Systems: Steam, Switch, PS4, Xbox One
WWF WrestleFest. This arcade cabinet from 1991 changed the landscape of arcade wrestling video games. This arcade game gave you the opportunity to play tag team and Royal Rumble matches between your friends at your local game store, or the CPU to test your abilities. But, we will save that review for another day.
People have been clamoring for a follow-up to this game, and now 30 years later, we finally have that title. RETROMANIA has been released on Steam, and today we discuss the positives of this retro title, as well as what can be improved and added onto in the future. So let’s dive deep into it to find out if they lived up to their promise and see if this is a game you should buy or pass on.
RetroMania takes that WrestleFest approach of fast, hard-hitting action. It encapsulates that spirit of a pick up and play factor, while also having a gameplay that can be challenging and rewarding. The roster is made up of 16 colorful and unique wrestlers:
- Road Warrior Animal
- Road Warrior Hawk
- Johnny Retro (John Morrison)
- Nikita Koloff
- Tommy Dreamer
- Nick Aldis (w/ NWA World Title)
- Colt Cabana
- The Blue Meanie (bWo)
- Stevie Richards (bWo)
- Hollywood Nova (bWo)
- Matt Cardona
- Brian Myers
- Warhorse (RULES ASS)
- Austin Idol
- Zack Sabre Jr.
- Jeff Cobb
Added onto this already stacked roster are DLC characters including: Chris Bey, James Storm and Mr. Hughes. With all of these superstars, what can you do with them? Buckle in.
First you have your usual Versus match which includes matches such as:
Singles: 1 vs 1
Triple Threat: 1 vs 1 vs 1
Tag Team: 2 vs 2
3 vs 3
4 vs 4
These many options can be mixed and matched with a steel cage (Golden Era blue bar cage or the more modern silver steel cage), Falls Count Anywhere and Tornado Tag Team matches! Once you have your desired match set up, you can choose from up to 13 arenas! Anywhere from the Hammerstein Ballroom, to the ECW arena, to your local high school gym, they have it all! When you mix these matches with a very diverse roster, it makes for a hard-hitting time! You can play this game in either single player or join up with up to 8 buddies and battle it out amongst each other to see who the REAL champion is.
The next gamemode is the insane, stressful (but FUN) Retro Rumble! This Rumble includes every superstar in the game as you fight your way to become the winner in this exciting Rumble. Participants have time intervals and little animations that appear to let you know who is entering next. This mode is very challenging to survive until the end, but once you do it, it is very rewarding and worth the hard work.
You think you can take on Nick Aldis? You think that you can take the NWA World’s Championship away from him and defend it against whoever steps in your way? Then enter into the 10 Pounds of Gold game mode to prove your worth! This mode can be completed quite quickly once you learn the ropes properly. The animations in between the matches are a nice little throwback to the WrestleFest days to remind you how far you have until your big 2 out of 3 falls match with Nick Aldis. You have an incentive to play this through multiple times to receive a “trophy”, and the best part is that every time you play as a new person, the opponents and venues will change to give you some variety each time.
Once you go through ALL OF THIS, you have one mission left…the story mode. Honestly this should be played first since it teaches you how to play the game correctly, but the choice is yours. This story mode follows Johnny Retro as he is looking for retribution against the man that injured him and almost ended his career. You take him all around the world with entertaining and exciting stories that are over the top, but still grounded in realism. It mixes their diverse roster in a way where you genuinely care about the story and enjoy the story when it reaches its climactic ending. And once they throw a big announcement at you…there’s a huge cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more. I highly recommend this story mode for the entertainment and cameos.
GRADE: 8/10 This is a really fun game and I can’t stop playing it. A small team of 8 people were able to deliver in the gameplay department and proves to be a really fun time with friends. The character sprites, arenas and audio are all well done. This game has a lot to offer for it’s first week of availability. There are some features that can maybe be added in, but that is all extra and may happen in due time. I think this would be a great game to revisit in 6-12 months and take a look at the progress that it has made as of yet.