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Page 1:
WCW vs. The World / Virtual Pro Wrestling
WCW vs. nWo: World Tour
Virtual Pro Wrestling 64

Page 2:
WCW/nWo Revenge
WWF War Zone / WWF Attitude

Page 3:
WWF Wrestlemania 2000 Virtual Pro Wrestling 2: Oudou Keishou

Page 4:
WWF No Mercy
WCW Mayhem / WCW Backstage Assault

Page 5:
Ultimate Muscle: Legends vs. New Generation
Def Jam Vendetta / Fight For NY
Kinnikuman Muscle Grand Prix

Back to the Index


by Audun Sorlie - December 11, 2010

Dedicated to the memory of Mitsuharu Misawa (1962 - 2009), Joe Higuchi (1929 - 2010) and Gran Naniwa (1977 - 2010)

Professional wrestling and video games should have been the perfect fit from the earliest of the home console system's entry into the common home. It is an industry that can be traced back to the 19th century, and legend has it that Abraham Lincoln, the very same 16th president of America, was a skilled shoot (catch style) wrestler in his day who performed in wrestling matches at fairs and markets before becoming commander in chief and ending slavery, a moment in history only surpassed by Hulk Hogan defeating the Iron Sheik. Despite his wrestling background, Lincoln has strangely not been an unlockable in any wrestling game so far, which is surely a missed opportunity.

Wrestling itself would be the entertainment of choice for middle class America during many periods in the 20th century. From the early ages of Frank Gotch and Georg Hackenschmidt drawing the local arenas, to the 50's with Lou Thesz and Gorgeous George becoming national heroes through the advent of TV and Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan changing the wrestling landscape in the '80s, wrestling has had its place in American entertainment longer for over 100 years. It was especially in the 80s that the connection to video games would become apparent. The era, dubbed Rock 'n Wrestling, introduced a newfound emphasis on entertainment over actual competition, with characters being over the top, campy and instantly recognizable for the worldwide audience. Sports video games have existed since the birth of the medium, the very first game was in fact a tennis game played on a radio monitor and wrestling was built on theatre and storytelling with colorful characters competing in a action centered sport, the perfect fodder for a video game. Like a fighting game with its colorful cast with rich back stories, mixed fighting styles and theatrical action, pro wrestling seemed more ideal than virtually any other sport in the world to become a video game.

But despite the ideal material, it never seemed to fully click. The NES had a rich selection of wrestling games, with WWF, WCW and even Nintendo trying their hands on the sport in game form, but rarely were they received that well by the critics, being strictly for the fans of the promotions. The American games were often cheap cash in games with little variation, but things were different in Japan where business was booming and developers devoted more time and attention to the games. Trying to get the feel of the different promotions, varying move sets for the wrestlers and high end graphics would make the genre a popular one for Japan, and the most famous of the many wrestling games would be Human's Fire Pro Wrestling, a game that treated itself more like a sports simulator than arcade action style often found in the other wrestling games at the time.

In 1996 after a long mainstream hiatus, wrestling saw another boom period when Hulk Hogan, the world's most famous wrestler, turned evil and formed the new World order (nWo) and shocked the world by denouncing his fans and letting the devil in him take charge while competing in WCW. The in ring action had also seen a huge facelift, relying on a worldwide talent pool with Mexican high flyers and Japanese technical wizards showcasing a new fast paced style which captured the attention of fans who had grown tired of the big man style used by WWF. This ignited an era in television called Monday Night Wars as both the WWF and WCW were showing their flagship shows Monday Night Raw and Monday Nitro at the same time, fighting for the rapidly growing fan base. With the boom in popularity, wrestling merchandising became the hottest selling item in America and as such, the need for a video game to take advantage of this boom was absolute.

