The Nintendo 64 was a bit of a misstep for Nintendo, thanks to its antiquated cartridge format and a dearth of third party support.









I can't help but think that I'm starting to outgrow the Kirby series.  I was pretty fond of Kirby's Adventure on the NES, and this sequel on the Nintendo 64 has much of what made that game great, plus colorful and attractive polygonal graphics.  For some reason, though, it just didn't keep me entertained the way the NES game did.  Rather than getting me excited about every new round like Kirby's Adventure, The Crystal Shards made me want to finish stages so I wouldn't have to bother with them again.

Perhaps the reason for this is that Kirby 64 is a more straightforward game than Kirby's Adventure.  That game was packed with museums, bonus rounds, arenas, an enormous amount of power-ups.  By contrast, Crystal Shards gives you a lot of platforming levels, some bosses, a few cartoon intermissions, and that's about it.  You get a chance to score extra items after every round, but hopping onto a picnic blanket to grab them is a pretty lame excuse for a bonus round.  Speaking of lame extras, there are a few mini games you can play with your friends, but they've got about as much meat to them as the games in Mario Party, and they're poorly integrated, too... you don't even have to earn them in the story mode to play them!

Kirby 64 still plays fairly well, but HAL Labs made some changes to the gameplay, hoping to improve it.  Some of the tweaks make a lot of sense... for instance, Kirby can still fly but only for a short period of time, making the game more challenging than previous Kirby titles.  You'll have to get through some areas with well-timed jumps rather than just floating over every obstacle, and this is definitely a good idea.  However, some of the other changes to the gameplay don't work so well.  Kirby's gigantic selection of weapons has been trimmed down to six, but you can combine abilities a'la Gunstar Heroes by throwing one bad guy at another or eating them together.  I guess I should appreciate the extra depth this adds to the traditionally simple Kirby gameplay, but I can't help but think that the new weapons are kind of weak.  Earth, fire, ice, needle, bomb, and boomerang are just as dull as they sound on their own, and when you combine them, you're left with weapons that are disturbing (I'm sorry, but Kirby would never, ever stick exploding shuriken between the eyes of his enemies...) and sometimes horribly unbalanced.  To give you a good example, dynamite can harm both you and your opponents, but the refrigerator lets Kirby spit out an infinite amount of food that heals the player but damages the bad guys.  When you've got a weapon like this, why bother with anything else?

Another serious problem with the gameplay is that The Crystal Shards seems a whole lot slower than the other Kirby games... you can make Kirby run by double tapping on the controller, but even then he just isn't fast enough.  Things get even worse underwater, where you're even slower and you CAN'T double tap to run.  Of course, since The Crystal Shards is your typical side-scrolling platformer and the game's designers are your typical sadistic bastards, there's an entire world covered with water, and it just... never... seems... to... end.  By the time you finish it you'll consider ripping the cartridge out of your N64 and throwing it in the nearest lake.

Now that I think about it, maybe I haven't outgrown the Kirby series... perhaps HAL Labs just didn't do a good job designing this particular Kirby game.  Superficially, Kirby 64 looks like it's got everything that made the previous games in the series wonderful, but there's more to Kirby's world than cute characters and memorable scenery.  I hope the designers of this game realize this when they start work on the next one.









I recently found a review of Paper Mario on the web that began, "Boy, this game sure went down the toilet the moment Square left the project."  This, of course, proves that it's never too hard to find morons on the Internet.

Yes, Paper Mario, the sequel to Super Mario RPG on the Super NES, doesn't have Square's support behind it.  Of course, this also means that it doesn't have cheesy computer rendered graphics, dark, confusing playfields, generic battles, or hours of full motion video starring characters that don't matter to you, either.  Intelligent Systems knew better than this, giving this game three things Super Mario Bros. fans really want: addictive gameplay, familiar characters, and a whole lot of personality.

RPGs are a prickly genre for me... it takes me a while to warm up to most of them, if it ever happens at all.  However, this wasn't a problem with Paper Mario... I loved it right from the start.  The storyline, slightly altered from Super Mario RPG's, was no big surprise, but I really enjoyed the dialogue... and just like Super Mario RPG, it had that same delightfully silly flavor throughout the entire game.  Unlike most role-playing games, you'll enter each town looking forward to all the conversations... you may even start looking for townspeople just to talk to them.  Better yet, they've got names, stories, and relationships of their own, so they're not just the walking signs you've come to expect from other adventure titles.

