Last year THQ bought exclusive rights to the WCW license until January 1999. Since then they’ve produced two top-seller wrestling titles. "WCW Nitro" for the Playstation and WCW/NWO World Tour for the Nintendo 64, both helped put THQ on the map in terms of gaming. Now with their contract almost up with WCW, THQ has been hard at work trying to push out more killer titles into the wrestling world.
The newest member to the THQ wrestling library is WCW/NWO Revenge for the Nintendo 64 platform, the sequel to WCW/NWO World Tour. Packed with 128 Megs as opposed to its predecessor which ran at only 96, Revenge brings to us better graphics, better gameplay, improved artificial intelligence, more wrestlers, new moves, more weapons, new arenas, and all new cinematics.
Graphically, WCW/NWO Revenge is absolutely stunning. Wrestling fans will appreciate the quite lengthy opening demo where they’ll be able to get a sneak preview of some of the wrestlers finishing and special moves as well as their trademark taunts before playing the game. All the wrestlers have been given complete redesigns since last years version.
Players now look like their real life counterparts as well as correspond with the correct weights and heights. Sting doesn’t look like Marilyn Manson, and Rey Mysterio Jr. isn’t staring the Giant or Kevin Nash in the face. The new uniforms really compliment the wrestlers well and to make things even better if you’re not satisfied with your wrestler’s attire , THQ has put in a costume change option where you can change the colors up on your wrestler or even put him in another wrestler’s uniform to help increase variety.
There are over 60 wrestlers this year, 50 which are WCW, divided into six leagues. First there is Team WCW whose representative is Goldberg. Keeping the sport of wrestling fair and competitive is the most important thing to members of Team WCW. Next on the list is Raven’s flock, the largest band of misfits, World Championship wrestling has ever known. They don’t care what people think of them , they do their own thing. Then there’s the Empire Wrestling Federation or EWF, whose leader is AKI Man. EWF believes the sport should always be fun and extreme. Dead or Alive Wrestling, DAW, is composed of some the fiercest martial arts experts in the world. Led by the former sumo wrestler, Hawk Hana, all it’s members are veterans of Death Matchs and illegal pit fighting.
Perhaps the most influential of all the leagues is the New World Order or NWO. NWO’s sole mission is to change the face of World Championship Wrestling as we know it. As of late though, constant disagreements have caused the NWO to split into two feuding factions, NWO "White" and NWO "Red". The NWO "White", led by wrestling legend, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan believes in teamwork and brotherhood. The NWO "Red", led by the Big Sexy Giant Killer, Kevin Nash, believe that a major part of brotherhood is sticking up for the gang, and doing it in style.
This year THQ has put in all-new, beautifully detailed arenas. You’ll have the option of wrestling at some of the hottest pay-per-view events like "Souled Out", "Super Brawl", "Bash at the Beach", "Halloween Havoc" or "Starcade". You can even wrestle on "Monday Nitro." The crowd no longer looks like giant sprits like in last years version and they are a lot more interactive with events going on in and out of the ring.
You can actually look out into the crowd and see some of the fans raising signs and posters up and down and wearing sting masks and NWO shirts. The arena’s are highly detailed with sparkling lights and fireworks. Fog covers the entrance way as wrestlers make their debut.
Every part of the arena is completely interactive. The ring floor makes a crude thud as wrestlers get thrown to it’s hard surface. When wrestlers bounce off the ropes , the ropes continue to boggle for a few seconds. You can now shake the ropes to knock a wrestler off the top turnbuckle or toss them outside the ring where you can drive them headfirst into the cement floor or hurl them into the steel fence. Wrestlers can pull different weapons from the audience such as briefcases, stop signs, trash cans, chains, pipes, chairs, bats and more to pummel their opponents with.
All the official WCW belts are up for grabs in the new Championship mode. You have the US Heavweight belt, the Cruiserweight belt, and the Tag team title belt to start with. Once you’ve won all those belts two new belts , the TV title and World Heavy Weight Championship belts will come available. Also as a bonus for winning each belt you’ll unlock hidden wrestlers in the game. I’d tell ya who they are but that would spoil the fun!
Once you have taken your wrestler to the top, he will remain as the current title holder of that particular belt until you send another wrestler to challenge him for the title.
If you’re not into all that gold and prestige then you can play the two vs one Handicap mode or slug it out in the much loved 40 man battle royal! You have to option of choosing how many wrestlers you want in the battle royal. Once a wrestler is eliminated another comes to take their place, until only one wrestler is left standing as "King of the Ring."
You can choose all the wrestlers for the event or let the computer randomly pick who comes out next once a wrestler has been eliminated. A new feature this year wrestlers no longer just appear in the ring before a match. Each wrestler has their own 7 to 10 second intro where they walk out from the back entrance, perform their signature gestures, run or walk down the aisle to the ring depending on what wrestler you use, and hype the crowd one more time before the match just like they do in the live events. The larger wrestlers like Kevin Nash and the Giant step over the top ropes. During the matches you’ll see all types of familiar taunts from all your favorite superstars. THQ really covered all the bases. If you’ve seen it on TV you can do it in the game!
If you’ve already played WCW/NWO World Tour, then you’ll have no problem getting the hang of WCW/NWO Revenge as the player controls are the same. However it doesn’t mean that you’ll be an instant success. The computer’s artificial intelligence is much higher and game speed is much faster. It will take some time before you can master this game. If normal skill level is too easy for you veterans, set the skill level to hard and you’ll find you need some more practice. If you’re new to the game you’ll find that the controls are pretty basic and easy to learn.
This year some wrestlers now have special moves from the turnbuckle as well as on the mat. For example you can now perform Diamond Dallas Page’s "Diamond Cutter", Buff Bagwell’s "Blockbuster", and Rey Mysterio’s, "Hurricanrana" , all from the top rope. And there are plenty more wrestlers that have moves from the turnbuckle. Macho Man, Booker T, and Juventud Guerrara to name a few.
Also an added feature to the gameplay THQ has introduced a new "combo" system into the game. You can now hit your players with a series of punches and kicks and end with a power move or special move to knock’em to the floor. But be careful as your opponent can counter some of your combos and gain the advantage.
Timing and strategy are the key to winning a championship belt. Master your strong and weak grapple moves and concentrate on the part of the body that your wrestler’s finish move does the most damage to. For example if you’re using Diamond Dallas Page, work on the head of your opponent and the "Diamond Cutter" will floor them the first time you execute it. If you’re using Sting, work on your opponent’s legs and back and you’ll get them to submit to the "Scorpion Leg Lock" much faster. Developing a solid wrestling strategy will make for quick and easy wins as you’ll find that this year wrestling with the computer or even against a friend for too long can cost you the match.
Well, that’s the inside scoop on this year’s knockout wrestling title for the Nintendo 64. Revenge is a "must by" game for any wrestling fan. You’ll be on the edge of your seat from the time your wrestler makes their first pay-per-view entrance. If you’ve got "WCW/NWO World Tour", trade it in and get Revenge! You won’t be disappointed! This one gets 41/2 out of 5 GiN gems.