previews\ Mar 2, 2012 at 10:00 am

WWE Wrestlefest Preview


Remember the good ol’ days of gaming?  I’m talking the 1991 era, when the Super Nintendo was just gaining its footing and arcades were still a place for gamers to go and be social.  We miss those glory days, but in bits and pieces, they’re coming back through downloadable games for the home front.  Among them is WWE Wrestlefest, which recently debuted on the App Store courtesy of THQ.  It reminded us of the 1991 classic that Technos originally released, featuring the likes of Hulk Hogan and Legion of Doom.  Obviously times have changed, and so has the roster, but that shouldn’t stop fans from getting excited about a console port of Wrestlefest headed their way later this year.

WWE Wrestlefest, The Rock

Like the arcade version before it, Wrestlefest uses a two-button system for executing their moves.  While this is a far cry from what WWE 12 uses to execute power moves and reversals, it’s still a system that works, letting you whip opponents into ropes, smack them around with punches and kicks and perform powerful moves to send them flying to the mat.  The iPad/iPhone version isn’t bad, but we prefer to give the game a try with a physical analog stick and button – thus why we’re so excited for the console versions.

In addition, Wrestlefest should also come with online play, so you can challenge multiple players across the board to a series of modes, including Royal Rumble, where every man battles for himself; Steel Cage matches; and even the big stage, Wrestlemania, where it’s your turn to shine.  The console release should come with multiple arenas intact, including Raw, Smackdown, Survivor Series and more.

The roster consists of both old school and new wrestlers, adding a diversifying mix of folks to choose from.  80’s fans can relish in picking the “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Jake “The Snake” Roberts; long-time Attitude fans can go with The Undertaker and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin; and newbies who love today’s wrestling scene can go with such heroes as John Cena and CM Punk.  The game features eight wrestlers up front, with five more that can be purchased via DLC.  Obviously, since the console version is likely to be priced higher than the iOS app, we’re expecting an even bigger roster, with possible DLC additions down the road.

Don’t expect the most amazing graphics from WWE Wrestlefest.  The game is set to mimic the 1991 wrestling classic, and that’s probably how the console version will turn out, with simplistic animation, static crowds cheering you on and plenty of room to see what’s happening in the 2D ring – and even outside of it if you can get an opponent over the ropes.  The audio is likely to be just as limited, with only a little bit of announcing and some entrance themes for each of the wrestlers.

WWE Wrestlefest

We’re sure to get a better look at Wrestlefest somewhere down the road, probably around the time that Wrestlemania XXVIII takes place this April.  We’ll be back with a full hands-on report and let you know if this game can live up to the previously released WWE All Stars – that is, if you can smell what we’re cookin’.

(Screens taken from the iOS version.)

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