The graphics are impressive, too... Intelligent Systems left the computer rendering of Super Mario RPG behind and tried a gimmick of their own, one that let them capture Mario's world much more faithfully.  As the title suggests, Mario (and every other character in the game) is a paper cutout, and they're all drawn perfectly... Shigeru Miyamoto himself couldn't have done better.  And although there aren't as many sight gags about the flat characters as there were in Parappa the Rapper, the designers do occasionally have fun with Mario's missing dimension, spinning him around in battles and swirling him down pipes.

An added bonus to drawing Mario as a flat object is that all those extra polygons can be devoted to the backgrounds... and man, are they great.  The towns are colorful and full of scenery, and some of the locations have breathtaking details like drifting snow and paths made of glittering stardust.  Some of the playfields are nicer than others, but I guess that's the point... you'd expect the green hills and cool waters of Yoshi's Island to be more vibrant than the appropriately named Dry Dry Desert.  No matter where you happen to be, jumping into a battle changes the scenery into a stage with hanging props... something I haven't seen in a video game since the release of Dynamite Headdy for the Genesis.  You may or may not like it, but one thing's for sure... you can't call it an overused cliche'.

Oh yeah... that reminds me of the battles.  The fights in most role-playing games can get boring, especially since most of them are exactly alike.  However, Paper Mario has a lot of features that help make them more entertaining, or let you avoid them entirely.  As was the case with Super Mario RPG, enemies don't just pop out of nowhere... they run around the playfields with you, and if they spot you they'll try to start a conflict.  However, you can defend yourself... if you stomp or hammer an enemy, or sic one of your partners on them, you'll damage them before the battle even starts.  Sneaking around or running from enemies is also an option, although some of the bad guys are pretty intent on starting a fight.  Fortunately, since they're based on classic Super Mario Bros. characters, they have all of their weaknesses.  Remember, a Spiny isn't so dangerous when it's on its back, and Bob-Ombs won't get the chance to hurt you if you can make them detonate before they attack.

As you can tell, Paper Mario is a lot of fun if you're a fan of the Super Mario Bros. series, but none of those games were perfect, and neither is this one.  First of all, the battles can be fun, but they're limited as well... none of your partners are treated as full-fledged party members, and you can only use one of them at a time.  If you took the rather flammable Lady Bow into a battle with fire-based enemies and need to select a more suitable character, you can switch to that character in the middle of the fight, but it will cost your partner their turn, and sometimes, you just can't afford to lose that extra firepower.  Also, you're not allowed to damage just any enemy with any attack... if, for instance, there's a particularly obnoxious Magikoopa behind a row of Clubbas or Dry Bones, you won't be able to reach him with the hammer or another close range attack.  Finally, although the sound effects are great (Bombette's explosion really packs a punch!), the music is not.

Oh well... if I have to sit through some overblown, repetitive tunes to play a terrific game like this, I'll definitely do it.  I don't play many RPGs, and I won't finish many of the ones I do play... so when I find a game like Paper Mario that keeps me entertained to the end and leaves me wanting more after it's finished, you know it's worth buying.








I was absolutely sure I'd end up hating this one.  The normally docile mainstream video game press ripped Shadowman to shreds, and I was ready to do the same thing when I watched my friend Matt play through part of the first stage.  Whoohoo, Tomb Raider in hell.  Isn't just playing Tomb Raider hellish enough?  I was about to write Shadowman off as another overhyped Acclaim flop, but then, something happened.  When Matt fired up a saved game with Shadowman lost deep within the cavernous world of Deadside, I started to notice how incredibly well designed this world was.  Every level was an intricate puzzle, filled with branching paths which often lead to rooms with important items left just out of your reach.  I urged him to open every door... flip on every switch... swim through every sea of blood to find the next dark soul.  Then I took over, and that urge to discover every hidden path and item became an insatiable need.  The repetitive wall textures, the monotonous backtracking, and the awkward control were instantly forgotten.  All that mattered was finding out what was around the next corner... and the next... and the next.  Sometimes it would be a door just begging to be unlocked, and other times it would be a freakishly dressed zombie with a gun pointed right between my eyes.  The bastard could kill me a dozen times and I'd come right back for more, all because there's another dark soul in the level, calling my name like the ghost of a long lost love. Damn it, I MUST HAVE THAT SOUL!!!