WCW had a very troubled video game past, having lent their licence to FCI, a Japanese publisher who would either use lower end developers or develop the games themselves without much critical success. But just like they struck gold in the TV ratings, WCW would strike gold in a new partnership with THQ in 1996. THQ commissioned the newly founded The Man Breeze, an independent developer who had gone into business with the intent of making 3D wrestling games. But just like WCW managed to lose their footing in the ratings, their video game business would mirror that by bad business decisions and eventual loss of reputation.

WCW Monday Nitro Title Card

Hulk Hogan, DDP and Ric Flair

William Shatner and Bret Hart


The Man Breeze / AKI Corporation

In 1992 Syuji Yoshida started his job as a producer and director at HUMAN after having studied in the HUMAN Creative School program. Having always been a fan of competitive sports, he took charge of development on many of HUMAN's action sport titles like Tae Kwon Do and the immensely popular Fire Pro Wrestling series. It was under Yoshida's direction that a young Goichi Suda would enter the video game industry as a scenario writer for Super Fire Pro Wrestling III: Final Bout in 93 and Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special in 94, and managed to shock the players by making the main character commit suicide at the end of the story campaign in the latter game. In 1995 Yoshida directed the first Fire Pro title in full 3D; Fire Pro Wrestling: Iron Slam '96, to combat the emerging NJPW Toukon Retsuden games from Yuke's. Iron Slam '96 was a failed experiment, with the timing aspect of the 2D games not translating well into a 3D environment with jerky animations and slow frame rate. Growing frustrated with HUMAN's lack of support for further 3D Fire Pro titles, Yoshida left the company to form The Man Breeze, a company which initially was solely based on making wrestling games. With him followed character designer SHINSUKU, planning director GETA-SAN and program designer and developer SHIKA who together started forming an engine that would enable wrestling action in full 3D.

Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special (SFC)


WCW vs. The World / Virtual Pro-Wrestling - PlayStation (1996)

American PlayStation Cover

Japanese PlayStation Cover

If you ever saw a picture of your favorite celebrity beauty, you're already well aware of the fact that all things are born ugly and need time to blossom into their true selves (unless you are Phoebe Cates, 'cause then you've been perfect all life long <3). The same holds true for the AKI engine which had a lot of rough patches that needed to be filled when WCW vs. The World was released. The key differences between Fire Pro and VPW are the way matches are controlled and played out. Everything in Fire Pro is about precise timing and calculation, having to study the different animations to know when is the time to do your input. VPW however does away with this and makes the player rely on their own resilience. To escape holds, you must mash buttons. Another difference is in the way the grapple system is handled. In Fire Pro, a connection between the wrestlers would initiate a grapple with an equal opportunity of success, so no matter which player actually made the advance, the other player can simply use the initiation to his own advantage at any time by being the faster and more precise man. In VPW grapples are initiated by the push of the O button. Depending on the state of your opponent, a shopping list size number of things can happen.

In a normal prepared state, a grapple will result in an irish whip (sending the opponent to the ropes or turnbuckle (corner post)) with the direction of choice depending on what you hold down on the D-Pad. Bring your opponent down with either some strikes or simple grapples, you can lift your opponent to his feet with the square button where he will stand in a groggy state for a few seconds, and it is here that you get a glimpse of the advance grapple system. Instead of an Irish whip, a grapple and a corresponding direction will lead to different kinds of maneuvers and there are plenty of them, 14 to be exact. Face to face or belly to back, far away or close in, all these factors decide what kind of move you will bust out of your move list. Not only that, but there is also a difference in the strength of the grapple. By holding down the circle button your wrestler will charge up his hold to perform even stronger moves and filling up your spirit meter.

