Retro Spotlight: WWF Attitude PS1/N64 (1999)
Welcome to a brand new feature here on Turnbuckle Daily: Retro Spotlight. We’ll be talking pro wrestling from yesteryear and anything can be covered; Pay Per Views, Television Shows, Movies, Video Games anything goes! Today we’re talking Video Games with WWF Attitude….
Originally released on the Playstation and Nintendo 64 in 1999, WWF Attitude was the sequel to the successful WWF War Zone game and the last WWF licensed game to be produced by Acclaim. Acclaim moved on to work with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and created Hardcore Revolution and Anarchy Rulz using the same engine as the Attitude game.
Attitude featured several changes to War Zone, one of the most notable being the implementation of a Career Mode. You started your career as a WWF superstar working your way through house shows/Shotgun up to RAW is WAR and eventually on to Pay Per View events. Eventually you would be able to challenge for the European, Intercontinental and WWF Title.
Two new match types were introduced to the series with Attitude: First Blood and I Quit, these joined the already impressive roster of match types including ‘Toughman,’ Battle Royal, Fatal Four Way, TKO, Falls Count Anywhere and a Royal Rumble mode.
Speaking of impressive rosters, the amount of playable characters is extensive and (as is to be expected) features performers from the WWF Attitude era, all the way from Al Snow to the Undertaker.
The game was met with mostly positive reviews, especially for the Playstation and N64 ports of the game:
- Official Playstation Magazine – 4 Stars
- Gamespot – 8.1/10
- Game Informer – 9/10
- EGM – 8/10
- IGN – 8.3/10
- Nintendo Power – 7.4/10
- IGN – 8.7/10
- Game Informer – 9.25/10
Does it hold up?
Well…..not really. I had a copy of the original game on the Playstation and absolutely adored it. I had a childhood friend who insisted on always playing as X-Pac and complained when he would constantly lose to the multitude of Stunners that I would dish out everytime we played.
Even with nostalgia playing a part this game feels awkward, clunky and overall just not really that fun. One of the biggest issues I had is that the instructions for the control scheme only changed when you where in a certain position. For example if I wanted to know how to do a tope rope move I wouldn’t look at how to perform the move UNTIL I WAS ON THE TOP ROPE. This completely takes you out of the immersion and I remember this being an issue for 1999 Jake as well.
I expected going in that the graphics wouldn’t hold up but boy I wasn’t expecting it to be this bad. It didn’t help that every character moved in the same awkward way too, that weird arms out hands stiff as a board shaky motion just doesn’t mimic real life in any way shape or form. Truthfully I’ve always found it hard to get back in to Playstation games years later because of the graphic hinderance, mainly due to the ‘realism’ that games companies were trying to portray at that time. On the flip side I can happily play a SNES/Megadrive wrestling game like WWF Royal Rumble and just enjoy the smooth cartoon-like visuals.
I will say that one aspect of this game that I do still like is the combos (when I know how to do them). Having to hit a certain combination of buttons to pull off a finishing move makes it feel like much more of a challenge and you are rewarded with an awesome move to properly finish your opponent (much like Mortal Kombat). Compare this to the Smackdown games later on where you just hit L1 to hit a People’s Elbow and it is worlds apart.
Overall I don’t think I’ll be revisiting this anytime soon…..No Mercy on the other hand…..
Some interesting tidbits:
- They aren’t available as playable characters but Matt and Jeff Hardy actually provided the motion capture for the game.
- Owen Hart passed away prior to the launch of the game, this delayed the launch which was originally slated for June 1999, possibly to remove the Blue Blazer character that he had been portraying
- The Dreamcast version was released several months after the Playstation and N64 versions and featured improved graphics and higher resolution texture maps
Check out some gameplay videos on YouTube now and let us know what you thought of WWF Attitude back in the day!