Professional wrestling. Oh, what a crazy, weird and amazing part of my childhood.
I remember the first time I ever experienced wrestling was at a friend's birthday party, where his parents had ordered WresleMania for us kids to watch. He had the plush Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddies and everything, and while everyone else was running around, acting a fool, I was glued to that show. I had NO IDEA who anyone was, and had only vaguely heard of Hulk Hogan before, but that didn't matter. I was hooked.
From there, I remember watching everything I could. I would rent old PPVs on tape, back when "the big four" was the only four. By the time the Attitude Era hit in the WWE, I was damn near an expert. I would host parties for each PPV and invite all the kids in the neighborhood to come over, with everyone chipping in some cash to pay for the PPV, pizza and sodas. It was A THING for sure. I remember staying up later every single Monday night, switching the channel back and forth between WWE and WCW during the height of the Monday Night Wars.
It was a great time to be a wrestling fan, for sure.
So when I decided to play WWE '13 - FINALLY! - you can imagine my shock when I discovered that the normal "Road To WrestleMania" mode was replaced with an "Attitude Era" mode, where basically, you go back and play out the biggest events and matches of the that time in wrestling, spanning six different storylines. They give you videos talking about what happened, cut scenes showing reenactments of what took place and letting you play certain characters to relive the special moments in the ring. You can just win each match to continue, or you can successfully complete special (and sometimes secret) goals in each match to fully unlock the events of that specific match. Seriously, it is like watching a full documentary of everything that happened, except you get to participate in it. How cool is that?
If this game was ONLY this mode, it would be an amazing game. But add on the basic wrestling game formula of all current-day stars at your disposal for exhibition matches or online, plus the amazingly deep customization mode, and you have yourself one hell of a game. Seriously, I spend almost two hours in the creation mode, editing everything from my superstar, to arenas, to entrance videos and even specific special moves. Yes, you can create your own special or finishing maneuver, by linking together actions to form one move. There are literally hundreds of combinations you can come up with for your move. For those gamers who spend more time customizing their characters than actually playing with them, this mode if for them. I'm surprised I got sucked into the trap of customization to be honest, but I'm glad I did.
All in all, I just want to go back and keep playing the Attitude Era story mode. And what an awesome DLC opportunity too, to include more storylines. Sure, they can release more wrestlers and customization items like they already did, but a DLC of a specific storyline not already covered could keep this game going strong well into the next one, which unfortunately, won't be developed by THQ anymore after they went bankrupt and sold all their properties, including the rights to the WWE license, which 2k picked up. I'm interested to see where that studio can take this long-storied game franchise, but with such a wealth of history and current day material to borrow from, any WWE game is sure to be handled well.
And that's the bottom line, but if you're not down with that, I have two words for ya, if you smeeeeeeellllllllllll...
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