And the spirit meter is also something quite unique for the time. It acts as both stamina, crowd enjoyment monitor and energy meter. If you get beaten up or play cheap by hanging out ringside, the spirit meter will drop and you are more prone to being countered or losing. By getting the upper hand, using variants of moves and doing well placed taunts, the meter rises until it flashes, indicating that you now are able to do your finisher. Up until now, most wrestling games had not properly treated the signature moves of wrestlers in very special manners, often putting in randomly in their move sets or as a desperation move when low on energy. VPW differed as here, the finisher is rewarded to you by being the better wrestler, bring the action closer to the faux realism found in pro wrestling with the finishing moves being for the most part (and if well booked), the end of the match. When the finisher is available, you hold down the circle button until your wrestler starts shaking his arms around. While not invincible, the special state also gives you an extra boost in power and if taken down, you will go right up to your feet.

In addition to the many grapple hold based slams, you also have a wide selection of mat based moves, with one different move per body part (head or legs). This also changes depending on if the opponent is on his back or belly, giving all wrestlers 4 different mat holds. Every wrestler also has two Irish whip rebound slams and 2 turnbuckle slams, bring giving each wrestler a move set of near 20 different grapple maneuvers, which was an unprecedented number for its time.

But there is also strikes, and plenty of them too. The striking bears more resemblance to Fire Pro than the grapple system. There are two buttons for striking, X and R2. X serves as the regular strike and will often consist of toe kicks and chops to the chest, and will also change depending on distance so that if you stand a bit from your foe, the attack will be for longer reach than that used in close range. By holding down X, you can also increase the strength and perform more well places kicks. The R2 button will result in a Power Strike, which is a severely hard strike that will down the opponent if they stand open to be hit, though this strikes are slower and easier to dodge than the lighter X strikes. If the opponent is standing outside, you can also launch yourself and perform a plancha (dive over the ropes) or baseball slide to take out the wimpy coward as he showboats outside. This is the first 3D wrestling game to allow dives.

Blocking an attack is done by holding down the square button, and the defense system of this game opens up for more tactical game play. When blocking a strike, you can simply hold the button and let the strike bounce off you, but this won't counter the move and it also leaves you open to be grabbed if the person sees your game plan coming. By doing a well placed press of Square+X right before the strike, you not only deflect the opponents attack, you also counter it with a well placed strike to the face. The same can be done against grapples by timing your defense just right, and gives you an opening to either strike or grapple the surprised wrestler. The different moves and strikes also deeply reflects that of what the wrestlers use in their real life matches and rarely resorts to filler moves, so each wrestler truly feels unique and familiar for fans. The taunts are also usually wrestler specific to further strengthen their likeness in both appearance and motion.

The amount of game play options will at first glimpse seem quite impressive, with seven different choices to play through like League and Best Of 7, but its an immediate disappointment when you realize that all these modes are essentially the same one on one match with either a tournament set up or exhibition rules. There is no tag team or battle royal available despite tag teams like the Steiner Brothers being on the available roster. There are however 10 different arenas to fight in with only aesthetic differences. Speaking of the roster, it's probably the biggest selling point the game had with both the Japanese VPW version and the localized WCW version. The roster between them differs greatly however.

VPW features all the biggest wrestlers (or their likeness rather) of the 90s with familiars like Jushin Liger, Mitsuharu Misawa, Vader, Hayabusa, Stan Hansen and Toshiaki Kawada being available for the many dream matches fans hunger for. On the selection screen these wrestlers are color coded to show which organization they belong to, which are all imaginary promotions with names similar to its real life counterpart. By going through each of these promotions league and winning their title, you can eventually unlock Andre the Giant, Terry Funk, Bruiser Brody, Antonio Inoki, Tiger Mask I and even Karl Gotch, the founder of Japanese pro wrestling.

WCW vs. The World features a handful of WCW licensed names on top of a reduced fictional cast of Japanese and Mexican familiars. The choices for the WCW portion of the roster is a bit weak due to a number of factors. The full tally for WCW originated names is 14 out of 60 including secrets, with Masahiro Chono and Ultimo Dragon being listed as WCW talents, but in a game with the majority being a cast of Japanese it doesn't make their WCW presence as strong. While some heavy names is to be found like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Lex Luger, the majority of talent are those who were fighting on the mid cards. Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit would become hot tickets later in their careers for right and wrong reasons, but during the time of development, they were largely unknown to the American mainstream audience. It becomes clear that this game was rushed to reach the shelves, and WCW neglected to oversee who would be included beyond Hogan, Sting and Ric Flair.

