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Page 1:
WCW vs. The World / Virtual Pro Wrestling
WCW vs. nWo: World Tour
Virtual Pro Wrestling 64

Page 2:
WCW/nWo Revenge
WWF War Zone / WWF Attitude

Page 3:
WWF Wrestlemania 2000 Virtual Pro Wrestling 2: Oudou Keishou

Page 4:
WWF No Mercy
WCW Mayhem / WCW Backstage Assault

Page 5:
Ultimate Muscle: Legends vs. New Generation
Def Jam Vendetta / Fight For NY
Kinnikuman Muscle Grand Prix

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WWF No Mercy - Nintendo 64 (2000)

American N64 Cover

WWF No Mercy would be the last official wrestling game released by AKI. By now the grapple system had been more or less perfected and so the emphasis was more on nailing the current on air product as closely as possible. The WWF attitude era had reached the top of its dirty mountain, and No Mercy would be right there with it on top. More moves, more match modes, more unlockables, this game truly had no mercy on the game engine and pushed it to its limits.

Everything has now gotten a makeover, even the way the menus are navigated with stylish backstage locations backdropping it. It's quite clear from the get go that the choices of matches is improved as the first screen with show you the list of them. Exhibition, Royal Rumble, Pay Per View, King of the Ring, Guest Referee, Ladder Match and Ironman match. Some of these sound familiar as they have been featured before, but the newcomers are first timers in the world of wrestling video games. Tag matches, three or four way matches, cage matches and first blood are also available. There are 10 arenas to choose from all based on the 1999 line of PPV's held by the WWF.

The ladder match is probably the biggest addition to the game and the most fun for multiplayer purposes. In this match a briefcase or belt is hoisted high over the ring and it's a race between the involved members to get the ladder, set it up and climb to the top in reach of the object. The first man to fetch it wins the match. This works much like the cage match where you must mash buttons when on top of the ladder to get the last boost of strength to grab the shining belt or case. It's a dangerous place to be though because this ladder can be knocked down, leading to some of the most grusome falls found in any of the AKI games, or your opponent can race up the other side of the ladder to slap-chop you before doing a suplex off the ladder itself. It's high risk action at its finest. The ladder can also be picked up and used as a weapon, and of course you are welcome to find them laying around outside the crowd baricade as usual. Finally AKI fixed the dissapearing weapon issue when dropped, and they will actually stay in place where you drop them. This allows you to do moves onto floored chairs, ladders and all other weapons. There is also a breakable announcers table outside the ring now for even more mayhem. The ladder doesn't just act simple step up way to an object, by pressing A at the top of the ladder it will make the wrestler climb up and jump off to do airial attacks. This is pro wrestling dammit, if you want to jump off a ladder then you're damn well going to do so in this game. Iron Man matches are normal matches with a time limit and counter keeping track of the falls during the match. The wrestler with the most wins within the time limit comes out the winner of the whole match.

Guest Referee enables you to don the striped zebra shirt and serve up some justice called right down the middle or screw one of the wrestlers out of a victory. This mode is controlled by the C-buttons acting as either submission check ups, pin counts or ring out counts as well as referee specific taunts.

Another new feature is the all new story mode. This is no longer just a simple tournament or wordless progression through PPV's, but a fully featured branching tree story line setup with backstage quarrel, in ring drama and title belt challenges. There are seven belts all with different branching storylines that depend on wins, losses and choices that you make throughout the campaign. Each belt requires plenty of playthroughs to get 100 percent finished and for each match and belt one, you get a hefty sum of money. This money can be used at Smackdown Mall.

The Smackdown Mall is now the home of all the unlockables. There are two ways to raise funds to buy the secret moves, items and wrestlers. You can either go through Story Mode and get paid per match, or you can go through the Survival mode which sends wrestlers at you non stop without any break, lasting till you finally are defeated. The higher number of wrestlers you have taken out, the more money you earn. Smackdown Mall contains hundreds of different things to purchase and gives a good sense of accomplishment and motivation to go through the stories and long survival bouts. It's important to note that WWF No Mercy is the only N64 game where you can actually purchase a prostitute. She is not the most expensive purchasable character however.

