sunnuntai 20. maaliskuuta 2011

REVIEW - WWF No Mercy (2000)

GENRE(S): Sports / Fighting
RELEASED: November 2000
DEVELOPER(S): Aki Corporation

After doing its own share in making the WWF video game franchise popular again with the release of WWF WrestleMania 2000, THQ cooked up one more Nintendo 64 game - WWF No Mercy - a follow-up named after a rather new annual pay-per-view event held in October from 1999 to 2008. For years, I've been told that WWF No Mercy is the best professional wrestling game ever made. That's more than a "kinda" bold statement, so I headed into it with a bit sharper criticism than usual. I found a good game, but not really a notable enhancement from the previous game in my opinion. One new, very essential feature that has become a mainstay in THQ's series of wrestling games, versus almost identical gameplay - not the match I was hoping to see.

Expect no mercy from me

WWF SmackDown! for the PlayStation had been out for several months, and in my opinion, it was proven by that game that this video game franchise needed to break away from the Nintendo 64. The controls worked better than in any N64 game, and while the game wasn't exactly beautiful, it definitely looked better than anything cartridge-based. I think THQ felt sorry for Nintendo fans after jumping ship to Sony and making SmackDown! a PlayStation exclusive, that's why they made No Mercy exclusively for Nintendo. Something about the game pleased the usual audience of the wrestling genre - I don't know what it is, 'cause I don't see what's so God damn exciting about the game in comparison to the SmackDown! series. Sure, the SmackDown! Mall is in as a new feature, but other than that... nope, don't see it.

The graphics are better than in WWF WrestleMania 2000, but I'd be damned if any Nintendo 64 game ever was an actual sight to behold. No Mercy offers up pretty much the best graphics the flat 64 has in store for a third-party game. The original music composed by Tommy Tallarico isn't exactly his best work, and for some odd reason, all wrestlers don't have their theme songs on the soundtrack. Or their real entrances intact, at that. For example, it seems like The Undertaker's some kind of a filler to the roster, since he's missing both his real theme song, and the motorcycle he used to ride to ringside during his period as the American Bad Ass.

Otherwise, it's kind of useless to get into the pros and cons of the roster when there are 45 guys on the main roster, ten Divas, and a total of 19 unlockable wrestlers ranging from Mae Young to Andre the Giant, from Ken Shamrock to Linda McMahon. This time, Dude Love has been cast out on the behalf of Mick Foley as himself, which is a good solution in my view - I never liked the hippie. Kurt Angle finally makes his debut on the standard roster, and the late duo of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit are here to represent, never to leave until death did them part.

The American Bad Ass don't give two shits
about some gold medals.
To keep a long story short, let's get into the new features of the game in comparison to WrestleMania 2000, right away. There are two new, notable match types: the ladder match and a special referee match. The ladder match doesn't work properly even in all modern games, so I don't feel the need to go into how shitty it is, period. The special referee match doesn't really work on its own, as an exhibition match. In the more recent games, it has been cool during careers to occasionally take on the guise of a referee, but in this context, the mode's only unnecessary decoration. The Royal Rumble can now have up to 40 participants, and the survival mode is a deathly gauntlet of 100 superstars. I guess this is what the "no mercy" in the title of the game means.

The career mode has gone under some major changes, and after a disappointing, rough start, I'm starting to feel the electricity of the game once getting started on that. The storylines are different depending on which WWF title you're going for, and they develop and branch to all different directions according to your track record. Regardless of who you're playing as, the storylines are adaptations of actual, classic feuds from recent history; the possibility of reliving the best damn rivalry in WWF history, Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock, is one of the things that helps this game shine just that little bit more.

Creating a wrestler is once again possible, though once again and just this once more, you can't save him/her, or your general progress at that, without a Controller Pak. You can play as your alter ego for the duration of one single session, which to my knowledge really wasn't possible in WrestleMania 2000. There are a lot of different options in accessories and clothing, and you can even create a separate entrance attire to your abomination, but there's no way of really modifying your wrestler's body mass to your liking, for example.

The SmackDown! Mall is the game's most important new feature, and the one thing that makes WWF No Mercy some sort of milestone in my opinion. It's a store, from which you can buy movesets, unlockable characters, weapons, props, accessories, you name it, with the money you make playing the game. It takes some time to unlock everything in the game and it gives you one additional dose of desire to keep playing the Career Mode over and over again, and see all possible outcomes of important wins and losses.

Sure I think the game's good, but the classic it's made out to be by the majority? No, it's simply not enough of a step forward in my opinion, and when I imagine myself playing it when it came out, I find myself wanting to turn to the PlayStation and its WWF SmackDown! instead. Maybe it was a simple game without a hint of simulation in it - but in my opinion, there was no return to the Nintendo 64 after DualShock controls were applied to a professional wrestling game. Just a matter of opinion.

NOTE: Sorry for the insufficient amount of screenshots. Technical problems.

SOUND : 7.0



GameRankings: 85.10%

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