Er, um, sorry.  As I mentioned earlier, Shadowman is a lot like Tomb Raider in that you're armed with a gun but do as much exploring as enemy blasting.  It shares quite a bit in common with Legacy of Kain:  Soul Reaver, too, because your character walks a thin line between life and death and can visit either plane of existence at will.  However, thre are some subtle differences... Shadowman can't die from falling long distances like his big breasted counterpart (because as my friend put it, he's already dead!), and his gun fires these strange beams of light which can be powered up by holding down the appropriate button.  Like Soul Reaver's Raziel, he can be defeated by enemies, but instead of being transported to an alternate dimension to regain his strength, Shadowman is simply returned to the beginning of the current stage.

The graphics and sound won't raise the dead, or anything else, for that matter... the walls have some pretty good textures but they're a bit overused, and this coupled with the very long rounds and lack of reference points makes it very easy to get lost.  And confused.  And frustrated.  The game as a whole is pretty dark and dingy, so don't expect any spectacular lighting effects... however, some of the enemies and the strangely clear pools of blood aren't too shabby.  The music fits the mood, and in one instance, the plot... you'll be tormented by the carefree laughter of a small child cut off by the whine of a circular saw in one stage.  This disturbing sound bite gives you a taste of the trauma Shadowman experienced when he watched his little brother die, but after hearing it a dozen times, you'll hit the mute button on your remote to keep the voices in his head out of yours.  The control is a bit goofy (Nintendo found some pretty weird places for buttons on that controller of theirs!), but it's still better than Tomb Raider's, and the gun battles are more natural than the rather clumsy fights in Soul Reaver.

Is Shadowman better than the games that inspired it?  No, not really.  The game as a whole is a little contrived and doesn't feel as solid as, say, Soul Reaver... and Shadowman's big bad voodoo daddy doesn't hold a black candle to the much more threatening Raziel.  Still, those of you who spent dozens of hours exploring every last cavern in Metroid will be quite happy with Shadowman's endless convoluted tunnels, and the enormous amount of items hidden within them.








Treasure.  A game company that brings drool to the lips of thousands of even the most jaded fanboys.  With the insane difficulty, complex simplicity, and ultra-articulated bosses of their games, the company has gotten quite the following.  The ex-Konami developers have their quirks--their "no sequels" policy, for example--but they've won the hearts of many gamers.
One of their sublimely simple efforts is Sin and Punishment for the N64.  One of the last games to come out for the "Fun Machine," this game challenges the gamer with two simple rules:

1) If it moves, shoot it.
2) If it doesn't move, shoot it anyway.

The plot of the game is actually quite interesting.  In the year 2007, much of Japan has been overrun by genetically-engineered monsters called "Ruffians."  An American military organization called the "Armed Volunteers" has come to Japan ostensibly to help repel the invaders.  However, this being a futuristic setting, and a paramilitary force being what it is, the Volunteers have gotten a bit heavy-handed, forcing rebellion to the minds of three teenagers: Saki (15, male), Airan (16, female) and Achi (13, female).  The three eventually cross paths with the lieutenants of the leader of the Volunteers, a young man by the name of Brad who seems to have prior experiences with Achi.  She apparently gave him some of her blood, which gave him some of her power; mainly, he can speak to his subordinates from afar (with a pretty cool "floating eyes" shot) and attack those who would harm his soldiers with the power of his mind.  And he's a demon with a sabergun.

The "sabergun," as I call it, is the solitary weapon you get in this game.  The weapon has four functions: aimed fire (has to be precisely aimed, but does decent damage), lock-on fire (can lock on, but does less damage), sword (close-range, does great damage), and deflection (deflects certain missile-like projectiles at the targeted monster or scenery).  There aren't really any power-ups for the weapon, but the game is set up so that you don't really need them (apparently, Treasure learned from their mistake in Silhouette Mirage of adding in weapons that served little to no real purpose).

