WWE games for the PC
(only games that can be played on a PC system!)
Emulation is the process of executing a file from one operating system on a totally different
operating system by simulating the original enviroment "fooling" the file to think this is the actual
Therefore, it brings new life into games that were made for outdated systems which no one has anymore. In conclusion, if one wants to play a certain game for another system that his own, one should get the game's ROM file and then open it in the proper emulator.
Note that emulators are totally legal and legit programs (and usually for free) that can be easily reached online in numerous sites.
Regarding ROMs, their legal state is questionable, they're searchable online (especially ROMs of outdated systems that are considered abandonware).
1989 / WWF Superstars & WWF Wrestlefest(Up to 2 players together)
Those two games were classic arcade games, which are still memorable today after being revived by emulators for computers.
Personally, I'm not too thrilled for these games because WWF Superstars only has one game mode (Tag Team) and WWF Wrestlefest only has two game modes (Royal Rumble and Tag Team) and both have very few moves, so it gets boring after a while.
And yes, it is possible to select the champions "Legion Of Doom", Hawn & Animal, if you play via an emulator that supports them!
1992 / WWF European Rampage(Up to 2 players together - but no net support!)
This game was the first wrestling game I've ever played. Basically, you choose 2 wrestlers from a poor choice of 4 (Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man and Bret Hart) and take your newly made tag team through a tournament all over Europe, during which you'll face The Nasty Boys, Money INC. and The Natural Disasters (3 times against each team) and eventually you'll be taken back to New York City's Madison Square Garden to face then tag team champions, The Legion Of Doom.
Here comes the interesting part. If you beat them with a clean pin, your team becomes the new tag team champions and get a new manager (I don't recognize him, but he was supposedly a big shot back then...) and the game is over.
But...if you beat them with a countout, the game gets stuck (and if you're in pure DOS you'll have to restart the computer...).
I have to mention I found many interesting things while viewing the data files of the game,
including a text dialog (which was supposed to appear in the part where the game gets
stuck) in which Sean Mooney (the announcer at the time) interviews your winning yet
titleless team, and Jimmy Hart becomes your team's new manager (that's supposed to be the
punishment because he's the manager nobody wants...).
Anyway, the game uses basically kicks and punches as well as gorilla presses (after the opponent is stunned) and a bodyslam which is simply impossible to use on the computer (only on human opponent in practice mode) - all done with 1 button only - and is very boring after a while.
The game apparently has some special codes & secrets, which are nowhere to be found online. For example, in practice mode one player plays 2 players from the previous mentioned four, while the other can only play The Nasty Boys (the easiet team to beat in the game). However, there is a confirmed code that makes player 2 become another team (Money INC., Legion Of Doom, etc.) but as was said, it's nowhere to be found...
1994 / WWF Raw & WWF Royal Rumble(WWF Raw - up to 4 players together)
(WWF Royal Rumble - up to 2 players together)
Unlike the basic WM/IYH concept which is simply a long tournament (meaning there's a limit to how many times you can start the game and have enough patience for a LONG boring tournament again...), "WWF Raw"'s match types include a singles match, tag team, Survivor Series, the big Royal Rumble, Bedlam (tag team WM/IYH style with everybody in the ring at the same time without tags) and Endurance match (two teams, each wrestler is replaced with another wrestler from his team after being eliminated until one team is out of wrestlers).
True, WM/IYH also have a Royal Rumble match, but in "WWF Raw", it's actually a Royal Rumble! Not the fake "modified" Royal Rumble in WM/IYH (where you fight your opponent until he gets replaced by another). In "WWF Raw", EVERYBODY fight EVERYBODY (yes, the computer fights itself!) with the goal to THROW them out!
You can choose the difficulty for each match between 1 to 10 (not just 3 levels like WM/IYH) and most of the matches have options for Regular, No Holds Barred (WM/IYH style match - just finish the opponent's energy bar instead of pinning him) and Tournament (harder because you can't choose the difficulty yourselves. It is likely 3 or 4).
While in WM you finish the match in 10 seconds, and even faster in IYH, where the moves are so
fast that you can barely keep up, in "WWF Raw", you take your time and finish the match when YOU feel like it.
In tag team matches, your partner (you can transfer him between computer/player modes in a
switch of a button) can go in the ring at any time, making the referee count to 10 and then order for a
disqualification, which happens a lot (naturally, he won't count when he's out cold...).
"WWF Raw" also lacks in moves as everybody have almost the same moves (with small tweaks, like a big boot instead of a clothesline, etc.) except from individual finishers that they had in that time and insane megamoves, which are usually very hard to perform.
To summorize, the game play is great comparing to WM/IYH except from the big lack of individual moves and the major lack in graphic/sounds/etc...and it's really out of date.
Nowadays, the WWE games are returing to their roots that started in "WWF Raw".
Of course, the PC users were left out in the dark, but that's another story...
1994 / WWF WrestleMania - The Arcade Game(Up to 2 players together - but no net support!)
1996 / WWF In Your House(Up to 2 players together)
Like in "WWF Wrestlemania", there is no referee and the goal is to finish off the opponents' energy bar and not to pin them. However, there are more possiblities in the tournament, but it's still for best 2 out of 3 falls. The more you advance, the harder it gets and you face more wrestlers (i.e. a handicapped match).