The majority of the mid card talents in WCW had at one point been amazingly popular in Japan however with Guerrero, Benoit and Malenko all having participated in the Super J Cup '94 and blown the roof off the arena, so their inclusion was justified from a Japanese perspective. This also resulted in the WCW portion having outdated attire and misplaced move sets. Between development and eventual release, WCW had seen an amazing change in their product with the nWo faction being prominently featured at near every minute of their programming, though little mention of them is found in the actual game because they were not around during development. The opening cinematic is a fast paced montage of the different talents in WCW, but most of the people featured in this montages are not actually found in the game. The already crude illustrations on the selection screen also proves confusing with Hulk Hogan, who had long since turned heel (bad) and donned an all black look, is still shown in his traditional red and yellow on the picture. His in game model wears the nWo gear however. Vader's likeness is altogether removed from this version due to the fact that he had left WCW on bad terms just a year prior. All wrestlers have a second outfit by pressing the start button. There is also a small title trade feature, where a small icon of a belt is displayed in the corner of their illustration and can be fought over. They are not visible in game however.

Far from perfect, it is still a game that proves to be an entertaining grappler and fun trip down memory lane so see all the seeds planted that would further sprout into amazing features as the series progressed. The controls are a bit complicated with button placement feeling unnatural at times, and there's a lack of transitional animations with wrestlers looking quite jerky after certain moves or movements, going suddenly into their stance without any animation but just a skip of frames. The graphics are also quite blocky even by PlayStation standards and makes the models look more like Kubrick toys than human beings. But with 60 wrestlers from all over the world, diverse move sets, high speed action and an awesome campy J-rock soundtrack, it's leagues ahead of the other 3D wrestlers that had come at this point. It proved successful in retail as well, selling enough to warrant a Greatest Hits re-release.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • The Man Breeze
  • Asmik Ace Entertainment

Publisher:

  • Asmik Ace Entertainment (JP)
  • THQ (NA)

Genre:

Themes:


WCW vs. The World (PlayStation)

WCW vs. The World (PlayStation)

WCW vs. The World (PlayStation)

WCW vs. The World (PlayStation)

WCW vs. The World (PlayStation)

WCW vs. The World (PlayStation)

Virtual Pro-Wrestling (PlayStation)


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Comparison Screenshots


WCW vs. nWo: World Tour - Nintendo 64 (1997)

American N64 Cover

Magazine Advertisement

Just in time for the holiday season of 1997, WCW would once again take the fight around the world with WCW vs. nWo: World Tour. Man Breeze had now become the AKI Corporation and while their last WCW effort was basically a rushed localization job of an already 8 month old game, this game would be built ground up with WCW in mind and with much more proper roster representation and likeness than what was found in the earlier title. In addition of fighting the world, WCW had bigger fish to fry within their own promotion fighting the nWo.

One of the biggest setbacks with the previous game was the restricted multiplayer settings and lack of tag team and battle royal action. To properly implement this, the decision was made to port the engine over to the Nintendo 64 which had a much stronger reputation for its multiplayer action and capabilities. The entire engine was fine tuned to showcase better graphics, more onscreen characters, more moves per characters and better controls to the point where it wasn't just a mere upgrade, it was revolutionary within the wrestling game genre and would set the standard for all to come after it.

