Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This At Home
DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. That's the motto here, but I'd suggest giving
this game a whirl. If you're a fan of wrestling, whether it be the
amateur style or WWE style, we've all had wrestling matches with our
friends in the backyard or the living room. Well for some of us, that
wasn't enough, we had to be more extreme. We had to take it to the next
level. That's where Backyard Wrestling comes in. Just everyday kids like
you and me that are extremely passionate about wrestling. They
organized backyard wrestling matches, created their own gimmicks, and made
their own costumes. They even constuct their own rings. And when it's
all said and done, they record it all for our viewing enjoyment. It
gained so much popularity that they decided to make a videogame out of it.
For being the most important aspect of the game, it seems clear that
Paradox dropped the ball in this category. To be completely honest, I
believe the gameplay is more of an afterthought with this game. In
fighting games, offense and defense needs to have some balance to make the
fights interesting. In Backyard Wrestling, the offense aspect is
clearly there, but the amount of defense involved is next to none. Which in
turn creates nothing but a full blown button mashing fiesta, with no
need for strategy. Even though this game involves a lot of offense, not
much thought was given on this end either. Everything is about luck.
I can press the same exact buttons in the same exact sequence, and I'll
do two completely different moves. Also, doing the same move over and
over again is a sure-fire way to easily defeat the computer.
Another complaint, the collision detection is just plain awful. You'll
go to swing a lead pipe at your adversary, and they'll simply leap
right through it and nail you with a drop kick. As you can imagine, this
will become very frustrating in a short period of time. A lot of times
you'll get knocked over near a table and fall off. But instead of
actually falling off to the ground, you will magically float in the air.
Bugs like this amaze me, what were the testers thinking about at the
By far the best part of BYW is its highly interactive backgrounds. If
you see a ladder, you'll be able to climb it. A window, you can smash
it. A sledgehammer, you can bash your opponent with it. Nice features
like this will keep the game interesting, just not for too long.
The sounds are pretty good for the game. There is over 40 songs
from artists such as ICP, Sum 41, Rancid, 40 Below Summer, and Spineshank to name a few.
One good feature on the sound side of things is that BYW supports
custom soundtracks. Why more games don't support this feature is beyond me.
The game's original soundtrack fits the style of game perfectly so you
really don't have to use the custom soundtrack feature.
While it doesn't jump out at you, the sounds effects are also pretty
good. Every sound is recreated very reallistically. Whether it's a
someone's body busting through a table, someone getting hit with a baseball
bat, or getting burned on the grill. The voice acting during the the
story mode is average. During the player introductions though, the
characters will try to mutter out a few words, but you cannot understand
what they are saying.
The graphics presented in Backyard Wrestling are not bad,
they're actually good. But there isn't one thing about the graphics that
will jump out at you and make you say "wow!" Each and every move is
animated perfectly. The game runs at an extremely smooth rate. The
stages are very creatively done too. One high point is the player models.
While not superbly done, the more punishment a character takes will be
shown in pretty high detail. If you're on the losing side of the
stick, you're character will unquestionably be beaten into a bloody pulp.
One problem with the graphics that I noticed within seconds of playing
this game is the camera. Not even the camera position, it's just very
unsteady. During up-close shots, the camera will jump up and down and
become very shaky. Now, I'm not sure but the developers may have meant
to do this. The reason for this is that regular backyard wrestling is
generally filmed with little dinky handheld cameras which are extremely
unsteady. Were the developers trying to recreate this effect?
Possibly, but intentional or not, it's very annoying.
Replay value? What replay value? If you were to rent
Backyard Wrestling for the weekend, you'll be done with the game by
Sunday night, without a doubt. BYW has is a great concept, and had a ton
of potential. Unfortunately, there isn't anything about the game that
we'll make you come back for more. You have the option during the game
to attempt a pin on your opponent, but this will not work unless their
life meter is almost fully depleted. So you might as well just whack
your opponent with a baseball bat or give him a suplex to score the
The story mode doesn't do much to help the game along. The story mode
is basically you watching segments of a talk show that somehow relates
to backyard wrestling. It's really boring, doesn't make any sense, and
doesn't add anything whatsoever to the game. After watching a couple
of minutes of the talk show, then you must compete in a series of fights
on one stage. After completion, you watch some more talk show and then
you're ready for the next level.
Well, this game advertises "Don't Try This At Home." And
honestly, I would not advise you to try this game at home either. A
weekend rental, maybe, but I would not even consider purchasing this
game. I will applaud the developers for trying to do something different
with the game, but they pretty much failed. This is basically a novelty
game, it may be fun to pull out when you have some of your friends over
just for a quick game. But not anything more than that. If you're a
fan of wrestling games, chances are you won't like Backyard Wrestling.
And if you're a fan of brawling games, chances are you won't like this
game either. While BYW is a nice attempt at giving people something
different, there isn't any substance to the game.
Official Backyard Wrestling Website