ECW Hardcore Revolution Review

By: John Doe

This game has Attitude! I mean, this game IS Attitude. I know it's politically correct to recycle and all, but this is ridiculous! Basically, I have the same game that I bought in back in August 1999, but now I don't know any of the wrestlers. Great. Okay, sure there are some new features, but for me, all I care about is playing with the Create-A-Wrestler feature and some new skins.


Fans who follow ECW do so because they love the "rawness" of the action. This sport looks like it really hurts! When I first witnessed ECW on TV in a bar a couple of years ago, I couldn't take my eyes of it; and I'm not a wrestling fan. I couldn't believe what these guys were doing to each other. It was the first sport called "Extreme" that I thought actually deserved the word. So by all accounts, this game should be raw and edgy, but it comes off limp and weak. Imagine ECW playing by WWF rules, and that's exactly what this is. I thought this was supposed to be Extreme? The only thing Extreme about ECW Hardcore Revolution is the distaste I have for it. Oh sure they swear a little more and there is more emphasis on blood and violence (barbwire match), but it's nowhere near the table smashing, folding chair fisticuffs fest that fans of the sport should expect.

The graphics are actually cleaner and brighter than Attitude, but the animation is stilted giving the wrestlers a sort of stumbling Tor Johnson look about them. (Tor Johnson was the bald, wrestler friend of Ed Wood who appeared in a few of his finest movies, including the heartwarming classic, "Plan 9 From Outer Space".) Although I didn't have them side by side, a lot of the entrances resembled Attitudes entrances. Another fine example of recycling.

Musically the game is decent enough, and it seems to have all new sound effects. The announcing by ECW's own Joey Styles, is excellent and matches up quite nicely with the action. As usual the crowd gets into the act by shouting, which is a great feature, but some new phrases would be nice.

My favorite part of this game is still the Create-A-Wrestler mode, which doesn't say much about the game itself. Yes you can create all the guys you created in Warzone and Attitude. It's like playing dress up Barbie, but electronically and with real ugly dolls. Be that as it may, I'm still hopelessly addicted to Create-A-Wrestler. Anyway, the gameplay still relies on having the advantage. Pull off some stock moves and get your advantage meter up, which makes grappling moves and whatnot easier to accomplish. Keep doing this, and maybe you'll win. I don't know; I think the CPU fights dirtier than anyone in the ECW does. Just when I thought I had him pinned for the umpteenth time, the CPU would push me off and eventually do me in! Considering this didn't happen in 2-4-player mode, I'm left to assume that the AI cheats big time!

Pulling off complicated finishers and different special moves is difficult and makes doing anything really cool almost a Godsend. Trying to face your partner for a tag in tag team mode is just as clunky as it was in Attitude. Collision detection is still way out of whack, and there still instances of polygon clipping. 4 player mode is cool, and there is no real loss of framerate, but the action just doesn't ever seem to get out of hand, and that's ECW's biggest downfall.

It's easy to see where this game came from: Acclaim lost the WWF license in November, and hastily grabbed the ECW license to fill the void. But aside from playing as a bunch of wrestlers you may or may not know, you've played this game as Warzone and Attitude countless times on countless systems already. ECW is not a terrible game, but it just doesn't capture the spirit of Extreme Wrestling. Tread carefully around this one.






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