The licensed WCW roster is now vastly increased with 2 factions dedicated solely to the talents of World Championship Wrestling and New World Order. Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sting, Lex Luger, Ric Flair, Rey Mysterio Jr, The Giant and even big boss himself Eric Bischoff, the real president of WCW and on screen bad guy can all be found within the roster of World Tour. In addition you still have the fictional cast based on worldwide talents, drawing mostly from the smaller promotions in Japan like Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling (DOA in World Tour) and Michinoku Pro (IU in World Tour). Hayabusa would now be known as Hannibal, Great Sasuke returned as the Black Ninja as seen in 'The World and Jinsen Shinsaki, a Japanese wrestler who competed in rival promotion WWF as Hakushi, appears near unaltered in appearance as Shaolin. All 4 factions have 1 secret character each to unlock, with all of them being native WCW talent. WCW unlocks Diamond Dallas Page, nWo unlocks Macho Man Randy Savage, Dead or Alive unlocks Wrath and Independent Union unlocks Glacier, a wrestler based on Mortal Kombat's Sub-Zero though this connection is severely downplayed as Midway threatened to sue over the similarities.

The controls are now altered and tailor made for the unique N64 controller. The basic layout of attack and grapple remain the same but things are greatly simplified to keep the flow and pace more even. Striking is done with the B button and is now, like the grapple, pressure sensitive which means if you tap the button, the strike is a light one to intercept your opponents approach and holding it down will make you perform a strong strike. The light strikes are still depend on distance to determine what kind of strike you do, but the strong strikes remain the same close range or far apart, with there being 2 different strikes depending if you hold down a direction on the d-pad or stand still. There are also an increased number of running strikes and even running strikes on downed opponents now. Grapples are reserved the A button and has gone through some changes as well. Still pressure sensitive, grappling now initiates a hold where the player can transition into either 6 different light grapples or 6 strong grapples through using a combination of the A or B button along with the D-Pad when in a hold, and there is no more need to stun the opponent. Most C buttons have one unique action each with up-C acting as tag in your partner/enter/exit the ring, right-C as focus shift and down-C making your wrestler run the ropes or send the opponent running if in a grapple state. You also climb the turnbuckles by running into them. The analog stick is only used for taunting and activating the finisher, and finishers are performed by hard grappling your opponent while in the special state and flicking the analog stick. The defense mechanisms are simplified further by giving striking and grapple an individual defense each with R blocking strikes and L evading grapples as well as being used as the pin button on a downed nemesis. Both these can turn into counter attacks if timed correctly. Once you find yourself performed a move on or locked in a submission however, the name of the game is button mash and tons of it. Pin falls and submissions can also be broken if the victims's body touches the ropes.

The amount of match options is far greater with the most important addition being tag team and battle royal action, which allows for up to 4 players simultaneously. There is plenty of glorious fun to be had with friends as AKI really put great emphasis on team work, allowing double grapples and moves to be done to dish out extra damage. For older fans who remember the Road Warriors, they've even included the possibility of one lifting the opponent onto the shoulders by pressing the up-C from behind and your partner is free to run to the turnbuckle and perform a diving attack onto the high-seated victim. You can also press the L button while holding from behind to look the foe's arms behind his back and allowing your partner a free shot at his helpless face, though be quick or else that punch will land right in the face of your own partner. The battle royal pits 4 men against each other for some chaotic action, and unlike other games like Fire Pro where focus was based on the closest danger, you have full control over your focus by simply pressing the right-C to change at your own desire. There's also the return of leagues and tournaments, as well as a special mode called WCW vs. nWo which acts as 5 on 5 singles elimination tournament. While not extensively diverse, they still help to draw out the replay value of the game.

