or electrocuting them. Above all else, the gameplay is fast, frantic and a ton of fun. It is a game that can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone. Those wanting to learn can dish out massive combos, but there is also fun to be had via button mashing too. I will say to get the best out of it, you need to use a 6-button control pad.

Eight Of The Best

The game has a roster of eight characters which may seem small, but each character is truly unique. They actually digitized the wrestler the same way they did the characters in Mortal Kombat and they look great. The Genesis version here is probably the weakest looking of all the versions in terms of visuals, but the game still looks good.

I am a massive wrestling fan and as great as the roster is by the time the game was released in 1995 the roster was a bit out of date. For example, no Diesel, Owen Hart or British Bulldog were in the game despite being a major part of the WWF for well over a year before the game was released.

I love WWF WrestleMania The Arcade Game and no matter what version (except the SNES) I know I am having a great time. It is so over the top and fun that you cannot help, but have a smile on your face while you play. While I do feel that the arcade version is the one you really want to play. You are still in for a fun time here with this 16-bit version. This is a game I play multiple times a year and I always have fun when I do.

9

Final Score

Pros:

  • Each of the eight characters feels special
  • The moves range from standard wrestling moves to crazy stuff
  • The game looks great
  • You have two modes of play
  • The gameplay is easy to pick up and learn

Cons:

  • It is missing the endings from the arcade game
  • The roster is missing some major stars of the time

Download WWF Wrestlemania Arcade

Genesis

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.

SNES

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

Game Reviews

Players who've seen and sampled the Genesis game will bemoan this weak arcade-to-cart conversion.

ProTip: Doink can be pretty sneaky. Crab an opponent, then motion Down, Down-Toward, Toward and hit any Punch button to electrocute a foe.

Get Ready to Grumble

We wouldn't be so unfair as to compare this version to the PlayStation game, but we will say that next to the Genesis and 32X versions this one doesn't have a chance.

The problems start right from the beginning. Yokozuna and Bam Bam Bigelow are gone from the roster! Next up, the game plays so slowly that you could grab a bite to eat between special moves.

The poor graphics feature smaller sprites and fewer colors than the game's 16-bit cousin. Again, the slowdown also takes away from the game's fast-paced fun, and the static backgrounds are washed out.

The sound gets no help from the dismal, tinny sampling or the few announcers' voiceovers that were left in. Even the slams and thuds sound cheap.

Controlling the wrestlers is about the same as in the other games, and the moves are identical, but the slowdown makes things difficult. You never know if a combo is complete until the last slow movement takes place.

What a Ripoff!

WWF Arcade has more going for it than this poor game. Buy the Genesis or 32X (or even the PlayStation) versions, but sweep this one under the mat.

  • Razor Ramon: Grab the opponent and hit Punch three times, then Power Punch.
  • Lex Luger can be cheap. Try constantly grabbing (simultaneously press Power Kick and Power Punch), then backbreaking (tap Up and Button A).

WWF Wrestlemania thunders from the arcade to the Genesis, squeezing even the hefty Yokozuna into the slim confines of a 16-bit game. Some sounds and graphical touches were left in the locker room, but WWF's flamboyant action makes for undeniable fun.

Royal Rumble

Clamber into the ring as one of eight WWF Wrestling pros like Bam Bam Bigelow and Shawn Michaels to face a solid wrestling challenge. One player can pursue the WWF Title, a tough fight that eventually pits you against eight wrestlers at once, or the Intercontinental Title, an easier bout. Two players can grapple head-to-head or work together against a tag team of all the other wrestlers.

This impressive lineup of modes brings enjoyable variety to the ring, and the wild moves add to the fun. Each wrestler can pull off an eye-popping array of punches, kicks, throws, holds, and reversals. Special attacks, like Lex Luger"s Elbow Girder, and the Killer Instinct- style combos keep things rowdy. The controls respond just fine, but a six-button pad's a must unless you're a proficient finger gymnast.

In the Ring

After a while, though, the gameplay feels a bit long on flash and short on substance. Furious button pressing often yields impressive results, and fighting pros will fire off the moves and combos much too easily. Some gamers may eventually tire of this lack of depth, but there's definitely enough raucous fun to keep most players hopping back into the ring.

Graphically, the enormous digitized sprites and smooth animation will instantly impress you, despite the excessive graininess. Even worse, slowdown stalls the action on crowded screens, but these flaws don't interfere much.

Humorous commentary from WWF announcers Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler lends ringside authenticity, but they sound like they're calling the fight from underwater. At least the grunts and slams come across clearly.

Pin Him!

Genesis wrestling buffs will want a firm hold on WWF Wrestlemania, which clearly outshines earlier wrestling titles like WWF Raw. This game should even appeal to fighting pros looking for fast, furious -- and somewhat shallow -- fun.

ProTips:

  • Develop fast reversals (tap Toward, Toward, Strong Punch or tap Down, Down, Strong Kick) to maintain the upper hand.
  • Launch combos by getting your opponent in a hold, then trying various mixes of punches and kicks.
  • As Razor Ramon, tap Toward, Toward, Kick to grab your opponent by the heels and slam them into the mat.
  • As Doink, clock your foes with a hammer by tapping Toward, Toward, Strong Kick.
  • As your opponent reenters the ring, hit them with a charge attack like the Undertaker's Neck Breaker (charge Punch for three seconds, then release).
  • Taunting charges your next attack to triple damage: Hold Block and motion two full circles starting Away.

WWF WrestleMania is a video game also known as WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game featuring a professional wrestling scene. The game was released back in 1995 by Midway Manufacturing Co., known today as Midway Amusement Games and it is a game featuring fights within the World Wrestling Federation rules.

Wrestling was very popular back in the 90s and frankly is still popular today, so the game should have been launched for the sake of the fans. The digitalized graphics and fast-paced gameplay inspired by Mortal Kombat made the game more interesting. The game is designed as being attack-minded and features lots and lots of attacks. Real wrestling moves are present in the game and the matches consist of special strike attacks and insane combos. There are other similarities to the Mortal Kombat series, such as the winner being the best out of three fights.

There are a total of eight playable characters: Bam Bam Bidelow, Bret Hart, Doink the Clown, Lex Luger, Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and Yokozuna. Each character has its own combos and attacks.

WWF WrestleMania can be played in two single-player modes, the Intercontinental Championship and the WWF Championship. In the Intercontinental Championship the player has to win four 1 vs. 1 matches, two 2 vs. 1 matches and three 3 vs. 1 matches to win the title.

WWF WrestleMania is a bit more difficult. The player must win four 2 vs. 1 matches, two 3 vs. 1 matches and the WrestleMania Challenge, where the player must defeat every other character in the game. The challenge starts with a 3 vs. 1 setup. When a player loses, another one comes to replace him. This will happen until you defeat all the eight characters.

There are also two multi-player modes: head-to-head and a 1 vs. 1 match between two players. There is also a cooperative mode, when two players team up and have to defeat the other eight wrestlers to become the Tag Team Champions.

The game was later on ported to lots of other platforms due to its increased popularity. Games were developed for Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, 32X, SNES, PlayStation, Sega Saturn and DOS. The SNES version does unfortunately not include Bam Bam Bigelow and Yokozuna. The SNES version is also very slow. The game will slow down when three characters are on screen in the same time. It also lacks several voice and commentary samples.

The game for Sega Mega Drive/Genesis was well received by the audience. GameSpot users rated this version with 7.7 out of 10, while the version for SNES was rated with 7.2 out of 10. The game for PlayStation was right in between, receiving a 7.3 rating.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots