WWF Wrestle Mania (The Hit Squad) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

WWF Wrestle Mania
By The Hit Squad
Amstrad CPC464/664/6128

Published in Amstrad Action #93

In his capacity as office media-junkie, Tim Norris was voted the person most likely to have a satellite dish and to not know what WWF was all about.

WWF Wrestle Mania

WWF is the World Wrestling Federation. It's American, so the 'World' bit actually means 'North American' (as in baseball's 'World' Series). It's American, so the 'Wrestling' bit actually means wearing outrageous costumes and shouting catchphrases at the top of your voice and wrestling a bit every once in a while. But The American Costume and Catchphrase Federation wouldn't really catch on, would it?

The wrestling chaps all have names like Hulk Hogan, Mr. Perfect, Ultimate Warrior and British Bulldog. They wear costumes appropriate to their names (sometimes) and they shout stuff like 'the British Bulldog is gonna take a bite out of the WWF'. As well as being a sporting entertainment, there's a lot of marketing and merchandising associated with the WWF. Oh no, it's a licensed game.

It takes several weeks to load, and you'll be disappointed if you wander off for a cuppa and come back expecting it to have loaded, because you need to turn the blighter over too!!

As the loading proceeds, you choose which wrestler you'd like to be, and get involved in some name-calling with your first opponent. This is pretty much what real WWF matches are like. There's endless pre-bout shouting, posturing and abusing of TV commentators to be done before the actual business of beating one another up can begin.

Once the 'fun' does finally begin, what you're actually left with is a rather ordinary beat-'em-up. You have a few wrestling-type moves (flying drop kicks, climbing up onto the posts, that sort of thing) added to the usual punches and kicks of an ordinary beat-'em-up. You get the chance to waggle your joystick in the grapples and you need to stab repeatedly at your fire button if you fall or you won't get up again.

I found that mostly I was reacting to the computer's moves rather than taking control of the play, but perhaps that was just me. Even after I'd been at it for a couple of hours, I still felt I was just taking part in a WWF display, rather than actually competing. I'd punch and kick at my opponent and then suddenly find that he'd got fed up with that and had got a grip on me. A little joystick icon tells you it's time to get waggling but usually it was all too late (I was still concentrating on pummelling him). The all-important 'jumping on the other guy's head' move was particularly difficult to accomplish.

I made the mistake (only once, mind you!) of changing my character after a bout. 'Rewind tape to start of side 1 and press fire' wasn't what I wanted to hear and didn't endear the game to me at all. I had to wait for the whole thing to play through from the beginning just to load a *few bits of data* about my new character. Oh dear.

Graphically it's not up to all that much. The characters look a bit like the real WWF chaps but the animation leaves a lot to be desired. Its sound are appallingly bad.

It's a bit of a disappointment, really. It has elements of WWF that might appeal to devotees of the 'sport'. But it doesn't play all that well - it's not particularly enthralling and ultimately leaves you feeling like you might have been better off not bothering.


Graphics 53%
Average at best. The animation of the main sprites leaves quite a lot to be desired.

Sonics 24%
Utterly awful. Not sound FX so much as sad FX.

Grab Factor 62%
Beat-'em-ups always appeal and this is no exception. Beating up computer opponents is fun.

Staying Power 45%
If you're a WWF fan, you might come back for more. If you're not, you probably won't.

Overall 43%
Another triumph of licence over substance. Hurrah for accountants.

Tim Norris

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