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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!

The Contenders:

Game: WrestleMania2000
Developer: AKI/Amisk
Publisher: THQ
Platform: Nintendo 64
Release: November 17th, 1999

Game: Smackdown!
Developer: Yukes
Publisher: THQ
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.

Winner: Smackdown!

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.

WrestleMania 2000

WWF Smackdown!

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.

Winner: Smackdown!

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.

Winner: Smackdown!

Let the Battle Continue!-->


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