Countdown to WWE 2K14: WCW/nWo Revenge

February 20th 2013 marked the announcement for videogame publisher 2K to make an agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment following THQ’s bankruptcy in December 2012. The first game in the new WWE 2K series will drop on October 30th, 2013.  In the coming weeks most writers are discussing what’s next for wrestling video games, but Culture Crossfire is going to talk about an exciting era in wrestling gaming history, from 1996-2000.

The year 1998 was big for WCW. December’s Starrcade the year before saw antisocial babyface Sting finally defeated the evil turncoat Hollywood Hulk Hogan. There was one catch, however, referee Nick Patrick screwed Sting when he counted the Hogan’s pin too fast. That led to special guest ring enforcer Bret Hart (“victim” of the Montreal Screwjob briefly discussed last review) restarting the match and calling for the bell when Hogan submitted to the Scorpion Deathlock. But oddly enough the New World Order was not defeated truly and kept on trudging on into 1998. Following the championship shakeup the nWo’s problems started showing. By May the once formidable stable had split in two, nWo Hollywood and nWo Wolfpack. The last quarter of ’97 featured the debut of the cult-like leader in Raven. Raven’s gift was to give a sense of worth to the downtrodden in exchange for following his demands. This lead to Raven’s Flock becoming a thorn in the sides of Diamond Dallas Page and Saturn, among others. Aside from the stables in WCW, there was one individual who truly stood out. A former Atlanta Falcons player, a very green wrestler you may recognize as Goldberg. Goldberg made his way up the ranks one match at a time, undefeated. The streak statistics were eventually inflated, but he was hands down the best booked wrestler at the time.

WCW/nWo Revenge Cover

Developers: Asmik Ace Entertainment, AKI Corporation
Publisher: THQ
Platform: Nintendo 64
Release Date: October 26, 1998

You know, these wrestling games have a knack for releasing before Christmas. This game I also received at Christmas. One thing you have to remember about this era of games is that video previews and trailers just didn’t happen unless it was a commercial. I never saw a commercial for this myself, but did find one through the magic of Youtube.

Now that the commercial has convinced us to purchase the game, let’s get started.

To be honest, I don’t really know what’s happening during this intro video but it sure got me hyped to play the game. How can you argue with warring laser eyes and a truck driving Dr. Death Steve Williams? If you watched the World Tour video, you can tell there’s actually quite a bit of advancement in the character models. The video also showcases a greater variety of workers like La Parka and Alex Wright, not just the main eventers.

Mechanics

A lot of the mechanics in Revenge were carried over from World Tour or maybe even Vs. The World, but this wasn’t just a simple roster update like recent sports games are contested to be. There were two major updates to the presentation of the game. The first being entrances. The downside of the entrances themselves was the fact there was no wrestler theme songs. The songs that played during an entrance were good enough video game music, but disappointing when expecting to hear Self High Five when DDP comes to the ring. Lacking, but I can’t fault them since the Nintendo 64 cartridge wasn’t exactly the best for CD-quality music. One thing I literally just noticed while refreshing my memory with a Youtube video on the entrances, Randy Savage (RIP) totally says “oooh yeah!” at the end of his entrance! That’s remarkable to me. How did I miss that fifteen years ago? WWF Warzone had voice work, but that’s different, this game is actually fun to play.

Replays were the second big update that really pulled you into the match and made you feel like you were playing out the actions of WCW Nitro or a PPV, not just a fighting game. There were two triggers for replays, particularly vicious moves or finishers and after the match, detailing the last 10 seconds or so including the decision. In an age where you can now make your own highlight reels by pausing the game and rewinding, changing camera angles and editing tightly, this might not seem a big deal, but it was. Watching your opponent get doubled over three times following a great lariat or yakuza kick was deeply satisfying in that primal manner.

Mean, Median and Modes

  • Championship, gauntlet style campaign to win the World, TV, US, Cruiser and Tag Championships
  • Exhibition, 1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2,
  • Special Match, Handicap Match and Battle Royal elimination match
  • Costume Change, allows you to edit wrestler’s costumes, precursor to Create-A-Wrestler

Revenge boasted a more robust list of arenas: Monday Nitro, Starrcade, Bash at the Beach, Souled Out, Superbrawl, and Halloween Havoc. Would it have hurt them to add two arenas for the fictional federations, though?

Roster

nWo Hollywood

  • Hollywood Hogan
  • The Giant
  • Brian Adams
  • Scott Hall
  • Scott Norton
  • Buff Bagwell
  • Eric Bischoff
  • Scott Steiner
  • Curt Hennig (Unlockable)

nWo Wolfpack

  • Sting
  • Konnan
  • Kevin Nash
  • Lex Luger
  • Randy Savage

Raven’s Flock

  • Raven
  • Sick Boy
  • Kidman (Unlockable)
  • Reese
  • Scotty Riggs
  • Lodi

World Championship Wrestling

  • Roddy Piper (Unlockable)
  • Diamond Dallas Page
  • Goldberg
  • Bret Hart
  • Chris Benoit
  • Rick Steiner
  • Fit Finlay
  • Booker T
  • Saturn
  • Disco Inferno
  • Jim Neidhart
  • British Bulldog
  • Glacier
  • Meng
  • Van Hammer
  • Kanyon
  • Yuji Nagata
  • Larry Zbysko
  • Barbarian
  • La Parka
  • Stevie Ray
  • Chris Jericho
  • Eddy Guerrero
  • Psychosis
  • Rey Mysterio Jr.
  • Dean Malenko
  • Juventud Guerrera
  • Ultimo Dragon
  • Chavo Guerrero Jr.
  • Alex Wright

Empire Wrestling Federation

  • AKI Man / THQ Man
  • Shogun
  • Executioner
  • Dr. Frank
  • Jekel
  • Maya Inca Boy

Dead or Alive Wrestling

  • Hawk Hana
  • Kim Chee
  • Dake Ken
  • Brickowski
  • Ming Chee
  • Han Zo Mon

Wrap Up

If you’re not familiar with this era of wrestling games, this is the last WCW game in the AKI series. Electronic Arts would publish WCW Mayhem and THQ would move on to WWF. Poetically enough, WCW would start dipping in quality in the creative side and also ratings by this time. The new additions would make this a fun goodbye to the Turner franchise and build to two more great games. One thing that is disappointing about Revenge is the lack of two great modes that were in the previous version. Where’s tournament? Where’s round robin league? Despite that, I would still argue this is the best of the three WCW games thanks to the other features and huge roster.

Written by Trevor Dailey

is a father of two, husband of one, enemy of none and is currently known as The Dailey Planet on therealtsm.com forums.

Leave a Reply