previews\ May 19, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This At Home - PS2 - Preview

E3 2003 - Hands On


The table is ignited, the opponent is knocked silly with an Irish whip into a concrete wall. Well, the table is burning and handy – why not put your opponent on it. This gives a whole new take on throwing another shrimp on the barbie. Or, as in the case of the scantily clad woman wrestler, throwing another ‘Barbie’ on the shrimp.


Paradox Development and Eidos Interactive will be releasing the no-holds-barred Backyard Wrestling for the Xbox and PlayStation2. The game was demonstrated at E3 in Los Angeles.


Almost anything can be used as a weapon – baseball bats, barbed wire, thumbtacks, and, of course, anything in the environment. Take blocks of ice from the ice machine at the truck stop and launch them into the face of your foe. The damage mounts, and the wrestlers show the signs of merciless warfare. Well, most do. The female wrestlers stay relatively free from the physical damage effects.


The game also includes an innovative damage model, dozens of weapons to use and a fully interactive and destructible environment. The soundtrack features the music of Insane Clown Posse (who are also featured as wrestlers in the game), Sum 41, Andrew WK, American Hi Fi, CKY, Stone Sour and others. This soundtrack is excellent.


As wild as WWE action can be, it pales in comparison to the antics of the wrestlers in this game. However, the E3 demo was lacking some characteristics that keep it from being too real. For example, leaping off a high ledge in an attempt to land on a prone opponent, and missing , seemed not to matter much. Now if a typical human being does a belly flop from 20 feet up onto a hard ground, he or she might be a little slow in jumping back up.


But the player interface was easy to get a handle on, and the game played very well. Reaction times from controller input to actualization on screen was almost instantaneous.


The graphical quality is quite good. The pace is fast and the characters move smoothly.  The special effects border a little too much on the arcade style but otherwise do a nice job in conveying the essence of the game.


This program is hard-core fighting action portrayed in a light mode. You will wince, flinch and laugh. As the tag line of the game proclaims: “Don’t’ try this at home,” unless it is via your console platform. 

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