The attention to detail was unrivaled at the time and gives you full control of the whole match. Every piece of the ring can be used to your advantage, spring boarding off the ropes, multiple turnbuckle moves, high flying dives from the corners, strikes and grapples on the apron and suicidal dives onto outside opponents with all these features being easily performed by pressing A while in the proper position to performed the intended action. If both wrestlers try to grab each other at the same time, a test of strength will go down with the winner being the faster button masher. Outside the ring, all moves will take double damage and you can throw your opponent into the railings, ring and even steel post corner which will make a gong noise. If that's not violent enough for you, press up-C near the railing will grab you a foreign object likes chairs or bats to beat your opponent senseless. The game must not have been evaluated properly by the ESRB because if one goes into options and enables a feature called "Realism", you enable bloodshed. There's actually plenty of the red stuff to be drawn from the wrestlers despite having a rating of K-A, the equivalent to today's E rating. A relatively hidden feature is the fact that you can tear off the masks of the disguised wrestlers by using certain characters with a face stretch submission, marking the very first time you could do this in a wrestling game, and the first time you could see the face of the likes of Rey Mysterio Jr. The faces behind the masks are generic faces and not based on the real faces of the wrestlers however. This will also trigger an instant special for those who lost their mask. Another hidden feature is the ability to steal the finisher of your opponent by pressing A and B at the same time while grappled with a Special state. Each wrestler have 4 attires each, changeable by pressing the C button at the select screen.

Speaking of details, the animation is absolutely fantastic this time around with every move being computer animated rather than motion captures. This allows the weight and impact of all moves to be as devastating as possible and giving all the finishers and high risk moves a truly fatal look, compared to the other games and even games today that solely rely on motion capturing which gives the game a constant feeling of déjà vu and staleness. The dynamic camera system is really put to use with zooms and interesting angles giving you a clear look at the move and the damage it puts on the victim, and it can even spin around the wrestlers when performing holding suplexes, which gives it a really cool and impressive look. A truly revolutionary aspect is the damage system this game features. Still relying on the tried and true Spirit meter, you now also accumulate damage to specific body parts, required to make the opponent submit or go down faster. When playing as Ric Flair for example and locking on the figure four leg lock after damaging the legs to the point that your opponent is limping and holding his legs, a submit is pretty much a definite. This allows for some psychology and proper building of matches as players are required to do logical damage to the man they are fighting to properly take him out.

The roster isn't as big as 'The World', but someone decided to have a lot more fun with the fictional cast this time around, giving them all elaborate back stories which are quite over the top even for wrestling standards. These could be found in the official guide released by Prima. The most famous and absolutely amazing story found here is the one belonging to Saladin, a wrestler based on the likeness of Abdullah The Butcher. In the guide, it states that Saladin was once Afghanistan's top secret agent but refused an order to assassinate Mikhail Gorbachev. Once banished from his country, he decided to use his combat skills in the wrestling ring. It's clear, never ever mess with Saladin, the man is a trained assassin. This guide also features some truly atrocious writing with Hulk Hogan's finisher being termed the Top Rope Stinky Leg Drop.

The graphics were also given a major facelift by jumping over to the N64. The models are much more well rounded and proportionally correct, with greater detail to their bodies and attire. The overall art style is a cartoon likeness with the animators drawing over the real faces to capture the look of the wrestler, though in some cases the faces definitely look off, and there is something quite strange seeing a man with the biggest smile on his face while being stretched to oblivion since the faces do not change depending on state. Most of the game's biggest faults can be attributed to the graphics because the game has some issues with the collision detection. Everything has been given a transition animation to keep the flow consistent which gives the game a great look, but the problem is that these animations makes you invincible. Getting up, climbing or performing a move, striking or grappling will simply not connect. There is a ton of clipping going on and body parts while go through each other easier than people walk through Patrick Swayzee in Ghost, especially if the body sizes differs greatly between the combatants. Another issue is also the height difference, or rather the lack of one which results in 7.2 The Giant being just as tall (or short) and 5.3 Rey Mysterio Jr which takes some of the impact of the giant wrestlers away. The crowd is also as cheap as they come, as they are represented as a colored mess with two frames of animation. The presentation is also lacking a bit of the American road traveling show feel with no entrances, no entrance themes or famous locales.

