Release Date: January 1989
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
The biggest spectacle in sports entertainment comes to the NES with WWF Wrestlemania. I played this one frequently as a child and figured I would be able to come to it today and dismantle the computer. I was horribly, terribly wrong. You can choose one of six WWF Superstars to take control of. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, “The Beast from the East” Bam Bam Bigelow, “The greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time: The Honkey Tonk Man, “The Macho Man” Randy Savage, “The Eighth Wonder of the World” Andre the Giant, and “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan. Each superstar has a musical theme that alternate during the match. The only one that is wrong is DiBiase’s theme, as it is “Girls in Cars” which was the theme for Strike Force.
Pressing the A or B Buttons will cause your superstar to throw a strike of some kind. You can also press both A and B Buttons simultaneously to throw an attack behind you, if you’re lucky. After that, each character may have an attack assigned to other button combinations or not. If you have a lot of health compared to your opponent, you might be able to pull off a body slam. Some of the wrestlers can also take it to the top rope and jump off to miss an attack. Everyone can run by holding the A Button and a direction, but landing an attack is an exercise in frustration.
There are two modes, an exhibition mode and a tournament mode. The tournament mode has you battling all other superstars in order to win the WWF Championship. Matches have three minute time limits and consist of each superstar running around and turning, trying to line up to hit strikes, and running awkwardly. The AI is incredibly cheap after the first match and will rapid fire strike your health away. Even if you can drain your opponent’s health, you’ll battle with the controls in an attempt to get a pin. Occasionally, a special energizer will bounce across the top of the screen. Grab those for a little health boost.
I can tell who everyone is, but the graphics are pretty terrible. Why is DiBiase so fat? The best part is probably the selection portraits.
By far, the best part of the game. The music sounds decent and the fact that 5 out of 6 themes are correct is appreciated.
The gameplay doesn’t work. It controls terribly, lining up attacks is nearly impossible, trying to get a pinning predicament takes a half dozen tries and then if you don’t hold the button, you’ll jump right back up.
The AI is super cheap. You’ll get stuck against the ropes and get destroyed very quickly.
Fun Factor: 0.0
This is another terribly unfun wrestling game. I doubt anyone truly enjoys playing it.
Overall Grade: 1.0
WWF Wrestlemania earns a D. The music carries this title, but it’s unplayable. Stay far, far away.