Recently the Angry Video Game Nerd did a video about the WWF games that were released on the NES and SNES and I wanted to give my two pence on these same games. I was and still am a huge wrestling fan and collecting wrestling games is one of my main “things” as a kid I spent hours and hours playing the 8 and 16 bit WWF games and today, inspired by the AVGN video, I want to share my thoughts on the NES WWF games.
The first WWF game is very basic, you only have a choice of five characters and there is only one on one matches. There is hardly any moves and most of the match is spent trying to grab your opponent. It is kind of cool though, how each character has a health power up that is specific to them. To be fair for a first try this is not a horrible game, it is just not a very exciting one either.
Now, this is my JAM!!!! I spent more time with this than the three other WWF NES games combined. I was a huge Ultimate Warrior fan so seeing him take center stage was awesome. I get that the gameplay is not for everyone, but there is a strategy to this game. You see you and your opponent run around the ring like maniacs and it is like a game of chess where you have to think one step ahead of your opponent so you can catch them and hit them with a move. Screw up and you are in trouble as they will put a real beating on you.
I always have a great time playing this and as far as game modes go. WrestleMania Challenge is stacked. You can play as “yourself” as you take on the whole 8 man roster to become the WWF champion. But there is also tag team and Survivor Series match ups. This is a game that I really do enjoy and I would go as far to say that it is one of my favorite games on the NES. Also, it gets major cool points for letting you play as Macho King Randy Savage and not Macho Man like he was in most of the other WWF games during this period.
WrestleMania Steel Cage Challenge
By the time this was released I was in full SNES mode and Super WrestleMania was what I had my sights on. Sadly Steel Cage Challenge is nowhere near as good as its predecessor. It has a nice amount of game modes, including steel cage matches. But the gameplay is just so boring. There are no special moves at all so it does not matter what wrestler you play as. WrestleMania Challenge had its own charming style. With this game, I have always felt that they tried way too hard to look like Super WrestleMania and as a result, the game has a really boring art style which goes along with its boring gameplay. The one good thing I will say is that the roster is pretty awesome with people like Bret Hart, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels.
King Of The Ring
The last game to be released on the NES was King Of The Ring. This was released late in the NES’s life in 1993 and as a result is the hardest to find (although still not very expensive) out of the four games. This was released to go along with the King Of The Ring pay per view that debut in 1993. As well as going for the WWF championship, you could also try and win the King Of The Ring. So as far as game modes go, King Of The Ring has a lot to keep you busy. The graphics are kind of weird as they have used really big sprites for the wrestlers, I do not know why I have always liked the graphical style of this game.
One cool thing is that there are some light RPG elements to this game. When you play as “yourself” you get attribute points at the end of each match so you can make yourself stronger, faster or able to take more damage. Sadly each wrestler plays exactly the same and there is a severe lack of moves, no special moves once again! I feel that had they taken the time to at least give each wrestler their own finishing move that this would have been a really fun game.