WrestleMania or Smackdown!: Which Wrestler Is the Champ?
By: Joe Rolfe
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls
Let's Get Ready To Rumble!!!"
In case any of you readers didn't know, I am a huge wrestling game fan. Always
have been, always will be. So I'm guessing that you all can imagine how eager
I was to rush home and play the latest WWF game, Smackdown! (PSX), and see how it fared (check out my review of it if you're curious).
I know that the first question that popped into most wrestling game fan's
heads when WWF Smackdown! came out was how good it was compared to WrestleMania2000,
THQ's other grappler on the Nintendo 64.
That's where I come in. This article isn't intended to see which one "Kicks
the other one's ass", but rather to point out the good and bad sides to each
game. This is for the wrestling fan with the small budget and only room for
one purchase can make the decision that reflects what [they] want in a wrestling
title. So without further adieu, let's get to the Main Event!
Platform: Nintendo 64
Release: November 17th, 1999
Platform: Sony PlayStation
Release: March 2nd, 2000
Let the weigh-in begin!
Presentation: There is no doubt who the winner is here. Thanks in part to
the CD-medium storage capability of the PlayStation, Smackdown! was able
to put a good opening cinema and squeeze in all the official Titan Tron videos
into the game. WM2K, on the other hand, had THQ's patented generic opening
theme song and T.T. videos that were 5 clips of the real deal strung together
(let it be known, though, that WM2K's entrances in whole are better than
Smackdown!'s). Smackdown! also prevails here because of how it literally
'presents' the WWF; whether it be camera flashes throughout the match or
the arenas built just like the real thing, Smackdown! re-creates the feel
of the WWF like no other game can.
Graphics: Smackdown! wins by somewhat of a landslide here. Beautifully
texture-mapped and animated characters fill the Smackdown! matches and can
easily be mistaken for watching the real thing on TV.
|Above: WrestleMania 2000
||Above: WWF Smackdown!
The frame rate, smooth and fast, always stays constant and never takes a
hit when the ring is swamped with wrestlers. Don't get me wrong: WrestleMania
isn't particularly ugly; in fact, I believe that the animation is actually
smoother than Smackdown!'s, but the characters themselves are blocky little
men with ugly, bit-mapped pictures for their faces.
Sound: This one is closer than many of you would probably think. While Smackdown!
has a definite edge in terms of music quality, I personally believe that
WrestleMania 2000's in-ring mad sounds and thumps were better. Most of
Smackdown!'s slaps, kicks, and body sounds were way too generic, with most
of them sounding alike. And while WM2K's wasn't too much better, at least
you could somewhat feel the punishment being handed out. Also, the crowd
in Smackdown! is too quiet for my tastes. I like my wrestling game to have
wild, raging fans that go ballistic when a huge move is pulled off. WM2K
did this better (to some extent) which adds more to the "feeling" of being
there than most people would think.
Let the Battle Continue!-->