Most people growing up watched at least some sort of wrestling. Legends of WrestleMania is a game that basically pays homage to these old school wrestling fans. THQ is known for their Smackdown wrestling games, which began on the original PlayStation console, and they have continued to redefine the genre ever since. The basics of this game are the same as all titles within the wrestling genre. Fight your opponent, and complete the necessary steps to win the match at hand.
What separates this title from most other wrestling games is that it isn’t focusing on an overall story/season mode for the player to go through. In fact it doesn’t even have it at all. What it does focus on is past matches that occurred throughout the history of WrestleMania. This is completed through the Relive, Rewrite, and Redefine modes. These three modes can be found within the WrestleMania Tour Mode section of the menu. Also in this area are the various videos pertaining to the matches that you have participated in.
The Relive mode is just that, you Relive the matches that occurred. It is up to you to complete the moves that actually occurred during the real match. Once you do these “objectives”, you will receive points towards getting a gold medal for that particular match. There are particular medals to unlock in this mode. With the medals come various costumes and videos as well.
Were you unhappy that Shawn Michaels defeated Bret Hart in the 1996 Iron Man match? Or what about when Rick Rude defeated the Ultimate Warrior? Then the rewrite mode is definitely for you. You essentially take the role of the person that lost, and attempt to change wrestling history.
The Redefine mode is completely up to you who wins. While there are still some things to do so you can earn points towards unlocking a gold medal, the winner is essentially up to you as the player. Only thing is that the matches are completely different, with certain detail changes you would never expect. Like Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd in a Hell in a Cell, or Big Bossman vs. Mr. Perfect in a Ladder match.
The other main mode in this title is the Legend Killer mode. The player takes one of their created superstars and sends them through one of the 6 gauntlets available. With the completion of each gauntlet, the player earns another gold medal and various other unlockables.
There are trophies for the player to unlock throughout these various modes, and a couple that can be unlocked in the exhibition modes as well. The trophies were a bit too easy though. I got a platinum within 3 days time. But overall it doesn’t hurt the game or it’s mechanics, just leaves you wanting for a bit more.Which is one reason that I am hoping for downloadable content in the future with more trophies as well. The game is a blast to play, and trophies are a definite bonus.
Graphically, the game looks great. The character models look amazing, and are surprisingly close to their real-life counterparts. The game has a definite “old school” feel to it, but in a good way. The only complaint graphically would definitely be the crowd, as it looks terrible from up close. Everything looks great from inside the ring, and the stadium you’re having your match in looks packed; it almost actually feels like you’re there. But as soon as you step out of the ring and get up to the guardrails during a fight, you can see that only some of the crowd members are actually 3D, while the rest are 2D billboards.
Gameplay-wise, the controls definitely take some getting used to. When you become accustomed to the complexity of controls involved in the Smackdown vs. Raw series, these almost seem dumbed down at first. Don’t let this first impression fool you though. There is just as much detail here with the controls; you just have to adjust to them. Another nice change of pace is the “chain meter”. This not only ties into the moves available at that moment, but also the finisher for your character. There are also a series of “chain struggles” that occur throughout matches, and are a great addition. Rather than just hitting a series of buttons to see the move used on your opponent, you hit a series of buttons when instructed to do so (think God of War), and your move/combo will be that much longer, and cause that much more damage.
There are a lot of matches for the player to choose from, with a total of 11 match types with several variations within those types to set. After the match type is set, you choose from 38 different legends, and this doesn’t even include any wrestlers you may have created within the extensive Create Mode. If that wasn’t enough, you can even import your Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 save file to access the entire roster within the game. So essentially, you can have Dusty Rhodes vs. Cody Rhodes in a father vs. son Hell in a Cell match if you wanted to. The possibilities are endless!
Overall the game is fun. The only problem that I had with it is that I unlocked everything within 3 days. The game left me wanting for more once I got my platinum, hence the reason I hope that downloadable content is released for this game. But even so, the game is definitely worth a look, especially for the wrestling fans out there looking to make some interesting match-ups between unlikely competitors.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Graphics are impressive, except for the crowd.
Great control scheme and awesome chain move system.