I bought this off of PSN last night for $9.99. This is the first experience I’ve ever had with the series after years of hearing mostly nothing but great things and a ton of hype. I had seen it and heard about for years, but never had a PS2 (I was an Xbox guy back then). It’s been on PSN for a little while now, and I finally bit after watching some matches on YouTube last night.
Now that I’ve gotten a hang of it, I have to say that I think it definitely lives up to the hype. It may be the best wrestling game I’ve ever played and I would’ve been happy paying more than $10 for it. The wrestling in this game is top notch and I’ve never encountered such realistic wrestling in a wrestling game. Sure, the WWE games have the presentation nailed and does a mostly good job with the wrestling, but the actual wrestling in this game is second to none and plays out like the real thing. I’m amazed at how good this, a PS2 wrestling game, holds up today and I’ve been playing it pretty much nonstop all day.
I downloaded a save file that has most of the WWE/NXT/TNA/ROH/CHIKARA/DGUSA/PWG/NWA/NJPW/etc guys on it. So many wrestlers it’s not even funny. The Community Creations of recent WWE games are great, but the limited number of CAWS you can have is nothing compared to this. Hundreds of wrestlers to choose from from basically every big to decent promotion makes this a wrestling fans dream. I wish I could use these wrestlers in the Match Maker mode, but just playing exhibition and title matches are great and I’ll probably end up booking my own shows through exhibition anyways.
I started out playing against the CPU at skill level 1 (easiest) and it took me a few matches to begin getting the hang of the timing of the game and how to do grapple moves, but now I’m beating the CPU at level 4. Right now it’s fun and the matches are super competitive (probably the closest to real wrestling I’ve ever seen in a video game) and I probably won’t ever put the CPU higher than level 5.
Just a tremendous amount of fun. Too bad the company isn’t around anymore. Would love to see someone make an even better version of the game for PS4. Something like this would be a killer downloadable title.
Highly recommend any wrestling game fan to pick this up though. For $9.99 it’s a steal.