previews\ Sep 21, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This At Home - PS2 - Preview 2

Don’t try this at home ... or the truck stop ... or the slaughter house ... or the mansion ... or ...

Well, you get the idea.

Eidos, Paradox Development and Havok have combined for Backyard Wrestling Don’t Try This at Home, an extreme no-holds-barred wrestling game that is both violent, blood filled and wildly entertaining. Did the word challenging creep in there yet? It should, because if you think this game is a simple matter of picking up your opponent for a body slam through the nearby table, or a spinning neck-breaker, think again. was invited to step into this whacked-out wrestling world, with little trepidation fired off a suplex at this PlayStation2 preview build.

Each wrestler is metered for the damage received and these folks can take a lot of punishment. Some of that if reflected on the face of the male wrestlers, who may emerge from a fight with faces streaked with blood. The two women included in the package, Kitana and Jezebel, won’t suffer that visual affliction. Despite the damage they take (and they can dish it out), they remain pristine.

Kitana is poising in her backyard, the self-proclaimed queen of extreme. Along comes Rude Boy and the brawl ensues. There is nothing that is out of bounds. Pick up the medicine ball and launch it into your opponent’s face. Use anything and everything in the yard to your advantage in this fight.

The blood splatters, staining the ground and the action is intense - from slo-motion high-risk devastating moves to punch-drunk fighters, with head swimming in a sea of stars. Ok, this game is not for the faint of heart. Even the intro movie is filled with the violence and grimacing moves. Not to mention comely women strutting their stuff.

The Insane Clown Posse, a band that likes exhibition wrestling, shows up and provides some of the background music, along with Spineshank, Bowling for Soup and Chimaira. The soundtrack of this game is really driven by the music. The wrestling effects consist of a variety of grunts and groans often synonymous with these titles.

There are many ways to enjoy the game - there is Talk Show Mode, Exhibition Mode, as well as bonus games, create a wrestler and the media room, which has game trailers and unlocked movies.

With nine pre-built wrestlers, and seven main venues in the Talk Show mode (which is a progressive fight format) and four in exhibition, there is likely someplace for everyone to fight. You can pick up a variety of objects, from chairs to jarred burning candles and use them.

Bonus games include Survival Mode, King of the Hill and Tag.

The control elements will require a solid learning curve. The action is so quick that you will have little time to hunt for move controls. In that regard, this is a purely reflexive game. There is no such thing as a difficulty setting here. You either succeed or fail. Don’t expect the opposition to take it easy. Not only is the AI very good, but the moves are well choreographed. Though wrestlers can be obscured by certain environmental elements due to a static camera, the overall the look of this game is very good.

Backyard Wrestling is an extreme game that will not appeal to everyone. This game does not have the impressive, fluid stylings of a Soul Caliber II, nor does it have the comedic antics of a WWE title. Instead, this is a game that winks knowingly at the player, then gets extremely violent. It is a sinful pleasure inflicting as much pain as possible on your opponent in this realm.

The title says it all - don’t try this at home, unless it is in the video game format.

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