Archive for WWE ’13

WWE ’13 or Finally, Attitude is Back!

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , on November 11, 2012 by Rabidgames

It’s a dream come true. WWE says goodbye to PG and welcomes back the controversial yet successful Attitude era. Real stories, real characters, blood, sex and the real Degeneration X!
Sadly, it’s only a video game.

But WWE ’13 is not exactly bringing some Attitude to today’s WWE, it’s a time travel back to the defining moments of that legendary era: We relive the iconic Montreal Screwjob, the birth of the DX (the real one, not that ridiculous kiddie cheerfest post 2000), the ever-shifting tale of the Brothers of Destruction, and of course, the rise of two of the three (the third one is too obvious to be named) most famous wrestlers ever: The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. And yes, WWE ’13 manages to make it fun – no stupid backstage handicap brawls all over the place, less scripted events – and the scripted ones implemented way better, and most importantly, you get rewarded for recreating the best moments of the Attitude era. All this stuff is supported by original commentary, music and entrances, and emphasised by video clips which highlight the feuds from back then.

Boy, we’re talking about damn good times. You know, these days they call it a story if Punk wants some respect or if AJ (no, not AJ Styles) has some dinner with our dearest posterboy John Cena and it’s a huge scandal … and honestly, that’s about it at the moment in WWE’s happy PG teletubby playground. Back in Attitude times, Stone Cold won the title from Michaels, who had inherited it thanks to the Montreal Screwjob, then lost it to Kane, won it back, fought the Undertaker … and so on. Oh, and that amazing build-up to Wrestlemania XV! You know, it was possible for 10 guys in main event regions to have intertwined story lines. But, erm … alright, alright back to WWE ’13. The Attitude mode is not only fun, but also unlocks tons of locked content – from new wrestlers and extra outfits to bonus matches and Universe cutscenes. Yes, we know what happened – and even though, even if we watched it more than a decade ago – it still might give us goosebumps. The presentation work has been done perfectly … almost. To avoid mentioning the now forbidden name WWF (as WWE was called once), the F is silenced in some of the original commentaries – and it really, really sounds awkward. By the way, Rabidgames recommends playing it on easy to unlock everything, then replaying the most iconic battles on a higher difficulty. Why? For once, some objectives are insane on normal – beating some guy within 2 minutes within 10 seconds after a finisher, or a Triple Threat match which actually is a Handicap match.

Speaking of difficulty and the gameplay, WWE ’13 is again an improvement over its predecessor and namesake, WWE ’12. On normal, epic matches can be … well, really epic. It goes back and forth, reversal after reversal, and when finishers hit, the tension rises. Sometimes. You can have a great match, and if you replay it, it’s a lame one-sided, not that epic match. Come on Yukes, it shouldn’t be like that. The same problem is to be found when we talk about the AI in WWE ’13: Sometimes, opponents are pretty smart. They wrestle less repetitive, leave the ring when they need to and even AI controlled tag team partners seem to be an intelligent life form. Again, sometimes. If some stellar constellation is awry however, the AI is dumb as chicken shit and just seems to stand around, waiting for you to attack a dummy. It really is a shame – a constant AI, and WWE ’13 could have become a great and challenging game. Speaking of challenging – please THQ, please Yukes, difficulty can be more than just forcing up the counter rate. In spite of the flaws, WWE ’13’s gameplay is mostly fluid and fun, and if you encounter a 6 time leverage pin reversal orgy, it can be pretty epic as well.

Another plea – please don’t call bringing back match old match types NEW – I quit and Special Referee are not NEW, they’re just BACK. Remember this next time, please. That being said, Special Referee is simply the best match type there was, the best there is, and the best there ever will be. It’s just too brilliant! Play it with 3 of your mates, and see who’s best in bribery. But there are some new gameplay additions to be found in WWE ’13: There are catch finishers – certain moves can be used to counter a flying attack from the top rope – which look amazing. Sadly, it’s just a handful of moves. And then, there are OMG! moments – special actions which most likely decide a match – be it a finisher on the commentators’ table, smashing the corner barricades or two super heavyweights leveling the ring (which grants the “Holy S**t” achievement). There are also some new moves (limb target moves can now be assigned), new animations and overhauled backstage area gameplay  (thank fuck for that one!).