The controls are simple--in most stages, you're on rails moving forward, with one or two side-scrolling levels.  You mainly move to the left or the right (in most cases, this means strafe) using the D-pad or the C-buttons.  The shoulder triggers make your character jump, A toggles lock-on and aimed fire, B can disengage a lock in lock-on mode, and Z is the attack button (performs all attack functions).  There's also a 2-player mode that has one player move the character, and the other shoots.

The graphics aren't too impressive--don't get me wrong, they're anti-aliased, and they don't glitch.  However, they're still fairly low-resolution.  This can be forgiven, however, because of the massive flow of humanity (and inhumanity) that you must engage.  The characters are pretty well-designed--including Saki later in the game, where he looks like he's wearing M.C. Hammer pants (the result of a partially-reversed physical mutation); or Radan, an early boss.  The sound is actually quite excellent for the much-maligned cartridge format.

There is a diverse array of music, as well as an excellent array of voice acting.  The strangest thing about the game is that the dialogue is spoken in English, and pretty good English, at that.  In the tradition of Resident Evil, the producers, perhaps with a US/Europe release in mind (which never developed), had English-speaking voice actors do the lines.  NOT in the tradition of Resident Evil, the dialogue is actually pretty intelligent, without the horrors of the language barrier.  There are Japanese subtitles, incidentally (if you just HAD to know), but they can be turned off by beating the game on Normal difficulty.

The gameplay is simple enough to hook you, but there's enough to the game to keep you interested--no mean feat for what would seem to be a warmed-over Space Harrier clone at first blush.  You can get enemies as you pass them with your blade, and you actually have options as to how you want to rid the screen of foes.  For instance, if there are three enemies on a platform, you can either pick them off one at a time or shoot out the platform.  However, you only get credited for direct kills--an important point, since you get an extra continue for every 100 kills--so you have to make that decision depending on your circumstances.  There are even real races against time, including the "railgun firebomb" sequence, in which you have to destroy a railgun shell before it hits a mutated Saki.  Of course, Saki is firing at you (he's mutated and thus delirious), so you can actually position yourself so that the shell is in the path of the blasts.  The part before the railgun shell sequence involves a Death Star-meets-Battletoads sequence in which you have to dodge electrical bolts to slash a railgun chamber.  Also, the final boss may remind you of Missile Command gone mad.

The characters are actually pretty compelling--Airan, who becomes the midpoint main heroine after Saki is "lost," is actually a pretty good "strong female lead" for the game, and Brad actually cares about his lieutenants to the point of giving them blood transfusions and protecting them in battle.  And, I'm sure he gives them full dental coverage, as well.  ;)  Achi plays the "mysterious ally" part pretty well, seeming to be on your side, only to double-cross you at the least opportune moment.

The game is fairly short, but not too easy.  For the 45 minutes to an hour of each play-through, enemies are thrown at you from every conceivable angle.  It's nothing that you can't eventually learn to handle, and this is the kind of game you play to top your personal best.  Try to find it on Ebay; most places are sold out of it, and even if they had it, you'd probably pay a heinous price for it anyway.

[Editor's Note: This game can now be downloaded from the Wii's Virtual Console service for a quite reasonable $12.  It's worth every penny, but it's recommended that you grab Thrustmaster's wireless Wii controller to go along with it.  Sin and Punishment just doesn't feel right until you map the character controls to the left thumbstick, and the targeting reticule to the right








PREFACE: I know that just about everything that can be said about this game has been said already, but it definitely bears repeating.  If we're to avoid suffering a game like this again, we must continually and continuously remind the world of this horrible, horrible game. And more than anything else, we can only hope that one day, Titus shares Acclaim's fate.

It would be easy to write a cookie-cutter Superman 64 review.

"It's Superman 64. It sucks."

But that would not adequately capture just how bad this game really is. If you took the badness of pretty much every licensed Acclaim game (well, except maybe the Mary Kate & Ashley ones) and harnessed it into one single game, it would likely not be as bad as Superman 64.

To start, we have the graphics. Not only does Superman look more blocky than his Bizarro counterpart, but apparently Lex Luthor--in his infinite zeal to kill Superman, no doubt--has somehow managed to purchase all the fog from London.

