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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:26 pm 
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WrestleMania. For wrestling fans the name alone conjures images of Hulk Hogan bodyslamming Andre the Giant or Stone Cold Steve Austin refusing to submit to Bret Hart with his face a proverbial crimson mask. It has been called the Superbowl of wrestling and the showcase of the immortals and for twenty four years it has thrilled us and spiritualy closed out the WWF (now WWE, however since this covers events before the name change I will refer to it as WWF) season. Now, THQ has given the old school wrestling fans what they have wanted for years, the ability to relive classic matchups from years gone by with Legends of WrestleMania.

The tag line of the game is "Relive. Rewrite. Redefine." which plays into the main mode of the game, Legends Tour. In it you are given the chance to compete in certain matchups during the first fifteen WrestleMania events. In relive, you play as the victor of the match and try to duplicate that victory. In rewrite, you play as the loser and try to win the match. Redfine mode is where it is the most fun as you can choose either wrestler and battle in a gimmick match of some sort such as making the WrestlMania match between Yokozuna and Bret Hart a steel cage match. Each match has certain goals in it such as a certain number of top rope moves or recreating specific moments of the actual match to try and accomplish, these aren't needed to clear the match and opoen new ones, but they are used to unlock medals or achievement points. Before each match there is a two to three minute video highlighting the feud that centers around the match. These videos are taken straight from the original broadcasts with the original commentary and are a nicely done piece of fan service (and also a nice way for WWE to advertise their DVD's and WWE 24/7 cable channel) that really help to give the match a big feel.

There is also the Legend Killer mode where you use a created wrestler (more on the create a wrestler later) to take on ten opponents in rapid succession with just the energy you have, although you do regain a bit after each match. Every move you do gives you experince points which you can use to enhance your creation. It's not the most fun mode in the world, but if you want to play as a created wrestler online, you'll spend at least a few hours on it just to get your wrestler into competitve shape.

In the exhibition mode you have the following match types-
Single Steel Cage
Ladder Hell In A Cell
Ironman Submission
Tag Team Triple Threat
Battle Royal Handicap
Royal Rumble

The Royal Rumble match is probably the best version of it I have ever played. All of your moves are either punches, kicks or throws which really makes it feel like a real Rumble match. I never understood why they would have you put someone in a submission during a match where the object is to throw your opponent over the top rope. There is just something oddly satisfying by taking someone like Arn Anderson at number one and winning the match.

In a game like this, the main focus is going to be who's in it. While not the huge roster everyone wanted, the wrestlers selected do provide a nice contrast to one another. The roster is as follows-

Andre the Giant, Animal, Arn Anderson, Bam Bam Bigelow, Big Bossman, Big John Studd, Bret Hart, British Bulldog, Brutus Beefcake (just in there for Tim lol), Dusty Rhodes, Greg Valentine, Hawk, Honky Tonk Man, Hulk Hogan*, Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, Iron Shiek*, Jake Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Jim Neidhardt, Jimmy Snuka, Junkyard Dog, Kamala, King Kong Bundy, WWE Hall of Famer Koko B. Ware, Michael P.S. Hayes, Mr. Perfect, Nikolai Volkoff*, Ric Flair, Ravishing Rick Rude*, The Rock, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ted DiBiase, The Ultimate Warrior, Undertaker and Yokozuna.
(* represents the original title holders in exhibtion mode)

In addition, the following managers are available- Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji and Paul Bearer. Unlike other games where the manager doesn't do anything, in LOW the manager can be used to distract the ref, your opponent or restore some of your health. It's also possible to bring your opponents manager into the ring and get them disqualified, although I've only had that happen twice.

The roster does omit quite a few people that were important to the WWF during it's heyday. Thanks to the create a wrestler that can be fixed. WIth all of the different articles of clothing and hairstyles it's easy to make your own Randy Savage or even Mankind. Also, if you have a Smackdown Vs. Raw 2009 save on your system you can unlock the entire roster from that game into LOW so you can have a match between John Cena and Hulk Hogan and see which one the fans grow tired of first, or an Andre vs. Big Show ladder match-your choice.

Gameplay is easy to pick up but takes time to master. The entire game is played with the four face buttons and either the D-pad or the left analog stick. It's quite a departure from the Smackdown games but more reminiscent of the old Wrestlefest arcade game and the old No Merc y type games on the N64. To complete some moves (including finishers) there are quick time events where you must hit the correct button as it flashes on the screen. It's not a perfect system, but it works much better than having to press up, left, right, up while holding B and X (who remembers that from Attitude?). The ease of the controls makes it so anyone can pick it up and enjoy it and tricky enough to make you have to work to master them to be able to preform all the moves. Speaking of moves, each character has their own signature moves, so unlike the TNA game, it's not just a generic moveset for everyone.

