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     " This game is bad ass until it sucks, and then it sucks professionally. "

   Title: Wrestlemania 2000 by THQ

   Format: N64

   Reviewing Monkey: Cornelius

   The Hype: The "sequel" to WCW/NWO Revenge (same engine and play style) Wrestlemania 2k brought the fun, simple game play that wrestling should have to the WWF.

      What This Monkey Thought...

   Graphics: Did you like those old Lego men? Good, because the heads of all the wrestlers look just like those Lego guys, except with a face cut out of a magazine and glued in place. And please donít tell me youíre sick of lame 2D crowds yet, because cardboard cutouts are all youíll see here. The create-a-wrestler works very well and our chief monkey even made a wrestler who looks disturbingly like himself. I, however, had to put a gas mask on my alter ego because the faces it comes with are limited to only mainstream wrestlers and none of them even came close to my misshapen head. Other wise the graphics are very smooth, if somewhat limited. Cool graphic features include mats shaking when fat ass wrestlers crash from the top rope and wonderfully motion captured moves. The rope effects are very good, although they sometimes suffer from clipping issues. One of the best effects is the ever popular bloody face (donít worry mom it can be turned off, though youíre game savvy kids will probably still be able to override you when you leave to make lunch for the ingrates). After especially powerful moves the punished wrestler will lay and twitch which is another great way to taunt your friends. 3 out of 5

   Game Play: Super simple controls mean even novices stand a chance. I am so happy to see more games do away with the dumb ass button/controller combinations, i.e. up, up, left, plus A & B and "oh look its another body slam!" Moves are easy to pull off and you donít have to memorize a 150 page cheat book to spank even the monkeys who have given up sex and social lives for gaming perfection. Single player, on the other hand, SUCKS. Did I say that clearly enough? It SUCKS!. Still didnít hear me? Sucks as much as having told your friends youíre so whipped you had to take your girlfriend to a NSYNQ concert. When on the "Road to Wrestlemania" (the single player element) the matches get progressively harder. NowÖbefore you call me a wuss, you impatient bastards, listen to the rest. The way THQ decided to make it harder was to make the computer beat the crap out of you mercilessly. There is not a damn thing you can do about it half the time. If you are wrestling anyone other than a "jobber" plan on getting about three moves in to his twenty-five. And just when you have him grappled and is thinking you may actually get to do damage, he reverses and punishes you more. At its apex, I got into a match with Dude Love that I just could not win. No matter how hard I stomped his face into the ground, no matter how far I put my foot up his ass, he would always win. I later found out that according to the story line I was on, that match was there to "put Dude Love over" (or designed to force me to lose for the wrestling-illiterate). Just so that all of the monkey faithful out there wonít think we here at GMM are a bunch of lazy simians, I even wrote in to THQ about this. Their response: "To increase single-player playability, we had to increase the difficulty level, and thus players have to step up their game play to win wrestlemania." AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!~!!!#!@#!!@! How can I step up my gameplay if the computer forces me to loose!!!???! Now before you say, "in the WWF matches are rigged all the time", remember that Vince tells the guys before hand who loses. If the game had a feature like that I would not complain, but they just expect you to lose. This design flaw will piss you off to no end. It also doesnít happen all the timeÖ Which makes it even more annoying. Here at GMM (where almost all of us have the game) 3 of us got screwed and two of us didnít. The result, more than half of us look like Ďtards while the others, who just got lucky, manage to go undefeated all the way. Again, I have to stress, every time you get screwed thereís a cut scene after explaining that you got screwed, so you always know it wasnít just your skill level. 2 out of 5

   Multiplayer & Replayability: Here is where the game shines, and makes up for all of its single player shortcomings. Multiplayer kicks ass. You may never become bored of beating your friends until their face bleeds and the little girlie-men submit to an obviously dominant pixel puppeteer. Here at the GMM offices many a late night has been lost to "just one more royal rumble". It is the game we reach for first when there is more than one person in the room. This completely makes up for the crappy single player. You will divide your time between cursing the game and worshipping it. How many games can claim that? 5 out of 5

   Story/Dramatics: With the soap-opera-like stories in wrestling you would think that THQ could have found a way to incorporate this into the game, at least it would have made single player interesting. As is, only once in a great while someone will run out and challenge you to a match and the dialog is as rich as "Iím gonna kick youíre assÖLetís wrestle." After the match no animosity is kept or friendships made so it is rather dull. 1 out of 5

   Instructions and Learning Curve: Instructions are okay at best. For some odd reason THQ decide to give one-page bios to four or five wrestlers instead of telling us how to play the game. Fortunately the game is simple enough that you can figure it all out on your own after a couple of hours or so. Also, due note, the hint book is worthless. 2 out of 5

   The Verdict:

       An overall good game if you donít play with (I mean by) yourself. Multiplayer rocks, one of the best multiplayer games on the market right now. If you have friends who can stand you or your smell long enough for a few games buy it now.

   The Good: Multiplayer, multiplayer, and multiplayer. (Oh yeah, thereís a ton of wrestlers, and the create a wrestler is excellent too.)

   The Bad: Single player, single player, and single player.

   The Overall Ugly: This game is bad ass until it sucks, and then it sucks professionally.

   What it's Worth: If you have friends who will play too: $2.63 less than Market value. If youíre a friendless loser: $15 (although if you have no friends you can probably afford to spend more.

Buy it now from Amazon.com

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