Full Review: ?Are you going to be the next Stone Cold Steve Austin or are you just going to be the next Garrison
Have you ever dreamed of being a professional wrestler? In this new WWE game you have the chance to create your very own superstar and see if they can make it in the business. It won't be easy though, as you have to put up with pressure from your bosses and backstage backstabbing from the other wrestlers so you can finally reach your Day of Reckoning. It's an interesting concept that even has the looks and sounds to back it up but also see why it isn't going to be the next big thing either.
WWE Day of Reckoning has a selection of over 30 TV wrestlers from both the Raw and Smackdown shows. Although 30 wrestlers may sound like a lot, the real WWE has currently over 60 official wrestlers in its roster and many didn't make it. So who made the cut? On the Raw (the Monday night show) side you have popular stars like Chris Benoit, Triple H, and Trish Stratus. On the Smackdown (the Thursday show) there are guys like Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, and John Cena. Who was left out of the picture? Quite a few big names, believe it or not. Current WWE World Heavyweight champion John Bradshaw Layfield is not here (I know he sucks but c'mon, he is suppose to be a top guy), current WWE Cruiserweight champion Spike Dudley and his brothers are no where to be found, current WWE Tag Team La Resistance are not included and that's just to name a few.
I guess the main reason so many WWE wrestlers were left out of DOR was because this game also has some WWF (the former name of the WWE) legends as well. Legendary 80's and 90's wrestler Rowdy Rowdy Piper is playable from the start but you can unlock others in the Story mode just like in WWE Smackdown: Here comes the Pain for the PS2. The biggest surprise here is that Bret ?The Hitman' Hart is one of the secret legends. Anyone who knows their wrestling also knows that Bret Hart left the WWF in the worst possible way (it all happened on the November PayPerView in 1997, by the way).
WWE superstar then DOR has a great idea for the new Story game. Instead of picking from the superstars already available, you have to create your own wrestler and have them fight their way from the lowly ranks of the non-televised house shows to finally becoming the main event at a Wrestlemania. The coolest part about this story mode is that the characters use a lot of insider terms so it really feels like your part of the struggle to become famous. It's kind of lame that you can pick a real wrestler and the story is very linear compared to the ones found in the acclaimed WWF No Mercy (Nintendo 64), but at least it's something different.
Day of Reckoning controls great once you learn all the moves in the useful training mode but I don't understand why there is still no official 'block' here just like in WrestleMania 18 and 19. You can still use the top buttons to perform counters and there is even a way to turn the tides on a tough opponent but the stupid thing with the counter system is that it is just too hit-and-miss for my liking.
Moving on the graphics in DOR, the game has some impressive looking scenery and background (except the crowd, it doesn't look too hot) in both the Story and Expedition modes plus the character models move and look noticeably better then other GameCube wrestling games. Most of the wrestlers also have their original entrance themes and songs to complete the game's realistic TV feel. Unfortunately, Stacy Keibler still doesn't have her Kid Rock's ?Legs' theme and others have different music then they normally have.