|Platforms||:||Sony PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast|
|Review by||:||Ken Gagne|
After almost a decade of lying low, the wrestling scene has exploded in popularity. From t-shirts to commercials to video games, the world of consumerism has collided with the "world of hurt." The latest entry in this scene is WWF Attitude, Acclaim's wrestling game for the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Sega Dreamcast. [PSX version reviewed here]
Over 40 of your favorite WWF stars are present — more than double that of last year's WWF Warzone. Up to four players can wrestle simultaneously using "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Mankind, Sable, and many more.
Accompanying the great lineup is a massive number of options and modes of play. Players can participate in over twenty different match types (some available only in certain multiplayer modes). There's the classic exhibition, tag team, cage, and Royal Rumble, but also the Survivor Series, Battle Royal, Stable Match, and Triangle and Triple Threat.
My favorite is Lumberjack, better nicknamed "Jaws": while two players battle it out in the ring, two computer-controlled wrestlers wait outside the ring, ready to pounce on any wrestler unfortunate to find himself within their grasp.
A single player can keep himself entertained with Career Mode, or designing a custom suite of Pay-Per-View matches, but the multiplayer modes really rock the house. Given the variety of game styles, A few players working cooperatively or competitively to redefine pain can be great fun.
The Create-a-Wrestler mode has been greatly enhanced, with many more choices in body types, clothing, accessories, and more control over fine features such as nose, mouth, shirt logos, etc. You can make almost anybody using this powerful feature!
The game's control is configurable, allowing the player to assign the eight main functions to whichever buttons work best for him. Wrestlers can punch, kick, run, grab, climb, and choose their opponents, doing exactly as told with few difficulties.
Attitude is said to have over 400 authentic wrestling moves, but the actual number per wrestling and position seems less than Warzone. Whereas the button sequence of "direction, direction, attack" could be randomly mashed to produce a variety of moves in Warzone, Attitude requires memorization of a wrestler's repertoire to be able to compete with finesse.
The polygonal wrestlers bear a striking resemblance to their real-life counterparts, though there is some slight trouble with hit detection (characters walking through each other, apparent connects missing or vice versa). The camera is sometimes a bit distant during some match modes, and doesn't swing around to catch other angles of the ring, but is simplistically effective in what it does.
Each wrestler is introduced with his or her theme song. Once in the ring, the soundtrack falls silent, where the sound effects do the work. Meaty thuds and crunching drops permeate the ring while the audience chants, commentators heckle, and wrestlers taunt, creating an accurate wrestling environment.
Attitude comes with a "Teen" rating, due to the violent nature of wresting and realistic graphics. The language can be toned down and blood disabled in the Utilities menu, but are best left active for the full, mature wrestling effect.
Players who loved Warzone will love Attitude, as will wrestling fans looking for a new wrestling game. Attitude has ballooned in size and number, though the actual gameplay has largely remained unchanged. It's more of a good thing, but you better have the attitude, because it's the only thing that'll keep you alive in the ring.
This game is dedicated to Owen Hart (1965-1999).
This article is copyright (c) 1999, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.
Original publication: Sentinel & Enterprise, 16-Aug-99