As wrestling fans will attest, the previous Nintendo console was host to some of the best wrestling games ever made - WWE Day of Reckoning 2 doesn’t excel like the N64 classics, but is by default the GameCube’s best wrestling game so far.
If you played the first Day of Reckoning, you’ll be able to jump right in. In fact, the story continues from where the first game ended - sounds great in theory, but is marred by the fact that you can’t carry over your created Superstar from the first game. The story itself is fine, but is told without the usual WWE, over-the-top flare. Text boxes may be an RPG staple, but it feels out of place in a modern day WWE game.
The game’s easy to pick up and play, but there’s a bit more depth and strategy than before. There’s a new Stamina meter, so you can’t endlessly whale on your opponent. Just like in real life, if you do too much, you’ll tire yourself out.
The submission system has changed too. Once you’ve initiated a submission hold, you and your opponent are given four choices (Submit, Taunt, Drain and Rest Hold), selectable with the C-stick, that you’ll have to use strategically (a Rest Hold will replenish your Stamina, for example). If you select, say, Submit while your opponent selects anything other than Submit, the submission hold is locked on; if you both select Taunt, your opponent escapes from the submission hold. Good stuff.
Unfortunately, this game, like most wrestling games, suffers from clipping issues, where chunks of people pass right through objects or even other people. The back-and-forth computer AI can't decide if it's going to reverse every single move you make or just loaf around. It also doesn’t help that the Create-a-Superstar isn’t as robust as it should be. It may not be perfect, but Day of Reckoning 2 is the best option for GameCube-owning wrestling fans.