Genre: Action, Sports
Perspective: Side view
Visual: 2D scrolling
Published by: Acclaim Entertainment
Developed by: Midway Manufacturing Company
WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game is a reckless fighting game in the style of Mortal Kombat, which has absorbed the most prominent fighters and the inexhaustible energy of the popular TV fight show from WWF. A lot of wrestling games have been released under the WWF license, but this is the first one in which full-fledged digitized characters are used, with all their tricks and gags. Play as one of eight Super Stars: Doink, Razor Ramon, Bret "Hit Man" Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Yokozuna, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Lex Luger.
Midway at this time was simply out of reach, releasing one after another arcade hits with digitized characters - a series of Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, 2 On 2 Open Ice Challenge and others. Moreover, the WWF Wrestlemania game is built on the Mortal Kombat 3 board, but with different ROM chips and written by the same programmers who had a hand in the above games.
It's not for nothing that I started talking about fighting games. The fact is that under the wraps of wrestling there is a typical fight, not a sports competition. If earlier we fought until the first defeat, and in order to win it was necessary to pin the opponent to the checkmate, now we need to prevail in two rounds out of three, and it is enough to simply smother the opponent as coolly as possible - this is an end in itself. All previously encountered types of matches were reduced to the Intercontinental and World Wrestling Championships. In the first case, we will have 4 fights in 1-on-1 format, then two 1-on-2, and for the final victory we will need to survive in the last one-on-three match. In the second case, from the very beginning you have 2 opponents at the same time, at the end there will be 2 1-on-3 matches and at the very end you will have to survive the Battle Royale - eight-on-one, however, there are no more than 3 opponents in the ring at the same time. For two-player games, there are two more modes - one-on-one and two-on-two. In the second case (Tag Team), both gamers are included in one team in order to defeat 4 opposing teams.
The similarities with Mortal Kombat don't end there. If the athlete does not receive any damage during the fight, he will be praised "perfect" (flawless victory in MK). Also, "blood" flies out of each wrestler when hitting, however, all kinds of food flies out of Yokozuna, from the clown skittles, from Bret hearts, etc. And the Undertaker has a real "Fatality" - he pushes the opponent into the coffin, which then goes "underground". In order to maintain the arcade spirit, it was decided to simplify controls to the level of fighting games. And these are four blows - two types of kicks, a hand and a block. All other techniques and strikes are combinations and work in certain situations or after pressing a certain sequence of buttons. The referee is absent in the ring, as well as the tedious measurement of forces. But the gameplay is accompanied by cool sound effects and is well commented. But that's where the similarities to MK end. Instead of intense fights, we have to take part in a reckless carnage. A lot of funny, comical movements and specific strokes that cannot be repeated in real life create a relaxed atmosphere, a feeling of unreality, just for getting a buzz. As in the case of WWF RAW, each fighter has his own personal characteristics of strength, agility, speed, etc., which affect the course of the battle. And before the start of the fight, the athletes run out to the ring, actively pose, and at this time the commentators vigorously introduce them. Where else will you see this?
Commenting on the match is Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler, seated to the right of the ring.
In general, such a small number of fighters is discouraging. Of course, there is no need to talk about monotony, nevertheless, the game action is very energetic, the same clown is bright as a Christmas tree, but the fight against oneself here became a rule, while in games with 12 or more athletes I had to enter a special code to fight my clone. In order to somehow diversify the game, the arcade made it possible to change the color of the panties when choosing a fighter, although this is a joy for lovers of Barbie dolls and not for real men! There is a rumor that there is even a hidden character in the game - Adam Bomb. they did not manage to finish it, the method of its release into the world is not known to anyone, except for the author of the game. In general, the abundance of myths and rumors speaks of one thing - before us is a cult game. By the way, before filming began, they seriously thought about including Diesel in the game, but he was too brutal and boring for such a funny game. Filming of the fighters was carried out from July to September 1993 (the conclusions are not mine), so, in the game, the old musical theme of Sean Michaels sounds, and Lex Luger left for WCW long ago. The choice of fighters is carried out by arrows, but if you are lazy - press up + start and the computer will do everything by itself.
The arcade version (from 02/08/1995, and then revision from 10/08/1995) was instantly ported to SEGA Genesis, SNES, 32X, PlayStation, Sega Saturn and even DOS. The original is full of bugs, the entire internet is littered with videos showing wonderful things that are not possible in reality.
Porting to home systems was not without loss. The fact is that the picture quality in the arcade is quite high - 400x254. All fighters are sharp and well rendered. How many details will be lost if the game is pushed into a 256x224 or 320x200 screen? In numbers, the 120 pixel arcade fighters (in height) have been reduced to 80 pixel in the case of SNES and SEGA Genesis. On the SEGA 32x, the maximum graphics mode was used, the fighters were increased to 90 pixels in height, and they looked much better, although it did not work out to achieve arcade clarity.
The Super Nintendo generally showed itself very badly. Bam Bam Bigelow and Yokozuna were simply cut out of it! In addition, if 3 fighters appeared on the screen at the same time, the brakes began. Some phrases have also been cut and the damage done by opponents has been reduced. Rumor has it that the remaining 6 fighters demonstrate more different punches than in the original, but I'm too lazy to check this.
The Seg version retained most of the sounds, and allows four fighters to fight at the same time, but, even here, it was not without brakes. The Sega 32X, on the other hand, has improved graphics and sound. True, the frame rate had to be halved, to 30 frames per second, so that all this would not slow down.
The adult versions for PlayStation, Saturn and DOS are even closer to the original in terms of volume and quality of media content, but the graphics are still not as sharp and the sprites are at the level of Sega 32x. PlayStation and Saturn do not play music during the battle, and in Battle Royale, the game slows down during the loading of the next fighter.
The console company Acclaim later released WWF in Your House for PlayStation, Sega Saturn and DOS, but I don't recommend running this crap at all.
To summarize. Before us is a funky fighting game wrapped in WWF, which, along with the games in the Mortal Kombat series, set a new bar for the quality of games. If you're looking for serious wrestling, check out the LJN titles: WWF RAW, WWF Royal Rumble, and WWF Rage in Cage.