Thursday, April 12, 2007

The SGM Super 30 Video Game #28

WCW Vs. NWO: World Tour

Anyway, this is the inaugural wrestling title released using the legendary AKI grappling engine. The engine is perfect in its simplicity; press one button to punch & kick, press the other button to grapple. Tap said button for a weak grapple, opening up four moves, or press the button longer for a stronger grapple, opening up four more powerful moves. There hadn't been this level of easy interface since Pro Wrestling for the NES.

The beauty of the engine was that, for the first time, a moveset could be used to develop a pure wrestling strategy to your gameplay; use a moveset to weaken a wrestler's back to set up Benoit's crossface, or attack the opponents head to set up DDP's diamond cutter.

There may be better games that AKI put out, but this was the one that revolutionized the way wrestling games were developed. It woke up the industry and players alike.

A bit of trivia: This is the only AKI game to feature Ric Flair and Steven Regal as playable characters; they can only be created in the later WWF AKI games. That also makes this the only AKI game which can feature a true, in-game character based match between Flair & Hulk Hogan; the next time they'd be available to face each other as non-created playable characters would be 2002's THQ-developed Smackdown Vs. Raw: Shut Your Mouth. They wouldn't be able to meet again until Smackdown Vs. Raw 2007.

And you gotta love the representatives from the "Dead Or Alive" and "Independent Union" organizations, which were copyright-evading versions of overseas wrestlers, like Hayabusa, Abdullah the Butcher, Atsushi Onita, Jinsei Shinzaki (Hakushi), Terry Gordy, etc. (This was a similar strategy used by the aforementioned Pro Wrestling game for the OG Nintendo, which turned Mil Mascaras into King Slender.)

This game, primitive though it may be in comparison to the later wrestling games, is probably one of the few reasons to still own a Nintendo 64 to this day.


Ron said...

I played the PSOne version, which was called WCW vs. the World. The game had a less stellar roster than WVW vs. NWO, but it had similar movesets and strategies. My top choice was Mr. JL simply because he had a whip into the ropes that was unblockable if you were groggy. If you got an opponent outside of the ring, you could continually throw them (and they would run all the way across the floor) until 18 seconds on the 20 count. You get back in and they get stuck into a count out. It was cheap as all get out, but I won more matches that way.

One of my friends used "The Turk," which was Dynamite Kid's body with Vader's moveset. He created such amazing move names as the "Cranberry Crunch," the "Pressed Turkey Press," and the "Turkey Market Crash." To this day, I still call a backdrop off of the second rope a Turkey Market Crash.

Nate said...

I wonder, if the Turk did a falling shoulder drop, would it be called "the Turkey Divorce Court?"

Rev. Joshua said...

World Tour is certainly a classic, which I played a lot of. (I actually bought an N64 to get the sequel, Revenge.) A friend of mine had World Tour and we laughed ourselves hoarse when I took on the Steiner Brothers two-on-one with Joe Boxer, who sadly never made another appearance in the AKI series. He didn't do any wrestling maneuvers, but you could easily beat someone unconscious with his punches. Damn, now I gotta fire up the emulator...

Will said...

Ok, what is an emulator and how do I get on board?? I am computer illiterate.