Legends of Wrestling Review (Xbox)
I played LoW for PS2 and noticed clipping, glitches, and control movement issues plagued the game. So once I heard the Xbox version fixed many control problems I decided to try it out. The first thing that caught me by surprise was the 6 man and 8 man tag team matches. I was astonished to see those in the Xbox version. I love the 6-man tag match but in the 8-man match the camera is zoomed out way too far for you to enjoy. Next, I noticed the movement problem was fixed, sort of. The guys move smoothly, yet they move so fast that u can literally run from one corner to the next in about half a second. Overall, LoW provides an outstanding multiplayer experience for a month or so, but lacks severely in it's single player and CAL departments.
I see what Acclaim tried to do with this grapple idea. And I love the idea; however this is nowhere near enough moves to keep me interested. For example, No Mercy had 2 buttons (A and B) and it was possible to do 10 front and back grapples. In this you get about 3-4. I really can't stand seeing the same move so many times over and over. However, weapons save the day. Weapons basically add a ton of appeal (to me at least). Weapons make loud noises, dent, can be used for weapon oriented moves (explained later), and do something other wrestling games cannot do, make someone bleed. And trust me; you can mess up a wrestler's face pretty bad. There are so many cuts and it looks much better than it did in the old ECW and WWF days. The blood also drips onto the mat. Now although the puddles of blood are the same circular shape (but not the same size), it still looks very cool. When you beat the crap out of your opponent, he isn't going to wake up for a while which gives you time to hit him with weapons 3-4 times or do 2-3 moves before the person wakes up. There are no gimmick matches at all. I'm disappointed in this because many wrestlers in the game have made the cage match classic *cough* Jimmy Snuka *cough* and made the once in but taken out before release, Scaffold Match, known by almost all wrestling fans *cough* Sabu *cough*. Speaking of which, he is in and is my favorite wrestler. However, I believe his moves do him no justice as his finisher now a days is the guillotine leg drop with the chair instead of the camel clutch. Speaking of chairs, weapon oriented moves are in this game. Merely press Y with the weapon and your wrestler does his weapon oriented move, and wham! You can do Russian leg sweeps with a Singapore cane *cough* Sandman *cough* and the Van-daminator with Mr. PPV R-V-D. I could seriously do these moves for hours, as I love how almost every time I do it, guys bleed more and more.
The career mode is interesting but not in depth. It doesn't keep me interested because there is no story line and there are way too many matches. You have to go after around 10 belts in one career. Although what's cool is the fact you can unlock moves for your wrestler. The CAL has a major problem. Having only one face to work with makes most if not all your creations look a like. Nonetheless, if you get good with the create-a-stencil, you can make anything from eye rings to tattoos to face paint. There are lots of moves to choose from which is a major plus. AND, this game allows you to put in custom tracks for your wrestler. I was going crazy when Sandman actually came out to Enter Sandman (BTW, Sandman isn't in the game. He was just my CAL). This game also has in-game soundtrack support. There is a tag-team co-op tournament mode where you can unlock about 4 wrestlers and is very fun until you unlock everything. All in all, LoW adopts a ton of great ideas, but didn't include the detail and polish to make these features great. I got a feeling THQ is going to steal half of them, polish them and make it seem like they invented it. Hopefully Acclaim beats them to the punch.
LoW uses extremely huge characters. Hulkamania looks pretty much like he did in the old days; he looked like roid-o-mania. However, it appears almost, if not all, wrestlers have this big muscularness to them. I never remember Bret Hart or RVD being extremely jacked. As for the faces, everyone looks like themselves except a couple who have a slightly cartoonish look, but none the less are close. The audience is 3d but it's not that hard when you have such a small arena. The arenas are not all that impressive. Animations are sometimes smooth and sometimes stiff but they always seem very simplistic i.e. when RVD does the van-daminator it looks like he skips from the frame of him about to jump, to the frame of his foot on the chair. Like I said earlier cuts on the face look awesome and so do the puddles of blood. Again, it's decent, but with more detail and polish, it could have been tons better.
This is a mixed bag. The advice from managers in the career mode is very annoying and the animations with them talking are horrible (I thought only Italians used their hands when they talked. Apparently, Capt. Lou Albano and Jimmy Hart do too) In game sound effects are not that great. Impact of moves on the mat and outside are weak, but chair shots and top rope moves sound tons LOUDER and better. The custom BGM's are pretty close for most people (i.e. LOD and Sabu). Again, more detail and polish was needed but it was needed more than ever in this department.
Rent this if you have an extra 4 bucks laying around. It has great ideas but executes it horribly. The score of 60 is handed to this game only for the ideas it brings to the table. I reiterate that if THQ people are paying attention, look at this game for ideas!