RELEASED: June 1993 (SNES)
AVAILABLE ON: GEN, SNES
DEVELOPER(S): Acclaim Entertainment
PUBLISHER(S): Flying Edge (GEN), LJN (SNES)
On January 24th, 1988, Hacksaw Jim Duggan made history by becoming the first WWF Royal Rumble winner. Royal Rumble became an annual event, in which first 20, then 30 superstars clashed it out in a battle royal with the simple goal of being the last man standing. In 1992, the WWF Championship was on the line in Royal Rumble for the first and only time, and Ric Flair won that match. The next year, and from that year forward, the winner of the Royal Rumble has been granted a championship opportunity on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania. Ever since that, Royal Rumble has become one of the biggest events of the year for wrestling fans. In the aftermath of the first "true" Royal Rumble, Acclaim and LJN ditched their WrestleMania brand for the time being and instead took on the first grand slam of the year, which they thought would bring some fresh air into the otherwise stale wrestling genre with its unique main event. Well, did it?
We miss you, Yokozuna
This time I have virtually nothing to complain about the line-up, either. The couple of mid-carders were quite hot new names back in '93, and then we have the obvious superstars of the era who are now considered legends. Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair (finally!), The Undertaker, Razor Ramon, "The Narcissist" Lex Luger, Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, and of course, the winner of the 1993 Royal Rumble, Yokozuna. They're all here. NO Hulk Hogan this time around, except in the Genesis version which in fact had a much shorter straw than the SNES original (the Genesis version was released in 1994). I'll drink to that, and go into the game just a little more buffed than I thought.
|I have a feeling Yokozuna's gonna pwn.|
|Is that a steel chair leaning against the apron |
there? Oh, hell yes it is.
It's indeed a notable improvement from every game that came before it, especially the 8-bit interlude Steel Cage Challenge. It's funny how much more authentic a game can become with the addition of one easily broken steel chair, and unique finishers for everyone - I missed Sweet Chin Music from Michaels' repertoire, but I guess it would've been impossible to make it look realistic at the time. Mentioning Michaels brings us to how solid the line-up is in comparison to the earlier games. It's far from a masterpiece, but WWF Royal Rumble delivered a fine deal of hope to the genre. Congratulations, LJN. I believe you just got praised for once.
GRAPHICS : 8.0
SOUND : 6.6
PLAYABILITY : 6.5
LIFESPAN : 6.2
CONCLUSION : 6.5
GameRankings: 68.75% (GEN), 73.00% (SNES)
Another game entitled WWF Royal Rumble was released exclusively on the Sega Dreamcast seven years later.