The sound is okay, I suppose. Nothing to write home about, but it captures the mood about as well as can be expected. Considering that the one thing that can be turned off is the one thing they got right (or more appropriately, didn't get horribly wrong), I can't help but wonder what Titus must have been smoking.

Now to the gameplay. The first level--a mandatory training level--goes in the following pattern: Fly through hoops, do something. Fly through hoops, do something. Fly through hoops, do something. Apparently, this must have been originally designed as a game that let you play as Krypto instead of Superman. The "fly through hoops" part is easy enough, but the "do something part" can be frustrating when the car you're supposed to keep safe from exploding explodes before you can do anything about it. That arbitrary factor--the fact that sometimes the game decides to screw you over (though it's fair that it's a warning)--makes this training level the ultimate endurance test. I think this is the most repetitive sequence in a game since the hoverbike level in Battletoads.

In summation, this game is the worst game ever made. It's worse than Final Bout, it's worse than E.T., it's even worse than Fellowship of the Ring. The fact that my N64 didn't come to life and kill me in the shower because of this game is the only possible redeeming factor I can think of about this game. If there were any justice in this world, the Titus offices would be leveled to the ground. (And for those of you who feel that this sounds too extreme, I would point out that I could have easily added "with all of Titus' employees in them" to the end of that sentence.)

I should note that there was a Playstation version of Superman in the works, but it was ultimately canned. I guess, either be thankful or be afraid.








Yes, Super Mario 64 justifies most of the positive response that it's received from countless fan-eds and professional game rags, and even I was blown away by the game for the first fifteen minutes, but that's the problem... I'm not sure if most people have actually played SM64 for more than fifteen minutes.

It takes at least a few hours to reach the game's later rounds, where you begin to realize that things aren't all secret stars and incredible graphics in Mario's latest adventure... there's frustration, too, and plenty of it!

Take, for instance, the Bowser stages. Nintendo never passed up a chance to capitalize on Mario's battles with this gigantic Koopa boss, but there was nary a mention of how difficult it is to actually REACH him in its press releases and advertisements for the N64. You see, the Bowser stages (among others) are set above a bottomless pit, making it very easy to fall to your death if you don't jump from platform to platform with near surgical precision.

I've always hated this about platform games in general, but with SM64's 3-D perspective and touchy analog control, it becomes almost unbearable. Don't even talk to me about the ice slide in the Snowy Mountain stage... I've never been so tempted to smash a rented controller into a thousand tiny pieces!

What I'm trying to say is that SM64 is an excellent game in most respects, but for heaven's sake, don't buy it and an N64 before playing it for at least two hours. This is one game you can't judge from a first impression.








With Tony Hawk 4 on the horizon, it seems a bit odd to be reviewing its predecessor. But this is a special case--it's also the final Nintendo 64 release. A moment of silence, if you will...

Anyway, the game generally plays very well, with the combos as easy to pull off as the other versions of the game (PS2, GC, XBox). The primary issue is that the buttons on the Nintendo 64 controller are not laid out in quite the same way as the PS2 or XBox joypads, but this is just a momentarily vexing factor, and it's easy enough to handle. There's not much music, with only six songs, including The Ramones' "Hey, Ho (Let's Go)" and something by Motorhead. The songs themselves are also a bit truncated, due to the limited cartridge space. They sound great, though, which is an important factor; besides, they have the Ramones. What more do you need?

Finally, the areas seem to be a bit smaller, as well. However, they still provide hours of fun trying to get S-K-A-T-E and the videotape. Basically, this game warrants an easy six. It's a serviceable port of the game, but given the limitations of the N64, it couldn't possibly capture the complete experience.








Pros: It's easy to pick up and play, has actual entrance themes and voices.
Cons: Few characters, it just wants to be Smackdown too much, controlling it with the analog stick? O_o

Hudson made a few wrestling games for the Nintendo 64 based on the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion. The engine was developed by Yuke's, the company that did the engine for the Smackdown series of wrestling games.

