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Scotsman

WCW Thunder: The Quintessential Wrestling Game

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Guest TSMAdmin



WCW Thunder: The game that’s hated by all, and avoided like The Plague. The game that “respected” smark writers refuse to review. They should collectively hang their heads in shame, since a lowly female is strong enough to accept the challenge. It proves they have no dicks, or common sense, which are synonymous with each other in retrospect. Anyway, for those of you that haven’t heard about the phenomenon called WCW Thunder, and didn’t spend the 99 cents to purchase this fine product, I’ll tell you why should buy this game! Screw the Fire Pro fanboys, WCW games are where it’s at!


For those uneducated wrestling fans, Thunder was WCW’s equivalent of Smackdown. Thunder began the 1st week of 1998, and ran until WCW’s dying days in March 2001. Thunder was on TBS every Wednesday and Thursday night, and seemingly was pre-empted by Braves games every week. It got quite low ratings since it began when WCW was starting to get its ass kicked by WWF in the ratings.


The time that WCW Thunder: The Game was originated was sometime in the Summer of 1998. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan was about to job the Heavyweight Title to the insanely over Goldberg. There were stables galore with the nWo black & white, nWo Wolfpac, Raven’s Flock, The Horsemen, and the regular WCW guys. The nWo gimmick had really run its course by this time, and it was slowly turning fans away. The TV Champion at this time was Booker T, after his amazing best-of-7 series with Chris Benoit. However, the game has Sting as the default TV Champion, but that’s the only belt he’s never won. It looks like I’ll need some help with this dilemma, and BAM! Guess who’s the first to call me when I’m in trouble…


Kevin Nash, the ultimate WCW booker.


Kevin informs me that Booker T deserved no respect in this game because his sloppy ringwork could lead to serious leg injuries. He also has the wrong “attribute” to join the Kli… err, wrestle the main event style, and he’ll have to pay his dues despite being in WCW over a decade. Kevin Nash, what a great guy! He’s always the first to call you when you need help.


Of course, all this pales in comparison to what really brought the fans in: Lee Marshal and WCW Motorsports~! Who could forget Lee's constipated ramblings in his "road reports"? Who can forget the weekly updates of the WCW Busch Series car, driven by Lance Hooper, that crashed every race?


Anyway, this game was finally released in January 1999, which was the month of the infamous ”Fingerpoke of Doom”. I’m sure that made flocks of people buy this game. WCW steadily went downhill until its demise in 2001, and we’re all better people for it. Now, onto the review!

WCW Thunder begins with an opening FMV, which is commonplace among every Playstation game created. It contains short snippets of most wrestlers in the game, and is rather cool for the fans the few who watched WCW in this time period. Then we come to the matches and options screens. This game boasts 19 different matches, but I shall warn you that they’re full of caca. First off, there are only 4 types of matches. There’s singles, tag team, battle royal, and cage matches. You also have the option of competing for the Heavyweight, US and TV Titles. To win the belts, you need to win 10, 7 and 5 matches consecutively. The matches and opponents are no different from each other, so no worry. Cage matches are pointless, because you can’t even climb out the cage, and you win by pinning your opponent. Tag Team matches and Battle Royals are virtually unplayable with the slowdown.

On the options screen, you can change the rules in the matches, and the difficulty level. The only difference between easy, normal and hard is the speed of the game. This game is incredibly easy on any setting, so set it whichever you want. I would suggest turning off the Surprise Attacks option. A random wrestler (even if he is your stable) will attack whichever wrestler is ahead at that time. It is incredibly annoying because you can’t pin your opponent when the attacker comes to the ring, and you can’t even get up when the computer is 2 on 1 against you. It also makes matches longer, which is the last thing you want with this game.


Then we come to the wrestler selection screen.





Please ignore the ugly cut image of Mr. Benoit. I know it looks as bad as poorly cut images made by some Dumbass Juvenile’s banners, but be strong since this is the only positive part of this game. There is a choice of 32 wrestlers, plus 32 other wrestlers you can unlock later in the game. With each wrestler, you have the choice of what faction they are in. Despite what the manual says, it makes no difference whatsoever. If you’re winning your match, a random wrestler interferes against you, and vice versa. That is realistic if you think about it, look at Giant and Curt Hennig. Also, you have the ability to alter the strength of your superstars’ body parts. Look at the green guy to the left of Mr. Benoit, that’s where you can change the color of the corresponding body part to light and dark green, or light and dark red, and white. What the hell does that mean? Fuck if I know. The manual states nothing about this, and after testing the game for hours, I noticed no difference. However, I do suggest you make Chris Benoit all green, so he looks like Gumby. It gives him some personality.

Also on this screen, each of the standard 32 wrestlers has a “rant”. Each wrestler blabs for around 5 seconds on why you should pick them, and give their appropriate catch phrases. This was an excellent idea, and I’m surprised more recent games haven’t followed suit. By the way, I’m sure the hardcore workrate fans noticed that the man in the top right square is indeed Ed Leslie: Man of 1,004 crappy gimmicks. Ed was the Disciple at this point of his career, which eventually led him to join the One Warrior Nation. Poor Ed.


After you select your wrestler, all competitors are shown in an FMV walking to the ring, with their entrance music playing for around 5 seconds.





At this point, you may be wondering what is so bad about this game. It only gets worse from now on. We begin with the gameplay now, and if you’re squeamish, stop reading.





OH…MY…GOD. So ugly. The characters are so poorly drawn. They are so blocky and grainy that you can’t even tell them apart. Kevin Nash, WCW booker who must be in bold every time he is mentioned, calls me yet again to explain why Jericho and Benoit look exactly alike. He informs me that those two vanilla midgets in the picture are the same person. Right on, Kev! The crowd is literally just blotches of color thrown together. The sorry ass 16-bit wrestling games looked better than this garbage. The ring design, the logos around the arena, even the text on the screen, all of it is repulsive.


Now, to the actual gameplay. Ugh, kill me now. We’ll start with the move that defines the entire game, the “Test of Strength”. In the “Test of Strength”, you have to bash buttons to get the most damage. If you gently tap the buttons occasionally, you will still manage to knock off about 50% of the computer’s life bar, and you gain back over half of your life bar. If you don’t even press the buttons, no damage is done either way. On the hard difficulty setting, the computer puts you into more “Tests of Strength”, thus making the game easier.


Do 2 “Tests of Strength”, knock your opponent on the ground, and win by pin or submission. It’s that easy. This move does infinitely more damage than any actual wrestling move. It may sound stupid, but this is a good lesson on learning the “WWE style” for young wrestlers.


About the real wrestling moves, well they are a total bitch. For example, to do a basic bodyslam, you only need to press up, triangle, triangle. Keep in mind that when playing a 2-player game, if your opponent presses any button in the time you’re doing that, no move will be done. In other words, in multi-player games, both wrestlers stand there with their dicks waving in the air, and doing “Tests of strength”.


Have I mentioned how terrible the control is? For most moves, you have to stand next to your opponent, but for every move you have to press the directional pad, thus making neutral moves extremely hard to do. Then we have the grapple moves. There are only 3 grapple moves you can do: A powerbomb, piledriver, and a vertical suplex. You would think that with only 3 moves, just 1 button needs to pressed. Then, you would obviously be fucking retarded. These 3 moves require 2 buttons to be pressed together, and with the sluggish controls, it’s hard to pull off.


A quick note about the sound in this piece of shit: It’s really ghey. When you hit a move, no matter where or what the move is, it’s the same thud. With submission moves, each one has the sound effect of someone munching on an apple. The announcers (Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay) will say “POW-er-bomb!” and “PILE-driver!” and the most annoying by Fat Tony, “HE KICKED OUT!” every single time you do the move. Words cannot describe how annoying that is. Also, if you don’t pull off a move in the grapple, your opponent will flip you in the air every time. They should have had Mike Tenay bust out his “Lucha Libre and the Luchadors” special for the flip-flop occasion, but sadly they forgot.


The wrestlers can also go outside the ring. There are plenty of weapons for your use out there. To pick up these weapons, you only need to be in the vicinity of the weapon, and you automatically pick it up. Now, when you have this weapon, it has very small range, and you are open to any move. It would be nice to have it so you had to hit a button to pick up a weapon, but those buttons are needed for the 4-button combination to do a hip toss. My bad.


