Wrestling Games - When you just wanna throw people around.

For the discussion of games of all sorts.
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Hey, I heard you liked video games!

Do you also like Wrestling?

Well, did you know that there's something that combines these two hobbies?

Video games that let you play as wrestlers or let you watch wrestling matches! Whoa! This is thread is for talking about those "Wrestling Games"

Okay, for real though. Wrestling games have been around for a hot second from the less sophisticated ones of the before times to the now legendary AKI-Engine games right down to the modern 2k Games. There's a lot to unpack here only talking about recent and upcoming games so let me make this as quick as possible.

Current Games / Ongoing Game-Series

WWE 2k Series
Probably THE wrestling game series. It certainly is the most well-known one and usually gets an annual release (though, they'll skip 2k21 due to 2k20 being such a disaster and them changing the dev team.)
This series focuses mostly on having as recent a WWE roster as possible as it's the WWE game. However, it is probably best known for is very in-depth customization Suite. Make your own Wrestlers (CAWs), customize their moveset, entrance and specific mannerisms. Make your own arena, title belts, and so on. As far as the sheer number of things to customize goes this is the gold standard. The gameplay itself is mostly centered around looking the most like an actual WWE match you could see on TV. It's kind of slow but mostly robust. The games always come with a variety of single player modes. Be it a story mode where you build your own character or a showcase that lets you re-enact famous matches from WWE history.

Fire Pro Wrestling World
The Fire Pro series has its roots way back on the PC Engine. But it also got an entry on the SNES in 1991, which is possibly the most well known due to a story mode written by Suda51. Over the years the core-gameplay has always stayed the same, being a more timing-based game and it encourages you to have good matches rather than win necessarily. This has the downside that there's a bit of a learning curve. But those who stick with it find it to be the best wrestling game ever. It has a very niche but passionate community as a result. Fire Pro Wrestling also has a disproportionately high number of players who don't actually play the game but simulate matches or even their entire federations and broadcast it (don't look at me, I know you're judging me). While its customization suite isn't nearly as strong as that of WWE 2k, mainly due to it being a sprite-based game is very powerful and deeper than it might appear at first glance. Thing is, you can actually change how the AI of any given wrestler works, giving them a personality of their own when playing against them or simulating matches. One Caveat for Fire Pro Wrestling at this point is that there's a lot of DLC and it can set you back quite a bit if you want all of it. Funnily, the most substantial and powerful DLC, the move maker (a straight-up dev tool), is completely free.

Action Arcade Wrestling: Chikara
As of the time of this writing, the makers of the game have announced that they will remove the Chikara branding due to the company closing doors (after a slew of sexual abuse allegations going all the way up to management, so have no pity with them) so I'm not sure what the game will be called in a few months. But this shouldn't stop you from considering this if you think 2k tries too hard to look like WWE or Fire Pro is too hard to get into. AAW is fast and loose. It just wants you to have a quick match, enjoy yourself, and not worry too much about anything. On the downside, this means the gameplay isn't particularly deep. This, however, cannot be said about their character creator. Which will let you make some cool stuff if you're willing to put the work into it (lots of sliders to fiddle around with)

The Fucking MDickie wrestling games
These games are jank made manifest. Kind of creative sandbox. I haven't ever played any of these but what I've seen is special. But oh, the jank! Look at the jank!

Upcoming Games

Unnamed AEW game
All we know about this is that EVP of AEW and known Gamer is managing this from the side of AEW and one of their referees and former game developer, Aubrey Edwards, is also involved. It's rumored that they hired Syn Sophia (formerly AKI, legendary wrestling game developer) to make their game. But as of the time of this writing, we got nothing concrete yet.

WWE Battlegrounds
This one aims to be a more arcadey alternative to the main more simulation heavy WWE 2k games with over the top animations and more cartoony proportions and unconventional arenas.

Whatever the hell Yuke's are doing
Yukes have been the long-time developer of the WWE 2k games but have recently split from them. They are working on a game but virtually nothing is known about it right now.

