Yesterday, I received Showdown: Legends of Wrestling for the PlayStation 2, courtesy of Gamefly. Of course, ahead of time, I had checked out reviews just to see. IGN’s review quote was “Because the reality of it all, is that Showdown is a game meant for fans of wrestling and Not for fans of wrestling videogames.” Well, duh, don’t you think? How many non-soccer fans are going to play soccer games, exactly? Although IGN gave it a craptacular review, the reader score was much, much higher, which lead me to believe it wasn’t all that bad.
The game is definitely for wrestling fans from the 80s and early 90s. Everybody who’s anybody is in the game, which is great for the same group of people that still play Atari 2600 games. The match play itself isn’t awful, just different. I will say there are some collision detection issues (you throw a punch at the guy’s back and he holds his face, for example)….and of course with any wrestling game, the ‘aiming’ thing sucks. That being said, I’m having a lot of fun with the game. The cage matches are fun, the hardcore matches are fun, there’s plenty of blood in the game as well.
If I had to review it, I’d probably give it a C+ at this point. It definitely could have been better, but it’s not the worst wrestling game I’ve played. (I think that honor goes to WWF RAW for the Xbox, or Royal Rumble for the Dreamcast. Both blew chunks). Wait 2 weeks when it’ll be $19 to pick it up.
Speaking of wrestling, after playing the game, I put on RAW. I hadn’t watched it in a long time. Maybe years. I see why. Ever see those debates on the newsgroups about XM and Sirius, TiVo and Replay? Usually they say I want both to survive so that there is competition. That’s the problem with the WWE — there is no competition, there are too many wrestlers and the product is suffering big time. On the bright side, I don’t think I have ever laughed out loud more than I did in the last 15 minutes of RAW. First, we saw the ‘flashback’ from Sunday’s PPV. Of course, since you can go and buy the repeat of the PPV we got “press still photos”, like it’s some top notch boxing match from the 80s. Then we see Undertaker beat Dudleyz to save Paul Bearer, only to kill him in cement. So, they are advocating death now. Great. In addition, it made absolutely no sense. Isn’t Undertaker like pushing 50 now? Anyway, whatever.
Then, in the ‘main event’ and I use that term loosely, we have Kane vs Chris Benoit with the most stupid rules I’ve ever seen. God knows what belt it’s for at this point, as there are like 23 belts. I think it’s the WWE Heavyweight, which used to be the WCW World Title, which is different than the belt that Hogan had back in the 80s. Or something. Anyway, of course Benoit wins using the only way that he can win, but then Lita comes out — apparently she’s pregnant with Kane’s kid. Or something. So Benoit is out of it, Lita points to the belt and gives it to him, as if he’s won. Then she crotch kicks him. Then Kane gets ready to chokeslam Lita but realizes it’s his kid, so doesn’t. Then he yells at Lita. She runs away and Benoit kicks Kane. That’s how it ends. Or something. Who cares. God, that was stupid. People still watch this? Acutally they don’t based on the ratings.
Anyway, remember WrestleLine? It was a pretty great site, giving some wonderful recaps and made watching the matches a lot of fun, way back when. Then CBS Sportsline bought it. Then they killed it. Well, last month, it came back. It’s not at 100% but they are working their way back. Check it out by clicking here.