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Total Reviews: 1
Average Overall Score Given: 8.00000 / 10
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Reviews
Legends of Wrestling

Overall: If you've been looking for your XBox wrestling fix, wait for fall. You'll be getting sequels to RAW and Legends of Wrestling with more match types, more wrestlers, and (hopefully) refined engines. However, if you're a hardcore wrestling game enthusiast (raises his hand sheepishly) and you desperately need to cleanse your brain of the horrendous experience that RAW was (raises his hand emphatically) then, by all means, buy this game. It has its faults, but Legends of Wrestling is better than nothing if you can't wait.

Gameplay: First, the engine, which is actually quite good and could help secure the franchise's success with a little streamlining. The reveral system is much better than those used in THQ's games, which effectively have you flying blind (which I've found quite frustruating, particularly after the game reverses like five of my attacks in a row). When an opponent attempts to perfom a maneuver on you, a little slider will appear under your name. When it goes into the green area of the slider, you press the appropriate button (X or A) and reverse the move. There's also a combo system that works quite similarly. I do, however, feel that there should be a limit on the number of time a character can reverse a move in a row. You'll see what I mean when you attempt a body slam maneuver on someone; he'll reverse you into a gutwrench position; you'll reverse that with an elbow which puts you in the gutwrench position; he'll reverse that with his own elbow . . . I think you get what I mean. You'll throw elbows for like three minutes before somebody's timing is off. The green spot on the slider does get smaller with each successful reversal, but the slider often moves slowly enough to make a reversal quite easy despite of that. Otherwise, the system works splendidly for both reversals and combos.
However, there are some problems on the gameplay front. First, entrances. As opposed to a fixxed, pre-rendered entrance you can make your character taunt or appeal to the audience while he is on his way to the ring. While this is quite dynamic and innovative, it just doesn't come over well. The gameplay could also use some streamlining. I found it nearly impossible to tag (the "sweet spot" is either very specific or very random). I also found it quite difficult to perfom aerial maneuvers; by the time the game realizes that you want to climb the turnbuckle instead of stomp your opponent, he's just about to get up. Also the slider bar to reverse striking attacks doesn't always pop up. Another problem is that the game only allows you to perform your finisher after you've raised you "Attack Bar" (can't remember the actual name of it) high enough. Unfortunately, this always seems to happen at the halfway point in the match, so your finisher is hardly a finisher. Also, the create-a-wrestler mode doesn't seem to tell you how to perform the character's finisher. One final note: you have to move with the analog stick; the directional pad is used to call out to your manager/partner for assistance. But games like this are just better played with the directional pad, and you just never really get used to the analog stick.
There are a few neutral notes. As mentioned, you can call your manager to distract the referee. However, this doesn't seem to serve much of a purpose. There's no disqualfication or count outs, so the only way this could be helpful is near the end of a close match and your afraid you're going to get pinned. Speaking of weapons, you can actually pull off grapple type moves when you're holding a certain weapon type as opposed to just smacking them in the head. Given, they're all pretty similar (with the exception of the Vandaminator) and the maneuver doesn't really do much more damage than just smacking a character over the head with the weapon, but it's still a cool feature.
The create-a-wrestler feature is quite well fleshed out. Aside from the failure to tell you how to perform you finisher, it's quite good. You can choose from several body styles (as opposed to RAW's single body type), and clothing options are very diverse. The tattoos could use some work, however; they appear dead center on the body part. While this works for a character's chest and back, it looks funny on the arms and legs. You should be offered the choice of centering on the forearms on biceps. The move assignment is also pretty good. You can choose from several styles (grappler, high-flier, technical, or all-around). Each has it's strengths and weaknesses. Grapplers for instance can't do aerial maneuvers, but have access to all the tie-up and ready moves. Certain move slots are locked initially, but they (as well as more attribute and ability points) can be unlocked by advancing the character in career mode. You can make about twenty created characters in total (never counted). This will probably be enough for most people; however, I make alot of created characters. And they're really shouldn't be a limit on created wrestlers; the XBox's Hard Drive is huge.

Graphics: First and foremost, in Legends of Wrestling you have to realize that the character models aren't really supposed to be realistic; they're going for a somewhat cartoony appearance with their Legends. I'm sure that this will probably irk some individuals. However, I feel that this is better than attempts to make wrestlers look real and failing miserably (if you remember Wrestlemania from the SNES, you know what I mean).
The second thing you'll notice is that wrestlers have been give a little sheen for the XBox version. It's similar to what you see in King of Fighters (though not as intense). It looks pretty nice . . . on the Legends at least. The downside is that it also makes clothing shine too, which you'll notice if you make a created wrestler with some sort of upper body clothing. In this case, it looks pretty crappy.
The arenas are nothing to write home about. The audience looks somewhat better than RAW's cardboard cutouts, but the actual arena itself isn't quite as good looking. You do get more arena types though, but they're all carbon copies. It'd be nice if you could take fights into the backstage, but you can't do that in RAW either (no points lost their).
So, why did I give this category a five? Simple: BLOOD. Acclaim has always done blood effects in their wrestling games well, and Legends of Wrestling kicks it up a notch. Not only do character models actually bleed (they're wounds grow as they take more damage), but the models actual drip blood onto the canvas. The effect is similar to what you see in Ultimate Fighting Championship games, only the blood spots remain until the end of the match. It has to be the most beautiful representation of violence I have ever seen.:) That's what gives this a five.

Audio: I wouldn't necessarilly call the game's music "bad," just generic. The entrance music is sort of hard to hear. It would have been nice if they had recieved the rights to use the classic entrance music, but I'm sure that would have raised the price of the game in turn. The option to use custom soundtracks is a saving grace (particularly for entrance music). Unfortunately, the game seems to only play the first ten songs from the soundtrack, so I hope you picked good ones.
The wrestler voices, however, are just plain goddawful. They actually seem to be whining more than grunting. Some verbal taunts would have been cool too.

Suggestions: There's already a sequel in the works. You can read about it hyah: http://www.aressReleases/product.html
My suggestions? More match variety. They're off to a good start already. First Blood, I Quit, and Last Man Standing Matches would also be good additions. I'd also like to see some female legends. Given, I can really only think of two candidates (Fabulous Moolah and Medusa), but they're legends too. One last thing: a watch mode is a must in any wrestling game. It should be put in.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10

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