Gaming Flashback: Wrestlemania Month Kickoff
April is here, and since WrestleMania is only two days away, we're kicking the month off by announcing that we'll be teaming with our friends on The Three Count to bring you a whole month of WWF/WWE games from consoles past. WWE may rule the video game landscape when it comes to the modern consoles, but in the past there were other companies that stuck their head into the squared circle and attempted to compete with Vince McMahon's corporation. So, let's kick the month off with a look at wrestling games that don't carry the WWE name. From WCW to Fire Pro, these are a few alternatives that have cropped up over the years, so let's get started.
This is a game that I feel needs no introduction, as there's a good chance that you've played it if you owned a Nintendo 64. Revenge has earned itself a place and many N64 top lists and, at least in my opinion, is one of the best multiplayer experiences on the console. Featuring one of the largest rosters available at the time of its release, Revenge featured nearly every active member of the WCW roster at the time it was released, and even offered the ability to edit the existing wrestlers, making it one of the first games to do so. With the addition of ring entrances, fluid controls, and heavy hitters like Bret Hart, Goldberg, Curt Hennig, The British Bulldog, Revenge is easily the best WCW title available on the Nintendo 64 and deserves to be among the best on the console as a whole.
One of the "black box" NES games, Pro Wrestling may be a game that many older gamers have never player. The game is an incredible amount of fun, and is a game that can truly ruin friendships. While the gameplay is fairly basic, especially compared to modern wrestling games, some of the minor touches like the referee and camera man really give this one a unique and special feel. Nintendo clearly put a lot of love into this early title, and its a blast when you sit down and play with a buddy. (Which can be seen in the clip above featuring Pat Contri and Ian Ferguson during their annual NES Marathon)
Fire Pro Wrestling Returns
This is a game I passed over many times until it was recommended to me by a friend, and I regret waiting as long as I did to pick this one up. Offering one of the best customization suites in any pro wrestling game, Fire Pro Wrestling Returns lets you edit nearly every aspect of the game including the wrestlers themselves, title belts, and logos. This incredible level of customization has ensured the game has maintained an active fan community, almost ten years after its US release. While the game play isn't your tradition WWE-style fair, it isn't hard to get into the swing of things, though don't expect to master this game on your first time out. Fire Pro is a fantastic game and one I recommend to any wrestling fan. Thanks to its release on the PS3, the game is available digitally on that platform and can be tracked down for the PS2 as well.