The graphics are great. Instead of being completely realistic they have a certain cartoonish/action figure like look to them which makes sense in that while we can see them anytime we want in real life, this is what they looked like to us in our minds when we were ten years old, larger than life superheroes. The arenas are based off the actual venues from I-XV with the appropriate fonts for the names and banners.

This isn't a complaint, but I really wish they would've used actual clips from the broadcasts for the commentary. Ross and Lawler do a good job but it's not the same hearing "Hulk Hogan has taken one giant step towards immortality" from someone other than Gorilla Monsoon. Other than that, the sound is great. I love hearing the old themes again, but why they didn't use "Badstreet USA'' for Michael Hayes instead of some generic sound alike or "Piledriver" instead of the better known "Bird, Bird, Bird" for Koko I'll never understand. If or nothing else it's worth it to hear the Fink again. Howard Finkel IS the voice of WrestleMania, and to hear him say "Here is your winner, and, NEW WWE champion..." is something that can never be duplicated.

So all in all, what do I think of this game? Simple. I love it! Then again I'm an old school mark and an arcade game fan also. Will it stand the test of time like No Mercy? Probably not. But if you are a wrestling fan who wants something different than the yearly rehashes of the Smackdown series or can't stand the generic roster that the WWE has now, I think you'll love it to. For everyone else, I still say give it a rental and see what you think chances are you'll find out why these guys are legends.

Grade: B+


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:26 pm 
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CFR Fat Cat

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:59 pm
Posts: 442
Location: Swansea, South Wales
Primus wrote:
WrestleMania. For wrestling fans the name alone conjures images of Hulk Hogan bodyslamming Andre the Giant or Stone Cold Steve Austin refusing to submit to Bret Hart with his face a proverbial crimson mask. It has been called the Superbowl of wrestling and the showcase of the immortals and for twenty four years it has thrilled us and spiritualy closed out the WWF (now WWE, however since this covers events before the name change I will refer to it as WWF) season. Now, THQ has given the old school wrestling fans what they have wanted for years, the ability to relive classic matchups from years gone by with Legends of WrestleMania.

The tag line of the game is "Relive. Rewrite. Redefine." which plays into the main mode of the game, Legends Tour. In it you are given the chance to compete in certain matchups during the first fifteen WrestleMania events. In relive, you play as the victor of the match and try to duplicate that victory. In rewrite, you play as the loser and try to win the match. Redfine mode is where it is the most fun as you can choose either wrestler and battle in a gimmick match of some sort such as making the WrestlMania match between Yokozuna and Bret Hart a steel cage match. Each match has certain goals in it such as a certain number of top rope moves or recreating specific moments of the actual match to try and accomplish, these aren't needed to clear the match and opoen new ones, but they are used to unlock medals or achievement points. Before each match there is a two to three minute video highlighting the feud that centers around the match. These videos are taken straight from the original broadcasts with the original commentary and are a nicely done piece of fan service (and also a nice way for WWE to advertise their DVD's and WWE 24/7 cable channel) that really help to give the match a big feel.

There is also the Legend Killer mode where you use a created wrestler (more on the create a wrestler later) to take on ten opponents in rapid succession with just the energy you have, although you do regain a bit after each match. Every move you do gives you experince points which you can use to enhance your creation. It's not the most fun mode in the world, but if you want to play as a created wrestler online, you'll spend at least a few hours on it just to get your wrestler into competitve shape.

In the exhibition mode you have the following match types-
Single Steel Cage
Ladder Hell In A Cell
Ironman Submission
Tag Team Triple Threat
Battle Royal Handicap
Royal Rumble

The Royal Rumble match is probably the best version of it I have ever played. All of your moves are either punches, kicks or throws which really makes it feel like a real Rumble match. I never understood why they would have you put someone in a submission during a match where the object is to throw your opponent over the top rope. There is just something oddly satisfying by taking someone like Arn Anderson at number one and winning the match.

