previews\ Sep 22, 2003 at 8:00 pm

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

Can someone please put out these flames??

It’s not the backbreaker that is minded so much, but the table candle to the forehead can really sting!

Backyard Wrestling Don’t Try This At Home, a pending Xbox release from Eidos Interactive, Paradox Development and Havok comes with a preamble that includes the warning not to try what you see in the game at home. These are, after all, professional avatars.

But that warning does not only extend to home.

The setting is a Gentlemen’s Club. A dancer gyrates on the stage, while a lone bartender works behind a counter. It is quiet and obviously after hours. It won’t be quiet for long. Enter Monoxide and Josh Prohibition. After a few comments about prowess, the fight is on. The typical wrestling moves you would see on a WWE event are employed, knee drops, back breakers and the like. There is also some aerial action - some of it slowed down so that you can enjoy the athleticism and agonize over the pending pain.

The move is executed with deadly proficiency and the reward is a target that thuds to the ground with blood splattering in several directions.

Oh, did we mention that this game is extremely violent and will be rated Mature for blood, violence, language and sexual themes?

Each wrestler within the game, male and female, 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.

Players will also have the option of creating their own wrestlers.

The environments are also interactive. In addition to that jarred table candle, you can pick up any number of other items within the environment and throw or bash your opponent with them.

In addition to the variety of grunts and crashing noise, the program also has a dynamic musical score. 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.

Modes of play include Talk Show Mode, Exhibition Mode, as well as bonus games, create a wrestler and the media room, which has game trailers and unlocked movies. Bonus games include Survival Mode, King of the Hill and Tag.

There are nine pre-built wrestlers, seven main venues in the Talk Show mode (which is a progressive fight format) and four in exhibition,

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 look of this game is very good.

Backyard Wrestling Don’t Try This At Home is an extreme title, not for the squeamish or those easily offended. The game is a guilty pleasure, quick paced and it sports a solid look.

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