To end the match, you only need to press the C button to pin near your opponent. Hallelujah. No, no… it doesn’t end that easily. In 2-player mode, if your opponent presses 1 button, he will kick out 99% of the time, and Tony will keep screaming “HE KICKED OUT!” until you mercifully destroy your Playstation console. Luckily, the AI in this game is so pathetic, that it takes no effort to empty its life bar and easily defeat the computer.


Now, that you’ve finally defeated this horrible game by winning one of the titles, you can celebrate! There’s a short FMV showing the wrestlers in the game winning matches, and that’s it. You also unlock wrestlers by winning a title with one of the original 32 characters. For example, if you play as Chris Jericho and win a title, then La Parka is available. However, all the extra wrestlers suck. They have the same moves as the other wrestlers, and they even share the same taunts and finishing moves.
For example, La Parka uses the Liontamer as his finisher. The laziness shown here is absolutely pathetic considering you have to win tons of matches to unlock these wrestlers, and EL DANDY~! isn't included as 1 of the 64 wrestlers! Shameful.


It’s time for the ratings, and I have my own rating style. I rate on a 5 star scale. Positive stars will be signified by NWA/TNA logos, and negative stars will be WWE logos.


Graphics: While the graphics in the gameplay are horrid, the well done FMV’s save this from the lowest possible rating.


Sound: The “rants” were a nice little touch, but nothing can possibly make up for “PILE-driver” and “HE KICKED OUT!” x50 zillion.


Gameplay: Ugh…


Fun Factor: If you’re a former hardcore WCW fan, the “rants” and FMV’s will bring back some memories. The gameplay is also good for laughs with your friends, so only negative deux.


Well, no free advertising here for NWA/TNA! Fuck you, smarks! WWE all da way!! HHH rulz!!! Stefenee haz b000byz!!!1 Don’t deny it, kiddies. This is the way it is. Remember, it’s not my fault, it’s WCW Thunder’s fault.


To conclude, this game is NOT worth the 99 cents that I mentioned so far up there. This game is shit, and if you buy, rent, or download this game, you’re a dumb fuck like me.


Feedback goes here. Write me anything you please, and the best e-mail will be included in my next column. Yes, you can be popular too. Write to me. Now. Thank you.

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Guest Dave O'Neill, Journalist
I still play this oddly enough, and its hilarious

and Ric Flair is buried in the game, somewhere

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Guest TSMAdmin
That's why I had to pin this thread. Such a tragic story... just like the game.

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Guest Scotsman
QUOTE(The Dames @ Oct 7 2003, 08:49 PM)
It wasn't a guy, it was Alina....the chick on the board who went crazy and ended up getting banned.

Dames

Hmmm...person X reviews WCW Thunder, then goes crazy. Nope, don't see any co-incidences here at all.

And I remember when this review originally went up. The person who wrote it set up like 4 fake e-mail addresses, just so they could mail me and inform me of that.

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Funny thing really. We (Alina and I) joked about informing you to the review...and somehow, that's what caused her to snap.

WHAT DID YOU DO!?

Dames

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Guest Leena
QUOTE(The Czech Republic @ Oct 17 2004, 02:48 AM)
I maintain that Alina was nice.

Haha. Thanks. smile.gif

Why am I still being brought up on this board? tongue.gif

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Guest Leena
QUOTE(IllustriousOne @ Nov 9 2004, 05:40 PM)
Tirtz plz

No.

Mine are small anyway. I play tennis.

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Guest Leena
That's nice.

Why did this get pinned? tongue.gif

QUOTE("Scotsman")
And I remember when this review originally went up. The person who wrote it set up like 4 fake e-mail addresses, just so they could mail me and inform me of that.


That wasn't I.

I find you incredibly annoying.

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I have no banning powers, but I always liked you anyway, so it wouldn't really matter.

I still can't believe you didn't call Kevorkian after doing this review.

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Guest cosbywasmurdered
QUOTE(The Czech Republic @ Oct 21 2004, 07:06 AM)
bps held the shift key down too long and said ALina and she took it as being called a dude. She went nutty and tried to eat Kotzenjunge.



*My memory may be foggy

she also sabotaged Rant's website and went on a massive PMS rage to everyone.

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