The graphics lack light sourcing, which means the arenas are quite dark. However, the characters seem to be well-animated in this game.  The game actually presents actual entrance themes and voices for the wrestlers. Which isn't too hard considering that it doesn't even feature 20 guys. And that even includes the three secret guys, two of whom are alter egos of the regulars.

The control is fairly easy; the only major issue is that you have to move your character with the analog stick. I'm used to using the D-pad to move my wrestler and the analog stick to taunt. Hudson seems to be trying to reinvent the wheel here, and while it works out all right, the formula Aki had worked just fine. Basically, A, B and A+B by themselves perform strike moves, and holding Z with these buttons will grapple. The C-left button will perform pretty much every other function--run, whip, pick up, turn over--and Z+C left at the side will pin the opponent.

The game isn't awful, but there's just too much that could have been so much better. It's "acceptable," but it just seems too unambitious and rushed.








Pros: Major improvement from the first one, after less than a year
Cons: Still using the analog stick for movement, are we?

Some might remember my review of Tohkon Road for the Nintendo 64.  It was a bit threadbare as wrestling games go, even when you consider that it came out in 1998.  Less than a year after the release of the first game, a second was released.  If that doesn't say "recipe for disaster," I don't know what does--do I need to mention "Tomb Raider" here?

All fears aside, this sequel is actually significantly better than the first game.  They actually have a commentator announce the wrestlers before they come down, there are three possible arenas (big Tokyo Dome-style, medium-sized stadium with banners over the sides for each wrestler and small arena), and each wrestler has four different outfits.  In some cases, these outfits actually correspond to "younger" versions of the wrestlers.

Also, there are entries to the ring; that is, you'll see your character make his way to the ring from the entryway.  And certain characters (nWo members) have special pre-intro light shows before their intro in the Dome.  Otherwise, they'll just get the standard "N... W... O" introduction that most WCW fans became accustomed to in the late '90s.  The gameplay is much like the first Tohkon Road (A and/or B strike, Z+A  and/or B do grapple moves, moves vary depending on opponent's condition).  However, certain moves can only be activated after taunting.  For example, the Great Muta can do a superplex to a groggy opponent in the corner.  However, if you taunt beforehand, he'll instead spew mist in the opponent's face and do a Frankensteiner instead.

The most amazing thing about this game is that I believe it was the first wrestling title to have an actual career mode, where you progress for a year in New Japan Pro Wrestling.  You'll fight your way to the top of the rankings, and possibly win tournaments and titles.

Finally, certain characters (such as at-the-time-recent retirees) have special endings in the career mode.  With all this improvement, I have to give this game an 8.  The only flaws I can really see here are the dearth of match options (no ladder matches, etc.) and the use of the analog stick for movement.








Pros: Excellent selection of guys, great moves, Vader

Cons: Only one licensed promotion in the whole bunch--this could have been a "real-life" FirePro game

One of the most lauded engines in wrestling game history is that used by AKI in such games as WWF No Mercy, the first two WCW games for N64, and even Def Jam Vendetta. The Japanese game series that uses this engine is called Virtual Pro Wrestling. For the most part, the characters in these games are unlicensed, "please don't sue us" counterparts of the stars of the unlicensed promotions. 

The second game, however, has a license with one of Japan's Big Two--All Japan Pro Wrestling. Founded by Shohei "Giant" Baba, this promotion has generally emphasized competition over contrived storylines--which pretty much could be applied to most Japanese promotions and independent promotions worldwide.

The game features a large number of guys, totaling almost 100 total. Of those, 21 are the licensed guys, which include a lot of names that are much more familiar to those who get Japanese tapes in general, such as Baba himself, Gary Albright, Kenta Kobashi, and Johnny Ace; as well as some familiar faces to all, like Vader and Kimala.

The game is familiar territory to anybody who's played No Mercy--tap to perform weak attacks, press to execute strong ones, analog stick taunts and does specials. The match options include time, blood, run-ins, as well as something that had not been done in a wrestling game up to this point--shootfighting mode. This mode allows you to play like the many "mixed martial-arts" leagues in Japan. In fact, some of the guys are geared toward this style, actually being able to force opponents to the mat with strong grapples and subsequently pummel them to the approval of the crowd.