The myriads of creation option return in WWE ’13 – and as expected, the game delivers. Creating a whole arena, a whole show with all-new championship belts and with CAWs*? You got it. Well, the championship belts can’t be created from scratch (which sucks), but still, all we want is to get rid of Cena’s fugly spinning belt, don’t we? CAWs* look alright, but there is one ever-recurring issue: long hair looks shit. Not just shit, it looks like hair-like diarrhoea; formless chunks of hair clipping into bodies. This fucking problem has existed since Smackdown 1! FIX THIS SHIT! Sorry, back to work. Apart from hair, CAWs* are alright. Big people look really big now, you can play around with damage modifiers, but there’s nothing revolutionarily new under the sun in WWE ’13. Mind you, the creation suites have always been a strength of THQ’s wrestling games, so there’s nothing to worry about.

After you have unlocked everything in the Attitude mode, after you have created and/or downloaded all CAWs* you want, it is time to buy some beer and crisps (or pizza or whatever floats your boat) and lock your social life safely away. WWE 13’s Universe mode is a fucking beast. You can run up to 6 shows a week (what about RAW, Smackdown, Attitude, ECW, WCW and TNA?) and you can assign one PPV each Sunday if you feel like it. You can follow developments by studying your expansive statistics section, manage your titles for all your shows, book shows in advance, change matches on the spot and so on (Cena is nothing more but a lousy jobber in Rabidgames’ Universe, by the way – and Heath Slater for WWE Champion!). There are some new stories in WWE ’13, but don’t expect to see all of them that soon. Stories take some time to unfold. But even without stories, the Universe mode is still long-term fun.

Online … well, let’s be honest, the WWE games have the worst online community … ever. CAWs* with super stats, spamming the same moves all over again, expolitation of moves, you name it, it happens. WWE ’13 is no exception. Online is not fun. But at least, there is good news in the Download department – it is now possible to reliably search the database for stuff the community has created – and as usual, there is some great stuff to be found. As a result, it is possible to download 10 wrestlers within 10 minutes instead of 1 wrestler in half an hour.

At the end of the day, WWE ’13 is a series of small improvements, and more of an evolution than a revolution. And still, it is the distilled essence of the last couple of years, refined with the best single player mode for quite a while (actually, Here Comes The Pain is the best one in this regard). If you don’t like wrestling or wrestling games, you should have stopped reading a long time before this paragraph. If you love today’s WWE (by the way, why do you?), you can experience glimpses of the golden times of McMahon’s empire. If you love the Attitude era and if you love wrestling games, drop everything and buy this game. And that’s the bottom line.

Cause Rabidgames said so: Yes, WWE ’13 is not the perfect wrestling game, but it is easily the best of this generation. The awesome Attitude mode, tons of wrestlers from then and now, a massive creation suite, online working fine and the impressive and improved Universe mode will chain you to your console for countless hours – if you’re willing to forgive WWE ’13 for a series of nuisances. 

* By the way, why do we call them CAWs? CAW means Create A Wrestler … we could say CWs (Created Wrestlers) or, politically correct CSs (Created Superstars), but CAWs does not make any sense. Think about it – “hey look at this awesome Create A Wrestler!” Please, let’s stop using it for logic’s sake.

WWE ’13 or A First Impression with an Attitude

Posted in Hands On with tags , , , on October 12, 2012 by Rabidgames

THQ might be in some trouble financially, but it does not stop them from renting a posh club in Brick Lane and showcasing WWE ’13 for the world to see there! Oh, and there was free food and drinks as well to enjoy! Rabidgames did enjoy all of the above.

Oh, okay, back to WWE ’13. THQ allowed journalists to simply sit at a console and to do whatever they want. Well, basically everyone did things in that order: Play some random game of WWE ’13 first, check out the Attitude mode, have a look at the refined Universe mode, fiddle around with the many Create a Whatever options, and then it was back to playing some more games of WWE ’13.

