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WWE Legends of WrestleMania - updated impressions

Opener

In several weeks, WrestleMania 25 will erupt from Houston, Texas. We know what you’re probably thinking: they have twenty-five WrestleManias? And how did I get so damn old? In the past quarter-century, the WWE has grown from a small-ish organization with national mainstream appeal to a full-blown media spectacle. But if you’re one of the many fans who’ve grown out of sports entertainment but recall vividly your memories of the Hulkster, Ultimate Warrior and Bret Hart, then WWE Legends of WrestleMania is for you.

Just a few months ago we had the pleasure to sample Legends but didn’t get a full-blown taste. But now, with the full version of the game in our possession, we’re ready to divulge on the new Legend Killer mode. First, let’s give you a quick reminder on gameplay.

Midcard

Legends takes a simplified approach to the control scheme, eschewing much of SmackDown vs Raw’s right-analog stick based grappling. Instead, the controls are mapped to the face buttons. On the Xbox 360, the controls are: X for Strikes, Y for Defense (block, reversals), A grapples and B is an all-purpose move (exit ring, turnbuckle, pin). Matches retain the quickness of SmackDown! titles, but slow down the action. We don’t remember Ric Flair and Ravishing Rick Rude performing huracanranas or moonsaults, as many matches retain the punch/bodyslam pacing of the 80s and early 90s.

Additionally, some grapples become about chain-linking quicktime events, where the wrestler who inputs the button attack on screen first will end up executing or reversing the move being performed. So say Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Bam Bam Bigelow lock up, if the B icon lights up, you’ll have to press it to get Bigelow into a headlock. Next, you may have to hit the Y button in order to give Bam Bam a vicious punch to the face. Or maybe your opponent hits Y first and Bam Bam reverses the headlock into a takedown. These quicktime grapple events break up the familiar strike/grapple formula and can make for some interesting encounters.

We also went over the WrestleMania tour mode in our last preview. Essentially, the mode is the beef of the game and is split into three sub-modes: Relive, Rewrite and Redefine. Each mode enables you to replay classic WM matches, but with different parameters. Relive puts you in the boots of the winner of the old match and you need to just… win again. Rewrite tasks you as the loser of the classic bout and you’re attempting to rewrite history. And Redefine places a stipulation on a classic match, like making the Andre vs Big John Studd match at WrestleMania 1 take place inside a Hell in the Cell.

15 comments

  • jayrocker97 - March 3, 2009 6:12 p.m.

    you awesome graphics this is gonna be so realistic cool its just like on television i need it so bad im a huge wrestling fan
  • jayrocker97 - March 3, 2009 6:08 p.m.

    i think its awesome i want it so bad i hope i have enough in my game stop card
  • thochaos - February 27, 2009 7:47 a.m.

    I must have this. I have a bad feeling that I'm going to have to trade in a lot of games to finance this though =/
  • nitrocole - February 27, 2009 1:36 a.m.

    Nice Preview
  • NelosAngelos - February 27, 2009 12:42 a.m.

    Yeah...I don't really dig big burly guys grabbing on each other so I think I'll pass. Looks pretty good as a game though, but not something I'd look fondly placed on my shelf.
  • Yellowhat17 - February 26, 2009 11:10 p.m.

    I Macho Man Randy Savage in this?
  • ELpork - February 26, 2009 10:13 p.m.

    mmmm, more man pron plz.
  • Ramen_Soup - February 26, 2009 9:54 p.m.

    That whole thing about bringing the whole roster from SVR 09 is really cool, But how are the move sets affected?
  • leighton75 - March 16, 2009 7:41 p.m.

    I think a lot of people are won't really appriciate this game. You've got to have grown up with the WWF in the 1980's and 90's. I was a huge wrestling fan back then. I also remember playing WWF Wrestlefest in the arcades and i was just addicted. i love the return of simple controls. I just don't like the new WWE or the SVR games so i will definatley be buying this. I understand the legal reasons for no macho man but for god's sake where is Earthquake. he was brilliant
  • And_ROOS - February 27, 2009 6:49 p.m.

    Considering how the last great "Wrestling" game THQ released was No Mercy, slowing it down may be the best thing they have ever done.
  • martinez3121 - February 27, 2009 2:07 a.m.

    ultimate warrior?stone cold?im def. gonna RENT that!!
  • Rasy2kG - February 27, 2009 12:59 a.m.

    Cool preview Can you see if there are any hidden wrestlers or tag teams?
  • bron1417 - February 27, 2009 12:21 a.m.

    looks pretty good i've been out of the loop of wrestling since The Rock left now i'll get to do it all again.
  • GamesRadarShanePatterson - February 27, 2009 12:16 a.m.

    no macho man.
  • Jax - February 27, 2009 12:03 a.m.

    Dang it yellowwhat. You beat me to it!

Showing 1-15 of 15 comments

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