WWF No Mercy

During most matches, you can now access the backstage area for the first time to get some concrete smashing action going on. This feature is actually fairly interesting because it contains many connected areas which you can visit. The ramp way, corrridors, boiler rooms, parking lots, locker rooms and an arena bar area, it's actually well structured and quite functional despite being the first time featured. These areas come littered with weapons and the locker room has a breakable table, while the bar allows you to fight onto of a pool table and break it upon impact. With the hardcore match setting you can also allow for pinfalls in the backstage areas.

WWF No Mercy

The roster remains largely the same as it was in WM2000 with The Rock, Stone Cold, Triple H, Mankind and Undertaker being some of the selectable wrestlers. There's also new additions like Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Trish Stratus and Eddie Guerrero. Big Show is left out due to being sent for further training at the talent development company owned by WWF. His inclusion was at one point planned but removed shortly before release, but his face and attire can be unlocked with a Gameshark device. There's no fictional cast this time around either, though the CAW mode is quite robust and allows for much better creations this time around with many unlockable parts, hair styles and attires being available. AKIMAN made his triumphant return, this time as a crash test dummy in the moveset editor.

Many new moves were added exclusively for this game and several old moves were reanimated to give it a better look as they had by now grown stale and looked stiff compared to all the new additions the games had seen over the years. New reaction animations were also created like inside-out flips from clotheslines, and wrestlers could now get tangled in the ropes dazed and give you a free shot at their face which will lead them to fall face first out of the ring. There's also a great number of new reversals and counter moves for more appropriate looking counters to certain holds and strikes.

Strangely, No Mercy suffers from some issues which the other games were not really guilty of doing before. Numerous features have been taken out of the game. Entrances are now just a short rampway taunt with no in ring follow up, moves have been taken out inexplainably, the belt creation tool is completely removed and even the test of strength animation is completely gone. Several of the things introduced in VPW2 like the fighting spirit reversals and burning spirit super finishers are not anywhere to be seen either. The CAW mode includes no masks apart from Kane's which puts a damper on your creativety. Maybe most strange of all is that No Mercy suffers from some quite noticeable slow down when four characters are on screen at once, something that never happened in any of the predecessors. Granted the models are more detailed now and there are many more objects around the ring area, but it feels like the game simply suffer from being rushed in some areas and could have used some more polishing. There's also a number of bugs to be found, one so crippling that replacement copies had to be issued. A batch of the first print copies came with a bug that made the game unable to save your progress, CAWs and all other saves, rendering much of the game unplayable. This particular big was fixed shortly after release. The music is some of the most god awful loops ever heard with "dig dig diggity dawg" being repeated 1,000 times within five minutes along with some truly awful sax samples.

Another huge flaw is found in the weight class setting introduced quietly in VPW2. All the super heavyweights like Rikishi and Viscera are now set to have the struggling lift attribute and therefore matches against them become all about either body slamming them or failing which seems almost random. After a few tries you will always succeed and what happens then is the great flaw. Pulling off these moves give you a 70% boost in Attitude, while it completely depletes the Attitude of the super heavyweight. This means that if you are playing multiplayer and something picks Rikishi, just forget about it cause you won't last long once something slams you to the mat.

Like with WM2000, there was plans for a WWF No Mercy on Game Boy Color which would actually feature support for the N64 transfer pak. This would open up for an additional edit slot and some kind of cross feature in the story mode. Due to be developed by AKI rather than Natsume, it was cancelled and never spoken off again. No screenshots or detailed information exists on this title.

Even with its technical setbacks and questionable omitted content, it's one of the very best wrestling games ever made. The match stipulation and options are diverse and opens for many great rule combinations, the roster is a perfect representation of the TV product at the time, the graphics and animation are at their best and the story mode offers great replay value. It's hard to truly say which of VPW2 and No Mercy are truly the best, cause they both offer something the other don't have, so it all comes down to personal preference in how you like your wrestling. The legacy that No Mercy left behind has never truly been matched and even to this very day, every time a wrestling game gets announced and presented one question always comes up: "Does it play anything like No Mercy?" Numerous attempts have been made, but non truly captures the fun of pro wrestling like No Mercy and even after ten years, you're more likely to have more fun with this than any of the recent offerings from THQ.