Alright, let’s start with Attitude: It was about time to relive the time when Vince McMahon reinvented his company – and WWE ’13 pays tribute to the era which gave birth to iconic figures such as Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock. On a side note, it is rather strange that a PG oriented company, where wrestling, sorry, the sports entertainment sometimes resembles the Teletubbies, virtually relives its wildest R-rated years at the same time. Sorry, back to WWE ’13 again. In the showfloor demo, there was only access to the story titled “rise of the DX”. Thankfully, the heavily scripted Road to Wrestlemania is gone, and we get primary and secondary “historical” objectives to fulfill this year. By the way, the DX story consists of 12 matches with very different objectives (from win with a chair or win via DQ to hit the other guy with 2 signatures and a finisher). While there might be no unknown stories, it is still great fun to delve back into the past, getting to relive the stories which made great superstars such as The Rock, Steve Austin or Triple H. Furthermore, the Attitude mode unlocks dozens of unlockable content (ranging from Wrestlers to alternate outfits to extra stories for the Universe mode).

In WWE ’13, the gameplay itself is pretty similar to its predecessor, and yet, it can be quite challenging on normal! Well done, Yukes. Finally, we can control how we want our matches to be: You can now choose between quick, normal and epic matches. While a quick match is basically a squash, an epic match takes a long time and requires some tactical thinking. There are some cool new details as well: Throw HBK into the turnbuckle, and he’ll do his trademark flying around it, R-Truth shows his split-leg dodging, and so on.Remember the weight detection system (which was removed for inexplicable reasons)? It’s back in WWE ’13. Hooray. No more Mysterio bodyslamming Big Show! Speaking of the big folks, they really look like towers now.

The pin system has been refined as well: In WWE ’13, it’s possible to pin a groggy opponent after lifting him up. But careful – he can counter your pin with a pin of his own – which can be countered again! Sounds great, doesn’t it? Oh, and you can use a stored finisher to make escaping a pin easier, too. Furthermore, the limb targeting system has been improved – we can now choose between different moves here as well. There are also OMG moments now: Have finisher stored, watch out for that sign, lean back and enjoy devastating action! All those changes for WWE ’13 seem small one by one, but combined, they allow for a more fluid and intuitive feeling in and outside the ring.

The Universe mode was a beast in WWE ’12, and it has grown in even more this year! It is now possible to have three major leagues at the same time (sadly, there are no inter-promotional rating wars … sigh, if we had our good old GM mode back …), players can define which stories will be featured in their universe (and influence their outcome), and there’s also a statistics hub which highlights tons of data: titles won, weeks of title reigns, Royal Rumble performances etc. Plus, you can have shows whenever you want! RAW on Monday, ECW on Tuesday, whatever you want to create on Wednesday, a WCW PPV on Sunday? It’s all possible. Oh yes, Rabidgames will certainly spend most of his time with WWE ’13 in the WWE Universe once more …

While most of the Create modes are more or less the same, Create an Arena has been largely improved and enhanced: In WWE ’13, we can now create everything from the titantron, the lights, video walls to the ring itself. The popular Create A Wrestler mode has a special novelty as well: In WWE ’13, players can choose a body part which will be able to take quite a beating. On the downside, another body part will have to be weaker though, so beware. There are also many new moves to choose from. Another popular feature will be back in WWE ’13; you can create titles again. And this time around, those fancy, shining titles can even be used in the Universe mode!

While all of the above sounds great, the star of WWE ’13 is an old friend who will return: Special Referee matches. Fuck yeah! And it’s not just the same stuff from the past, no, there’s a special referee bar which increases when you do proper ref stuff but decreases when you forget your impartiality and, let say, hit one of the guys with a finisher. Even better, you hit him, and when he dares to strike back at you, an official, you can now disqualify him. You bet the Special Referee mode will be awesome when playing with friends (oh, the bittersweet betrayal).

