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    Entries in wwe 12 (2)


    WWE ’13: A “Revolution” For Wrestling Video Games?

    Written by Jimmy Donofrio

    Back in January, I wrote a piece on WWE ’12 that begged Yuke’s, THQ, and the WWE to change the tired formula of their wrestling video game. It was the first year for the newly branded brawler, but not enough had actually changed to justify buying what amounted to an updated roster (and even that was incomplete, as Chris Jericho, a headliner at this year’s Wrestlemania, is still missing from the game despite three rounds of DLC). I wanted the game to be about the business of wrestling, eliminating the kayfabe and basing matches on performance goals (including losing on purpose) instead of simply winning and furthering the story.

    Flash forward four months, and the first new details of this year’s entry, WWE ’13, have finally emerged. On Tuesday, IGN debuted the new teaser trailer and exclusive details of WWE ’13, along with an exclusive interview with cover-grappler, CM Punk. While it isn’t everything (or, arguably, anything) that I could have hoped for, I’ll admit, there is a lot to be excited about.

    The shiniest addition that will get most of the attention in the lead up to the October 30 release is the new Attitude Era Mode, which will warp players back in time to the late 90’s, the heyday of professional wrestling as a moneymaking, media-driven spectacle. You’ll play through some choice storylines of old while reliving the Monday Night Wars from the perspective of the WWE and classic superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, and The Undertaker. It isn’t mentioned in the article, but it’s obvious that Yuke’s found some inspiration in the “Jordan Challenge” and the recent success of the NBA 2K series. How it will be executed is yet to be seen, but if there’s one thing that sells in professional wrestling, it’s nostalgia.

    Is it finally “Clobbering Time” for a WWE video game?

    What really got me pumped up were the new details pertaining to individual matches. New settings and factors will make previously unrealistic (I realize the irony in using that word, but stay with me) match lengths and outcomes more logical and bearable, by professional wrestling standards. From the IGN article:

    ..players will be able to adjust a setting called ‘Match Experience’. Three settings - “Quick”, “Normal” and “Epic” - will affect the overall pacing of a fight, independent of AI difficulty. Factors such as momentum, damage, enemy aggressiveness and even kick out and reversal rates will be affected. The difference can be staggering. Quick matches feel lightning quick compared to epic ones, where superstars seem to have limitless stamina - and health.

    Add to that a new setting that limits the amount of finishers available to use during a given match (from 0 to infinite) and tweaks to the way devastating moves will influence pinfalls, and I’d argue that we’re starting to see a change in the genre as a whole. Up to now, wrestling video games were fighting games based on the “rules” of the wrestling universe. These changes to match mechanics are the greatest step towards a real broadcast wrestling experience since the introduction of real TV and PPV arenas in WCW/nWo Revenge on the N64.

    There’s still a lot to be revealed and learned about WWE ’13 in the coming months, but I’m going to label myself “Cautiously Optimistic” that this is actually a step in the right direction for the future of wrestling games. We may never get the real look behind the curtain that I rallied for, but actually attempting to mirror the product your game is based on is certainly good enough, for now.


    It's Not Real To Me, Dammit!

    Written by Jimmy Donofrio

    Hey THQ, let’s be real, okay?

    Professional wrestling is fake.

    That’s not a bad thing, millions of people all around the world love professional wrestling – myself included. But we’re not morons. With the genesis of the “Reality Era”, where guys like CM Punk and Chris Jericho sit atop the business with gimmicks that laugh in the face of kayfabe, it’s time that our wrestling video games followed suit.

    WWE ’12 was supposed be a refreshing change from the formula that THQ has trotted out since 2004. Well, that was the idea, at least. Realistically, wrestling games haven’t changed all that much since the days of the original Playstation, and there hasn’t been a truly great wrestling video game since the incredible WWF No Mercy for Nintendo 64.

    The WWE has changed the way they do business in the last year. They’ve let WWE Champion CM Punk shoot from the hip instead of from some script written by Michael P.S. Hayes. They strapped the various belts on true fan favorites, guys that have clawed their way to the top through the independent circuits, instead of the manufactured big men of yore. There’s a little more transparency on our tv from week to week, and it should translate in our games, as well.

    So here is what I’m proposing, THQ: Let’s forget the silly “Road To Wrestlemania” or “WWE Universe” game modes, and give WWE ’13 the kind of Career Mode that truly represents professional wrestling and the plight of your everyday WWE Superstar.

    Sheamus wrestled in Europe for 5 years before getting his break in '07. Two years later, he won his first WWE Championship.

    1. Instead of letting the player be in control of a wrestler, let the player be in control of a performer (sure, this changes the game from a “fighting” affair to more of a “roleplaying” one, but isn’t that what professional wrestling has been forever? It’s really just a stage play with steel chairs). You’ll still be able to punch, kick, run, grapple, etc., but you’ll also be able to sell a hit, control the flow of a match, and put over another wrestler if need be.

    2. In turn, you need to change the goal of each match. A WWE Superstar doesn’t go out to the ring to win, he goes out to tell a story. So lay out each match ahead of time, with a timeline on the screen, marking off certain spots that need to be hit and a predetermined winner. If you’re a good wrestler, you’ll hit your spots, tell your story and extend your career. As your career progresses, your matches will become more complex…

    3. …and you’ll run the gamut of cliché wrestling storylines. The difficulty: sometimes you have to be the loser. Sometimes you need to get squashed. Sometimes you need to put over a weaker wrestler to show you've got the goods, even when you're supposed to be bad. And, in turn, you’ll get your big breaks. Let’s pull back the curtain and delve into the backstage atmosphere that creates this multi-million dollar product.

    4. This isn’t going to be like those NFL Head Coach or MLB Front Office Manager abortions. There will still be ridiculous entrances, outrageous matches, larger-than-life personalities on full display. There will still be wrestling. The context, however, is completely different: you want to actually put on a great show instead of just emulating one.

    This, of course, is a very rough outline. The point is, the wrestling business isn’t some kind of big secret – we know it’s fake, and we love it anyway. We know how hard these guys work, and we love them because of it. THQ, give us a game that does both the industry and its superstars justice. We play Madden to be a football player, Zelda to be a Hylian warrior, a whole host of games to be some kind of space marine guy. When we play WWE ’13, let us, finally, be a professional wrestler.

    World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan is an indy wrestling legend, and has jobbed on almost every continent, and even a few back yards.