In a game like this, the main focus is going to be who's in it. While not the huge roster everyone wanted, the wrestlers selected do provide a nice contrast to one another. The roster is as follows-

Andre the Giant, Animal, Arn Anderson, Bam Bam Bigelow, Big Bossman, Big John Studd, Bret Hart, British Bulldog, Brutus Beefcake (just in there for Tim lol), Dusty Rhodes, Greg Valentine, Hawk, Honky Tonk Man, Hulk Hogan*, Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, Iron Shiek*, Jake Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Jim Neidhardt, Jimmy Snuka, Junkyard Dog, Kamala, King Kong Bundy, WWE Hall of Famer Koko B. Ware, Michael P.S. Hayes, Mr. Perfect, Nikolai Volkoff*, Ric Flair, Ravishing Rick Rude*, The Rock, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ted DiBiase, The Ultimate Warrior, Undertaker and Yokozuna.
(* represents the original title holders in exhibtion mode)

In addition, the following managers are available- Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji and Paul Bearer. Unlike other games where the manager doesn't do anything, in LOW the manager can be used to distract the ref, your opponent or restore some of your health. It's also possible to bring your opponents manager into the ring and get them disqualified, although I've only had that happen twice.

The roster does omit quite a few people that were important to the WWF during it's heyday. Thanks to the create a wrestler that can be fixed. WIth all of the different articles of clothing and hairstyles it's easy to make your own Randy Savage or even Mankind. Also, if you have a Smackdown Vs. Raw 2009 save on your system you can unlock the entire roster from that game into LOW so you can have a match between John Cena and Hulk Hogan and see which one the fans grow tired of first, or an Andre vs. Big Show ladder match-your choice.

Gameplay is easy to pick up but takes time to master. The entire game is played with the four face buttons and either the D-pad or the left analog stick. It's quite a departure from the Smackdown games but more reminiscent of the old Wrestlefest arcade game and the old No Merc y type games on the N64. To complete some moves (including finishers) there are quick time events where you must hit the correct button as it flashes on the screen. It's not a perfect system, but it works much better than having to press up, left, right, up while holding B and X (who remembers that from Attitude?). The ease of the controls makes it so anyone can pick it up and enjoy it and tricky enough to make you have to work to master them to be able to preform all the moves. Speaking of moves, each character has their own signature moves, so unlike the TNA game, it's not just a generic moveset for everyone.

The graphics are great. Instead of being completely realistic they have a certain cartoonish/action figure like look to them which makes sense in that while we can see them anytime we want in real life, this is what they looked like to us in our minds when we were ten years old, larger than life superheroes. The arenas are based off the actual venues from I-XV with the appropriate fonts for the names and banners.

This isn't a complaint, but I really wish they would've used actual clips from the broadcasts for the commentary. Ross and Lawler do a good job but it's not the same hearing "Hulk Hogan has taken one giant step towards immortality" from someone other than Gorilla Monsoon. Other than that, the sound is great. I love hearing the old themes again, but why they didn't use "Badstreet USA'' for Michael Hayes instead of some generic sound alike or "Piledriver" instead of the better known "Bird, Bird, Bird" for Koko I'll never understand. If or nothing else it's worth it to hear the Fink again. Howard Finkel IS the voice of WrestleMania, and to hear him say "Here is your winner, and, NEW WWE champion..." is something that can never be duplicated.

So all in all, what do I think of this game? Simple. I love it! Then again I'm an old school mark and an arcade game fan also. Will it stand the test of time like No Mercy? Probably not. But if you are a wrestling fan who wants something different than the yearly rehashes of the Smackdown series or can't stand the generic roster that the WWE has now, I think you'll love it to. For everyone else, I still say give it a rental and see what you think chances are you'll find out why these guys are legends.

Grade: B+


Nice review mate. Just an idea but I've started a new blog "RFW Sports" that I haven't used much yet, if you want I'd be very happy to post this there for you. Just let me know if I have your permission.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:23 pm
Posts: 1859
Location: Arkansas
Sure. Anything I post is fair game as far as I'm concerned.

Glad you liked it. Speaking of the review, you would love one of the relive matches. The Ironman match between Shawn and Bret.


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 3:08 pm 
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CFR Fat Cat

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:59 pm
Posts: 442
Location: Swansea, South Wales
Thanks! here is a link: http://rfwsports.blogspot.com/2009/05/l ... eview.html

HBK/Hart the best feud of all time, probably because it was so real.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Wow, awesome review !!

I'm only halfway through, but I'm loving it and wanted to post here to say how great it is !!

Have you sent this to any of the big wrestling sites? This deserves some eyeballs on it.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:23 pm
Posts: 1859
Location: Arkansas
I haven't sent it anywhere. I'm just a nobody with a computer and lots of free time on my hands. While I wish I could write for a site or something, I really don't have the faith in myself to do it. Thanks for the compliments, guys!


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