Strangely despite all the other AKI games delivering a good dose of the good ol' blood, No Mercy was released censored in Europe. This caused a lot of confusion because the first blood option was not removed, nor was the busted open animation, so wrestlers would pat their forehead and check their hands for blood even though there was non to be found.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Aki Corporation
  • Asmik Ace Entertainment

Publisher:

  • THQ

Genre:


WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)

WWF No Mercy (N64)


View all "WWF No Mercy" items on eBay


Changing the channel: WCW Mayhem / WCW Backstage Assault (1999/2000)

By the time 1998 had passed, WCW had become a parody of itself with laughable storylines, stale acts, corruption and questionable business decisions. One of these questionable acts would be their video game deal with Electronic Arts who had taken over the license after breaking away with THQ and AKI. EA had the marketing money to pull off a hefty property like WCW was but they didn't have the reputation and proven backlog of AKI, and gamers knew it. What would become of EA's 2 WCW games is almost as laughable as the company itself making it the perfect companion.

The first of these titles was WCW Mayhem released in 1999. During development the buzz and hype was high as fans were eager to see the evolution of the incredible efforts of AKI. Magazines and websites kept a close eye on the game, and EA was quick to promise all the action seen in AKI's games but with so much more. Realistic graphics, all-star roster, audio commentary, backstage areas and what was said to be the best CAW mode ever seen. Early screenshots were well recived with the graphics at that time looking great, but by the time the game saw an release, it was not the game we had been promised.

The roster is indeed all-star material and featured almost every single star on WCW's active payroll and even staff members could be selected. The problem is that they move and look like bobble heads. Every wrestler has an amazingly small move set and the new Mayhem meter, a cheap take off on the spirit meter, is one of the dullest systems ever used and can fill up after virtually 2 moves, allowing you to do a finisher. The finishers and general move sets are also riddled with misplacements and horrible execution, often resulting in the game looking like line dancing at a retirement home rather than the hot Monday action we longed for in our hands. The CAW mode is a disaster lacking almost all the promised feature such as the Too-Good-To-Be-True name generator feature, which was said to make the commentators actually speak any name you would plot in. The audio commentary is provided by Tony Schiavone and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and would start repeating itself within two minutes. To make matters worse, in the N64 version Heenan's line was all taken out of the game, despite Schiavone directly adressing him. The backstage areas consist of empty square spaces with walls and a few weapons scattered around.

There is a unique feature found in the PPV mode however. Here you get the choice of plotting in a password consisting of a few numbers. On the WCW Nitro broadcasts, they started giving out these passwords on air before PPV's and once plotted in, the real life card of the PPV would be made into the game, allowing players to take control of the action themselves. This only lasted 2 months due to the roster already being outdated within a few weeks of the release. To market the game, WCW also held an actual WCW Mayhem PPV event.

WCW Mayhem was not a great success, but what would follow it is actually so shockingly stupid that most fans took it as a joke when announced. The fault of the lacking quality and success of Mayhem was blamed on the fact that it was a wrestling game. Indeed the higher ups in the company had started making their shows more about the outside the ring than inside, a move which cost them almost 20 million dollars in one single year. So what was the logical solution to making a better sequel? Why, removing the actual wrestling ring of course. Yes, WCW Backstage Assault features no wrestling ring whatsoever, consisting only of backstage areas to brawl in. No changes were made to the controls however so it still plays like a wrestling game with Irish whips and grappling systems, but there are no ropes, no crowds, no entrances, just boiler rooms and parking lots. There's very few upgrades made to the Mayhem engine so the game even feels old within the first match and when released it was a disaster. WCW Backstage Assault would be the very last WCW game developed as the company went out of business in 2001.

WCW Mayhem (N64)

WCW Mayhem (N64)

WCW Backstage Assault (PlayStation)


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<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
WCW vs. The World / Virtual Pro Wrestling
WCW vs. nWo: World Tour
Virtual Pro Wrestling 64

Page 2:
WCW/nWo Revenge
WWF War Zone / WWF Attitude

Page 3:
WWF Wrestlemania 2000 Virtual Pro Wrestling 2: Oudou Keishou

Page 4:
WWF No Mercy
WCW Mayhem / WCW Backstage Assault

Page 5:
Ultimate Muscle: Legends vs. New Generation
Def Jam Vendetta / Fight For NY
Kinnikuman Muscle Grand Prix

Back to the Index