Unnamed game by Virtual Basement
This is a game that seems very promising but is still in its early stages of development. They have secured quite a few independent wrestlers for their game already.

Retromania Wrestling
This is another very arcadey one and its sprite-based. It features several real-life wrestlers on their roster. It doesn't appear to have a customization suite, unfortunately.

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WWF Smackdown - WWE Smackdown vs. Raw is one of my favourite stretches of games ever. 6 great games right in a row. I liked 2006 quite a bit too but they obviously changed things a lot in that game that would set the tone for the future. I wish we got games in that style again.

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My personal favorite from that era is Here Comes the Pain, that was the high point as far as I'm concerned. My brother and I had gotten the games every year and we built a ton of characters and everything and a lot of them in multiple games. We then just played matches in our little "federation" but Here Comes the Pain was definitely the one we had the most fun with in that regard. We kinda stopped after the first SvR. Probably for the better.

I only got WWE '13 later because I was drunk and friends showed me VGCW and I ordered it on amazon to run my own fed. That's basically the story of how I became an e-fedder.

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I got WWE '13 because of the Attitude Era mode. It was fun, but still I can't go back to it and play it like I could the older games. I didn't really make my own federation that often, but I remember laughing my ass off at Smackdown vs. Raw's create a PPV-mode, because it'd show two people feuding to promote the event. Well, for the Royal Rumble it just did two random people so it showed D-Von Dudley and Rob Van Dam fight against each other, and I thought it was hilarious that that was considered the primary feud. I also did a ton of the storyline designer in SvR 2010 and SvR 2011, it was pretty much the only thing I did for those. However, those were mainly comedic in nature as we'd always revolve the story around the doctor and his escapades.

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Here's hoping the AEW game turns out to be something fantastic. It's so early in development that I haven't heard a thing beyond 'it is an AEW game' but with the way the current rasslin' game field is, it could go anywhere. My fever-dream fantasy scenario would be AEW giving Yuke's the hot tag and just becoming the new de facto wrestling game series from here on out, but also recording promos like the ones in the PSX Raw game because wrestling games gave up on FMV promos far too soon.

Fire Pro's community is great, though, I've seen so much AEW stuff floating around that I could probably just load it all into Fire Promoter and be happy... if Fire Promoter weren't such a plodding, hollow management mode for a wrestling game. The wrestling itself is really good once you understand the grappling system and a bit of basic ring psychology, though! I finally figured all that out after years of being casually confused by the mechanics and it made me feel like a damn genius.

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Iggy have you played around with Journey of Wrestling yet? I've watched V1 from OSW Review play it and it seems pretty fun if you're just looking to do sim stuff.

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Mazo Panku wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:50 pm
My fever-dream fantasy scenario would be AEW giving Yuke's the hot tag and just becoming the new de facto wrestling game series from here on out
Well, your fever dream scenario is coming true - AEW revealed the first details about the upcoming game earlier this week, and it is indeed being developed by Yuke's. Not only that, but Kenny Omega got in touch with one of the main guys behind the AKI N64 games and got him involved in the project as well! SynSophia is not the AKI of old, so instead of having them develop the game it's probably a better idea to hand the project to a team that knows how to make wrestling games (even if we've kinda forgotten that after all these years of crummy annual WWE 2K releases) while also having one of the creators of those old AKI classics involved.

The game is very early in development and we only saw a bit of WIP footage showing off a couple of character models (which are more stylized and cartoony than the 2K models and kinda look like the logical evolution of the old No Mercy style) and moves. Honestly, the footage looked pretty jank, but it is pre-alpha so I'm not too worried. Besides, as long as the game plays well, I don't give a shit one way or the other. Put it on the N64 for all I care.

I also finally got around to buying Fire Pro Wrestling World and some DLC, and spent some time simming matches. Kenny Omega is a beast in this game, I put him in matches against Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi and he beat both in about 12 minutes.

edit: Speaking of Fire Pro, I felt compelled to point out that the Super Famicom game with the Suda51 story mode came out in 1994, not 1991 like the OP suggests. There was an absolute fuckton of Fire Pro games on the Super Famicom from 1991 to 1996.

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