So, all is well with WWE ’13? Unfortunately, no, not really. Long hair still looks ugly, some moves still hail back from the PS1 era, and sometimes, the collisions are not properly calculated (yep, hitting someone literally IN the head is still in). And for some reason, some prominent characters (Hunter Heast Helmsley, Daniel Bryan come to mind) don’t look like their real life counterparts. Also, WWE ’13 seems a bit too fast for its own good. It’s alright if cruiserweights like Rey Mysterio or Sin Cara are lightning fast, but giants like Khali should be slower for sure. And of course, there’s much DLC stuff around the corner once more … But at the end of the day, it’s rather nitpicking. Rabidgames means, Special Referee will be back in WWE ’13, so the world’s, Yuke’s and WWE’s wrongs are forgiven (well, not turning Punk heel, and Sheamus, don’t get Rabidgames started with that booking desaster)!

Rabidgames smells what WWE ’13 is cooking: And it smells good! The look back to the glorious Attitude era, a deeper universe mode where we finally can make decisions, many, many small additions and improvements … and fucking Special Referee is back!!!! 2 November can’t come soon enough, and that’s the bottom line!

The WWE ’13 Roster Revealed

Posted in News with tags , , , , on August 19, 2012 by Rabidgames

As usual, SummerSlam is the time to reveal the roster of the annual WWE game. WWE ’13 is no exception.

To make it short, here is WWE 13‘s illustrious, attitude oriented roster so far.

There are some surprises here: Among other guests such as the Big Boss Man, Ken Shamrock or the Godfather, (aka Papa Shango aka Kama) the whole DX will be part of WWE ’13 (pretty cool indeed); but the one thing standing out are tons of wrestlers who take up multiple spots: We have Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love, two Litas (wtf?), two Cenas (really?), three Triple Hs (seriously, Yukes?) and the old and the new Jericho.
Excuse Rabidgames, but have they ever heard of alternate attires? Probably not …

As for the Attitude themed campaign mode in WWE ’13, let’s hope for the following tales:

  • DX vs Corporation (well, that’s 99% with all DX members in game)
  • Austin vs McMahon (again, that iconic story must be in there)
  • Taker’s Ministry
  • Taker vs Mankind (the legendary Hell in a Cell match, of course)
  • Nation of Domination (Henry, Farooq, Godfather are there)
  • Edge & Christian (sadly, no Hardys and no Dudleys – what a shame!)
  • The rise of The Rock
  • A schizophrenic story revolving around Mankind/Dude Love/Cactus Jack
  • the WWE/Invasion story (after all, Shane and Stephanie are there as well)

Again, it’s a big, big shame we’ll have to do without current TNA wrestlers such as Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, the Dudleys or TNA officials like Al Snow or D’lo Brown.

On a side note, we should all bear in mind that our favourite mode ever will be back in WWE ’13: Finally, we can be Special Referees again!

Rabidgames raises the People’s eyebrow: While the roster looks good for an Attitude themed game (DX!), there is some bullshit going on: It’s called DLC. It’s been confirmed that AJ and Damien Sandow will be DLC only – and you can bet there is still far more to come. After all, we’re talking about THQ. Just look what has beome of the Saints Row series … Anyway, reliving some of the best moments in wrestling history should still be enough to buy WWE ’13 …

Mike Tyson in WWE ’13

Posted in News with tags , , on June 19, 2012 by Rabidgames

Mike Tyson will return to the ring … but to the wrestling rings of WWE ’13.

Mike Tyson certainly played his part in the turbulent and successful Attitude era by being the Degeneration X’s special enforcer in the main event of WrestleMaina XIV. In WWE ’13, Tyson will wear a DX shirt, of course (we’ll see if he has other attires as well):

Naturally, there’s a catch. If you want to play as Iron Mike Tyson, you have to pre-order WWE ’13.

Rabidgames wonders: So, Mike Tyson in an Attitude game. Makes kinda sense. It will be interesting to see what his finishers will be like: Will he simply knock his opponents out or will he start biting ears? We’ll see.