WWE Day of Reckoning GameCube
Developed by Yuke's Co Ltd.
Release Date : Out Now
Price : £39.99
It's been a while since we looked at a wrestling game. So far we've looked a one on the Xbox and a couple each for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube. Whilst most have been fairly good none have really been memorable. WWE Day of Reckoning looks set to change that and although it does have a few niggles it can easily lay claim to being the best wrestling game on the GameCube.
WWE Day of Reckoning is certainly packed to the brim with features. You can choose to have an exhibition fight (for up to 4 players), play in the game's Story Mode or take part in various tutorials that will teach you how to play the game. A Create a Superstar mode has been included too so that you can create your own custom wrestler for use in the Story Mode. One of the key new features in WWE DoR is Momentum Shift. Momentum Shift is basically a mechanic that allows you to come back from a disadvantageous position. This is a nice inclusion and it means you don't simply suffer from a bad start. The game includes around 40 wrestlers (although some have to be unlocked).
Whilst the exhibition fights are numerous it's the Story Mode where most will spend their time. After creating your wrestler in Create a Superstar mode (which is very impressive and allows you to create a wrestler in pretty much any style you want) you get the chance to progress their career and battle for the WWE Championship. On the whole the Story Mode plays quite well. If you lose a fight you'll get the chance to redo it so it doesn't get frustrating. Although there are many, many fight options for the Exhibition mode the only new inclusion is the Bra and Panties Match. Basically the fight will involve two female wrestlers (what else?) and the winner is the first to remove two items of clothing (a top and skirt or trousers) to reveal their bra and panties. It's not a stellar inclusion by any stretch of the imagination but I dare say some will appreciate its inclusion particularly given how good the wrestler models are.
The one issue I do have with WWE DoR (and for that matter most wrestling games) is that it's not always easy to hit your intended target. Part of the problem is that you don't have any control of the camera and you have to control your wrestler from the fixed position which doesn't always make it easy. Occasionally you'll find that you completely miss your opponent and this can be irritating, particularly if your wrestler falls and hits the canvas as a result. Trying to hit a character whilst running is all the more tricky as a result. This is a shame as the control method on the whole is satisfactory and enjoyable once mastered.
Graphically WWE DoR is the best looking wrestling game on the GameCube. Character models are particularly impressive and just about manage to avoid that action figure look that so many of the GameCube's wrestling game's characters have. The arenas and crowds look good and make a change from the usual crowds we see in sports games where cardboard cut-outs fill make up the audience. The wrestler entrances look a little old and seem like they've been taken straight from previous games which is a shame as they could have looked much more impressive. I found it was a shame that you couldn't alter the camera angles at will during a fight, as sometimes the viewpoint can be less than advantageous.
Deaf gamers will pleased to learn that WWE DoR is deaf gamer friendly. The heart of the game, Story Mode, is subtitled (in fact the conversations don't contain speech at all) so you'll be able to fully enjoy the cutscenes that progress your career. The Tutorial mode is also fully subtitled for both the lecture and training sections. During a fight you can also enable text hints to inform you what button needs to be pressed. The game manual is a little sparse and could have been much better. However it's good to see 6 pages dedicated to listing all the game controls because it allows you to quickly refer to them at any time.
WWE Day of Reckoning is without a doubt the best wrestling game on the GameCube to date. The enjoyable Story Mode, the impressive Create a Superstar mode and a control scheme that works well all combine to give a wrestling experience that surpasses any other GameCube wrestling title to date. Some things could have been better though. The Bra and Panties Match is the only new addition to the fight modes which is somewhat disappointing. You could also argue that the pace of the fights is a bit too quick. The bottom line though is that if you're after a wrestling game on the GameCube then look no further than WWE Day of Reckoning because what it does, it does well and it easily surpasses all of the GameCube wrestling games that have gone before.
Game Rating: 7.9/10
Definitely the best wrestling game on the GameCube but there's still plenty of room for improvement. More exhibition fight modes could have been included too.
No problems at all. Tutorials and Story Mode are both fully subtitled.