WWF Royal Rumble

Brad: WWF Super Wrestlemania finished 9th on our list of the Worst Genesis Games, but Royal Rumble makes a few improvements to avoid a similar fate. The graphics are a bit better, difficulty is now adjustable on a scale of 1-10, and the number of wrestlers to choose from has been expanded from 8 to 12 (by the way, if you want a glimpse of the sorry state the WWF was in circa 1993, just check out this roster – Crush? The Model? Anyone even remember those guys?). There are also a few new gameplay modes, including the titular Royal Rumble mode, which is actually sort of fun for a little while. Finally, they added a “grapple meter” to show you whether or not you’re mashing the buttons fast enough to win a grapple, which makes up the bulk of the gameplay.

WWF Royal Rumble000

Undertaker and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan avoid the scrum and instead take a moment to reflect on their lives.

I think its that last “improvement” that makes me hate this game the most. The gameplay in Super Wrestlemania sucked. The gameplay in Royal Rumble is largely unchanged, but now you have a meter showing you whether or not you are any good at this crappy gameplay. This doesn’t address the problem. Not even a little. It’s like this: Imagine I give you a dead squid for your birthday, and you complain that you didn’t want a dead squid. So I take that same dead squid, and put it in a really fancy box, and give it right back to you for your next birthday. Is that really any better? In other words, Royal Rumble is a nicer box, but the gameplay is still just a repackaged dead squid. And by this point, it’s starting to smell really bad.

Stryker: As a general rule, there’s an inverse relationship between how good a game is, and how much easier it gets with a turbo-fire controller. The reasoning is pretty simple – good games generally don’t reward you simply for pushing the same button over and over really fast, but bad ones often do. It’s not a perfect rule, and it doesn’t really apply to all genres (RPGs, good or bad, can get really hard to play with turbo-fire) but more often that not, it has proven true. And it was especially true of WWF Royal Rumble, which failed this test rather badly. Thanks to the technological assist, I was able to do all 4 of my different moves over and over to the computer, even against its highest difficulty settings.

Mr. Do!: How the hell did both IRS and Papa Shango manage to get into yet another Genesis game? Where there literally only 12 wrestlers in the WWF back then?