161. WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game

WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game (1995, SNES) by Acclaim 

Current Any% Single Match Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

-WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game (SNES)
-Tag Team Wrestling (NES)
-Pro Wrestling (NES)
-WWF Wrestlemania: Bigger, Better, Badder (NES)
-WWF Wrestlemania Challenge (NES)
-WWF Wrestlemania: Steel Cage Challenge (NES)
-WWF King of the Ring (NES)
-WWF Super Wrestlemania (SNES)
-WWF Royal Rumble (SNES)
-Saturday Night Slam Masters (SNES)
-WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game (Genesis)
-WCW Super Brawl (SNES)

NOTE: for this themed episode, only wrestling games were considered.

I had WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game for the PC growing up as a kid, and I can’t lie and tell you all I loved it, but I certainly played the heck out of it.  And I gotta tell you something, brother… I was not very good at it!  I never once completed a single run for a belt.  Not one.  This game owned me and I was never able to get past the 2-on-1 matches, let alone the 3-on-1 ones that came later.   So this game intimidated the hell out of me when the Trials first came up, so much so that I almost went with Saturday Night Slam Masters or Pro Wrestling instead.  I am certainly glad, now, that I overcame that fear and gave this a whirl, because although average at best as a speedrun, it is certainly better than I expected.

Playing as Lex Luger through the run, you utilize a grab-then-kick combo to quickly drain your opponents’ health meters.  However, this is easier said then done; the A.I. acts in a pretty silly way, so to make it very hard to grab them without losing time.  You have to set them up and then tap the combo, quickly re-initiate the grab, and rinse and repeat.  But, if that weren’t enough, you ALSO have to ensure you take damage in order to skip a long, 3-second scene where Sexy Lexy flexies for the camera.  Thanks, Luger.  You fuck.  (just kidding!)

This… gets pretty monotonous pretty fast, if I’m being honest.  Though it is difficult enough to keep you engaged, and can be sometimes a little fun, it’s far from anything I will ever want to run again.  It’s fine for what it is.  Just… don’t expect anything more than a day or two out of this speedrun, unless you really want that world record.  And, with the repetitive nature, the simplified graphics and sound from the PC version (and also, two missing wrestlers, Yokozuna and Bam Bam Bigelow!), and the lack of any real breaks, you’ll find yourself wishing this was a better game pretty quickly.  Wrestling fans will get much more out of the Arcade version (or better yet, a different game altogether); fighting games will get more out of many other options.  Only the nostalgic need apply here.

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