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Some gaming memories-El Camionero's Hard Road
Submitted by El Camionero on 04/29/2018 at 11:23 PM


Hi, and welcome back (?) to El Camionero's hard road. Yes, I finally got a name for this column. It took a while, but I did it. Speaking of taking a while, this column's horrendous schedule. If you have paid atenttion, you would've noticed that I haven't posted anything in a while. Almost a month. And I want to apologize. I could tell you that college has been kicking my ass (and it has), but that's no excuse. I accepted this position in NoDQ, I should respect it. So I'll try to post more regularly. Again, sorry.

SoÖ wrestling and videogames! Itís a combination made in heaven, it seems. Sure, not every single wrestling fan is videogame fan, but there are a ton who are. And in almost every console, there are various games about it. So, it shouldnít come that lots of people whose some of their fondest moments with wrestling didnít happen in a physical ring, but a virtual one.

Just to be clear, this is not a historic retrospective with WWE games, I havenít even played all of them. Itís just my personal experience with them. And what a better way to start that with the first videogame Iíve ever played: SmackDown VS Raw 2008. That was an important game for me, and without it, I wouldnít be writing this. Sure, I had just become a wrestling fan, but my fandom wasnít really going to grow with the offering in Raw and SmackDown. Sorry, but I donít think that Chuck Palumbo VS Jamie Noble feud was one for the ages. The state of WWE in 2007 was bad, however I digress. Nah, I could have Taker VS Batista Vs Cena VS Michaels VS Edge VS Orton in a Armageddon Hell in a Cell whenever I wanted in my PS2. It was with that game where I really understood gimmicks, and what was a finisher, and how important entrances really were. I used to play as Undertaker repeatedly just to see his entrance. Are thing like that what made the fan Iím today.

And thatís cool and all but letís be real: that game kind of sucks. Iím not going to make a full-blown review of it, but the story mode (and GM mode) are bland and repetitive. I didnít like the class-based system it had, that really limited the options a character had. Also, the roster is weird. Some arenít in the game (Deuce and Domino, tag champs at the time, are nowhere to be seen), while some of the characters in-game were already gone from WWE (Lashley, Cryme Tyme, Chris Masters, Kenny Dykstra).

That reminds me, I discovered various wrestlers in WWE games. Iím not talking about just legends, Iím also talking about ďYouíre still working here?Ē types of situations. Like when I saw Vance Archer in a game once, and I audibly said, ďWho the hell is Vance Archer?Ē. What can I say, I didnít watch WWE Superstars. But I also got to play as Rick Rude, British Bulldog, Bam Bam Bigelow, way before I understood their impact they had in the business. Nowadays, the 2k Games have way too much characters available. And thatís something that I like and hate about those games. On one hand, kids can know about Colonel Mustafa. On the other, how many of them are going to play as Colonel Mustafa? But itís fun to have your own roster and get the weirdest champions possible. There are videos based on that idea. Plenty of them, in fact And it seems fun at first, but when I had Jinder Mahal as WWE champ in WWE 13, I did it as a joke.

There is this trend in WWE games nowadays to make the games as realistic as possible. I always found that funny, trying to have realism in this day and age when some say kayfabe is deader than ever. Personally, itís a direction that I (and most people, actually) donít like. What can I say, the more arcade feel of yester-year was more fun in my opinion. In all fairness though, I havenít played any of them since 2k16 (AKA, Stone Coldís clone mayhem). But I do watch gameplays of it, and it still looks like the janky, glitchy experience I expected. Itís a fun game to watch, Iíll give them that. But thatís mainly because of the wackiness of its glitches, not something I would like to play myself.

No, I satisfy my videogame crave nowadays either playing an old game or with Fire Pro Wrestling World. What a refreshing experience that game is. Iíve tried the Fire Pro series before, but I didnít really get hooked until World came. The introduction of a little Tutorial reaaaaaaaally helps it. Fire Pro was never very beginner-friendly, but the inclusion of this little Tutorial is a godsend. And having Steam Workshop makes having CAWs so much easier. Downloading someone with a few clicks is a big evolution from the Good Old Daysô when you had to follow a formula you found in GameFAQs and then realizing that after half an hour following it, it doesnīt even remotely looks like Crash Holly. Now how am I gonna have my Deathmatch tournament? And thatís another great thing about Fire Pro, is just as fun to watch as to play. The AI can be very unpredictable, and a good CAW can do exactly what the real wrestling does. Same moves, taunts, looks, etc. If some of what you just read even remotely get your attention, I highly recommend it. Its on Steam and on PS4 soon (With NJPW DLC on the way). Just donít expect the flashiness of WWE. No pretty graphics, no cool entrances. But apart of that, a great package.

Letís close this pseudo-retrospective with the question some of you may have: But what about WWF No Mercy for the N64? Well, easy, I havenít played it. I havenít played any of the AKI. Why? Because I had a PS1, and SmackDown 2 was my jam. So, I canít call it ďThe Best Wrestling Game EverĒ like so many online like to believe. That to me is SmackDown Here Comes the Painís title.

ActuallyÖ yeah, yeah, I played No Mercy. Kinda. I played WCW VS nWo World tour in my cousinís house once when I was 3. Now, imagine if you will, a 3-year-old kid (a very dumb one, mind you), who only knows his PlayStation, being presented one of these.

Yeah, letís just say I couldnít really get into it. "I don't have 3 hands", I said back there. I sucked, as I did in every single N64 from my cousin. And I wasnít a wrestling fan back there, so there it didnít connect with me. I wish he still had the console, he sold it a few years ago. Maybe I could love it then.

Well, thatís the end of this article, I guess. I hope you had fun, and maybe you share your videogame wrestling experiences in the comments. And I will come back with another column soon.

ÖHopefully.




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