You can play with or against a friend in a tag team tournament (no tags - everybody are in the ring at the same time) or in a Royal Rumble, to which any connection to a real Royal Rumble is incidental at best because the goal is to finish off the energy bar and not to throw out the opponent. Also, everyone is against you (the computer doesn't fight itself) and there is a pretty limited number of wrestlers in the ring at the same time.
The list of moves and fatalities, can be found in
2002 / WWE Raw(Up to 2-4 players together (players 3 & 4 must use joysticks!) -
but no net support!)
This game is actually a port and was originally intended for the X-Box, which means there is hardly any use of the PC's advantage. Most of all, the game shoots itself in the leg by not even bothering to support a net game! So great, there are up to 4 players, all of whom have to sit on the same computer. Wait a minute. What, you don't have joysticks? Well, it's down to 2 players for you (his highness the programmer has decided that only 2 could use the keyboard) and thanks a lot the game at least allows to modify the buttons to your delight for those two...
So, there's no net. Well, so they probably keep us occupied by countless possible game modes...well, they don't. First of all, here's the practice modes:
Incidentally, at first it may sound like a lot, but believe me all those modes get squeezed dry pretty fast. Especially since you know there's no net support and the computer, as an opponent, is no fun...which leads us to the next problem.
Playing against the computer - or should I say - playing against Superman. In other words, forget about complicated holds and focus on punches and kicks. It's just impossible to execute holds on the computer - even in the lowest level (and not that there are many levels...). In contrast, the computer catches you as if you were made of paper and does its way with you. That means that the entire concept of a simulation is thrown in the trash because only the computer can take advantage of it.
This leaves you wandering around the big arena. There (if you turned off the countout) you can pick all sorts of weapons, watch the titan tron screen and...that's it. You may find yourselves alone because the computer players tend to escape into the ring and stay there as if they were holding the horns of the altar.
As for the countout, unlike real life, it is shared between everyone. So it's almost impossible to win by it without losing yourselves.
Regarding the weapons, the only ones which can be used for more than just a strike are tables, ladders and chairs (no pun intended). Actually, forget about it. Setting up ladders and chairs is useless and as for the tables - only wrestlers who can throw others to distance (and remember how hard it is to hold up the computer players?) can cause them to break.
There is also outside interferences by other wrestlers and there's nothing nicer than watching three people running like lunatics into the ring and almost bumping into each other. Too bad that after a few hits they leave the ring and stay there only to turn the match into a sort of a "Lumberjack Match". From then on, they will only hit you outside and only if you provoke them first.
There are no secrets in the game, apparently, except "winning" the extended McMahon family, as aforementioned. Incidentally, be warned. It may be tempting to hit some sense into the foster child Fred Durst, but do so and you shall discover the hard way that this is actually The Undertaker - he has got the same entrance movie, the same moves and the same terrifying strengh. Did someone try to tell us something?
If you wish to gain the new wrestlers or all the weapons without an effort or, alternatively, to create the perfect wrestler (by overiding the points spreading limit between his different abilities), then update the game's executable file into the newest version and search online for the right trainer.
That sums up the playability. As far as control - again, this is a simulation. You have a defence button and a button for hits and one for holds (which, like aforementioned, the computer couldn't care less for), which performances would change according to the direction you've used them with (you can, of course, also press them alone - without using left/right, etc.). Anyway, the usage of directions solves the insane problem of remembering the moves by heart. Actually, to make a move, all it takes is remembering 2 buttons and using a direction arrow (if at all). If only it had been possible to do holds on the computer, I would have called the control "perfect".
Incidentally, there is a mistake in the manual - the finishers (which are considered as holds) are done by grapple + hold and not grapple + down! Anyway, like any hold, they are not easy to execute, especially since you can do them only when the crowd reaction meter is flashing for you and when the wrestler is stunned. Nevertheless, it hardly pays off because other than causing a nice double feature, they don't inflict any more damage that a regular hit and the one who receives them just stands up quickly like nothing has happened.
As far as the technical factors, you can tell they worked hard on the graphics and the music. Just too bad you can read a book while the game loads up. Tip: erase unneeded movies from the data folder and the computer would ignore them without complaining and load up the game faster! This would also save you some space...
An additional and more wicked tip is to get a special version of the patch (which eliminates the need to insert the CD), that skips the credits screens. In Google, for example, look for:
Everytime a wrestler enters the arena, you'll have to wait (at least for the first seconds) for his entry (and we're talking about matches that can involve up to 4 people with 4 different entrances in addition to their managers' entrances!), which will cause you to usually play the second wrestler, who can attack the first one outside and start the match already (yes, even if the other participants haven't shown up yet).
As for the movies, which can be edited in Bink - it's possible to see them also in full screen. Therefore, you would have expected the powers that be to create only one version of each movie and show it both in a small version and in a large version. So, naturally they just had to create 2 versions for each movie and double the space the data folder takes up...
All in all, this is a game that can be used to pass your time, but without net support it has no future.
What does the future hold for WWE PC games?
In any case, they were the last arcade WWE games ever made.
Since those games, the entire concept of WWE games was changed from "Arcade" to "simulation" and every game since then just topped the previous.
Even more so, the new generation of games have a massive exposure online - their secrets, codes & faqs are EVERYWHERE on the net...
Unfortunately, most of them were made for every possible machine...except for the PC. WWE Raw changed all that when it became the first time a new generation game was finally ported into the PC. Sadly, it is one of the worst of them.
It remains to be seen if any of the top WWE games would ever be ported to the computer too.
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