Game Reviews

Wrestling Revolution 3D

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Wrestling Revolution 3D

Here's an interesting concept. Let's say you want to make a wrestling game that's as close to the real thing as possible.

What you’d need to consider is that wrestling - the wrestling you see on TV, with stadiums full of Americans and rings full of gigantic pantomime dames - is more than grappling and throws.

It's a dazzling firework show of extravagance and hero worship, and any game that can harness the gaudy, extreme, sheer entertainment value has nailed the concept of an actual wrestling simulator.

Wrestling Revolution 3D accomplishes this so well, you don't even notice that it's distracting you with drama.

On the ropes

We don't actually want to say that this is first and foremost a wrestling/fighting game, because every aspect of Wrestling Revolution 3D is seamlessly blended with all the others.

Yes, it's a fighting game, but it's every bit as much of a character management challenge.

Before the manly grappling even begins, you're required to make a suitably grandiose entrance. Whether you're a face or a heel, nothing matters in wrestling unless the crowd is going nuts, and we don't really care if it's cheers or jeers.

Building your reputation outside the ring is as important as showing off inside of it.

You take control of your wrestler as he makes his way out to the ropes and canvas, and help him to strut his stuff once he's in the spotlight.

It might not sound like great gameplay, but it's surprising how it helps to build anticipation for the match. If this was a passive sequence, you'd simply skip it, but taking control makes it unexpectedly entertaining.

Button rasslin'

There are a lot of buttons required to operate Wrestling Revolution 3D, so the game naturally suffers a similar, fumbling fate to all virtual joypad-driven titles.

Alongside the movement controls, you’re given attack, grapple, run, pick-up, and taunt buttons to pull off the huge number of traditional, balletic wrestling moves. You'll regularly battle to find the right one when the heat is on.

But Wrestling Revolution 3D manages to compensate for this inherent stumbling block quite admirably.

The game isn't too critical when it comes to lining up your wrestler with his opponent (or opponents, since you can have up to 10 wrestlers in the ring at once as you climb the league), so a grab, for example, works very easily.

So do the attacks, with the position and situation of the fighters dictating what happens. This means you can pull off some great acrobatic moves without having to master an encyclopedia of combos, and the illusion of watching a WWE performance is maintained.

The action even heads outside of the ring to involve opportune weaponry, complete with melodramatic stumbling around in a daze when you’re clocked with a chair, or a 2-by-4.

While the moves look great, some of the animation is very wooden, possibly because we're spoiled these days with motion capture realism, even in smartphone titles.

And this isn't going to convert anyone who's repelled by the overacting falsity of big money wrestling, since that's the pseudo-sport Wrestling Revolution 3D attempts, and succeeds in, capturing.

The developer promises more customisation and new events as the game matures, and the foundations are solid enough to make us believe he'll accomplish just that. So you might as well get in on the ground floor, and start your career with a bang.

Wrestling Revolution 3D

Slightly wooden in appearance, but a first-class representation of classic American wrestling, complete with balletic behemoths and melodramatic flare. Crude entertainment at its best