The moves are very impressive and cringe-worthy in some cases. Such moves as the Cradle Piledriver, the Tiger Driver '91 (basically, it involves dropping the victim on the head with no protection whatsoever) and miscellaneous other slams, drivers, breakers and bombs.

Plus, it has Vader. Any game that has a guy who weighs 400 lbs and can do moves that most guys half his weight don't do can't possibly suck. It's a law. Find somebody to get you on Lexis-Nexis or something.

The "career" mode puts you (and a partner of your choosing) through a year of AJPW. You'll win titles, participate in league play, tournaments, and battle royales. What's interesting about this game is that the main title is three belts. For some reason, this just brought a smile to my face.

The entrances are fairly well-done, with the star (and his second, if applicable) in a locker room, and the two walking to the ring.

There is actually entrance music and announcers. If you're one of the licensed guys, you'll actually hear your weight and name. If you're one of the "names have been changed to protect our sorry asses" guys, you'll just get something like "4P Resuraaaaaaa!" instead of even trying the name they gave them. Then again, I guess there wasn't enough space. That said, even the generic music is good. That's a rarity, I suppose.

In short, find this game on Ebay, buy it, etc. Trust me on this one. I got mine for roughly $45. Getting it in some online store would have set me back $70+ easily. And that's if they had it in stock.







This is it…the grand daddy of ALL wrestling games. Easiest to play, best selection of characters, awesome create-a-wrestler mode, excellent graphics and…well, ok sound. Nothing’s perfect.

Me, being the biggest pro wrestling fan on the planet, went out and bought a Nintendo 64 just for this game! Yah, it was a used one, but as long as it works, I am happy. After playing this game, all my wrestling video game dreams came true. It’s a World Wrestling Federation game, which is a huge plus, cause WCW sucks crap. Everyone is included. Mankind, Rock, Edge, Gangrel, Gerald Brisco, Big Show, and even all the ladies are in there!

A huge plus is the fact that this game uses the incredibly easy WCW Revenge engine. Moves are easy to pull off, unlike that WWF Attitude crap on Playstation. Playability is very high for this game, and beginners will have no problem nailing a Rock Bottom or Mandible Claw.

Graphics are very good too. Everyone looks like their WWF counterparts; they even walk and taunt the same ways! Every single little detail has been included. Mankind has Mr. Socko, Al Snow has Head, and Godfather even comes out with a ho! Now that’s realism for ya! All the pay per view rings and environments are here too!

A plethora of play modes and matches including Royal Rumble, First Blood, Steel Cage, 3 Way Dances, and a lot more! You’ll never got bored with all the options in this game. Try to Road to WrestleMania and see if you can become WWF Champion! Unlock hidden characters such as Dude Love and Shawn Michaels while on your quest! Game just keeps you coming back for me.

Challenge in this game is pretty good. Not perfect though. I can pretty much beat any computer opponents whenever I want, except for maybe the upper tier guys. Just be VERY cautious, use weak moves all the time, and if you get into a jam, get a garbage can from the crowd and beat the living hell outta the poor sap!

Create-A-Wrestler is a very cool option, allowing you to make any wrestler you want! Just about every move is available to give your wrestler, and the appearance choices are plentiful. I like making my friends in the game and having them duke it out. Now that’s fun, especially with four people!

Downside to the game….the sound is not all that hot. Very passable though. Also, creating a female wrestler in the game is kinda a letdown, as the options are very limited. Other than those two gripes, this game is very complete.

In the end, if you are a wrestling fan, you MUST have this game. No bones about it. All the great WWF stars are in there, and if you are a WCW fan, just make Goldberg and Dallas Page! Their moves and taunts are in there! From graphics to playability to all-out fun, this is the greatest wrestling game I have ever played.


tech specs


NEC VR4300




4MB, expandable


cart, max 64MB


100 channel ASP


SGI 64-bit RCP




2 million





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Mario Kart 64
Paper Mario
Sin and Punishment
Space Station Silicon Val
Super Mario 64
Wipeout 64
Zelda: Ocarina of Time

worst games

Clayfighter 63 1/3
Deadly Arts
Dual Heroes
Powerpuff Girls: Chem X
Rat Attack
South Park: Chef's Luv
South Park Rally
Xena: Warrior Princess