Where Did All the Great Wrestling Games Go?

By François Chang

December 9, 2009

That was a rhetorical question, we all know where they went. They’re gone and possibly for good! And yes, we did give WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2010 a score of 4/5 stars here on DualShockers, but I’ll explain that in a moment. Let’s take a look at the current situation. We have Yukes developing the SmackDown titles and Midway developing the TNA titles. Yukes has pretty much only done wrestling games and in my opinion they have not been great since WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role. The currently sole TNA game by Midway we’re not even going to talk about in this article. Midway is a joke of a company that truly buried every single one of their formerly good franchises into the ground. It’s sad and they should stop, but that’s an entirely different issue to discuss. So, what’s the problem with the SmackDown games? Now don’t get me wrong, they’re decent games that are pretty entertaining, but there is one factor that makes all these games fall into mediocrity. That factor is WWF No Mercy.

Developed by Aki Corporation and released for Nintendo 64 in the year 2000, WWF No Mercy has set the bar so high that it makes the current generation wrestling games suck. They simply do not meet that standard it has set. And it is an even bigger problem, not because they don’t meet the standard, but because they don’t even try to come close to it. We always hear the praise No Mercy gets, but that’s because it deserves it. I have a level of expectations now. You expect me to enjoy these SmackDown games when I have played No Mercy? Are you kidding me? I’m not stupid. That’s like showing me a movie in 1080p high definition, then telling me that standard definition is just as good. Why can’t they just look towards WWF No Mercy and build off that? It has been 9 long years since release and as a wrestling fan I’m dying for a wrestling game I can enjoy as much as I did with No Mercy. The amount of content, wrestlers, and unlockables were all amazing for No Mercy, and the key most important component was the perfect pacing of the game. Please, no more lightning speed SmackDown arcade style wrestling. I’m sick of it. I know writing this was pretty useless, but I can dream can’t I?

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François Chang

Working on the DualShockers staff as both an editor and community manager since late 2009, François is absolutely no stranger to the videogame industry. He is a graduate from the City College of New York, and has his Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising. His next step is to obtain his Master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Before starting his career, François has been gaming since the age of 2 with Super Mario World, and he has never looked back since. Gaming may be his profession, but it has always been his passion.

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