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28 October 2014

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Wrestlemania 21
Wrestlemania 21

Genre: Sports
When's it out?
27 May 2005
What platforms?
How much?
PEGI age rating? 16+


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Chris Haythornthwaite wrestles men in pants - all in the name of entertainment of course...

quoteBeefy, sweaty men with tight shorts on and shaved heads. Women with short shorts on and bikini tops, smacking each other and stripping off. Now before you think what is this, and on the BBC as well, is this what my licence is paying for, let me clarify what I am talking about. World Wrestling Entertainment, an American sports entertainment live show and television program that has 'characters' and a 'storyline'. If you think 'EastEnders' crossed with the circus you will get an idea of the type of events that take place.

Now those of you who aren't familiar with WWE could be forgiven for thinking that this game based on the popular main event in the WWE calendar, 'Wrestlemania' is the 21st in the series. There has been quite a few wrestling games made in the last couple of years, but the 21st in the title refers to the number of years 'Wrestlemania' has been running. So with such a long pedigree the makers of this game have a lot to draw from, and they have done just that.

This latest incarnation of the wrestling game is chocked full of options, unlockables and game play. As the player you have the choose between an exhibition match where you can play as one of the WWE current great wrestlers, or you can create your own wrestler and engage in a career mode where you will work your way up through the leagues to the main events. There is also a two-player mode and a shop where you can use the money you have earned in the career mode to buy a host of different things from new costumes and load screens to new arenas and past legends in WWE history such as Brett 'the hitman' Hart and Andre the Giant.

The games itself plays as a usual wrestling game plays, which is to say it is slower than as standard beat em' up. The moves can be jerky, but this version does attempt to fix this inherent problem. It employs a system where by you can link movements together and create combos that make the game effective and realistic. However the drawback to this is that after a bit of practice you can get the timing spot on, leaving any newcomer that you might be playing with no chance of getting a look in unless they know the counter moves for the character they are playing.

However with all this said, this is still the pinnacle of the sports entertainment wrestling video game incarnation to date. Also with X-box extras such as four player mode, custom soundtracks, (where you can play music through the game that has been recorded to your hard drive), and online multi-player through X-box Live.

If you are a wrestling fan and you enjoy the video games, then you are going to love the career mode and the amount of unlockables here. However for anyone else with a passing interest this mightquote just be a little too specialised for your taste. I would highly recommend a rent first.

The views expressed on this page are those of the contributor and the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the BBC.

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