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iPad Lounge – WWE Wrestlefest
Oh man, one of my favorite games back on the Sega Genesis was WrestleMania: The Arcade Game. That game was so fun and ridiculous. You like football? You had NFL Blitz. You like hockey? You got your NHL Hitz. You love baseball? Why not try The Bigs? For Wrestling fans we haven’t had much in the ways of crazy arcade games since the Genesis. All-Stars tried to do it but the gameplay was so stiff with below average controls that I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve been waiting for my arcade wrestling fix for too long.
Then WWE brings out Wrestlefest to try and once again quell my desires. Does it live up to expectations? Well, being an iOS game, expectations should always be low going into a new game.
This couldn’t be simple enough! You have your joystick and two buttons – punch and kick. The thing is, when you limit yourself for simplicity’s sake, you hurt your game. The controls for Wrestlefest are garbage. You can check out the manual in the main menus which is basically like 8 screens of how to either toss someone out of the ring, get up the turnbuckle, run, or grapple. The problem is that half the time they don’t even work! I found myself, and three of my friends, to tap mash throughout the whole match while trying to keep an idea of the actual controls in our heads. It’s just too random.
Also, you and your opponent are like gods in the ring. Even after depleting someone’s “health” bar, they kick out of pins easily. The ref takes way too long to start the count and the kick out gauge fills rather quickly. You have to beat your opponent senseless and take his health bar down to zilch about five or six times before you even get to that three count. Sure, this lengthens up matches but why? Why have a health bar instead of a body damage indicator?
The animations of the wrestlers are mostly stock and repetitive except for signature and finishing moves. Every wrestler have their trademarked taunt to go along with 1-3 specially animated moves. Stone Cold does the beer drinking motion before every piledriver and every Stunner. The Rock poses and raises his eyebrow before laying the smackdown with a People’s Elbow or Rock Bottom. This has to be the most work the devs put into the game. Every entrance is the same walk down animation and there are no individual theme songs for you wrestler of choice to enter to. You won’t be hearing that glass shatter when Austin comes out or CM Punk’s Cult of Personality play.You get a “tensions in the air” type tune before the bell rings and you faceroll on your screen to try and do something.
If there is one thing I can’t really knock in Wrestlefest, it has to be the content. You get eight wrestlers, four arenas, and six match types for your purchase. The match types are exhibition, Road to WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event Tournament, tag team, and a gauntlet match. The wrestlers are: Jake “The Snake”, John Cena, Rey Mysterio, The Rock, Macho Man, Undertaker, Randy Orton, and The Undertaker. As of right now, there are two DLC packs for a dollar each that add 5 wrestlers and one arena to your game. Not bad for just a dollar. The main question has to be: is it worth spending more on this game?
Wresltefest is $3.99. That is an acceptable price of admission for what you get but I really wouldn’t recommend it to anyone but wrestling fans. If you don’t know John Cena’s motto or that CM Punk is currently the WWE Champion, stay away from Wrestlefest. The poor controls and gameplay flow ruin what a fun experience it could have been. If you just want to furiously tap at your screen with your favorite Superstar then by all means get this and the well-priced DLC packs.
You can get WWE Wresltefest HD in the AppStore for 3.99