Graphical issues aside, this game was absolutely breathtaking when it came out. Not only was it by far the greatest wrestling game ever made at the time, but it was also one of the few multiplayer fighting games that actually worked and felt evenly balanced. The rather simple controls and open play field allowed all to get properly accustomed to the style of the action. It's probably not an overstatement to say that this game was responsible for dragging in a whole slew of new wrestling fans just through the fun they had with the video game with their friends.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Aki Corporation
  • Asmik Ace Entertainment

Publisher:

  • THQ

Genre:


WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (N64)


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Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 - Nintendo 64 (1997)

Japanese N64 Cover

Despite having a stellar product in World Tour, AKI felt the need to boost the product an extra bit before releasing it in Japan 2 months later. Despite sporting a similar look to it's American brother, Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 probably has enough added content to be considered a sequel in its own right.

The new intro showcases the majority of these changes. While World Tour had a simple 20 second montage of the most famous finishers in WCW, VPW64 features an extensive multi minute intro showcasing the new features and moves, long time feuds like Kawada vs Misawa and also dream match scenarios between American and Japanese superstars. Once you start the game and head on over to the selection screen, you might wanna prepare yourself to have your jaw dropped. A roster of 35 or so wrestlers has now expanded to 110 individual wrestlers all things their signature look and moves! The level of detail is generally higher than that found in World Tour, though AKI was able to bring their WCW licence over to Japan, so the entire roster from World Tour is included in addition to all the new ones taken from New Japan and All Japan, the 2 largest promotions in Japan at the time. There's not only wrestlers this time but also MMA fighters, who can fight under MMA rules inside the ring similar to what you will see in K-1, which is a famous form of mixed martial arts popular in Japan. The only 2 names not making the jump over to VPW64 is Glacier and Wrath.

There are about 100 new moves added to this version, some that introduce all new elements to the game play. Most importantly is the combo system given to the MMA fighters and certain wrestlers. When this is initiated, you will see a number at the bottom and given six chances to strike the stun opponent in combo succession. Each direction and button combination performs a different strike, and the only way to block this is for the other player to predict the direction held by the offensive advancer. If all the punches are landed perfectly, this causes a lot of damages, more so than most grapples found in the game. The other important new feature is the apron dive. In the previous game, dives could only be performed from inside the ring to the outside while on the apron, you were limited to a strike or light grapple. Now you can run and dive onto the opponents outside from this apron area and dish out some extra high flying action.

There are a number of additional rings to correspond with the added promotions to the game, each with their own new theme song. The music in general has been shuffled around, and the new music is excellent stuff with the intro have a a synth rock flavor much similar to that found in the Mega Man X games, a definite contrast and step up from the American's generic rock soundtrack. The soundtrack is handled by Hideaki Mitsui and Umihiko Date from World Tour. There is also a new Legend arena which will render the game in black and white with screen particles to simulate the look of the old tapes from the 30's and 40's. There are still no ring entrances or entrance themes however. There is also an animated referee on screen during matches now, which can be switched off in Options. The referee will pop up during counts and submissions and features some funny facial expressions.

An all new edit mode has also been added which allowed players to edit the names and appearance of any wrestler they may choose, similar to the edit mode found in the Fire Pro games. Here you can mix and match parts and colors from the different wrestlers and create all new attires, personas or just simply update the look to be closer to what is represented currently in the ever changing world of wrestling. There is no way to edit the move sets, so even with a name change, the move set is locked and remains the same as the default character you have chosen.

At the time VPW64 stood unchallenged as the only wrestling game on N64 in Japan and met great success and reviews from the press, praising the features and game play. For American fans, they were left unaware that World Tour had ever seen such a significant update, but AKI were preparing to enter the American arena for another go a year later.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Aki Corporation
  • Asmik Ace Entertainment

Publisher:

  • Asmik Ace Entertainment

Genre:


Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 (N64)

Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 (N64)

Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 (N64)

Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 (N64)


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