WWE: Day Of Reckoning

I got and completed this yesterday. Overall I guess I was disappointed. Anyway, here's a quick review for anyone interested in getting it:

Pros

  • Excellent control system. Exactly the same one they used in Wrestlemania XIX. I really liked the arcade feel of it.

  • The addition of momentum changes was a nice touch. Each character has a move which can only be used once per match, when your spirit meter is at its lowest, and your opponent's is at its highest. If you pull off this move, it reverses your meters - putting your spirit ahead, and giving you a chance to turn the match around. These moves are things like 'Hulking up', or low blows etc. Hence it makes it seem like an actual pro-wrestling match, where the face might suddenly power up and come back, or the heel might use a dirty trick to change the way the match is going.

  • Good character creation. Plenty of options.

  • Improved tutorial mode. I thought the one for the last game was a little too slow paced and tiresome. This one is much quicker, whilst still giving you everything you need to know. Plus if you complete the tutorial exams they give you enough cash to unlock all the moves from the store, which is useful.

Cons

  • Only four wrestlers maximum per match. The Smackdown and Raw games allow you to have up to six, and the Legends Of Wrestling games allow up to eight. Hence it seemed very limited.

  • Lousy story mode. Wrestlemania XIX had a really fun alternative to the standard WWE game career mode, where you went around throwing construction workers into an abyss, or chucking security guards into traffic etc. It was very entertaining - like combining a wrestling game with a beat 'em up. For this one they choose to go with a more conventional career mode, in which you start as a rookie and have to reach the top in the WWE. That's fair enough. However, it was so badly done.

Other than choosing which show you work on (Raw or Smackdown), there are no choices. None at all. With the Smackdown PS2 games you got to shape your career path through RPG elements, which gave the games a lot of replay value. Each time through you could try different plotlines. In Day Of Reckoning, however, there's just one storyline for each show, and the two are apparently identical, just with different wrestlers (I played the Smackdown one, but according to what I've read on the net the Raw one is the same thing).

The story was okay, but there's no real reason to play it more than once. You just fight a series of matches, one after the other. Usually if you lose you have to try that match again, just like a level in a conventional game (whereas with most wrestling games you carry on after losing, it just means you go down a different path). Hence it doesn't even feel like a proper wrestling game career mode.

I've heard that the grappling system is alot like the one that Aki uses (the company that made the good N64 wrestling games, and helped with the new Def Jam series). How true is this? Because I used to love WWF games but I never give them a chance anymore because they're all more like the Smackdown series, which is horrible.

I've heard that the grappling system is alot like the one that Aki uses (the company that made the good N64 wrestling games, and helped with the new Def Jam series). How true is this?

I'm not sure, since it's been a while since I played any of the N64 wrestling games.

The basic system works as follows:

Tap A or any direction with A to execute a quick grapple.

Hold A to lock-up with another wrestler. Then A or any direction with A to do a strong grapple. Or hit B or any direction with B to do a strike from the grapple position.

Does that sound familiar?

Sounds interesting, but I think I'll stick to my 64 when it comes to wrestling games.

"helped with the new Def Jam series"

Actually Aki made def jam with thier wrestling/fighting engine.

I ended up buying it yesterday, and it's sort of like an Aki game, but not quite. It plays like some weird cross between the better elements of Smackdown and an Aki game, but it works. I've been having fun with it so far.

Now my only gripe left is that they never make one this good for Xbox, where I could load my own theme songs and have unlimited created wrestlers.