Welcome to this week’s edition of “Ringside Review.” Given the imminent release of WWE 13, I thought that this would mark an excellent opportunity to look at an old WWF title. WWE 13 has been sold heavily on containing “Attitude,” which obviously relates to the attitude era where stars like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker all came to prominence.

There was a game released at the time which was based and centred around the very same “Attitude.” It should be mentioned that the first two WWF games were a stable of my childhood. I spent many hours while others were playing football or being sociable playing “Warzone” and the game we’re focusing on today, “WWF Attitude.” It was the last game the WWF would have with “Acclaim” before leaving to go to THQ where the Smackdown series was born. Acclaim then went on to develop two games with the creators of Attitude, ECW, which saw the birth of two games “HArdcore Revolution” and “Anarchy Rules.”

The problem was that Acclaim were still using the Warzone engine, which meant they were using an antiquated system. By contrast, the WWF’s “Smackdown” series, went from strength to strength. There’s some irony in ECW giving the WWF the concept that went on to lead to their crushing win in the Monday Night Wars while all they got in return was a contract with a publisher who couldn’t be bothered developing a new engine and continued to use the obsolete “Warzone” engine.

Now that we’ve finished the history lesson, let’s take a look at “WWF Attitude.” At time of release, I loved this game. I never had an N64 so I never had the opportunity to discover “No Mercy,” but I didn’t care. For its’ time Attitude was the definitive WWF game. A hugely impressive roster was supplemented by commentary, unique taunts and ring entrances and celebrations. It also had a pretty deep create a wrestler function for its time.

And therein lies the problem: for its time. This game has not aged well in the slightest. The things which made it great now look laughable. Having The Rock plod to the ring and drop the People’s Elbow without bouncing off the ropes is nowadays unforgivable. The system is more like an old school fighting game than having the fluidity of the later games. To perform finishers you have to input a button combination, which is light-years away from the simplicity of “Press L1.” The game play isn’t fluent and it looks and sounds like crap by modern standards.

However, it is still better than the abomination that is TNA Impact. You can grapple from behind.

This game is a relic. If you played it when it originally came out then it’s going to have nostalgic value. This should be the yardstick for WWE 13. If it can be as fun as “Attitude” was at time of release, and as good as it was also for its time then THQ are without a doubt headed in the right direction.

Anyway, this rounds up another edition of “Ringside Review.” Apologies for the delay, but due to circumstances the day delay was unavoidable. We’ll be back next Friday with a special TNA column, as the company rolls up to it’s biggest show of the year, “Bound For Glory”.

Ta Ta For Now!

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