Lucha Libre: Heroes del Ring Hands-on Impressions
Masked wrestling has always had its charm. The appeal may be gimmicky, but looking back on my own childhood, the more extravagant the costume and over the top the character, the more intriguing the wrestler would become. When mainstream wrestling started to opt for more realistic characters and drop the gimmicks, that was when wrestling started to lose its appeal. That said, Lucha Libre: AAA Heroes del Ring has a more traditional approach with masked and painted wrestlers hamming it up while they perform death-defying feats.
Promoting high-flying maneuvers and taunting, players will gain access to their finishers after filling up their meters from performing either function. The more risk involved with the air assault, the more the audience will cheer you on. Successfully pull off the attack, then you should be clear to taunt to wile up the crowd to keep filling up the starred meter to eventually unleash the signature/finisher attack. If either of these two methods doesn’t work, then standard grapple maneuvers are just fine, but it takes much longer.
Want to see a live Lucha Libre match in action? Check out our footage from E3
While the three aforementioned tasks are simple, there’s an even easier one that takes Lucha Libre from being user-friendly to ridiculously uncomplicated. Upon the start of the match, players only have to run back and forth against the ropes for about 15 seconds and the starred meter will automatically fill up. After that, initiate the signature maneuver and cover for the pin. It’s easy as that. Pat yourself on the back for a 30-second-match and move on.
Outside of the signature meter exploit, there were other areas that were seriously lacking. Play-by-play commentary was laughable and the color commentary literally made me shake my head in shame. On the flip side, the presentation and menus are fine with ‘50’s swing music and silly loading screens that detail “inside” information on fighters such as “Charly Manson doesn’t mind wrestling against his own brother Electroshock,” and “Psicosis played football when he was a young boy.”
In addition, punching and kicking opponents is often similar to pouring molasses onto a baked potato. The odd fact is that, while the melee attacks are excruciatingly slow, the air attacks are lightning quick. Try to deliver a fist to the cheek of your enemy and wait for a delay. Attempt a backflip onto your fallen adversary and watch your sluggish wrestler blitzkrieg the air with an array of flips that you didn’t think was possible. It’s strange to see two speeds of fighting – an occurrence that takes away from the overall production of Lucha Libre.
Set for an October 12 release, Lucha Libre AAA Heroes del Ring is packed with game mode options that range from the eight-player King of the Kings tournament mode and a rise to the top of the ranks Story Mode. Check back in a few weeks as we deliver our full review on the title.