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Which game are you looking forward to the most?

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Game Profile
Acclaim Salt Lake City
GENRE: Wrestling
PLAYERS:   1-4
May 27, 2002
Showdown: Legends of Wrestling

Showdown: Legends of Wrestling

Legends of Wrestling II

Legends of Wrestling II

Legends of Wrestling II

More in this Series
 Written by Kyle Williams  on July 08, 2002

Full Review: It's like the early eighties all over again.

I will never forget watching pro wrestling on TV when I was a kid. Icons like The Iron Sheik, Hulk Hogan, and The Road Warriors were everywhere you looked. That era of pro wrestling had something that today's bravado filled WWE just seems to be missing. Don't get me wrong, the old-schoolers knew how to trash talk with the best of them. There was just something different about the way things were. With Legends of Wrestling, Acclaim has set out to try and recapture that magic of yesteryear while showing everyone that they don't need that stinkin' WWE license.

Legends of Wrestling offers several modes of play that will help keep you and up to three friends happy for hours. You can sit down with everything from one-on-one, three-way & four-way, and tag-team exhibition modes, tournament play, and a thorough career session. Between all of these different play modes you can satisfy gaming urges of all shapes and sizes.

Regardless of which mode of play you gear up for, there are more than 40 of the best wrestlers of all time. Names like Jerry "The King" Lawler, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, and Bret "Hitman" Hart grace this title and help to bring back the memories. The only notable exclusion from this list that I can think of is Andre the Giant. Anyway, have you ever wondered how you might stack up against these greats? Well, the exhaustive create-a-wrestler mode will allow you to turn yourself into the next heavyweight champion. In here you can customize everything down to tattoos, entrance music and gear, and even your move set. You can truly create whomever you'd like to.

Not only does Legends of Wrestling have options out the wazoo, it has a very unique control scheme. The Intermediate Start Position that Acclaim Studios has created allows you to link your moves together, allowing for some incredible moves that are relatively simple to execute. Every wrestler has his own set of moves to pull from with each based of off their real life antics. Each of them also has taunts and finishing moves to further humiliate their downed opponents. Another unique control feature is a combo/reversal timing meter that you can use to counter your opponent's ISP move. In general, Legends of Wrestling's control scheme is executed very well with enough twists to make this wrestling experience a memorable one.

Every gem has it's down side, and Legends of Wrestling is no exception. while the game play modes are fairly thorough, they don't scratch the surface of the various hardcore matches that we have seen over the years. There are no leather belts, cages, or ladders to be found anywhere, which is a little bit disappointing. True, Acclaim does make up for a little bit of this by allowing you to pull out several different weapons out from under the ring, but it isn't quite the same. The other drawback I found is actually a minor glitch in the game. I have (repeatedly) been able to get my wrestler stuck in the mat. Sure, I can usually get him out, but this glitch is a spot of tarnish on an otherwise polished game. Load times can also be problematic as they seem to last forever. Oh well, such is the drawback of disc based games.

If all of this weren't enough, Acclaim is already hard at work on Legends of Wrestling 2. This sequel is promising to expand on the modes of play that are available and to add another twenty plus wrestlers to this already impressive roster. The likes of Andre the Giant, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Sid Viscious will be taking the stage in Cage, Ladder, and Table matches and some intense six and eight man elimination bouts. You should definitely cut your teeth on Legends of Wrestling in anticipation of LoW2. Hopefully they are taking care of those obnoxious load times.

Bottom Line
Legend of Wrestling is a great throwback to the golden age of wrestling. All of your (my) favorite wrestlers from the ninteen-eighties are here with few exceptions. The game controls great and is full of brilliant bravado. The interactive entrances are a great touch and help to add character to this title. There is a great base here and this fall's sequel should be even better.

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