Legends of Wrestling

Iíve played quite a few wrestling games over the years, but I have to say that I havenít run across a game that plays as slowly in a long time. Featuring wrestlers that people could care less about and a couple that are actually still in existence to the point of having a fan base, Legends of Wrestling encumbers a couple of good points, and a ton of bad! With names such as Hulk Hogan, Sabu, Rob Van Dam and various others, you may find that if youíre a fan of the old style wrestling, then there is something here for you. However, if youíre a modern day WWF fan like most of the wrestling population, there isnít enough here to keep you interested for more than a few minutes at best.


The game itself moves slowly, and the wrestling moves are set with an impact style that allows you to perform up to forty different maneuvers with several different characters. From piledrivers to power slams, you may find that all of the right moves are here, but they are executed in such a way that you need extensive practice with the control interface to actually get them down right! As something of a reprieve for those who canít figure out the controls, there is a reversal system that will let you set up for the next move. All in all though, you may find that the lack of control that you really have and the cheapness of the computer controlled characters you face is almost more than you can stand.

When you add this into the fact that the personal maneuvers that each of the wrestlers has is done in such a way that is confusing, you may not be able to get the moves you want. For example, you may want to do the Five Star Frog Splash, but your opponent has to be laying in a part of the ring that allows you to get up and do it. After trying to complete this five times, the dizzy effect wears off of your opponent and you have to start all over again, which leads to frustrating, controller throwing moments! If you can actually get into the game and have some fun though, there are plenty of bonuses and characters to unlock, although in the end, they all need the same amount of work to learn and use effectively.

Control is a pain in the ass, in which you have several different ways of tossing your opponent around. Once youíve gotten your opponent in a grapple, you can hit a button and perform a move, but, you will find that there is a meter that allows your opponent to reverse the hold and get out of it. The problem with this portion of the control is that the reversal can go on for ten minutes before a move is scored and if youíre playing with a friend, it adds to the boredom factor. Other various moves are done with the directional pad and a button press, which forces you to know exactly where your opponents health stands before you perform a move and this portion could take hours to figure out!


Visually, Legends of Wrestling is appealing to the eyes, and it does show plenty of detail and movement. However, what the game lacks is speed and with some of these matches, you are literally moving at a snails pace throughout the entire game. The characters and wrestlers that you find here are well defined and match that of their real life counterparts, but to be honest, it looks like a cartoon fest. What that means is that the characters have life-like movement, but they are animated in such a way that there is little more than some design and then painted on color! All in all, there isnít anything impressive here either, which matches that of the game play.


Audio wise, there was some sort of rock music playing in the background and quite honestly, I was too busy trying to figure out the control to listen to it carefully. The game doesnít necessarily keep the theme of a high paced wrestling game and although it is slightly better than Smackdown 3, there isnít enough variation on it to make much note of. The sound effects are limited to your standard assortment of grunts, groans, punches and thuds as well as the announcer at the beginning and end of each match. However, there is nothing else here to listen to and once youíve heard all of the sounds, the introductions to the wrestlers and been through the game, there is nothing new to hear!

Bottom Line:

Legends of Wrestling, to me, seems like a title that had so much potential but much of it was left on a cutting room floor. With the slow moving characters and lackluster moves, the game play takes a sharp dive when you need to use the special moves and you canít! The control is another factor that you almost need a PhD in fighting and wrestling games to understand. The visuals, while nice, just donít have all of the realism that you would figure a game such as this on a next generation system would have, and the audio is low to the point of not noticing. If youíre a wrestling fan of old, and you like characters that havenít wrestled since your parents were little {in some cases} then you may like this, but if youíre into the current WWF, you need to leave this one in the locker room.

-Drew Guirey